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SNL’s Dad Prank Video Is Hilarious Because It Barely Feels Fake

The pranks are pretty clever, but it's the evisceration of prank culture that makes this sketch sing.

“Dad Prank Video” was one of the best sketches from the third and final installment of “SNL at Home.” Starring Mikey Day and his son (who also appeared in the kids’ clothing takedown from December) the sketch takes the worst tropes of prank video culture and jams them into one two-and-a-half-minute clip.

“What up, YouTube? It’s your boy Brandon,” the video begins, because every elementary school influencer apparently has to talk like that. After a random moment of yelling with a red filter for no reason, Brandon reveals that he has a “corny…ass…dad” with a filter that makes him sound like a kidnapper. Epic.

The first prank is pretty tame, a simple shoot dad in the back of the head with a Nerf gun. Day whips around to yell at Brandon, a big mistake because it gives Brandon the chance to freeze the video, zoom in on his face, and overlay a stamp of the word “BITCH.” Classic.

But that’s tame compared to what comes next. In a rundown of his favorite quarantine pranks, we see Brandon place pushpins sharp side up on the toilet and changing the name of every contact of his phone to Gigi Hadid. After the latter, Brandon puts on his best innocent voice and asks “Why do  you hate Gigi Hadid? Why do you hate women?” ROFL.

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But the pièce de résistance of the sketch is Brandon’s final prank: changing his dad’s Zoom background before a meeting with his boss…to a picture of his boss’s teenage daughter in a bathing suit. As dad’s boss, Keenan Thompson is not pleased. (Crying face emoji).

The video ends with yet another freeze-frame of dad’s face with a bitch stamp and all-caps pleading to LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE! because of course it does.

The sketch works because it reverses the dynamic of parent-pranks-kid videos, which are just evidence of shitty parenting (thanks, Kimmel). And while a dad being abused like this in real life wouldn’t be funny, it is hilarious to see a fictional kid so completely own his dad using every crappy YouTube video trick in the book. It’s so over-the-top that it has to be parody, which means it makes fun of this wretched part of internet culture without glorifying it.