‘Punk’d’ still funny without Ashton Kutcher

Justin Bieber in MTV's " Punk'd " new

Justin Bieber in MTV's " Punk'd " new season returns on March 29, 2012. (Credit: MTV)

THE SHOW "Punk'd"

WHEN | WHERE Thursday night at 10 on MTV

REASON TO WATCH The return of the one and only celebrity prank show.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Being otherwise engaged, Ashton Kutcher has handed the punking reins over to other celebrities -- Thursday night it's Justin Bieber -- for this revival of the MTV hit, which last aired originals five years ago. Among tonight's victims are Taylor Swift and Sean Kingston. Future guest punkers include Miley Cyrus (who's also a punkee tonight), Hayden Panettiere and Heather Morris.

MY SAY The pleasures of "Punk'd" are, admittedly, base pleasures. But most of us will take our TV pleasures any way we can get 'em, base or otherwise, which means this revival should do just fine. Or at least until such time as every A-, B-, C- and D-list celebrity assumes that the awful thing that just happened is actually part of a TV show and not just a future post on TMZ.

BOTTOM LINE You may hate yourself for laughing -- just don't be too surprised if and when you do. (Poor Taylor!)

GRADE B

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