There’s something about a joke or good-natured prank that makes us feel a little more human. Humour is a natural part of our lives and a little can go a long way. Of course, on one day of the year, humour takes over and we can be flooded with all sorts of attempts to make us laugh…

(or groan…)

That day is April first, also known as April Fool’s Day. We all know it and I’m sure at least once in your lifetime you have participated in a prank either as the perpetrator or the target.

Although you might not expect it, there is quite a bit of science behind making a prank – or even a joke – work. On this week’s show, we’re going to explore what you need for success and which pitfalls to avoid. You can listen to the show while you’re reading here:
https://omny.fm/shows/super-awesome-science-show/april-fools

Our first guest takes us into a world we all experience but rarely appreciate. It’s the corporate prank in which companies do their best to “fool” you and gain more attention to their brand. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this…

(It’s Yubi-lickin’ good!)

Pulling off a prank like this takes quite a bit of time and effort and as our first guest points out, reliance on getting it right the first time. Unlike software, apps and other computer product outputs, there is no beta version. You get one shot and the release has to be on that day. He is…

(Thomas Limoncelli)

He’s a system administrator and has taken it upon himself to recommend the best actions to pull off the best web pranks. After all, computers may be the medium but the content is still produced by humans.

Our next guest delves deeper into this reality that humans are for now funnier than computers. She is…

(Dr. Julia Rayz)

She is an Associate Professor at Purdue University and has focused on computational detection of humor for over a decade. Her research has shown that computers and neural networks may be able to laugh at a joke – if they’re properly programmed – but they are still not capable of understanding a joke. Though this may change in the future, for now, we don’t have to worry about this awkward situation…

(Ouch!)

In our SASS Class, we’re going to explore how to effectively pull off a joke or a prank and whether age plays a role. Our guest teacher is…

(Dr. Michelle Eskritt-Keck)

She is the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Mount Saint Vincent University and explores how our interactions are conveyed. She also has been looking at when we accept something as truth or find ourselves thinking this may be a con job. We get into what is needed for a perfect prank and also whether you can fool all ages the same way. Here’s a hint…

(Whatcha talkin’ bout Germy?)

We had so much fun putting this show together and I hope you might be able to gain some tips and tricks from our guests. If so, let us know by commenting here or by reviewing the show on your favorite podcast platform.

Next week will be another episode based on listeners’ suggestions. I am sure you will find it well worth the listen and the subscription.

If you have a burning question or idea for an episode, let me know in the comments below or by sending me an Email at: thegermguy@gmail.com. I’m so happy you are all liking the show and hope we can make you even more excited going forward.