My April Fool's Joke made it to the front page (of hackernews)

A DNS resolver with advertisements

My april fools joke made it to the front page of hacker news:!

on the front page after one hour

on the front page after four hour

The april fool’s joke was that I was a pretend-SAAS company that was “innovating” DNS by providing an advertisment-supported DNS resolver - where we would randomly inject ads for the users. I.E when a user made a DNS query, advertisments would pop up like so:

dig @

    # Actual DNS record  46 IN A    
    # Advertisment  7200 IN TXT "Meet hot, lonely DNS records in your area tonight"

For the unfamiliar, DNS is very technical, foundational part of public internet and networking - essentially, something that no one would ever ask for ads in. If you can’t tell… this is a VERY niche joke.

I initially had an idea for this joke back in early 2023 - I had a vague idea that “making DNS with advertisements would be so bad it’s hilarious”. I ended up spending a decent chunk of time on the project, and I was a bit nervous that it would fade into obscurity, but I’m glad it got some attention and people found it funny.

The time investment

It was surprisingly stressful to work on this project… because trying to be funny can be stressful. When it comes to jokes I constantly go through this seesaw of “it’s funny” to “it’s cringe” - moreover, I was also worried about making jokes that wouldn’t offend anyone (not that this is a particularly touchy topic).

Explaining the joke/satire

I’m going to do the thing you shouldn’t do… explaining the joke. The audience for this is incredibly niche, so I think it’s fair to make the joke more accessible for bigger audiences.

I sorta wanted to make a bunch of tiny jokes about trends you see in the software industry, something that might not be picked up to all audiences.

On one level, the jokes in the DNS records are obvious:

Other jokes are more “programmer” niche:

Some of the jokes are just me complaining about boring ads are

The final funny bit I like is:


The delivery of the joke (besides setting up an actual DNS resolver that anyone can use), is intentionally overt.

One comment pointed out “Little over the top. Sometimes subtle is better/more entertaining” - which I completely agree with (I didn’t address it because I was “playing the joke” in the comments). I think I would have liked a more subtle tone to the overall joke - to make the satire more subtle.

However, I consciously made the delivery very blatant becasue I was nervous that people wouldn’t get the joke… When I shoed initial versions of the marketing material to friends, some of them didn’t get it was a joke. They certainly weren’t stupid and they were engineers, but the the specificity can make it difficult to see the humor. Sarcasm isn’t clear when you don’t have tone to help emphasize the point.

So on the last day I decided to add emojis, more obvious jokes that i’s a cash grab, etc to prevent ANYONE from POSSIBLY misconstruing this has a serious product.

Technical breakdown of how I programmed/deployed/architected this joke coming soon.