[ skip to content ]

Prankster Video Lands ODU Students on the Tonight Show

Leno with Howe (left) and Ndemo

Colin Howe, a senior at Old Dominion University, posted a video on YouTube three years ago of a prank he played on a fellow student, and it has been gaining him fame ever since.

The "viral" popularity of the video won Howe and the prank victim, Nash Ndemo, an all-expenses-paid trip to Universal City in Los Angeles just before Christmas and an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." During their interview with Leno, they had a chance to put in a plug for ODU and their majors - marine biology for Howe and studio art for Ndemo.

Howe is also president of ODU's newly formed Marine Biology Student Association.

Leno played a portion of the video for his international audience. In it, Ndemo is seen in a Christmas-decorated living room rubbing a coin on a scratch-off lottery ticket. He's hoping for a $10,000 prize, but when he thinks he has hit the jackpot he at first looks shocked. Soon, however, he begins a vigorous victory dance and chants, "I'm rich." The celebration is finally put on hold when the videographer, who was Howe, suggests that his friend read the back of the ticket.

It's in the fine print that Ndemo discovers that he's been duped. The ticket is a fake that Howe bought at a Norfolk novelty store.

The last frames of Ndemo walking away from the camera show him looking none too happy. "Are you guys still friends?" Leno asked them when the video clip ended.

"Just for the show," the two students answered in unison, while laughing.

Back in Norfolk, Howe, who is from Yorktown, said the two of them really are still friends and that they had a memorable time together with Leno and other video pranksters who were guests with them. "The show was very accommodating, from the flight and transportation to the hotel, to the room at the Sheraton at Universal City, to the food and drinks the show provided for free," Howe said.

Leno also presented Ndemo, who is a native of Kenya, with a tub of 10,000 pennies as a consolation prize.

"My Facebook blew up once I posted the photo of Nash, Jay Leno and myself," Howe added. "The video I posted on my wall also got many hits. Friends that Nash and I have outside the states also saw us on the show."

So how did all of this get started?

"We posted that video Christmas 2008, so it has been a while. The video has also been aired on an MTV pranks Christmas special, as well as TruTv's 'Top 20 Most Shocking' pranks. We made fifth best on that show," Howe said.

Then, just a few weeks ago came the call from NBC. "I was contacted by the ('Tonight Show') talent coordinator on the 14th of December, which is also my birthday. We left for Los Angeles that next Tuesday, taped the show on Wednesday (Dec. 21) then came back to Norfolk on Thursday."

See the Leno segment at ODU Prankster!

This article was posted on: January 20, 2012

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.