Magazine article Variety

Rank This Prank

Magazine article Variety

Rank This Prank

Article excerpt

DONT TRUST RICHARD KOUFEY WITH YOUR CAR OR YOUR PHONE by Jenelle Riley

Before there was Borat and Bruno, there was Richard Koufey. The leader of the Torrance Community Dance Group, Koufey achieved fame when his troupe was featured in Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" musicvideo, dancing outside a movie theater in Los Angeles. When the vid won best director at the 1999 MTV Music Video Awards, skinny, bespectacled Koufey was there to accept.

Koufey is just one of many creations of Spike Jonze, who played Koufey to great effect and even made a mockumentary about his alter ego and the Torrance Community Dance Group, called "Torrance Rises." He's one of Jonze's more famous personas, along with Gloria, the 90-year-old woman and self-proclaimed "slut" Jonze would play on ''Jackass." (He shot a scene as Gloria for "Bad Grandpa," but it was ultimately cut from the film.)

Off-camera, Jonze is a prank waiting to happen. Editor Jeff Buchanan warns to never leave a computer or phone unattended. "He'll write emails and texts to your friends," Buchanan says. "My advice to anyone who works with Spike is to put a pass-lock on your phone. …

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