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Happy Pranksgiving

April 1st, 2010 by Martin Moakler Social Community Manager

April Fools Day … that time-honored tradition on the first of April when people can torment and harass their co-workers and classmates with practical jokes ranging from the innocent and cute to brilliant and evil. It’s come a long way since its origins in a Medieval French city where a prince tried to bring laughter back to his kingdom to laugh after its the clowns mysteriously died. OK, we made that up. Fooled ya! We don’t know how the “holiday” started, but we do know that every office has “that guy” who spends weeks of time planning the ultimate prank. So, we’ve put together a to-do list (with a little help from TV’s most popular actors) so you, too, can be “that guy.” — Martin Moakler, Hulu’s Content Editor

Target Acquired
First of all, you need a target: the guy that made you look the fool at a staff meeting or the girl who always eats your yogurt even though you’ve clearly marked the lid (mental note: start marking the yogurt cup, too). Even though pranks are externally viewed as good-natured fun, 90 percent of the time they are done out of pure revenge.

Assembling a Team
Next up, it’s time to gather up a prankster crew. It’s more fun than doing it alone and you can bond over your mutual hatred of Phil in Accounting (especially since he’s the one you’re probably pranking). You don’t need the brains, the looks, the muscle or the wild card — of course, that would help, but you just need someone who won’t sell you out … and maybe doesn’t giggle easily.

Thinking Outside the Can of Snakes
In this age of the internet, we have seen it all. Shaving cream under the door? Filling an office with ducks? Faking your friend’s death and arranging a joke funeral? Yawn. Been there, done that. Nowadays, you need to strive for originality, and what’s more original than taking a classic and turning it on its ear?

The Execution
By now you have your target, team and prank, and the calendar just turned to April first, so it’s go-time! Keep your eye on the goal, set up the joke and get out of there quickly. Stealth is imperative. Then, from a distance, watch as your target slowly realizes that she’s just been punked. It will only take a moment until you’re all sharing in the laughter.

The Means Justify the Ends
Fun is fun, and usually your target can stand to have some of the wind taken out of his sails. He’ll probably agree that you got him, and just like that you’ve just earned a little respect. By acting within certain parameters, and recognizing that there are ramifications for your folly, you’ve proven yourself a worthy prank adversary…but watch your back next year!

Keep Off the Grass
We can’t resist a good April Fool’s prank here at Hulu ourselves, and there’s one guy we really go after: our VP of Business Development & Distribution, Pete Distad. But to throw him off the scent, we don’t prank him on April 1st. No, we get him when he least expects it. Year one, we filled his office with helium balloons. Last April 2nd, he came in to find what looked to be an office full of recycled packing peanuts, only to open the door to find … an office covered in aluminum foil. This year, we stepped up our game and covered his entire office in sod, with a desktop background to match, one day early.