In Defense Of DJ Pranks

by Jimmy Baron
For over two decades I made my living, in large part, performing radio pranks. I pranked individuals, I pranked co-workers, and I pranked entire cities. I even pranked a presidential candidate once (resulting in a post-show visit from two non-pranking Secret Service agents). Why have pranks always been such a big part of morning radio? Because people like them. Research and ratings both show it, undeniably. When people hear a prank being played on the radio they rarely tune out, assuming it’s a good one. Same with TV, and its been that way since Candid Camera.

I can honestly say that when long-time fans approach me it’s always the elaborate pranks we pulled that they want to talk about first.

The story of British nurse Jacintha Saldhana, who took her own life last week after falling victim to the world’s worst Royal Family impressions by two Australian DJ’s, is an unthinkable and terribly sad tragedy that was completely unpredictable. But the ensuing witch-hunt it has created can only be described as completely predictable.

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