Kutcher Unleashes 'Real Wedding Crashers'
NBC series aims for matrimonial mayhem
For one thing, the title characters in the show, which premieres at 10 p.m. ET Monday on NBC, have more than their own, uh, enjoyment in mind. They're a group of improv performers who, at the request and with the help of the bride and groom, try to make a couple's nuptials unforgettable.
Unforgettable, as in the minister (Steve Byrne) answering his cell phone during the ceremony, the wedding planner (Catherine Reitman) dropping the cake and a waiter (Gareth Reynolds) clearing plates right from under the forks of hungry guests.
"At your own wedding, it's a day you'll never forget," says "Crashers" executive producer Ashton Kutcher, who has some experience with hidden-camera prankery on MTV's "Punk'd." "But I've been to a lot of other people's weddings that you want to fall asleep.
"In order to keep the show as lighter fare and something that's enjoyable, we made it our goal not to ruin the wedding or create a big catastrophe, but [instead] create something that people are not ever going to forget."
The mission of the crashers -- Desi Lydic and Ben Gleib are also in the cast -- is simply "to get into the wedding," says Jason Goldberg, Kutcher's producing partner. Adds Kutcher: "It's to get into the wedding and make sure these people have an unforgettable day."
Sometimes that means posing as cater-waiters or ministers -- all five cast members were ordained -- but some other pranks are more elaborate. The premiere, for example, has Gleib posing as a long-lost friend of the groom, insinuating himself into the pre-ceremony planning and wreaking havoc wherever he goes.
A big assist, both Kutcher and Goldberg say, comes from the couples themselves. "I'm actually pretty proud of our couples," Goldberg says. "We design everything with them. They're part of every bit of minutia, everything we're doing."
The couples are not, however, trained performers, and it shows occasionally. "There are definitely moments where they can't stop laughing," Goldberg notes. "It's really funny to watch."
The production also covers the cost of the wedding and throws in a little something extra for the bride and groom. And, the two producers say, if there are hard feelings among the guests they tend to go away pretty quickly.
"Some people certainly were confused and didn't understand exactly what was happening" at first, Goldberg says. "It seems like it takes about 30 minutes and they get it, and then they're pretty cool with it."