EW details Ashton's greatest punk ever
Dear Ashton: Dude, consider us punk'd. You dished it out, We ate it up. Now come clean: This whole May-December romance circus -- Demi, Bruce, the kids, the canoodling -- was really just grist for your practical-joke comedy series ''Punk'd,'' wasn't it? Like that time your improv goons repossessed Justin Timberlake's house and nearly brought him to tears in front of your hidden cameras. That was a great show. This one is better.
MTV seems happy to go along with the gags: In the midst of the media maelstrom you've created, the network -- thrilled to appoint a worthy successor to the once-mighty Osbournes -- announced that it would be helping itself to another two seasons of ''Punk'd'' (the first of 20 new episodes will air this fall).
And you've already got your season 2 opener in the can, don't you? You know what we're talking about: This faux love triangle of you, Demi, and the Media, which will undoubtedly be remembered as the grandest prank in the history of Publicity Stunts. Bigger than the sham wedding you and Brittany Murphy staged during ''Just Married'' (which opened at No. 1 last January, thanks in part to your tomfoolery). Bigger than this whole ''new Rat Pack'' thing you're orchestrating with P. Diddy. Seriously, the guy can't even tap-dance.
But we digress. The real brilliance of this masterfleece is that it pays dividends to all involved. You're a TV personality who's suddenly People's hottest bachelor (you got punk'd, EW parent AOL Time Warner!) and the most sought-after stud this side of Seabiscuit. (Colin Farrell, your Irish arse got punk'd! Nobody cares who you're snogging now, do they?) As for Demi, her renewed desirability gave wags a month's worth of ink. And Bruce, the omnipresent ex...well, we've forgotten all about ''Tears of the Sun.'' We'd forgotten about it anyway, but you see what we're getting at.
Sure, this sounds cynical, but we've got damning circumstantial evidence. Despite Demi's coy refusals to discuss her private life (that means you, pal!), she seems awfully eager to parade her pretty boy before the paparazzi. At our recent It List Party in New York City, we saw you and Demi tucked away in a semi (semi!) private banquette while Bruce trolled the outskirts -- and don't think we missed ''Punk'd'' cocreator Jason Goldberg lurking in the shadows. Why all the exhibitionism? Why not stay in and watch ''The Wire''?
Because you'd rather be out a-punkin', that's why! And who doesn't love a good punk? But here's where you gave yourself away: We noticed Soleil Moon Frye hanging with your posse during last week's ''Charlie's Angels'' media blitz. She was Punky Brewster, man. And she's married to your old producer pal Goldberg! Like that kind of thing happens by accident!