Prostřeno, the Czech version of Come Dine with Me where contestants compete to host the “ultimate dinner party”, has been one of the Czech Republic’s most popular reality TV shows since launching on TV Prima back in 2010.
This year, viewers were treated to a most unusual spectacle: Karel Ondrka, a man from Prague with Tourette’s syndrome and a colorful backstory who uncontrollably shouts vulgarities during the season’s episodes.
According to the Prostřeno website, Ondrka’s reason for appearing on the show are to prove that “not all people in the IT field are weird” and raise awareness for Tourettes syndrome.
He also lives by himself in Prague with a chicken named Babiš, sleeps in a coffin, and (literally) has a permanent erection.
It’s these more salacious aspects of Ondrka’s personality that have led him to becoming a media darling and tabloid celebrity in recent weeks. He became the most popular “actor” on CSFD.cz, the Czech version of the Internet Movie Database, ahead of Emma Watson and Tom Hanks.
Earlier this week, however, it was revealed that Ondrka really was an actor – a man hired by an internet prankster who goes by Kazma Kazmitch for the streaming Stream.cz program ONE MAN SHOW.
No Tourettes, no chicken named Babiš, and padded pants to convey the erection. During production of the show, Kazma covertly watched video of the action while feeding lines via an earpiece to his actor – whose true identity has yet to be revealed.
For locals in the Czech Republic, Kazma is no stranger to high-profile pranks.
He’s the man responsible for fooling producers at the Czech Lion Awards, the country’s version of the Oscars, and sneaking a fake Jim Carrey onto the stage during the live broadcast.
Last year, he hacked into the IIHF World Hockey Championships in Moscow.
But this year’s prank, as he infiltrated a rival TV program to create an instant celebrity – was his longest and most complex to date.
Kazma’s 30-minute ONE MAN SHOW video on Stream.cz where he revealed the hoax was seen by more than 2,000,000 people in a single day. That’s roughly 20% of the entire Czech population.
And somewhat ironically, he did end up raising awareness for Tourettes Syndrome. The prank was even produced in cooperation with the Tourettes civic association ATOS.
Representatives from ATOS noted that the amount of TV exposure the prank brought to the Syndrome would have normally cost millions, and internet search results for Tourettes spiked throughout the Czech Republic while Ondrka was on the air.