You know you're getting behind the times when you're not up on the outrage about the veracity of butt-pinching prank videos. Daily Dot:
After purging his entire social media presence this week, Pepper returned today with a blurry, 20-minute video in which he says he’ll be “real, honest, and 100 percent” himself. In it, he explains that he eventually filled his prank channel with completely faked videos in an attempt to keep himself relevant with the exploding scene of YouTube pranksters.
Not literally exploding, although that wouldn't be unwelcome. You can file this next to the story of the young women fired for complaining about her job: just as she wanted to get paid for tweeting and Instagramming, Mr. Pepper says "wanted to get views; I wanted to get money. It’s my job."
But his job, he said was making up a BS story about the whole "prank" genre as a "social experiment," including the one where he pranked a murder. That was this:
Pepper, who was accused of sexual assault and harassment in 2014 after a video of him pinching women’s butts as a prank caught mainstream attention, has been quietly making video content ever since, but he announced his return to weekly video content with a newly controversial video where he “pranks” someone into believing they watched someone they care about get shot.
He has 2.3 million subscribers, many of whom are now appalled. But it used to be funny when people were pranked on a lesser scale, because fooling people is hilarious. Look at his face! He's full of confusion and despair! Hahahahaha
It is a venerable TV concept, of course; there was Candid Camera, which did innocent little tricks.
People might not know that Alan Funt started out with a show called "Candid Microphone," which seems odd - how do you prank people on the radio? You'd think it would lack something, like ventriloquism on the radio. Lots of people didn't believe it was true; it was just too good not to be scripted. Worked better on TV, it seems.
Funt's wikipedia entry has an interesting tidbit: he collected the paintings of Lawrence Alma-Tadema, one of those 19th century classicists who painted scenes of old Rome with chilly precision. Wikipedia says "(Funt) amassed a collection of works by the Victorian painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema, and engineered an exhibition of them at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art (bypassing the wishes of then director Thomas Hoving) which caused their value to skyrocket, after which he sold them at a handsome profit." You can imagine Hoving having a fit over this stuff, but I have a guilty regard for it.
There: I think I've strayed as far as possible from the original subject.