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YouTube Prankster Learns the Meaning of “Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes”

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

YouTube has been a revelation for entertainment and emerging artists. It isn’t strictly the cesspool of liberal censorship people think it is. While that DOES happen, and it happens way more often that the First Amendment really allows, it still can be useful.

There is a lot of actual funny stuff out there on YouTube. Unfortunately, some of it isn’t, and some is dangerous and annoying.

The old saying goes, “play stupid games, win stupid prizes”. Recently a young YouTuber pranked the wrong guy and won the stupidest prize at the carnival. Check this out.

A YouTube prankster’s attempt to pull a fast one at a Virginia mall literally backfired after the intended target got mad and shot him in the stomach.

“I was playing a prank, a simple practical joke, and this guy didn’t take it very well and shot me,” Tanner Cook, 21, told WUSA9 from his hospital bed in the intensive care unit.

While Tanner Cook might try to sound like a victim, and that he might think he was playing a “simple practical joke”, perhaps his target was having a bad day, or was a bad guy, or just wanted to go to the mall for jeans. Cook found out that his intended victim wasn’t trying to play.

Cook runs the YouTube channel Classified Goons, which features him performing “Jackass”-style pranks on unsuspecting people.

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Some of these harebrained gags have included pretending to urinate in stores and asking strangers to play “naked Twister.”

Authorities didn’t specify the nature of the youngster’s latest stunt, which he filmed with friends near a Cheesecake Factory at the Dulles Town Center in Dulles.

However, the prank did not sit well with the intended target, Leesburg’s Alan Collie, 31, who whipped out a semi-automatic pistol and shot the YouTuber, striking him in the stomach and liver.

“They were making a video at the mall and trying to have fun with people and this guy wasn’t having fun,” Tanner’s father Jeramy Cook described. “There was a phone that was around him and they were interviewing or talking to him, and he didn’t like it and he pulled out his gun and shot my son.”

Certainly I sympathize as a parent with Cook’s father, but his dad shouldn’t take the angle that his son was just playing a harmless prank. This is 2023. Tempers are short, patience is shorter, and people are way less likely to put up with ignorant bullshit like YouTube prankers.

Tanner Cook was fortunate that he didn’t die. After watching way too much TikTok and YouTube videos, it is easy to see how you could pick the wrong dude on the wrong day and end up in a pine box.

The incident left the YouTube creator shaken but undeterred. Cook, who is still in the hospital, said he’s not going to let the shooting discourage him from creating prank videos.

This isn’t the first time a YouTube prank has gone horribly awry.

In 2017, a 22-year-old Minnesota man died after instructing his pregnant girlfriend to shoot a gun at a book he was holding over his chest, presumably hoping the tome would stop the bullet.

Sadly, people usually don’t listen when the universe speaks. It appears that Tanner Cook isn’t going to listen to the universe either, and will continue to chase “likes” by harassing unsuspecting people. Risky business in an incendiary time like 2023 America.