Pranking members of the public - or, better still, public figures or celebrities - often makes for good comedy value and at least decent TV viewing.
But one Egyptian program has taken the "punking" genre well beyond any reasonable limits.
"Mini Daesh" (Arabic for "Mini ISIS") fools people into believing they are being attacked or abducted by the vicious jihadist group, also known as "Islamic State."
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, in a country battling an ongoing ISIS insurgency, the answer is: a lot.
Actress Heba Magdy was the latest victim of the show; after being lured into an old house, she is led to believe that she has been kidnapped by an ISIS cell - who shoot dead her host for good measure.
The terrified actress is quickly reduced to tears, trying to hide behind a chair at one point while begging for her life.
The "prank" ends with a simulated police raid on the house, which even includes one of the "terrorists" wielding an Rocket-Propelled Grenade launcher.
Unsurprisingly, Magdy is not amused when she's eventually let in on the "joke."