Watch out Belmont—Blizz Pranks has been spotted on campus, and you could be the next victim.
Posting seven videos with more than 1,500 views on YouTube just within the first month of its creation, prankster Derrick Harding is out and about looking for his next target. From turning the tables with policemen on Belmont’s campus to dropping a fake giant tarantula from a tree onto passersby at a local park, the senior journalism major is leaving college with a bang—or a prank, that is.
“I was on YouTube one day watching videos, and I saw this one video pop up on the sidebar, a Roman Atwood video—he does a lot of neat pranks and gets millions of views. I never really watched any prank videos before and while I was watching it, I was just thinking, ‘Man, I can do this,’” said Harding.
With an HD camera, editing software and a knack for messing with people,
Harding was set to work and created the YouTube channel Blizz Pranks. Taking the name from his band Blizz, a word the band created to sound like “bliss,” Harding’s ambition is to take a traditional prank and end it with a twist that leaves both victims and viewers smiling.
With his quick wit and one-liners, Harding’s pranks consist of putting people on the spot and taking them by surprise. In one prank, he visits downtown Nashville, Tenn. and asks random people if they’re a famous person such as Britney Spears or Selena Gomez. In another, he drops a large spider from a tree onto unsuspecting runners in a park.
Currently, he’s working on a prank where he pretends to fall off a skateboard and twist his ankle at a funny angle to see people’s reactions.
Another YouTube prankster and friend of Harding’s, 20-year-old Blake Bellamy, who had a show on MTV and whose YouTube channel has more than 400,000 views, recently helped Harding with a prank titled “Peeing on Cars.”
“We put water on people’s cars and left a note, and we would watch their reactions on film—we are working on some more videos together,” said Bellamy. “I think people watch pranks because they are very silly. Some recipients get a kick out of it after I tell them it was a joke—they even watch it afterward.”
While Harding created Blizz Pranks on his own, he loves having help from friends.
“I’ll just say this—pranking is a lot harder than it looks. People don’t realize it takes hours and hours of work. Sometimes you can work on one all day and not get a reaction. Depending on the prank, a lot of people take it really well. I’ve only had one incident where someone really got mad. I always ask after every prank if it’s OK for me to put them on my channel. Usually most people say it’s cool,” said Harding.
Not only does Harding have to worry about people’s reactions to the pranks, but he also has to get permission from certain venues. One of his pranks was on Belmont’s campus, where he placed a fake parking ticket on a Belmont officer’s car. He has to get permission from the Office of Communications before he can move forward for future pranks on campus, which he is in the process of doing now. However, he believes he can do this by ending his pranks with a moral lesson and somehow bettering the community.
While the main focus of Harding’s YouTube channel is prank videos, he also created one video where he gave Subway sandwiches to the homeless in Nashville, Tenn. titled “Subway for the Homeless.” He hopes to add more videos like this in the future.
“Even though it’s a prank channel, we also do charitable videos. We’ve done one—kind of the idea of ‘pranking it forward,’ or doing something nice for the community and giving back,” said Harding. “Actually, my ‘Subway for the Homeless’ video has gotten more attention than any other video.”
Longtime friend, Jackson Stroud, 21, participated in the video alongside Harding.
“It feels good helping people—this one is my favorite,” said Stroud. “For the most part, Blizz Pranks are harmless, classic pranks to get people to laugh. Derrick has some pretty good ideas for the prank series. He’s a great dude and is very talented with a camera.”
Harding’s main goal is to just make people happy, whether it be boosting their ego by asking if they’re a celebrity or giving back to the community in some way.
“In the future, what I really want to do is just keep coming up with innovative ideas and pranks that are harmless. I’m just trying to make people laugh and make people smile. I’ve had people, after I did a prank on them, say ‘I was having such a bad day, that just made my day.’ That’s just really what I’m trying to do,” said Harding.
To check out Harding’s videos, go to https://www.youtube.com/user/blizzpranks.
This article was written by Andie Rice.