On Nov. 16, 2021, stand-up comedian Ben Palmer, also known by the name @palmertrolls on TikTok, posted a new video that attempted to troll Walmart just days before Black Friday.
The video was viewed more than 600,000 times in 15 hours and included a recorded phone call that Palmer said was with one of Walmart's corporate communications employees.
The basis for Palmer's joke was the fact that Walmart will be open on the day after Thanksgiving. In the video, he said: "I think it would be good for the employees at Walmart if Walmart was closed on Black Friday. So I made a [Forbes] headline that says 'Walmart To Close Its Doors On Black Friday,' and I emailed it to the corporate team at Walmart and signed my name as Courtney, a reporter for the Coloradoan Times."
He then claimed that the director of corporate communications at Walmart replied to the email, asking Palmer to call him.
During the phone call, Palmer repeatedly trolled the person on the other line, asking one question five times: "What are the chances that Walmart does close on Black Friday?"
At two points during the conversation, Palmer was asked if the call was a prank. He also asked the person if he could "ask Doug," referring to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon.
"Barring something completely unforeseen or just completely outrageous, all 5,000 of our stores are going to be open on Black Friday," the person said.
"Wouldn't a mob of people be outrageous," Palmer asked. "When a whole bunch of people just run through the doors, wouldn't that be considered outrageous?"
The call ended after Palmer asked, "is it cool if you take some of the $400 billion and, you know, just let your employees have the day off?"
The dollar figure may have been referring to a recent news story that reported on plans by former Walmart president Mark Lore to build a "$400 billion metropolis" in the desert.
In the comments, Palmer noted that he had to edit the phone call down to fit within the 3-minute TikTok timeframe.
As noted above, this was simply a prank, and Walmart's stores will be open on Black Friday.
We previously reported about some of Palmer's other pranks that used Facebook to troll customers by posing as official representatives of stores or products, such as Home Depot, Costco, and Campbell Soup Company. He also created a fake event on Facebook about the implosion of a Confederate monument in order to troll people who look favorably upon the history of the Confederacy.