Utah Valley student's 'holding hands' prank goes viral (video)

Published June 20, 2012 7:54 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Andrew Hales is getting a lot of attention for bringing an old idea — videotaping pranks, "Candid Camera"-style — to Utah Valley University.

Hales, a 22-year-old public-relations major, posts videos every Monday on his YouTube channel, "Losing All Hope Was Freedom" (the title comes from a line in "Fight Club"), showing various pranks.

Today's prank video, "Staring at People 2," the second in a series where Hales and a buddy just stare at random people, to see what kind of reaction they get.

Last week's video has really taken off, though. "Holding Hands With Strangers" — in which Hales, yes, walks up to stranger after stranger, and tries to hold their hand — has elicited nearly 4.5 million hits since it was released a week ago. (Click on the image above to see it yourself.)

The reactions of the people in the video vary from mildly shocked to shyly charmed.

The video has received write-ups from Digital Journal, ABC News, Britain's Daily Mail and the International Business Times.