Did you know that April Fools’ Day was “invented by FDR in 1934 as a way to raise national morale during the Great Depression”? If so, you’re lying – and you’ve just fallen for a premature April Fools’ from Last Week Tonight host John Oliver. With HBO’s satirical news series on a one-week break, Oliver filmed the web exclusive as a pre-April 1st plea to end the “serious problem” of practical joking.
“Pranks are terrible,” Oliver says in the clip. “Anyone who claims to be excited for April Fools’ Day is probably a sociopath — because what they’re really saying is, ‘I can’t wait to hurt the people close to me.'” The host forces his audience to visualize the most amazing practical joke ever – and then scolds them for even considering it.
Oliver closes the segment by asking his audience to take the “No-Prank Pledge,” a hilarious vow to cease Fools’ Day tomfoolery.
“I solemnly swear that on this April Fools’ Day, I will not post a fake engagement photo on Facebook like some kind of asshole,” the audience recites in unison before tripping over their words. “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.”
By putting an end to April Fools’, the host concludes, we can “restore the original meaning of April 1st, the day we traditionally look at our calendars and think, ‘Oh, shit, I really need to do my taxes!'”