Get your copy of "Dark Side of the Room" now
"Laughs" Live! Shows:
Charlotte, NC      Chicago, IL      Dallas, TX      Detroit, MI      
Houston, TX      Louisville, KY      Phoenix, AZ      Washington, DC     

The Column

My Hair is the Color of Tomato Soup

At first I wasn't sure which is more important – that it was April Fool's Day this week, or that today is 04/04/04. But I realized April Fool's Day is more important because it is way more fun to be horribly mean to someone and get away with it than it is to type a cool date.

I have always loved pranks. Not hurtful pranks - the kind of pranks where the prankee says, "you know what? That was good." April Fool's Day is my Christmas. Since I'm Jewish, the actual Christmas is just my day after December 24th. So it's nice I have something else to celebrate.

I didn't get a chance to prank anyone this April Fool's Day because I was stuck in the Cleveland airport for most of it. ("Your plane is broken and you're delayed many hours! April Fools! Except the part about the plane being broken and the delay! That's really happening!")

Instead, I will recount the best pranks I've ever pulled off, April Fools or otherwise. I'm going to be telling these to my grandkids eventually, I may as well tell you now.

While my friends were busy unscrewing the tops of salt shakers and saran wrapping the toilet bowl, a seven-year-old Steve went for more personal gags. My sister Sharon was obsessed with a ballet tape she had. I took it, dubbed it, and used my Star Studio to karaoke my voice over the original.

There was a hot summer night that we only had one working air conditioner, so three of us huddled in Sharon's room. I shared the floor with my other sister, who somehow took up most of it, repeatedly kicking me in her sleep. She woke up that morning and got dressed in my empty room while I finally slept. Of course, she left her dirty clothes strewn all over the floor and knocked over a pile of newly sorted baseball cards. Awakening to this with only two hours of solid sleep, I calmly collected her garments and left a trail of them towards the front door of our house, which I had to open in order to hang her bra from a tree in our front lawn.

Then came summer camp. I already wrote about the time I dressed a mannequin like me and threw it off a roof. That same summer, we took every tray table from the dining hall and packed our director's office so tight he couldn't get in the door. And after a girl a year older told my friend that she didn't want to hang out with him because he was such a kid, we convinced her that he was older than all of us, but suffered from a rare form of dwarfism that made him look younger and came with a learning disability so that he'd be back a few years in school. Mean? Yes. An appropriate punishment? Of course.

The two funniest parts of that story are the name of the disease and who the friend is. We called it Polyponesia – if you used to watch "Just the Ten of Us" you might get that reference, because that's the name of the fake disease that Doozler had. And the friend was comedian Josh Jacobs, who I'm now on tour with. That summer in 1995 is how we met – I guess it's no surprise that we both now make fun of people for a living.

College was the pinnacle of my pranking, especially after I wrote an anonymous e-mail program (see extra credit, comp sci). I forged one from my dean to a friend the day grades came in that said "You fail. That's right, fail faily faily fail fail." I posted a girl on Hot or Not and emailed her sorority about it - from her own email address. And when one friend sent a disgustingly tasteless note to the published email of Daniel Pearl's kidnappers, I used the program to send a reply.

But my all-time favorite will always be the Thirsty Prank. A week before April Fool's, a few friends and I printed up 300 pictures of one of our fraternity brothers with random words on the bottom of them. They read, "Thirsty?", "Gondola?", and "Cleveland?" Then we plastered campus every day that week, concentrating especially on areas we knew he'd be. You've never seen someone freak out until they find 300 posters of themselves that they never hung.

Being stuck in the Cleveland airport this Thursday wasn't as bad you'd think because every time I hear the word Cleveland I remember that prank. Especially if it happens to be Christmas in April.

Now excuse me while I go set all the clocks in my mom's apartment to 4:04.

*Kings vs. Sports Illustrated
*Paris Hilton is No Mother Theresa
*Putting the "Fan" in "Fanatic"
*Thinking Man: Happy New Year
*I'm Listening
*Punky Brewster Scares Me
*Don't Get Smart With Me
*Checking Out a Check Up
*Yeah, Thanks
*Steve Hofstetter is Your Friend
*Post Halloween Wrap-Up
*My Letter to Me
*The Night the Heat Went Off
*Turn That Crap Off
*You Might Be a Redhead If
*To My Future Children
*Shine Your Shoes, Mista?
*Flying Forward
*DotCom Dating Dish
*Paging Paige Page
*Watch While You Eat
*You Have Got to Be Kidding Me
*Come Home, Rachel I. K'Benjamin
*Get Out Of My Bathroom
*Subway Going Under
*Driving Forces
*Singles Anonymous
*Know When to Fold Em
*The Mirth of America
*Also Known As
*Smooth Criminal
*What That Mass Email Really Said
*Dude, Where's Your Car?
*Thinking Man: Can't We All
*You Might Be a Redneck
*A Nice Hawaiian Punch
*100,000 Friends
*Mine is Bigger Than Yours
*Good Answer
*T Stands for Terrible
*I Love You Guys
*Mitch, All Gone
*Birth of a Hate Mail Archive
*Never Do Today What...Ooh, Shiny
*Can You Hear Me Now?
*Fast Food, Slow Digestion
*Homeland Security, Eh?
*Quality Training Purposes
*The Show Went On
*Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
*Putting My Foot Down
*Breaking the Chain Mail
*Happy Valmochrismaweenygiving
*Mr. Clean's Illegitimate Brother
*The Quest For 10,000 Friends
*Forgetting Paris
*Magnetically Challenged
*New Year's at the Barefoot Boogie
*Instant Carma's Gonna Get Me
*The Biggest Loser
*Steve vs. Kentucky
*Gone in a Flash
*How to Destroy Your Car
*Ghouls, Goblins, and Candidates
*My Freedom From Your Freedom
*Drive Unto Others
*Please Don't See This Movie
*I Love The Clip Shows
*Column of Atonement
*Happy Anniversary, Sugarhill
*Life, 9/11, and the Interstate
*Your Band Sucks
*Spending Wisely
*The Blind Dating the Blind
*Grilled Cheese With a Side of Hip Hop
*The Drive to 25
*Are You There Margaret? It's Me, God.
*Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House
*Seacrest! Out!
*Harder Than You Think
*Glad To Be Here
*Thought for Food
*Feeding the Meter
*She's Ready For Her Close Up
*Paging John Hughes
*Excusing America's Gas Problem
*Extra, Extra, Extra Long Time
*The Finals Countdown
*Your Friends and Mine
*The Future Mrs. Bueller
*Toasting Not Toasting
*A Tall Order
*Snaking Your Engine
*My Hair is the Color of Tomato Soup
*The Solace System
*You Say Potato
*It’s Getting Less Cold in Here
*This is Not a Virus
*Pitchers and Catchers
*Another Night Not at the Movies
*Higher and Higher
*To Write A Wrong
*They Call it Super for a Reason
*Imagine All the People
*Lost Wages, Nevada
*This Just In
*Why Are All My Stands Red?
*For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls
*Silent One Day Sale, Holy One Day Sale
*I Want To Be That Guy
*Felicity Doesn't Always Mean Happiness
*That Time of Year
*My Cranberry Sauce Looks like a Can
*The Legend of Fat Dead Steve
*Two Beldings in One Building
*Happy Halloween From Happy Valley
*Three Stations and Nothing On
*15 Shots of Nostalgia
*Here's To the Dancing Guy
*Teaching an Old Dog New Sticks
*If You Could Choose Just One Dumb Question...
*Obligatory Pun on The Word Tired
*I've Grown Accustomed to Your Wet Nose
*What Do You Want For Your Birthday?
*What a Long, Strange Trip
*Open Letter to My UPS Man
*That Better Be Your Foot
*The Abandoned Lot is Always Greener
*Putting Down the Pieces
*Take One Down, Pass It Around
*Here, You Throw This Away
*Being Green at the Box Office
*Who Wears Short Shorts?
*America is an Okay Place to Be
*You Can't Stop the Rain
*Don't Feed the Alpha Males
*Don’t Sweat It
*The Special Plate Blues
*You Deserve It
*The Return to Popcopy
*They're Real, and They're Spectacular
*Keeping Your Prom Misses
*Guerillas in Our Midst
*That Weird No Bread Holiday
*The Ballad of the Buttless
*Something About Being Twenty-Something
*Have You Seen My Cell Phone?
*War, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For?
*Leggo My Ego
*I'm a Spazz, You're a Spazz
*Can I Please Keep My Pants?
*Engaged in Conversation
*Welcome to PopCopy
*Hold Me Closer, Tiny Bathroom
*My Two-Bedroom Furbee
*All’s Fare in Love and Daytona
*Open? Shut Them
*I Am Everyday Pimple
*Here Comes the Judge Show
*When, Praytell, Were The Days of Auld Lang Syne?
*What Are You Up To This Weekend?
*The Waiting is the Hardest Part
*A Night Not at the Movies
*Funny, You Don’t Look Flu-ish
*Does This Baby Come With Airbags?
*When The Hogan Family Was Still Valerie
*Blue (Haired) Tuesday
*In Loco Parents
*Moving Is Like A Vaccuum: It Sucks
*Thou Shalt Not Save the World and Get the Girl
*Like Oil and Stuff That Hates Oil
*How to Get Hatemail
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*It Happens to the Best of Us
*Talking To A Piece of Junk Mail
*When You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
*ICFS Disorder and Celebrity Kid Growth
*Electricity and Other Things They Cut Off
*When Pigeons Fly
*Goodbye, New York, Goodbye
*La La La-la La La, Sing a Happy Song
*What To Do at Work Besides Work
*Why is This Column Different From All Others?