Every year, a large number of Americans approach April 1 with dread, because they have that one friend or sibling who's known for their April Fools' pranks. Not only are they able to pull it off every year, but they somehow outdo themselves each time. Well, enough is enough. Even though Last Week Tonight was on hiatus on Sunday, its host took time out to deliver an important message to the American people. John Oliver presented the April Fools' Day No-Prank Pledge, which he asked viewers to take in order to not be dicks this April 1.
Oliver opens his segment up by explaining why his show was off the air this past week.
To boost ratings on HBO, I plan to murder and dismember a friend of mine. Apparently that’s how it works now.
His nod to The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst elicits loud cheers from the audience, prompting Oliver to ask, "What are you applauding?"
Then he gets down to business. After a quick recap of the major topics Oliver's investigated and exposed this season, from Big Tobacco to U.S. infrastructure, he launches into one of the most serious problems in America: April Fool's Day.
April Fool's Day is to comedy as St. Patrick's Day is to Irish culture. That is to say it is a mockery of the very concept that usually ends in a fistfight.
What most Americans don't know, he says, was that the "holiday" was invented by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 to raise the country's morale during the Great Depression...
April fool! That's not true at all. I made it up. You trusted me and I betrayed that trust! I betrayed you! Isn't betrayal fun?
Looks like Oliver just pulled a fast one on us. But he had to, in order to get us to truly see how crappy getting pranked feels, and he immediately apologizes for it.
Pranks are terrible. And anyone who claims to be excited for April Fools' Day is probably a sociopath. Because what they're really saying is, "I cannot wait to hurt the people close to me."
And if you're really insistent on breaking your family's hearts, you don't have to resort to lowly pranks.
Just ask them for money for another improv class ... and you can do that anytime of year, and you will shatter them.
Besides, we already disappoint our loved ones on every other actual holiday, so what's the point of April Fool's Day?
OK, Nana. When are you going to yell Christmas fools and give me my real present? This sweater is an abomination.
Despite all of this, Oliver wants to help us have the best April Fools' Day ever. So he asks us to close our eyes and imagine the greatest, meanest, most over-the-top prank we can think of...
And now, never do that thing you thought of, ever. Don't even tell anyone you thought of it. You're a monster!
In fact, since we're all here together, let's go one step further. Oliver asks us to raise our right hands and take the Last Week Tonight No-Prank Pledge.
Repeat after me: I solemnly swear that on this April Fools' Day...
I will not post a fake engagement photo on Facebook like some kind of asshole...
nor will I perpetuate a celebrity death hoax, because that makes people sad.
In fact, I will not play any practical jokes, and if I see someone planning a prank, I will say to them...
"Hey, you're being a dick right now.
Stop being a dick.
Seriously, stop being a dick."
Hopefully, Oliver says, with everyone's support, we can all restore the real meaning of April 1:
The day we traditionally look at our calendars and think, "Oh sh*t, I really have to do my taxes."
Watch the entire segment below:
Images: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver/YouTube