Wednesday was the big day for jests and practical jokers alike – April Fools’ Day is an international holiday celebrated by millions across the globe. The day is characterized by pranks and jests, and if celebrated right can bring smiles and laughter to everyone’s face. April Fool’s Day is a fun holiday to have around, and it should be around for many decades to come.
On March 29, comedian John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight, posted a video on YouTube encouraging people not to participate in April Fools’ Day. At the very end of the four-minute video he asked the audience to take a pledge not to play any pranks or jokes “because it makes people sad.”
He said April Fools’ Day is “to comedy as St. Patrick’s Day is to Irish Culture” because “it is a mockery of the concept that usually ends in a fist fight.”
I would like to point out, however, that not every prank played is mean-spirited.
NPR, Google and ThinkGeek websites have each had pranks that many people have enjoyed. Yesterday GoogleMaps was turned into a PacMaps. In this version of GoogleMaps, PAC-MAN is available to play on the maps themselves.
A few years ago NPR headlined an article with the contents, “We sometimes get the sense that some people are commenting on NPR stories that they haven’t actually read. . .”
ThinkGeek posts pictures of fake products with the possibility of some becoming real.
PsychologyToday suggests our love of laughter comes from the many positive physiological effects it has. This includes the reduction of blood pressure, alleviation of stress and lowering of blood glucose levels. Laughter can also reduce pain as well as increase our tolerance to it.
April Fools’ is far more about laughter and jokes than it is about being mean to one another. The reason so many of us love April Fools’ is because of the constant flow of laughter it can bring. I have never heard anyone say, “I hate laughing.”