Where are the best pranks on YouTube? I’m partial to amateurs, so I’d say my favorite YouTube Partner pranksters are Edbassmaster (just look at this) and Jack Vale. I also spent much of the weekend binging on the epic battle between girlfriend and boyfriend on PrankvsPrank (the modern Spy vs. Spy). Prank vs Prank’s “Wet T-Shirt Prank Gone Wrong” is my favorite, and it makes me squeal with laughter.
If you like more commercially produced content, however, here’s one you might not have discovered. JustForLaughsTV are short and mostly physical-comedy pranks (read: international potential). The apparently French Canadian show has been posting a few new pranks each morning lately, and its YouTube channel is at under 70K subscribers… I’d predict that to be at 300K plus in months. A nice player on the hahaha.com website displays many of the micro pranks.
They’re far from subtle, mind you. They each feature dangerously campy music, a laugh track and almost insulting pantomime explanation of the prank to viewers (which to me steals some thunder). But the tight editing and great tight shots of the “victims” is rewarding. And even if you don’t like the old goatee man’s “theater like” acting, you’ll dig the brunette who pops up occasionally wearing yellow.
What the channel reminds me is the criticality of explaining a prank (like we did in “Farting in Public” but failed to do in “Itchy Butt Prank“). I like to plunge people into an awkward scene, but the viewers generally want to be “in” on the prank… and what might seem obvious to the creator is not to the viewer.
Laughing is a cue that works even if it’s a laugh track. The off-camera muffled giggles in “Farting” make an audience feel more like a participant than a distant viewer (this was quite an accidental discovery and I’m reluctant to “force” it). You’ll notice EdBassmaster has a giggler in the car for his “Just Look At It Prank,” and her laughter makes it genuinely funnier. The best part of “Prank vs Prank” is the maniacal laugh of the couple when they’ve powned the other. Watch this “Girlfriend Wears Mario Pube Prank” and listen at 1:28 to Jesse and 1:46. The breathless spasms of laughter contrasted with his girlfriend’s scream is hysterical.
Prankster be warned, however… a forced laugh is very detectible and toxic.