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Draper Journal

Salt Lake Valley’s epic pranksters 
show us ‘how to April Fools’

Apr 01, 2019 08:58AM ● By Jennifer J Johnson

Jazz superstar Rudy Gobert (27) and veteran Derrick Favors (15) model the Utah Jazz’s most epic April Fools’ prank – an announcement to the NBA and beyond of their new “three-quarters-length pant” as an official uniform option. Jazz emeritus John Stockton? Shaking in his shorty-shorts. (Photo Credit: Utah Jazz)

By Jennifer J. Johnson | [email protected] 

From placing a pair of live lobsters in the glove box of a paramour’s car to endorsing their boss as a disco-loving ninja on a global career website, to punking fans of the third-largest professional sports league in the world, Utahns know how to April Fools.

The City Journals wanted to get up close and personal with some of the pranksters and the pranked in a sort of hall of fame. Look forward to hearing more of your stories, in the comments and for next-year’s piece.

Food and fools: Lobsters, an imposter waiter, and under-the-table pranking

Long-time radio and web celebs Todd Collard and Erin Fraser (“Todd and Erin”) involve one particular type of food, lobster, as an ongoing April Fools’ staple.

One year, Todd, recalls, he actually placed the lobsters in the glove box of Erin’s car.

There were no fatalities to report. Rather, the frenetic lobster game is part of the ongoing love affair of Salt Lake City area’s longest on-air-turned-over-web morning personalities.

The imposter waiter…

Dean Pierose is owner of Cucina wine bar, restaurant, and deli in The Avenues neighborhood of Salt Lake City.  

Pierose is long-term best friends with comedian Pat Mac. An April Fools’ prank provided the perfect opportunity for Pierose to meet his best friend’s wife.

But a simple meet-and-greet is not Pierose’s style. Instead, Pierose convinced a fellow restaurant owner to let him stand in and wait the table that Mac and his wife occupied the night of April 1, 2011.

Prepped about the woman being a teacher and her having attended the University of Idaho, the imposter waiter set out to be as insulting as possible, first complaining that the table’s former customers, “who must have been teachers,” stiffed him for a tip. 

On another visit by the table, Pierose slammed the University of Idaho, the woman’s alma mater, making fun of the college’s “Joe the Vandal” mascot, and identifying himself as identifying with the rival “Broncos” of Boise State.

“He hit every button he could, to set her off,” laughed Mac. “Dean is a master prankster.”

A little Disney’ll do ya, on April Fools

Disney Channel actor, writer, and voice talent Jerry Straley just celebrated 30 years with Disney.

“My goal is to make 10 million people laugh,” he shared. Straley estimates his role on the “Good Luck, Charlie” sitcom got him about halfway there, with more than five million views of the sitcom’s four seasons.

Holladay-dwelling Straley routinely pokes fun at the area’s wealthy, and says April Fools’ jokes include replacing upscale Grey Poupon whole-grain mustard with plain-yellow mustard at hoity-toity Holladay restaurants and making early-morning prank calls, indicating peoples’ butlers are taking the day off.

Getting paid ‘under the table’

Saralynn White, a Cottonwood Heights copywriter and creative director/chief storyteller/owner of Salty Dog Marketing, recalls hijinks from now-defunct, but ever epic ad agency Dahlin Smith White.

“They taped a sandwich under his desk and it started to reek,” she recalled, “but he couldn’t find what was smelling up the place because of where it was.”


Writing the April Fools’ playbook

Writer White has not only been pranked, but has pranked upon.

One year, colleagues posted “disco” and “ninja” expertise as some of her unique skills on the LinkedIn professional website, comprising 500 million members globally. Professional colleagues of White can still find these skills on her profile today.

Another year, White could not get her computer to respond to her keystrokes. Absolutely frustrated at the technological stalemate, she dialed in corporate 911 – the IT or information technology department.

Who she credits as “ingenious” colleagues had taken a screenshot of her computer desktop. Pranksters made it so that every keystroke the increasingly frustrated White entered did nothing more than ping a static image, doing absolutely nothing to engage the computer’s functionality.

April Fools’ Day: A Team Sport

For the Utah Jazz franchise, April Fools’ Day has been good to the Jazz, with the team winning 65 percent of the games played April 1 over the past 33 years, including last year’s 121-97 blowout over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

This year, at 7 p.m. on April 1, the Jazz square off against the Charlotte Hornets in hometown Vivint Arena.

The team’s best prank came a few years ago, in 2015, when the Jazz punked fans, commentators, and even readers of the National Basketball Association by launching a new “look-and-feel” three-quarter-length pant. The news went official, with a mock press release and photo featuring Rudy Gobert (27) and Derrick Favors (15).

April Fools’ DNA

Brothers Jamison and Truman Carter grew up with their prank-playing family first in the Avenues and then Herriman. The two now reside in Salt Lake’s Marmalade neighborhood.

The brothers recall stories of their mother’s receiving an April Fools’ Day bouquet of already-dead flowers from high-end florist Every Blooming Thing. 

Knowing that the bouquet likely cost her then-husband at least $50, their mother called in to complain. Right at that moment, while on the phone ripping the prank-engaging florists who were emphatically denying her description of the bouquet, an incredibly stunning, much bigger and more expensive arrangement arrived from Every Blooming Thing, with the same delivery person. Order restored.

The Carter sons were pranked themselves, waking up one April Fools’ morning to a breakfast of meatloaf, gravy, and mashed potatoes. Luckily they tried the odd meal. Their mother, this time, was the prankster, having made Rice Krispie treat “meatloaf” with butterscotch “gravy” and ice-cream “potatoes.”

And regarding our last set of pranks? Confession time: I am the mother of the Carters, recipient of dead bouquets, and chef of dreamy April Fools’ breakfasts. Even though it sounds like it could be, that is not a prank.

Happy April Fools’ Day, Salt Lake County!

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