So, it’s April Fool’s Day again. We here at KQED Pop really had some elaborate tricks planned, including a Forum takeover and some Parent Trap-style pranking of our bosses’ offices. Sadly, none of that panned out and now my cubicle is full of industrial size jars of honey and fudge sauce. Instead, we (thanks to Emmanuel Hapsis for research assistance) decided to call out OTHER PEOPLE’s jokes (though still nothing will beat the time I left a message on my parents’ machine in college, telling them I was pregnant, and my mom called back and left a message while I was in class saying my dad was dead…ah, family).
This was the first joke I saw because it went up at midnight on the East Coast which happens to be March 31 my time. I’m not going to say Hulu was being lazy by pretending that shows-with-in-shows were suddenly available, like Ya Heard? With Perd from Parks and Recreation and The Itchy and Scratchy Show from The Simpsons and of course, Rural Juror from 30 Rock. The problem is they didn’t go much beyond the headlines. All the actual videos are recycled. And they didn’t even make a a fake promotional image for Arrested Development’s Mock Trial with Judge Reinhold. Their 2011 Hulu 1996 was much better.
2. Google is Launching Gmail Blue
Gmail’s joke is actually perfect. A serious product launch video for a new, super high-tech, version of Gmail that is…ALL IN BLUE. You know, the text, the buttons, the BOLD text. This is especially funny because Google’s actual recent product launch, Google Glass, is an April Fool’s Joke come to life.
So it turns out this whole YouTube thing was a CONTEST for best video in the world ever. And tomorrow they are going to start picking the winner, which will take about a decade. Antoine Dodson says some mildly cogent things about a skateboarding video and a much older David After Dentist (which, that’s the winner, right?), gives a pitch about how he had unnecessary dental surgery just so he could win, from the original back seat of the car. Good work YouTube.
4. Google Nose
This is a real question: Does Google have a whole April Fool’s Day division? And can I apply for a job there? At this point, it seems like everyone else has given up. There are some fake news stories floating around the internet, like “Rupert Everett to play Pope Benedict XVI in ‘extraordinary’ biopic” from Pink News and “Nasa’s cunning plan to bag an asteroid” from The Times (both British, btw), and one suspicious-looking story from our own Bay Area Bites about soda for your kitty. The real news, things like unmanned drone strikes and the only remaining nine people in the world who aren’t convinced about gay marriage, and, not to put too fine a point on it but I will once again draw your attention to the abomination that is Google Glass, is so incredibly weird that it seems silly to try to even make up joke news. Also dangerous. Because today’s joke is bound to come tomorrow’s reality. Like this, Google Nose. Why is it so hard to imagine that Google is amassing scents for a time when we no longer walk through gardens but are instead on a constant stream of oxygen provided by our hermetically sealed environments? We are currently living in a time when anything can happen, when people are so dependent on their devices that they don’t know how to get home or find their kids or read a book or read a map or have a conversation or get a job without a smart phone. I personally think Google Nose is less funny and more terrifying. So excuse me while I go start a Kickstarter for my off-the-grid yurt community in the mountains for when the electricity goes out.
Happy April Fool’s Day! Next year, may all our jokes be related to the chickens we are farming in our yurt community. I’m not even remotely kidding.