Happy April Fools Day!
Originally, I thought I would just leave this one blank, or perhaps reveal that I had hidden a secret message in the first word of the second sentences of the 100 Greatest Episodes (I didn’t, it’s only episodes 34-1, not including the bonuses (check the Archives to figure it out)), but instead, I thought I’d present the 5 best April Fools Episodes:
5) The One Where Joey Eats the Monkey (Friends)
In this Season 1 episode, Joey (Matt LeBlanc) is stuck inside of the apartment watching over Marcel the monkey while Ross (David Schwimmer) is stuck at the hospital suffering from shock after finding out the Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) has slept with Ross’s ex-wife Carol (Jane Sibbett). Since Joey is starving, and there’s no food in the apartment, he calls Chandler (Matthew Perry) to bring him dinner. Unfortunately, Chandler gets abducted into a cult that Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) has recently joined, “The Sons and Daughters of Donkey Kong.”
As Chandler is tied naked to an arcade machine and forced to play for his life, Joey slowly goes mad with hunger waiting for him. Eventually, after seeing Marcel wolf down a banana that he had hidden, Joey attacks the monkey. Despite all of the monkey bites and the loss of his right eye, Joey triumphs. When Ross finally returns with a vampiric Monica (Courteney Cox) in tow, he suffers a stroke upon seeing Joey finishing off the last of Marcel’s tail. Monica then raises him as a zombie, which he famously remains for the rest of the series.
4) Rory and Lorelai Just Shut the Hell Up (Gilmore Girls)
In a great prank moment for television history, this was a re-make of the episode “Concert Interruptus,” except that all of Rory’s and Lorelai’s (Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham) lines have been replaced with the pair holding up signs Wile E. Coyote-style. As the episode progresses, the title cards required to fit all of the fast-paced dialogue start to become overwhelming until they completely consume the entire screen. At one point, Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) is forced to punch her way through the wall of cue cards in order to explain that they are, in fact, at a Bangles concert. She then angrily draws her next lines on a sign of her own in the form of hieroglyphs in honor of the Bangles Hit “Walk Like an Egyptian.” This was apparently improvised by McCarthy, who thought the idea was “Stupid” and “A one-note joke which should not have been carried through an entire entry.”
3) Jim’s History (The Office)
This episode contains the single greatest prank Jim (John Krasinski) ever played on Dwight (Rainn Wilson). Jim, who is spending the morning at the Dentist, has a friend of his who is Asian, show up and pretend to be him. Dwight keeps attempting to prove that this man is not Jim, but is thwarted at every turn. Even Jim’s now-wife Pam (Jenna Fischer) plays along, insisting that this man is Jim. Finally, Dwight tackles the man, who is named Steve (Randall Park), and tries to swab his cheeks to compare with the samples he has on Jim. Steve retaliates by punching Dwight in the face. Dwight responds by grabbing a wrench and cracking Steve’s skull.
Pam tries to tell Dwight what’s going on, but Dwight knocks her unconscious as well, then steals Steve’s clothing and runs through the office shouting “I’m Jim, I’m Jim, I’m Jim.”
Unfortunately, it appears that the wrench was real, and the rest of the scene was totally unscripted. Rainn Wilson proceeded to flee authorities and remains a fugitive. If you see him, do not make contact. He is considered armed and extremely dangerous. You can catch the first part here:
2) Miss Kitty Died of AIDS (Gunsmoke)
Okay, so, I actually wrote this title as “Miss Kitty Gets the Clap,” and started to write the episode, but when I looked up the cast, I found out that Amanda Blake, the actress who played Miss Kitty, actually died of AIDS, so I think we should probably skip this one. This isn’t a joke. I just feel too bad about this to write the entry. Get tested, kids, and be safe.
1) Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus (South Park)
The first season of South Park ended with the lingering question “Who is the father of Eric Cartman?” What better start to the second season than to run this episode, which focuses entirely on Canadian Comedy Team Terrance and Phillip? When Terrance is accused of murder, Scott the dick is put in charge of prosecuting him. After a not-guilty verdict, Scott vows revenge, and is approached by Saddam Hussein, who agrees to get rid of Terrance and Phillip if Scott gets the Iraqis into Canada. The pair kidnaps Celine Dion’s daughter, Sally, and take her to Tehran.
Terrence and Phillip rescue Sally, taking her back to Canada where Saddam now rules. They are helped by Celine Dion and her new beau Ugly Bob, who send them to a Canadian Football Game that Saddam and the Iraqis are attending. Terrance and Phillip stop Saddam’s plans for world domination by convincing all of the Canadians to fart, which kills Saddam and his forces. During the credits, they announce that the identity of Cartman’s father would be revealed in a few weeks.
This episode pissed pretty much everyone off. It got more than 2000 complaint letters. Many people said that this was just the beginning of the end for South Park (which is, you know, still on 20 years later). And, even when they aired the next episode about Cartman’s father, the question was answered by having Cartman’s mom be his dad, which was later retconned to be a lie. Frankly, I admire the balls of Trey Parker and Matt Stone to do this episode only 14 episodes in. Probably why they’re still going, and actually have gotten better in recent years, and most shows have died.
Happy April Fools Day! Also, I’m serious about the hidden message.
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