Comedian and prankster Eric André is back on tour in 2024, and he’s more ready than ever to bring his wild pranks on the road. Known for surprising celebrities with silly pranks, Eric has had his fair share of complex relationships because of the nature of his work. In fact, when working on The Prank Panel, he notably had to smooth things over with fellow prankster Johnny Knoxville to continue working on the show.
Eric’s beef with Chet Hanks has made headlines in recent years as the two personalities feuded online. So, Eric spoke with Distractify about his experience as a professional prankster, and comedian, and what that means for his relationships with fellow celebs.
Eric’s beef with Chet Hanks started after he appeared on ‘The Eric André Show.’
Fans thought that Eric and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's son Chet may have just been playing us with a fake (albeit entertaining) feud considering both of their trolling reputations. But Eric confirmed to Distractify in 2024 that the beef was real.
“I think that guy is legitimately mad at me,” he explained with a grimace. “I really can’t remember why he was mad at me in the first place … He got really mad at me and I was like, ‘Wait, what am I in trouble for?’”
In a separate March 2023 interview with Distractify, Eric called Chet “one of my best friends,” which suggests that in the last year, their relationship sadly did break down because of the drama.
Leading up to Season 6 of The Eric André Show, Eric gave several interviews to promote the new season. In his now-famous interview with Rolling Stone, in which he also acknowledges his short-lived relationship with Emily Ratajkowski, Eric called out Chet Hanks for some dangerous behavior on the set of the Adult Swim show.
“Chet Hanks … was a tough cookie,” Eric said. “He broke our crew. It felt like Rust. He broke us down.” Chet Hanks is the older son of movie stars Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, whose younger son, Truman Hanks, was born five years later.
Chet is an actor like his parents but has a reputation littered with drug addiction and abuse allegations.
“He is … emotionally disturbed,” Eric added to Rolling Stone. “He stole a motorcycle and rode it around. He almost knocked a bunch of grips and gaffers off their ladders. It was very dangerous. He tried to prank us back, but we edited out all his bullsh--! He’s not well. How did Colin Hanks come out so good and Chet Hanks come out so bad?”
After the interview was published, Chet came back at Eric with his own words about what happened in a since-expired Instagram story.
"I [saw the show was] on some really weird, outlandish troll s--t, so I'm like, 'Alright, I'll match that energy'...thinking that he would get it,” Chet said. “At one point, he has a dude come and jump a dirt bike on the stage.”
“Well, he must not have known that I ride dirt bikes because I picked that s--t up and started riding it around the set. Everybody’s like, ‘No, no, no, don’t do that. You could get hurt!’ I’m like, ‘Chill I just popped a little wheelie.’ I put the bike down. When I came out and sat down, he seemed genuinely nervous, just being around me. There's a lot of f--king weirdos in Hollywood, but I didn't think you were one of them, I thought you were funny and cool, but turns out you're just a p---y."
Eric didn’t love this and jokingly demanded to see Chet’s DNA to prove he’s actually Tom Hanks’ son. Hopefully, it blows over soon.
“You gotta break a couple eggs to make an omelet,” Eric wisely pointed out to Distractify. Every prank has its risks, but sometimes, those risks are worth it, such as in Eric’s Netflix film, Bad Trip.
Eric André continues to work on pranks while teasing a sequel to ‘Bad Trip.’
As Eric tours, he’s also working to make his show better every time. After all, he is an expert in the field of pranking. Why not bring that to the stage? “I think the secret to a good prank is to have a good comedic idea, a good premise, but you also have to commit,” Eric reveals about his pranking recipe for success.
“You have to commit and you have to have a believable premise at first to really keep somebody on the hook.” Sometimes, this can have its downsides, such as what happened with Chet.
On the upside, Eric’s career as a professional prankster has taken his fame to new heights as he works alongside Johnny Knoxville and continues working on prank-centric projects.
One of his all-time favorite pranks was actually in the Netflix film, Bad Trip, with Tiffany Haddish. “Tiffany Haddish is in the bottom of a prison bus. She breaks out of a prison bus in front of this guy. So I'm weirdly more proud of that than anything,” he said. “I fought hard to produce that. People kept trying to talk me out of doing that bit … We built this little thing that she could hide in underneath the bus.”
When asked if he’ll make a sequel to Bad Trip, Eric could “neither confirm nor deny,” but he added that he “would like to.” We’ll take that as a good sign for another bad trip.