As shown in Crank Yankers, the show had a simple premise:
- Multiple celebrities pranked random people via phone calls.
- Crank Yankers, rather than use the likenesses of the pranking celebrities, used puppets as the faces of the pranks.
- What made these phone pranks worthy of being in Comedy Central was that not only were some of the conversations hilarious to hear if one were familiar with who was talking. Some celebrities included comedian, television host, and radio personality Adam Corolla, comedian and actress Wanda Sykes, and even television producer, filmmaker, and actor Seth McFarlane.
- All of the actors were represented as puppets. For example, Adam Corolla normally voiced a Vietnam War veteran with a prosthetic leg and a somewhat dirty mouth, Wanda Sykes voicing a mother who usually got into awkward situations that involved her children seeing something that they were not supposed to see, and Seth McFarlane as a detective who talks and appears in an atmosphere similar to an old 1940s black-and-white Mystery movie.
- All of these prank calls were animated. So when Wanda Sykes calls a video store about her kids seeing an adult video, the show would transition between both Wanda Sykes and a puppet representing the video store. If Wanda Sykes' character talked about an event that was going on in a party, her side of the conversation would be in a house that was having a party. And the prank call usually ended on a somewhat ironic note.
Crank Yankers was lewd, most of its jokes were dirty, and the humor was mostly aimed for adults. But its content was hilarious.
For an animated version of the prank:
- Adam Corolla, as Birchum, calls a Country Club for an inquiry about Lost and Found.
- A couple nights back Birchum was at a party in that Country Club. And lost a leg. In this prank call the viewer also finds out that Birchum was a veteran in the Vietnam War. Where he lost his leg. Crank Yankers has the puppet voiced by Adam Corolla walk around with a crutch, fortunately.
- Birchum then asks if the Lost and Found has his leg. Specifically, a right leg. This being a prank call, of course there was no prosthetic leg in the Lost and Found. But that did not stop Adam Corolla from milking this joke for what it was worth. Like acting offended when the Lost and Found asked whether the leg was black or white colored. Crank Yankers put an actual prosthetic leg on its Lost and Found. It was black.
- Adam Corolla as Birchum then goes into detail of how he "lost" his leg. Via a landmine during the Vietnam War. Birchum also says that since he lost his leg in the Vietnam War, he was also free to use curse words while speaking.
- Pretty soon the conversation focused more on the fact that the Lost and Found Representative was circumcised. Birchum then went on a tangent where the person that he was talking to had no right to criticize him since he was literally missing his leg.
- This prank ended with Birchum calming down and saying that he was coming down to the Country Club to pickup his missing leg.
Wanda Sykes/Gladys Murphy
For an animated version of the prank:
- Wanda Sykes, as Gladys, prank called a Video Store pretending that she rented a video in that Video Store. This video was for her kid's Birthday party. Numerous boys and girls were going to watch this video. The prank here was that when Gladys left the room, it turned out that the video was one with Adult content.
- This Adult video apparently made its way into the cover of a family friendly video, and Gladys just had to get this particular video. Gladys then goes on to say that Child Protective Services went to visit her frequently because the parents of the children who saw the Adult video were angry at her. In addition, it was revealed that the original film the Adult video was stored in was a Rugrats video.
- Gladys then tries to shock the Video Store worker by making a big deal on the idea that some of the kids who saw this Adult video actually saw it once. Gladys even points out that one of her kids had nightmares because of the video. It involved being chased by a giant one-eyed snake.
- Pretty soon Gladys went on about the quality of the movie. It was poor. The lighting was horrible. And the sexual content was extremely raunchy. The kind of rauncy that would make the viewer question why Gladys still has her kids during this phone call. Especially since Crank Yankers had background events like one of Gladys's kids drinking an implied alcoholic beverage. And one of the older kids having sexual encounters with various inanimate objects.
- As a humorous tangent, Gladys does invite the person she was talking to to watch the Adult film with her. Maybe help give Gladys a better understanding of the content.
- Crank Yankers ended this prank with the implication that the Video Store worker was the woman in the Adult film.
Seth McFarlane/Dick Rogers
- Seth McFarlane played a 1940s detective named Dick Rogers for this prank. Here his character called a gay bar. Named the Boots and Saddle. Basically Dick Rogers went to this gay bar a few nights ago and encountered some of its patrons. And he felt uncomfortable that they were looking at him funny.
- Dick Rogers, being someone from the 1940s, did not understand that the guys who were looking at him funny wanted him. For physical intimacy.
- The worker at the Boots and Saddle then made it very clear that Dick Rogers went to an area that did not have a lot of ladies in the establishment. And that most of the men in the gay bar did not like women in the way of intimacy. But Dick Rogers want women and he wanted them now.
- The worker Dick was talking to then went on to challenge the idea that Dick only liked women. In fact, the worker, who introduced himself as Ed, encouraged Dick to come into the gay bar again so that he could maybe explore the possibility that Dick might have a thing for men as well. Dick steadily became intrigued to this idea.
- Of course, Dick was stubbornly insisting that he only liked women. but Ed was accepting and kept suggesting that he and Dick should get together.
- In the end, Dick suggests that he will visit the gay bay and make-out with Ed. Which Ed reciprocates.
Crank Yankers was a show that reveled in its raunchiness. And the lewdness that various celebrities could make during their prank phone calls. But these pranks were hilarious because nobody would really get hurt due to these pranks and the fact that puppets acted out these pranks meant that Comedy Central could add in aesthetics that increased the comedic value of some pranks. And help get some laughs out of the viewer.