From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
Jamie Kennedy's parents taught him well. One Christmas day the 8-year-old Kennedy "found a huge bag of coal under the tree. I started screaming and crying. They came out laughing and said, 'Aw, c'mon, can't you take a joke?'"

So he took and took. His hidden-camera prank show, JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, is in its second season on The WB, and Kennedy, 32, unleashes one of his TV alter egos, the inept wannabe rapper B-Rad, in the movie Malibu's Most Wanted. Kennedy has "all these wild characters inside of him," says Scream costar and pal David Arquette. "He really is exactly what you see."

The youngest of six, the Upper Darby, Pa., native "was always imitating people," he says. "It was fun for me, irritating for the person." With his parents' help, he moved to L.A. at 19 to be an extra. "We supported him for the four years he would have been in college," says mom Josie, 74, "and then told him when he'd be graduating."

He won a cult following with the Scream movies, but even now, "it's not like I have people beating down my door," says the single actor, who lives alone in L.A. In fact "my dad is the one who really loves [the fame] because he gets free cigarettes at the deli."