If you’ve spent any time on the internet today, you’re well aware that plenty of fools are celebrating April 1. We wanted to remind you that not everyone reserves such celebrations for this designated day. The following prank series showcase the human capacity for making others feel foolish, and sometimes even elated, through practical jokes. Happy April Fools’ Day.
Next week, we’re not going to have a web series Wednesday post because we’ve seen literally every web series left on the internet, and none of them are any good.
(That was a lame attempt at an April Fools’ joke. The theme next week is roommates. Feel free to submit series to firstname.lastname@example.org/members.)
Prank-like in nature, Vevo’s “Guess the Video” offers contestants the chance to guess the artist and song featured in (very) short clips of music videos. Contestants also have to name whether any other artists are featured in the song/video. If they can, they get $100. If they can’t, they get a pie in the face. Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson have lots of chemistry as hosts, and their antics make the presentation of $100 bills just as mischievous seeming as the delivery of a pie to the face.
This now annual web series from Defy Media’s Break focuses on the bright side of pranking — practical jokes don’t have to be mean-spirited, after all, and this series emphasizes this kind fact. Positive pranks this year extend to the LA Clippers, homeless animals, and famous YouTube creators, Smosh. The initial “Prank It FWD” video this season featured a struggling couple’s surprise wedding at the movies, and it’s genuinely heartwarming. Seriously, this series will change your perception of pranks in a big way.
This CollegeHumor series stars Amir Blumenfeld and Streeter Seidell as they compete in an escalating, well, “Prank War.” The pranks are impressively elaborate, but the videos aren’t exactly high quality, which is necessarily for capturing the raw emotion that inevitably comes out in each episode. These guys are messing around, of course, but, like, they’re not messing around. You’ll be hard-pressed to find more effective pranks than the ones shown here…though their reactions can sometimes get a little…sad to behold.
This web series came out of a partnership between Katalyst Network (the production company behind TV series “Punk’d” and founded by Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg) and Machinima. You can tell the show comes from the “Punk’d” creators, as the camera angles, the cuts, and the method for feeding the pranksters lines are all the same. The pranks are a little less than inspired (especially after watching “Prank War”), but you’ve got to give the creators credit for extracting maximum prank victim reactions.
Michelle Phan just launched her global lifestyle network Icon, and this new prank series starring Jamie Greenberg debuted on it. In episode one, they prank Phan herself with a faux behind-the-scenes makeup shoot starring a (not actually) pregnant stylist whose “water breaks” on set. It was kind of a half-baked prank to begin with, but hey, no one wants to really upset the talent. So far, there’s just one episode. Let’s hope the creators get a little more daring with future installments. Still, if you’re into beauty and fashion content, this is your prank series, as the prank itself gets cut short in favor of some glamour shots. Overall, the web series fills a very empty niche, if you want to look at it that way.