I have to admit that I’ve never watched much late night TV. It’s too late for someone who basically gets up between 4-5 every morning. I’m familiar with the big names in the industry, like David Letterman and (formerly) Jay Leno, and Conan O’Brien. I also know about some of the comedians with late night shows, like Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson. I’d never heard of Jimmy Kimmel till last Halloween. When someone told about his Halloween Prank on children. By their parents.
The basic rules are this: the parents pretend to have eaten all the candy their young children gathered on Beggar’s Night, and video-tape their reaction. Jimmy Kimmel’s compilation of “the best” of the “I Ate All Your Halloween Candy” videos has received over 31 million YouTube hits. I decided to take a look at it, expecting something amusing.
That wasn’t at all what I expected. And there are hundreds of them out there.
Then I noticed that there are Christmas ones, too. What? Did Kimmel tell the parents to tell little kids that Santa didn’t come to their house? Fortunately, it wasn’t that bad. That prank just involved the parents giving the kids something completely weird as a gift — like a can opener or a can of sardines — gift-wrapped, of course, and videotaping the kids’ reaction.
None was anywhere near as traumatic as those in the “I Ate All Your Halloween Candy” videos. Most of the kids just stood there for a while, clearly bewildered, asking what they were supposed to do with the “gift” before giving their parents a look that seemed to indicate that they really wished they had some other non-brain-damaged parents at that particular moment, then opening another present.
Strangely, those videos don’t have nearly as many hits as the Halloween ones, and it made me wonder what that says about our society.
I could only watch one Halloween Candy video besides the Kimmel compilation, wherein a mother told her 5-year-old and 3-year-old boys that she’d gotten a craving for something sweet in the night and had eaten all their candy. The older boy was quite sophisticated. He kept asking her why she hadn’t woken them to ask permission first, assuring her that they would have given her some; why she’d had to eat it all without leaving any for them. The boys remain surprisingly calm, though they’re clearly upset and annoyed with her. After she finally shows them the empty plastic pumpkins, however, the 3-year-old begins to sob, but the 5-year-old gets angry, demanding to know why his mother did something like that after all their hard work.
“Because Jimmy Kimmel told me to,” says the mother, whose face is never shown.
“Who the f*** is Jimmy Kimmel?” he says.
After the mother explains, while the poor little brother is still crying over his empty Halloween-candy pumpkin, the oldest brother crosses his arms over his chest, glares ferociously, and shouts.
“F*** Jimmy Kimmel.”
Bravo, Little Man. Bravo.
Now I know why I prefer Jimmy Fallon’s “pranks” — which aren’t even pranks, really, but more like competitions with his guests. They’re loads funnier and child-friendly. Even if he is on late at night.
Jimmy Fallon’s Word Sneak, with Ricky Gervais (via Radio Times)