Regarding April Fool’s Day by Charlie Todd

Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief, Pranksters

As a prankster, people tend to expect big things out of me on April Fool’s Day. I do absolutely love the holiday, and I always enjoy it to it’s fullest. It’s probably my favorite day of the year. Still, I can’t help but feeling that for pranksters, April Fool’s Day is amateur day. It’s the one day out of the year that EVERYONE tires to pull a prank or a hoax. Why would I invest huge amounts of time and resources into pulling something off on the one day of the year that everyone expects it?

For my site, Improv Everywhere, I’ve traditionally done a very simple email prank each year.

Improv Everywhere Jazz BandThis year I claimed that we received a cease and desist letter from a jazz combo from the 1980’s who went by the name “Improv Everywhere” and that we would be changing our name to to Humor In Public Places, or “HIPP” for short. I figured the horrible new name would clue most people in to the joke, but I ended up getting a flood of email from people offering legal advice. Many simply wanted to write in to state that they hated the new name.

For me, email really has become the best way to perpetrate an April Fool’s. I also posted the hoax on the front page of my site, but the commenters ruined the fun almost immediately. All it takes is one person to comment, “April Fool’s,” and the joke is over for everyone else who visits. Email, on the other hand, is a communication received in private. It’s just you and your inbox, and there’s no one else around to spoil it. If you send your email early in the morning on April 1, you’ve got a good chance at it being the first thing your mark reads when he wakes up on April 1, before he realizes the date. It’s also far easier than delivering a hoax in person or over the phone. Those methods require good acting, and ability to improvise when your mark gets suspicious. With an email you can say everything exactly as you want, and ignore any response.

You can check out the text of my hoax email here.

And you can view some of the responses I got here.

© 2007 Charlie Todd