John Oliver: Take the No-Prank Pledge this April Fool’s Day

In Sunday’s web extension of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver had a few choice words for April Fool’s Day, a holiday he described as “to comedy as St. Patrick’s Day is to Irish culture.”

Listen to him describe why pranks are terrible, and why you shouldn’t mess with your friends or family today:

And, if you are so inclined, take the Last Week Tonight No-Prank Pledge:

I solemnly swear that on this April Fool’s Day I will not post a fake engagement photo Facebook like some kind of a**hole, nor will I perpetuate a celebrity death hoax, because that makes people sad. In fact, I will not play any practical jokes, and if I see someone planning a prank I will say to them, “Hey, you’re being a dick right now. Stop being a dick. Stop being a dick. Seriously, stop being a dick.”

Or don’t. Your call. You can always try and replicate some of the best pranks of 2014 (Warning: strong language and possible injuries ahead):


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • Good for him. …April Fools pranks are indeed getting old.

  • Mustansar Abbas
  • Bill_Perdue

    I think I’ll take the no votes for Democrats and/or Republicans pledge.

  • goulo

    That argument is so absurd, that I wasn’t sure whether your comment was an April Fools Joke. :)

    But I see it’s indeed from a real report before April 1:

    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/30/kentucky-one-can-marry-gays-gay-marriage-ban-biased/70684832/

    Poe’s Law in action!

    I am glad that the article notes the ridiculousness of the argument, e.g.:

    >>>
    The argument mirrors that offered by the state of Virginia nearly 50 years ago when it defended laws barring interracial marriage there and in 15 other states, including Kentucky, by saying they weren’t discriminatory because whites were barred from marrying blacks just as blacks were barred from marrying whites.

    “I wonder what Governor Beshear and his lawyers would say if the shoe
    was on the other foot, and if the only option for marriage was of the
    same-sex variety”

    “It’s akin to passing a law banning all Catholic churches within city
    limits, and then saying it’s not discriminatory because you can still go
    to a Baptist church”
    <<<

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  • Bill_Perdue

    Kentucky Says Straight People Can’t Have Same-Sex Marriage Either

    Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) “says the state’s ban on gay marriage should be upheld in part because it is not discriminatory in that both gay and straight people are barred from marrying people of the same gender,” the Louisville Courier Journal reports.

    “In an argument labeled absurd by gay marriage advocates, Beshear’s lawyer says in a brief filed last week at the U.S. Supreme Court that ‘men and women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, cannot marry persons of the same sex’ under Kentucky law, making the law non-discriminatory.”

    The jokes on us for electing Democrats and/or Republicans.

  • Indigo

    Your shoe’s untied.

  • mirth

    I thought this story was an April Fools joke:

    “Sweden’s ban on ‘spontaneous’ dancing continues as majority of the country’s parliament voted down a move that attempted to lift the country’s ban on moving to music…

    The Sweden police force have long supported the law, arguing that dancing causes disorder, and that disorder could, in turn, lead to chaos and fights.”

    http://foolocracy.com/2015/04/did-you-know-its-still-illegal-to-dance-in-sweden/

    The ban includes unlicensed top-tapping.

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  • I never do ‘April Fools’ jokes. Very nearly all of them are either not funny or hurt someone physically or psychologically or both.

    For what it’s worth, Roberts Space Industries, home of Cloud Imperium Games, the kickstarter-originating company that is developing the crowdfunded game ‘Star Citizen’ has gone fish today. Instead of starships, pilots and whatnot, it’s all fish. Including some joke pledge ships like the Yellow Submarine, the Moya (from Farscape), the Planet Express (from Futurama) and a planet-destroying gigantic crab.

  • The_Fixer

    I’ve taken the pledge. I think most April Fools “jokes” are pretty lame.

    There are some rather <a href=:http://tech.slashdot.org/story/15/04/01/0315234/tatooine-youth-suspected-in-terrorist-attack"artful exceptions, for those of us who are tech nerds, at least.

    The artful exceptions rely on A) not being the butt of the joke and B) being in on the joke and appreciating it for its execution.

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