Prank videos have been around since people had video cameras, and have been a staple for home video and TV programmes for decades, so it was only natural that YouTubers would embrace the genre wholeheartedly.
Unfortunately, it seems like the beloved genre has lost its way on YouTube recently with certain creators seemingly confused as to when a prank in public becomes inappropriate. But we at TenEighty would like to revive the genre, and show that a prank doesn’t have to involve the objectification of women OR men.
Here are some videos from real masters of the genre. Some old, some new, but all of them are pretty damn hilarious.
Tour de France – Rémi Gaillard
“C’est en fait n’importe quoi, qu’on devient n’importe qui” is the mantra by which French video maker Rémi Gaillard lives his life. It roughly translates as, “It’s by doing whatever that we become a whoever”, and he’s been putting that philosophy into his prank videos since back in 2007.
Honestly, we could have chosen any of the videos of this comic genius: Pacmans (Pacmen?), Kangaroos and Mario Kart all feature in his repertoire. But we went with this gem where an unsuspecting cyclist is treated as if he is the winner of the Tour de France – the greatest cycling competition on earth!
See! Pranks can be feel-good too!
Ultimate Roommate Revenge Pranks – Thatcher Joe
Sometimes you even want to teach your best friend a good lesson. This is exactly what Joe Sugg did to his roommate Caspar Lee after Caspar pranked Joe by telling him he wanted a roommate break-up.
What followed was six consecutive days of pranking from Joe, including the classic (extra wide) cling film over the toilet seat prank, Post-it notes on the walls prank and the Joe sweating in a hot cupboard for over an hour so that he could scare Caspar… prank.
It’s clear there two care about each other a lot, because otherwise Joe would never be able to get away with the constant pranking. It just shows! Never mess with a Sugg!
King Philip IV – Improv Everywhere
It’s nice to see an often silly genre take on an air of sophistication every now and again. This is exactly what happened when Improv Anywhere decided to resurrect a member of the Spanish monarchy and bring him into an art gallery to partake in a free signing. Ever wanted a dead king’s autograph? This was your chance.
Throughout, both King Philip IV and his PR man stay firmly in character, even after they are asked to leave by security (DON’T THEY KNOW WHO HE IS?!?!). They remain aptly regal and glide over the mishap with 17th century poise, apologising to the King’s subjects and thanking them for their support.
We’re still gutted we missed the chance to get a free autograph. But no problem, we’re just waiting for Elizabeth I to do her comeback tour, anyway.
PASSWORDS – Jack Vale
Foot bird with a melon. Foot bird with a melon? Did you not hear me properly? FOOT BIRD WITH A MELON!
Part of the love of prank videos is hoping that you wouldn’t be one of the suckers that would fall for it in real life, but at TenEighty we know we would fall for this one purely because of the promise of free food if we say some silly words. It’s so believable!
This is a old-school 2011 video from Jack Vale, who is still making videos (an awful lot of them are about farts and elevators) and we spent ages working our way through his back catalogue, chuckling to ourselves as we did so.
Prangstgrup – Reach! A Lecture Musical Prank
Those of you that aren’t past it like the TenEighty team will probably be in some form of classroom around this time of year. Heck, you may even be passing the hours of algebra class by having a skim read of this very article. But imagine how much more awesome it would be if you were to have members of your class or lecture burst into song!
We love in this old video by Prangstgrup how the lecturer gives up as soon as the music kicks in. When you’ve got a theatre kid who wants to sing, good God there’s no stopping him!
We’re expecting parodies of this from all of you. This is your homework this week. Musical maths class videos from all of you please! Tweet them to us @TenEightyUK. We’re expecting thousands of submissions. Thousands.
Want to know why we’re putting together a crash course in how to do a real prank video? Check out our commentary on Sam Pepper here, here and here.
For more from our “Five of the Best” series, click here.
This post originally included a video from Lord of Tears featuring the terrifying Owlman which was removed after it was brought to our attention that it may not be appropriate for our audience. It was replaced by Prangstgrup at the suggestion of Benjamin Cook after an extensive twitter conversation with the author.