Man accused of pranking coaches speaks out

Man accused of pranking coaches speaks out

By Rudabeh Shahbazi | KABC

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The man who grabbed headlines for his prank phone calls to prominent sports figures is speaking out for the first time.

Kenny Tarr was arrested last month and charged with felony eavesdropping after posting prank calls online. Prosecutors say Tarr illegally recorded phone calls with coaches from the MLB, NBA and NFL.

Tarr admits to making many of those phone calls. He says it’s all part of his work as a humorist who is trying to make it. He says he has no regrets.

“Very few people have given me any opportunities. I’ve taken the opportunities that I have out of my own creation, without any assistance from anyone else, so I feel that I should be respected for what I’ve done and not persecuted for it,” said Tarr.

On Wednesday, Tarr told Eyewitness News he did not make the call to former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Tony Dungy, offering him the head coaching job at USC. It’s the call that made headlines and the one he initially said he did make.

“That call was not made by me. It’s an insinuation that I did to see how far this hoax could go, because everything is a hoax within itself anyway, in my opinion,” said Tarr.

Tarr also has a history of bluffing his way onto TV shows and says it’s his performance art as a humorist.

“I’ve hoaxed ‘The Judge Alex Show,’ ‘The Judge Joe Brown Show,’ ‘The Judge Mathis Show,’ ‘The Ricki Lake Show,’ ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show,’ ‘The Trisha Goddard Show.’ Everything that I’ve done, I’m very proud of,” said Tarr.

His attorneys say it’s extremely rare for charges to be brought for illegally recording phone calls. They say Tarr has been unfairly targeted when he’s only trying to do his job as an independent comedian.

“I would have loved to have gotten all these different release forms and different things, but there’s a lot of individuals, like Ashton Kutcher, the Ryan Seacrest radio program, the Howard Stern radio program, all sorts of things that have saturated our culture that do the exact same things that I’ve done,” said Tarr.

His attorneys say no one was hurt, fired or lost money as a result of the calls. Tarr pleaded not guilty to that felony count of eavesdropping. His next court appearance is Feb. 18.

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