Video: Prankster 'damages' Detroit auto show vehicles

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

Want to cause mischief at an auto show? There's an app for that, as a number of product specialist models and attendees of the Detroit auto show found out.

Dennis Roady, a full-time YouTube prankster, caused a stir during the industry preview with a mobile app called "Dude, your car!" The mobile app allows users to morph photos of cars to make it look like they are scratched, dented, wheel clamped or even on fire. He then showed the images to people at the show, and secretly recorded their reactions.

"It was a perfect prank for that venue," said the Cincinnati resident during a phone interview Thursday. "I was doing it the whole day there. Everybody was laughing it off."

Roady, 31, was originally hired by a Russian YouTube channel to review cars at the Detroit auto show, but couldn't pass up the opportunity for a prank as well. He posted a video of his menacing deeds on his "howtoPRANKitup" YouTube channel on Jan. 24.

The three-minute video has received more than 250,000 views. It features everything from Roady "scratching" a Mercedes-Maybach S600 and Audi R8, to putting a fake dent in the side of the Dodge Challenger T/A Concept.

When he showed the image of the dented Challenger to one female product specialist in the Dodge booth, she held her hand to her mouth in shock, and ran to the car. "Her reaction gave the energy back into the prank," Roady said. "That's the reaction I was hoping for."

NAIAS spokesman Joe Rohatynski said show officials do not condone the prank.

Roady, a former UPS factory worker, started the YouTube channel about a year ago after working with comedian Roman Atwood and his well-known YouTube prank channel, RomanAtwood.

Roady's how-to-prank YouTube channel has nearly 40 videos — ranging from ways to prank with food to the best prank apps.

Thanks to the best prank apps video, which included the car-pranking app, as well as the video from the Detroit auto show, Roady said he is now working with Mobilaga, developer of the app, on a new pranking app compatible with Apple and Android products.

"It was very funny," said Mobilaga founder Alex Attarian when asked about the auto show prank video. "We have a lot of people now posting stuff on YouTube."

Attarian, 35, of Sacremento, Calif., said hundreds of thousands of people have downloaded the app since it launched in March 2010. He confirmed the company is working on another app that incorporates more pranks.

"Dude, your car!" is compatible with mobile Apple products with iOS 5.0 or later. The app is available for 99 cents at the iTunes app store.

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