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EPIC Social Media Prank – 2012 Emmy Awards

Congrats to Jimmy Kimmel on an absolutely EPIC social media prank. I didn’t watch the Emmys tonight. I didn’t watch ANYTHING on TV, for that matter. But I couldn’t avoid the Emmys because of Jimmy Kimmel’s prank, which resulted in thousands of tweets in the minutes that followed.

As Jimmy Kimmel had promised, he provided the biggest prank in Emmy history.


Jimmy Kimmel alerts the studio audience that something is up during a commercial break. Jimmy brings Tracy Morgan out on stage, turns to the crowd at Nokia Theater, and urges audience members to tweet that Tracy Morgan passed out at the Emmys. WTF? Is this the same as yelling fire in a crowded theater? Many in the audience obliged. Tracy Morgan then proceeds to lie down on the stage for a few minutes. When the show returned from the commercial break, Jimmy pretends to cover up Tracy’s fake problem with an exhaustion excuse. Between the appearance of a problem on TV, and the deluge of tweets circulating about Tracy Morgan passing out, the REAL news media picks up the story and runs with it.

Should we be shocked that our news outlets use social media as credible sources? Couldn’t they have just called up ABC or the producers of the Emmys to confirm Tracy Morgan passed out? A big win for Jimmy Kimmel, a win for social media hijinks, and a loss for the news outlets that forgot to fact check before getting a scoop on this non-story.

Guerrilla marketing at it’s finest.

I’m sure many tuned in to ABC just because of their Facebook & Twitter feeds blew up with posts about Tracy Morgan passing out.


I’m not a big fan of these awards shows. I have ADD. I get bored easily. If and when I do watch awards shows, it is to sit back and laugh at the chaos (and resulting fun) that certain hosts bring to the event. Chris Rock & Ricky Gervais come to mind as standouts.

This was the best “Host” moment since Chris Rock’s opening monologue at the 2005 Oscars: “Welcome to the 77th and LAST Academy Awards…”

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