I love April Fool’s Day and I know what you’re thinking. Of course I do. I’m a comic.
The truth is, however, I have gotten off on April Fool’s Day since I was a little kid. It’s the one day of the year where you pull off some embarrassing, semi-cruel tricks on your friends and family and somewhat get away with it. It’s fun! So I’m going to rattle off a few of my favorites and hopefully you’ll get some tips to help you pull off your own pranks in the future.
The first one I remember scoring with was when I woke up before everyone else in my family. I must have been all of 8 years old. What I did was turn all the clocks in the house up an hour. (There were no digital clocks then) So when my mom got up to get us all off to school she freaked out believing we were all an hour behind. Afterwards she calmed down and I heard her on the phone telling all her friends about my little joke. My mother loved having fun and I think I impressed her with this little trick at such a young age.
The next year April Fool’s Day fell on a Saturday and she got me back by waking me up at 7:30 a.m. yelling that I was going to be late for school. I was halfway dressed before I realized it was the weekend. Good one Mom!
My brother worked up an elaborate scheme one April 1 that could be easily pulled off today with a smart phone. My brother had a reel-to-reel tape recorder. He knew that my sister, Janet, would watch this scary show called The Outer Limits every Tuesday night. Like clockwork she would go to bed immediately afterwards. Well, my brother recorded himself whispering “Janet, Janet, where are you?” in this creepy voice. Then he put 10 minutes of blank recording time in front of it and shoved the recorder under her bed. Ten minutes later my sister bolted out of her bedroom screaming. Needless to say, my brother’s tape recorder was grounded for a month. I remember it like it was yesterday, which is the point of a great April Fool’s Day joke, right?
Here’s one that my daughter Ava and I pulled off on my wife Debbie just this past year. Ava and I were at a movie at the Deptford Mall and we stopped off at the Wawa about three miles from my home. It was about 7 p.m. and we knew that my wife was home from work. Ava called (My wife would have never believed me) and said that we just came out of the Wawa and that the car wouldn’t start. Could she grab the jumper cables out of the garage? She wasn’t exactly pleased about it (who would be?) but it wasn’t like it was an hour ride, it’s more like 10 minutes. But who feels like going right back out when you’ve just gotten off from work?
We saw her when she pulled into the Wawa parking lot. She was inching the car along while she tried to find us. We quickly threw my car into drive and pulled up right next to her. With the window down Ava yelled out “Hey Mom, see ya later!” as we pulled out back on to the road. It’s a simple trick but very effective.
The absolute king of practical jokers is Medford resident and my fellow host at 94WIP, Al Morganti. He comes on the air after me and so he knows where I am when I’m on the microphone. He once took my car keys out of my jacket pocket, which was out in the lobby at the station, moved my car out of the parking lot and parked it up the block and then put my keys back in my pocket. When I got off the air my car was nowhere to be found. This was back in the mid-’90s when I didn’t have a cell phone. He only let me in on the prank when I came back into the station to use the phone to call the police to alert them that my car was stolen.
Then there was the time he coerced former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to call me to tell me that David Brenner (R.I.P.) had just cancelled on him at a party that he had organized for President Obama and would I be able to fill in? To say I was psyched would be an understatement. The governor finally got around to informing me that the date of the gig was, as it turned out, the date of my daughter’s wedding. Which Al knew. The whole point of the joke was to see if I was willing to miss out on my own daughter’s wedding. Thank God I said I couldn’t do it or I never would have heard the end of it.
I once gave Al a check for $35 for some vitamins he got me for my back. He turned the amount on the check to $35,000 and actually had some woman call me pretending to be from a bank telling me that a check that bounces for that amount is a federal offense.
But Al never pulls any of these stunts on April Fool’s Day. He claims that day is too obvious and for amateurs. Except this once.
I had only been at the station a couple months and I had just wrapped up my first April Fool’s Day shift. I drove back to Mullica Hill and as I entered Harrison Township I got pulled over by the police. I knew I hadn’t been speeding or driving erratically so I couldn’t figure out why I was being stopped. When I rolled down the window, it turned out that the officer and I knew each other and with a smile he asked me if I was carrying any drugs in the car. “What?!” I said incredulously as he asked me to step out of the car. What the hell was going on here?
Then he walked me back to the rear of my car where my license plate said CRACKHEAD. It turned out that Al had painstakingly made a fake New Jersey plate and while he knew that I was on the air screwed it over my real plate.
What whacked out nutjob goes to that length for an April Fool’s joke? Al Morganti does.
I hope you can use a couple of these ideas. If not, you can always call someone in the morning and tell them that the Sixers won last night. Then again, who would fall for that?
Big Daddy Graham is a renowned stand-up comedian and overnight personality on SportsRadio 94WIP. Check out his new podcast, Big Daddy’s Classic Rock Throwdown, at BigDaddyGraham.com.
The Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter will honor Big Daddy Graham at its 14th Annual Golf Classic, May 5, at Trump National Golf Course-Philadelphia in Pine Hill. For more information on the event or to donate to the organization, visit Act.Alz.org/DVCSSpringGolfClassic.
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 1 April, 2014).
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