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30th Nov 2021

Fake yo-yo master made his way on to local morning news show

Danny Jones

Kenny Strasser, the fake yo-yo-master

A master of yo-yo-ing and deception, it would seem

Before he was the scarily accurate office bore Colin Robinson in What We Do In The Shadows – or even the socially awkward Nate in The US Office – comedian Mark Proksch conducted a legendary prank on local television in the US.

Ever heard of the great yo-yo master Kenny Strasser, the 1995 Rookie of the Year and Pensacola Regional Grand Champion? Us neither – and that’s because he’s fake.

Well, you might have heard of him after the amount of times this clip has done the rounds over the past decade or so – but local news networks back in the early 2000s didn’t have a clue.

Still, it didn’t stop them from taking the bait and inviting on the fake yo-yo master on live telly to show off some of his best tricks, did it? What followed is arguably one of the best live TV grifts to ever air.

Warning — even for those who love cringe comedy, if you’ve never seen this clip before, it’s so uncomfortable it makes you want to curl up into a ball and never watch telly ever again:

It’s still just as deliciously painful to watch as it was the first time around. Proksch went on as a supposed Walt Greenberg award winner and representative for Zim-Zam Yo-Yo Corp, a not-for-profit toy company that was campaigning for a ‘greener earth’ – both of entirely fictitious, of course.

From the moment the poor interviewer asks ‘K-Strass’ a question and he opens his mouth, it’s an absolute car crash that you simply cannot look away from. We don’t know whether to laugh or pull our hair out.

Beyond referring to himself as a “35-year-old kid at heart, twice-divorced; no kids, don’t have a girlfriend – don’t want one” and telling the viewers far too much about his parents’ marital problems and familial feuds, Proksch proceeds to answer his phone mid-interview and the team of broadcasters have to cut away on multiple occasions as he disregards being on live TV entirely.

To make matters worse (or better), this was by no means the first and only time the fake yo-yo-master pulled this prank: this became one in a series of live TV interviews where he’d managed to dupe networks into believing this story.

In fact, there is actually a ‘super compilation’ of every time he ever appeared on local news as the made-up yo-yo master. Please enjoy/subject yourself to this sadistic exercise in cringe humour as you wish:

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