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Inside Outsider

Meet the Melbourne Bros Making a Living Pranking Their Dad

Australia's answer to Bam Margera, brothers Dylan and Mitchell Orval have amassed a huge online following with "Angry Dad."

I grew up in a Muslim household where I didn't speak unless spoken to and playing a joke on Dad was unthinkable. That would be like doing a nudie run through a Taliban soccer match. It was an old school, tribal father-son relationship with absolutely no compromise on the chain of command.

In contrast, Australian brothers Dylan and Mitchell Orval have amassed a YouTube following by playing pranks on their old man—spraypainting his car, leaving a 12-foot python in his bathroom, and putting bleach in his shampoo bottle days before his best mate's wedding. And strangely it doesn't seem to affect their relationship.


I can't help but wonder how different cultural cues shape our attitudes and personalities, and what that happy-go-lucky Australian humour actually means. When Australians take the piss out of each other it means—I think—that they care. You'd rarely call someone you hate a cunt. Instead the word is almost always prefaced with positive colloquial adjectives like mad, good, or sick. And with this in mind, Dylan and Mitch's relationship with their dad looks to me like a full throttle exploitation of paradoxical love.

So I visited the Orval home to get a better sense of what their videos mean to them. And despite all the farting and banter, the Orval family was one of the most heartwarming and tightly knit group of people I've ever been invited to hang with.

VICE: Hey guys, do you believe Aussies show affection through jokes?
Dylan: 100 percent. People always talk about how they feel sorry for Dad and shit like that. But if we were truly harming him and the pranks were affecting our relationship we wouldn't do it.
Mitchell: If I gave him a hug he'd be like "WTF? Are you feeling okay?" but if I told him his jeans make him look like Billy Elliot and he'd had the same haircut for 30 years—there's a sense of humour in that. it's about having thick skin. Survival of the fittest is what makes our family bond strong.
Dylan: It's the best way to live! Would you rather walk on eggshells at home because you're scared of doing the wrong thing around your kids or parents? Or walk on eggshells because you're not sure if your son is going to have a 12-foot python and cameras set up ready to make millions of people around the world laugh? I know which I'd prefer.


How did your Angry Dad videos start? Who came up with the concept?
Dylan: It all started when I used to upload videos of us pranking Dad on snapchat and our mates used to be like "Woah he's funny." Soon we realised there was some major love for this sort of content, and one thing led to another. We thought if Bam Margera has a fat dad who gets angry, and they're doing that crazy shit, why can't we?
Mitchell: So we started pranking and uploading it to our private accounts! Before we knew it we had friend requests coming out our ears… so we made a page. 1.2 million likes and two years later, this is where we are.

Yeah, interesting that you mention Bam Margera. I feel like the Jackass thing happened over 15 years ago. How are your videos still relavent, or different?
Mitchell: We try and have limits, we don't want anyone to get hurt physically, it's purely emotional banter. In terms of different, I think we're totally different people in the way we approach everything. Those dudes are next level. They don't give a shit if they get bones broken, or damage their family relationships, they're just ruthless.
Dylan: Our videos are a bit more tactical, in terms of setting things up based on how we know he'll react. Like the honk if you're horny prank, all I did was put a sign on his car and he did the rest. I just knew by people beeping him it would set him off. Whereas if that was Jackass, the sign would probably be something a lot cruder, and the result would be someone smashing their car.


Dad admires his new and unintentionally blond hairdo

Were there ever any incidents that made you think you'd gone too far?
Dylan: The one that was borderline too far was we dyed his hair orange three days out from his best mate's wedding. He was the best man.
Mitchell: He turned up looking like Ron Weasley… it was fucking hilarious.

Nice. What about ideas that you've abandoned?
Mitchell: We were actually going to collaborate with Bam Margera. We drove all the way out to Geelong to meet him, but he was off his guts in his hotel room before his gig so we never got a chance to meet.
Dylan: We later found out he had painted his hotel walls and done thousands of dollars' worth of damage, so probably best we stayed clear of that.

Yeah fair enough. Now tell me about Father's Day. What happens at your place?
Mitchell: We once did a segment on Father's Day but it was a little different. Dad lost his father three months prior to this. So we got a huge portrait painted of Dad and his old man and instead of pranking him, we had a special gift ready for him.
Dylan: It was a touching moment that goes to show we aren't just fuckwits. We do share a lot of emotional moments but we choose to go about it in our own way. It's not all hugs and tears all the time, but I don't think you need that and I don't think a lot of Australian families have that. We just have our own way of showing our gratitude and love.

Dad gets in on the joke, or something

What about love and gratitude for Mum? Why doesn't Shazza cop any shit?
Mitchell: My mum's what you would call the insider outsider. As much as she stays away from the videos and filming as such, she helps us to execute almost all the pranks. We always need someone on the inside to ensure all pranks are going to plan, and for some reason, Mum just keeps getting away with it.


Do you also get away with it because you're making money? Actually, was this ever just a ploy to make money?

Dylan: We did this for over a year without making a cent off it. So if people think the only value of this is monetary they can jog on. It's something we've done our whole lives and will continue to do regardless of Facebook and social media.
Mitchell: Also, if viewers can't see the difference between real pranks and fake pranks then the joke's on them because as far as I'm concerned, there's not many real pranksters on the net at the moment—but hey, opinions are like ass holes. Everyone's got one


What's the best perk these videos have brought you?
Dylan: That would have to be the time we got flown to six states in seven days by Carlton Draught. We had a private plane and it was the Carlton Draught pub tour. The whole seven days is a bit of a blur. All I know is I was pissed from 9 AM every morning and the rest is history.
Mitchell: Oh—and I came home with a "#CPT" tattoo [Carlton draught pub tour].

What else? Aside from the perks?
Mitchell: It's my life and I get to live doing what I love. I'm not making lots of money, but it's enough and it gives me time to focus on things and avenues I want to pursue.
Dylan: Yeah just travelling across Australia with your mates, touring nightclubs, shoeys. The Australian dream.

Finally, what do you think other people are getting from your videos?
Mitchell: As Australians if you can't handle banter in the family, you won't survive. Especially not in our family anyway. I think it's the fact that everyone can relate. Every Aussie dad has a bit of "Angry Dad" in them…we were just one of the first to take it from behind closed doors and to the public. Clearly our dad is a heightened case of the Aussie bloke, but people seem to love it

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