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Two Russian comedians, known internationally as “The Jerky Boys of Russia,” have pranked U.S. energy secretary Rick Perry, making him believe he was having a phone conversation with Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.
The 22-minute conversation, in which one of the comedians played the prime minister and the other one translated, began with a discussion of sanctions against Russia and U.S. attempts to help Ukraine develop its oil and gas industry, but then took a bizarre turn.
Judging by the recording of the conversation, published by Russian news magazine Vesti.ru, Perry didn’t realize he was being pranked even when the caller suggested that he try “a new kind of fuel,” made out of pig manure and moonshine, which the comedian claimed Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko developed himself and drinks on a regular basis.
Perry responded to the odd proposition by saying that he would like to be “further briefed” on that before ending the conversation.
As the story spread all over Russian media and was picked up by some international news outlets, Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes confirmed in a statement that Perry was talking to comedians.
“These individuals are known for pranking high-level officials and celebrities, particularly those who are supportive of an agenda that is not in line with their governments,” Hynes said. “In this case, the energy security of Ukraine.”
In Russia, the pranksters, Vladimir Krasnov and Alexei Stolyarov, are mostly known by their nicknames, Vovan and Lexus. Internationally, they are often compared to The Jerky Boys, a U.S. comedy duo known for their telephone pranks back in the 1990s.
The Russian duo’s best-known prank was their 2015 phone call to British singer Elton John, who was under the impression he was speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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