While I can be a prankster myself (an old colleague reminded me this week of when we spread peanut butter on our manager's desk phone) I'm not usually big on April Fool's Day. This year however, there were some spectacular parodies, stunts and ruses that made the internet even zanier on Tuesday. Here are ten of my favorites, along with a few of our own from the BrainStuff family.
Lil' Bubs' Brother
This one actually fooled me, to the point that while recording new BrainStuff episodes this week I was telling our production team that Lil' Bub actually had a secret twin brother the whole time. You would think with us working for the same company and all that Bub would have let me in on the joke.
Honda's First Handmade DIY Car
Honda's gag commercial for a do-it-yourself "Fit Kit" was probably my favorite of this year's assorted pranks. Mostly, it's because of how well the actors sold their belief in homemade kombucha, international yarn collection and blow-out amp fuse collage. Something's priceless about the cat continually running up and down the stairs in the background.
Rosetta Stone: Klingon
I've been to enough science-fiction conventions that I feel confident saying nothing is funnier in all of geekdom than the over-the-top seriousness of Klingon cosplay. The Miss Klingon Beauty Pageant at DragonCon has never made me laugh harder and ThinkGeek nails its tone with this commercial. Also, casting Steve Agee as a loving father is worth the viewing alone.
Emergen-C Sausage Pump
This vile concoction of raw meat and vitamin crystals looks like some villain's idea of a Play-Doh confection.
Again, the enthusiasm of the actors absolutely sells this hoax where you can book and rent desks by the minutes.
Keanu Reeves' "Citizen Kane"
The sincerity of NPR's hosts almost makes this faux review of a remake of "Citizen Kane" believable. Directed and starring Keanu Reeves, using scenes from his previous movies for flashbacks, this sounds like every cinema fan's nightmare. And it's in 3D!
"If we eliminate the carbon from the footprint, then what do we have?" is the wry slogan for this Toms/Uber collaboration. Though I don't think I'll be riding in a stranger's cardboard car anytime soon, even for irony.
Spray-On Yoga Pants
Originally a sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Lululemon ran with the joke and added spray-on yoga pants to their online store. I like that the copy says there's 1,200 pairs of pants per can, so they're charging $1,200.00 for one.
Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge
While the challenge of becoming the world's greatest Pokémon Master was an April Fool's joke, Google really did add 150 pokémon to their maps application for funsies. My wife caught 75 in her first hour of playing, although she cheated by using a forum to find hidden locations of the pocket monsters. That said, I wouldn't mind taking to the high seas to land me a Gyarados.
TitanFall DLC - Optimus Prime
While "Pokémon" is a video game, I think it's ubiquitous enough now that most people got Google's joke. "Transformers" is also a multi-million dollar franchise, but I think this "TitanFall" gag was mainly for the gaming crowd. For a little extra cash you can download Autobot leader Optimus Prime, fight along and even climb inside him.
HowStuffWorks Bonus Round
Not to seem nepotistic, but my colleagues at HowStuffWorks had some pretty good April Fool's pranks as well. On "Stuff You Should Know," our BrainStuff regulars Ben Bowlin and Josh Clark put many a listener in a panic with the first five minutes of their episode on 3D Printing. Also, Robert Lamb from "Stuff To Blow Your Mind" wrote a delightfully funny post on a study that links devil worship to enhanced creativity. Robert really committed to selling this one by quoting mad research experts from Miskatonic University.