If there’s one thing YouTube has done, it’s increase the quantity of mean pranks in the world. After all, back in the day you could trick your brother into thinking he was being buried alive or kidnapped by terrorists, and you and your buddies could have a good laugh about it while running away from your now-axe-wielding brother. But in this digital age, you can do all that, film it, and then post it online so millions of other people can have a good laugh (without the annoyance of having to flee your now-axe-wielding brother). But once you use modern technology not just to share your evil deeds, but to create said evil deeds, now we’ve taken it to the next level.
The poor schmoes in the video about think they’re coming in for a job interview, only to be tricked into thinking they’re about to meet a horrible, apocalyptic doom courtesy of a meteor slamming into the Earth only a few blocks away. It’s obviously an ad for the Ultra HD TV used in the prank, but it’s funny enough I can forgive a bit of crass consumerism.
The thing I love most about this prank is that it uses a concept that any of us could very well find ourselves facing some day. There are tons of pranks involving such unlikely occurrences as ghostly encounters or rogue velociraptors, but I have to think that most people, at least those with a skeptical bone in their body, would have some part of their brain thinking, “Okay, where are the cameras?” even if your body’s fight-or-flight instincts have you hauling ass away from the spooky encounter you’re faced with.
But an asteroid plummeting to the Earth and wiping your city off the map? That could happen. Given a long enough timeline, that will happen, whether any of us live to see it or not. And as the jaw-dropping Russian meteor incident earlier this year proved, we wouldn’t necessarily even see it coming. So when you’re looking out what you think is the window of a skyscraper and see a giant, flaming rock impact the city, and a huge shockwave heading right for you, there’s a good chance your brain isn’t going to be able to point out anything other than “I DON’T WANT TO DIE!” (And cutting the lights right as the “shockwave” hits the building? A brilliantly cruel touch.)
Hopefully the TV people at least comped these folks a change of pants.