this week in web videos

Blake Rosier’s Still Killing Prank Videos

Blake Rosier in “Frat Guy Crying in Public PRANK!” Photo: YouTube/Blake Rosier

We’ve been celebrating Blake Rosier’s pranks for some time, and yet, I didn’t think I’d be covering another.

These days “Gotcha!” videos are seen as old hat, reminiscent of the kind of hacky, broad, or even homophobic and sexist fare that helped YouTube rise to prominence among the masses. They’re least-common-denominator comedy.

“Let me stage a fight in a public place.”

“What would happen if I threw a bottle of water at this unsuspecting passerby … while wearing a bikini?”

Sure, these examples are especially dumb, but so are a lot of pranks.

Now, let me also say that I cut my teeth on pranks, and I’ll always have a special spot in my heart for them, if they’re done with some larger social commentary or experimentation in mind and don’t actually hurt anyone (awkwardness is fine, encouraged even). The problem is: The subtlety of the prank “art form” has been traded in for, well, this chair-pulling compilation with over 30 million views.

And then there’s Blake Rosier.

Zeitgeist be damned, Rosier is still churning out really funny goofs, and we’ve chosen to profile a couple today.

Worst Water Conservationist Ever

Is it dumb? Sure, but the piece also makes an immediately accessible commentary on conservationists who don’t practice what they preach and the spilling of water on unsuspecting people skirts the mean line because (a) it’s only water and (b) they’re standing for it. Literally.

Frat Guy Crying in Public PRANK!

Frat Guy Crying in Public marks the return of Blake’s celibate frat boy, Damien, and if one were to pay attention to the video’s title alone (“PRANK!” mention and all), one might not deem this cutting-edge comedy. Yet, a click yields some redemption: a fun, self-effacing footnote on the storied and tissue-thin machismo of frat culture.

Luke is executive producer at Big Breakfast and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.

Blake Rosier’s Still Killing Prank Videos