I don’t use the internet on the first day of April as a safety precaution. Companies, advertisers and other creative types try to one-up each other coming up with more ridiculous, and believable, pranks every year.
I’m all for good fun, but they’re getting almost too good. My job deals in facts so I always do a lot of questioning, but a holiday that blurs the line makes my job a lot harder. Sometimes I give the day a wide berth because time zones can make the jokes start early or seep into the following morning.
My solution is to wait for the dust to settle and then catch up on the gags and giggles. If you followed suit, or simply had better things to do then stare at a computer screen, here are the highlights of what you missed:
“Rick and Morty” Season 3—This prank actually didn’t involve a computer and caught me completely off guard. I turned on my television on Sunday and played an episode of “Samurai Jack” that recorded the night prior. But instead of seeing Jack fight robots I saw Rick fighting aliens. I thought my DVR was programmed incorrectly or a live broadcast bumped the show. What happened was Adult Swim, getting sick of nagging fans, replaced their entire schedule for the day to show the third season premiere of “Rick and Morty.” I still can’t decide if it was a good prank. I was going to watch the premiere anyways, so how is switching the airtime of two great shows funny?
Snapchat’s new filter—Every social media site wants to be the number one destination. To do so they copy features that others use to have the widest appeal possible. This past year Instagram decided to introduce a “stories” feature that groups images into a shareable collection. The only issue is that Snapchat had it first. So for April Fools' Snapchat showed off a new photo filter. When used, it makes it looked like a photo was taken in Instagram. I don’t use Snapchat and rarely use Instagram, but that’s a good burn.
Netflix Live—Sure, Netflix is all about finishing a season of a beloved show faster than it should be humanly possible. But what if it wasn’t? Enter Netflix Live. Actor Will Arnett narrates the life of everyday things like toasters, copiers and grass growing. It’s like the Yule log, only better.
ThinkGeek’s “Shazam” starring Sinbad—Online store ThinkGeek absolutely loves April Fools'. When the holiday rolls around the announce new produces like a Horn of Gondor for a child’s bicycle, temporary tattoos from the show “Westworld” and a swim desk that puts treadmill desks to shame. Sometimes the punchlines become actual purchasable items like canned unicorn meat and a Tauntaun sleeping bag. The funniest gag is the store selling a VHS copy of the movie “Shazam” starring Sinbad. What do you mean it’s not real? I totally remember watching it as a child. Wait, I think I got it confused with “Kazaam” starring Shaq. Want to get more confused? Look up The Mandela Effect. Turns out it was always called “The Berenstain Bears” and not “The Berestein Bears.”
Google—The tech giant is also obsessed with April Fools'. Every year they release a bevy of jokes and fake gadgets. This year they put a data center on Mars, made Google Translate understand the alien language from the movie “Arrival,” added “Ms. Pac-Man” to Google Maps and rolled out accessories such as selfie sticks for their Chromebooks. My personal favorite is the Google Gnome, which turns the average yard into a smart yard.
Joe Biden pop up bar—This one almost got me, until I read past the headline. The Washington City Paper reported that experts in the pop up bar business, i.e. specialty bars that only exist for a limited time, were considering creating a new one in honor of the last Vice President. There are a lot of odd themed restaurants out there so this didn’t seem that far-fetched, especially considering that the love for Biden peaked during the last few months of the Obama administration. Who knows, maybe someone will make it a reality?
George Takei running for Congress—George Takei, best known for playing Sulu on “Star Trek,” announced that he would run against Devin Nunes, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, in 2018. Ex-Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger was the governor of California and ex-“Saturday Night Live” comic Al Franken is currently a senator. Who is to say that the former pilot of the USS Enterprise couldn’t run for Congress? The next day he revealed the hoax and said that he supports Democrat Jon Ossof’s current campaign in Georgia. This one wins the best of the year award because I believed it, in part because the story was published on Friday before the holiday officially began.