April Fools' Day was a huge mistake and we must repent

Commentary: April Fools' Day has been cannibalized by brands desperately trying to humanize themselves. It's bad.

Mark Serrels Editorial Director
Mark Serrels is an award-winning Senior Editorial Director focused on all things culture. He covers TV, movies, anime, video games and whatever weird things are happening on the internet. He especially likes to write about the hardships of being a parent in the age of memes, Minecraft and Fortnite. Definitely don't follow him on Twitter.
Mark Serrels
3 min read

Hey! You. Yes you! Are you ready to laugh? Are you ready to slap your thighs and guffaw as the brands you know (and love) interact with you on their blue-tick-verified official channels?

Are you ready for photoshops, slickly produced parody videos, banter on the twittertubes and wholesome "laffs" with the tech giants eroding your personal privacy for a quick buck?

Are you ready to be overcome by how relatable corporate entities can be? They're just like regular people and certainly aren't just faceless brands fighting for your eyeballs on the social media battlegrounds.

Hello, it's April Fools' and I don't think it's a stretch to say that, in a universe where outlandish garbage occurs every single day, April Fools' should be cast into the sun to melt in agony for all eternity. In 2019, in this universe, April Fools' is no longer tenable and should be cancelled. With immediate effect.

This is the universe of alternative facts. A universe where we're so disconnected in our bubbles that reality is the mirage we collectively construct in our 100-page deep group chats. A universe where Russia's Internet Research Agency spends years sowing discord online by spreading and supporting anti-vaccination messaging on Facebook.

This is the universe where bots are influencing elections. A universe where a significant amount of the internet-dwelling populace struggles to distinguish between real news and #fakenews.

This is a world where the flat-Earth community is in the midst of a terrifying growth spurt.

Hurray for April Fools', right? Yeah... maybe let's skip this year.


I can't decide if the internet destroyed April Fools' or the internet destroyed my ability to enjoy April Fools'. Either way, thanks to the internet, April Fools' has become little more than a festival of forced fun cannibalized by brands desperately trying to humanize themselves on Twitter.

In 2019 April Fools' is your creepy uncle, five drinks deep, reading out the joke he found in a Christmas cracker, slapping you on the back. "IT'S JUSTA LAFF INNIT? NUFFINK WRONG WIV A BITTOVA LAFF."

Look at this little dude! What a laff! Sydney Trains, I will never complain about your shoddy service and constant delays ever again! Thanks fellas.

Look! Aha! Can you imagine? The Rock and Jason Momoa playing Rugby with the New Zealand All Blacks. Great stuff. Great Laffs. Laffs everywhere.

In the tech world, April Fools' usually involves a hilariously designed fake product. The joke: This crazy product solves a problem no one has!

Who would want a ridiculous product like this? Oh Logitech, you loveable goofs! Smart devices can't decipher actual bullshit. What a laff!

Good one, Roku! Streaming socks. Another great laff with the boyz!

The problem, in fact, is that real Silicon Valley inventions are utterly beyond parody and have been for years. We're at the vanishing point. We've lived through Juicero. We've got smart toilets analysing our poop. And Cryptocurrency? Don't get me started. We've got KodakCoin, we've got DogeCoin, we've got TrumpCoin. I could absolutely imagine seeing any of those three in a "hilarious" April Fools' press release, but incredibly these are real ideas that absolutely exist in the real world.

We're in The Bad Place, people. And in a world that's already terrible, over-branded and beyond parody, April Fools' is a step too far.

It's an anachronism. A joke out of time. Comedy evolves faster than every art form known to man and the fact we're still anticipating, dreading and actually participating in this outdated abomination is baffling at best.

Pranks between buddies? Sure. I'm not the fun police. Brands creating fake news in an attempt to signal boost existing products? Let's stick a fork in that one.

Oh, and did you hear about Google getting rid of Inbox? That perfectly minimalist app that seamlessly bundles all your important emails in one convenient place. They'd never get rid of that! GOOD ONE, GOOGLE. Great laffs!