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Howard Stern listener prank calls CNN during earthquake coverage

Following today's major 6.1 earthquake that shook the San Francisco area, a man identifying himself as Adam Sure was put on the air with a CNN anchor. Mr. Sure had somehow convinced the network's producers that he was a public information officer with the San Francisco police department.

Howard Stern fan pranks CNN during earthquake coverage
Photo by Rommel Demano/Getty Images

The caller was actually a legendary phone prankster who goes by the name Captain Janks. His real name, according to The Daily Mail, is Tom Cipriano.

The anchor introduced Cipriano, who went on to report: “Yes, because of the early morning, most people were home when it occurred. And what we believe is that this was a rumbling from Howard Stern’s butt crack.”

Stunned by the caller's statement, the anchor cut him off: “Obviously, that is not who we expected it was to be. We apologize for that so early in the morning. But I do want to keep on this, because the fact of the matter is, this is a serious situation. So, we don’t need any jokes going on right now.”

Cipriano has been making Stern-related prank calls for years, his most recent work prior to today's call came when MSNBC put him on the air following a commercial plane crash in the Ukraine. The prankster then identified himself as a staff sergeant at the U.S. embassy in Kiev and explained that the plane had been "shot down by a blast of wind from Howard Stern’s" backside.

The calls seem juvenile, but Cipriano told The Washington Post last month that part of his fun comes from bursting the bubble of sensationalistic cable news networks.

“I’m just showing that this is TV and that TV is entertainment,” said Cipriano. “They don’t just give you the news; they give a dramatized presentation of the news. All I’m doing is ruining their sensational moment with my sensational moment.”