EMPATH: The Luckiest Smurf
"Reporter's Inside Stories: An Interview With Jokey Smurf"
Story by Vic George
Based on the Smurf concept of characters by Peyo
Jokey with one of
          his usual "surprises"

Reporter: Of all the Smurfs who smurf in the village at this present, there have been some Smurfs who have been well-known for being so annoying to smurf with -- Brainy with his know-it-all attitude and his "words of wisdom", Harmony with his bad horn smurfing, Nabby with his penchant for smurfing food behind his brother Greedy's back, Grouchy for his rather negative outsmurf on everything, and of course the subject of today's Inside Story, the village prankster Jokey Smurf. He's been trouble ever since he learned how to smurf his first prank on his fellow Smurf, and he hasn't stopped smurfing them even to this day, with his most common prank being the exploding giftbox. Not a single Smurf has been unsmurfed by Jokey's style of humor, including Empath who by now could know what Jokey's smurfing up in that mind of his. Today we would like to talk to this Smurf to find out why he likes to keep his fellow Smurfs smurfing on their toes as far as what he can smurf away with.

(Reporter sees Jokey approach him, carrying his usual "surprise" giftbox.)

Jokey: Hiya, Reporter. Want to smurf a surprise that has your name on it?

Reporter: Right now I would rather talk about you, and why you like smurfing those surprises on your fellow Smurfs so much.

Jokey: That's easy to answer -- because it makes me laugh a lot, and I think this village needs a lot of laughter. Every Smurf seems so busy smurfing things rather too seriously, smurfing about their daily business, that it smurfs like this place is more like where Empath and Polaris had smurfed from -- Psychelia. I mean, how can you smurf through your whole life without being able to smurf a break from all the seriousness and just let your smurf down once in a while? It's not that we don't have any fun in the village, with all these parties we seem to smurf year after year celebrating things that make us Smurfs, and smurfing all sorts of outdoor events, and even smurfing things in the Imaginarium. It's just that during the times when it's all smurf and no play is when we need a Smurf to lighten things up, and I'm the kind of Smurf who likes to smurf that, even if it gets some Smurf into trouble.

Reporter: Don't you ever get tired of smurfing the same kind of pranks on your fellow Smurfs? The "surprise" giftbox is basically the oldest gag in the book, and you've smurfed enough of these on your fellow Smurfs so many times, it's a wonder they haven't wised up to the fact that it's just going to smurf kaboom on them.

Jokey: On occasion I like to smurf something new and different from my usual "surprise" boxes, like the time I had smurfed around as the Masked Pie Smurfer, sneaking around the village and smurfing pies on unsuspecting Smurfs, particularly Brainy who desmurfs to get pied to kingdom smurf. Of course, it ended up getting much of the village smurfing pies at each other, because they were so upset with each other at that time I'm rather surprised that they didn't just smurf kaboom before smurfing it loose. But then the whole thing smurfed against me, and soon I slipped on one of my pies and I was cornered and unmasked by my fellow Smurfs. Still, the whole thing was fun...until I found out Baby Smurf had smurfed me a mud pie right in the kisser!

Reporter: As they say, Jokey, you've got to smurf out for the quiet ones...you never know what they're going to smurf! You never seem to like when a joke smurfs back at you for some reason.

Jokey: That's because I want to be the one who smurfs the joke on some Smurf and smurfs away with it! This village isn't big enough for more than one prankster to smurf his trade, and I smurfly won't let any other Smurf try to outsmurf me with the pranks I smurf. Of course, one time when Papa Smurf had smurfed some magical particles from Mother Nature to smurf the forest back to life from the long winter we smurfed back then, I accidentally smurfed those particles on my shadow and it started to smurf pranks on every Smurf, including me of all Smurfs. And one time I was smurfwrecked on some island while me and some other Smurfs were helping this sand troll resmurf his original form, some mermaids were smurfing pranks on me by smurfing a jellyfish underneath the place I was sleeping, and I didn't like it very much. And there was also Sassette's paper dolls that smurfed to life and smurfed all sorts of jokes on every Smurf, including me, before Gargamel smurfed a hold of them.

Reporter: Then I guess you smurf pride in your style of humor, smurfing after the greatest in Smurf comedians and jokesters.

Jokey: My Papa Smurf was the best of them all...he's smurfed all sorts of gags on his fellow Smurfs, like the squirting flower and the joy buzzer and the whoopie cushion, that it never failed to amuse anyone, most of all himsmurf. My Mama Smurf, however, was the one who smurfed up with the "surprise" box, which was how they both smurfed together and had me after all those years. Anyway, when the two of them weren't smurfing pranks on their fellow Smurfs, they had a stand-up comedy routine that they would smurf at the outdoor theatre that would leave the audience in stitches laughing their smurfs off. One of their favorite routines was the Shaving Cream song, which smurfs like this... (Background music now plays.) "I've got a smurf story to tell you, it's a classic of poetry and wit; last night when I smurfed to the outhouse, I had smurfed in a large pile of shhhh..."

Background Vocals: (unseen, mysteriously joining in with Jokey) "Shaving cream, smurf nice and clean, smurf every day and you'll always smurf keen!"

Reporter: Yeah, I seem to remember that when we were young Smurflings, sometime before the disease smurfed all our Papa and Mama Smurfs away and smurfed us with only Empath's Papa Smurf to be our Papa Smurf. How did that make you feel at the time?

Jokey: That was the unsmurfiest time of my life, Reporter, smurfing my Mama Smurf pass away and then smurfing my Papa Smurf pass away as well. Of course, by then I was already being the jokester that my Papa Smurf wanted me to be, but having to lose my parent Smurfs and then adjusting to smurfing Uncle Cully Papa Smurf and having to smurf together a village with him and 96 other Smurflings around my age was nothing to laugh at. Sometimes I still wish my Papa Smurf was still smurfing, if only to smurf me more about the type of gags he had been smurfing over the years that I could smurf on my fellow Smurfs. I tried to smurf the spirits up of my fellow Smurfs with some humor, but it wasn't until about 20 years later that anybody, even Papa Smurf, started to laugh again. I guess I can't blame them for not wanting to laugh when they've just had their world change around them, but for 20 years? That was a really bad time for me!

Reporter: What did you think of Empath when he first smurfed into the village, trying to learn what it means to be a Smurf?

Jokey: Empath was a real trip when I first smurfed him one of my surprises, because he truly had no idea what a joke was. I think I busted a gut laughing at him when the "surprise" box I gave him smurfed kaboom in his face, and all he did was just stare at what was left of the box, wondering what happened to the "gift" I smurfed him. Strangely, though, he never laughed at any of the jokes I smurfed on him during that year or even the year after, but I hardly heard him complain about them, either. Of course, around his third visit I must have gotten carried away smurfing him that "do you think it's smurfing to rain" joke on him so many times, he decided to smurf a joke back on me by smurfing everything in my house upside-down and making me think I was the one who was upside-down when he was smurfing upside-down on my ceiling. I didn't think that a Smurf like him would ever smurf it within him to smurf such an elaborate joke back on me.

Reporter: Well, with a Smurf who's able to smurf other people's minds to know what they're smurfing, it must make your job as a jokester pretty difficult, smurfticularly when it comes to smurfing a prank on Empath.

Jokey: That doesn't mean that I can't try to smurf one over him despite his abilities. One weakness that I discovered from smurfing with Empath is that his mental powers don't work all that well against magic, so that smurfs me something I can exploit to my advantage...not sure at this point how I would be able to smurf that weakness against Empath when it comes to smurfing a prank on him, but I'll figure something out. At least Empath's sense of humor has developed over the years where he doesn't mind me smurfing the same "surprise" box prank time and again on him.

Reporter: Now, Jokey, I wonder about Tailor wanting you to present Empath's smurfday present, the star-patterned suit, to him on the day of his 150th smurfday, which was when he left Psychelia for good. How did that smurf about?

Jokey: I was just smurfing my own business, trying to smurf up a prank gift that I could give to Empath, when Tailor smurfed me into his workshop secretly to smurf me this new suit he had smurfed for Empath. Knowing Tailor, I thought it was just another white suit, so I smurfed along with what he wanted to smurf me, but I had no idea that this suit would truly be very different. I mean, wow, this was one suit that I could imagine smurfing Empath in, because of that yellow star he smurfs on his forehead and all that! So I just let him smurf one of my empty "surprise" boxes to smurf that new suit in, then I just presented it to Empath, making him think this was just another one of my prank gifts for him to open. The whole village was also expecting this one to smurf kaboom on Empath as well! (Laughs at the thought.) Well, Empath and the village truly got a surprise from me that night when it didn't smurf kaboom, but rather was the new set of clothes Tailor had smurfed for him. But the best part was yet to smurf -- Empath ended up smurfing those new clothes that night, and I thought that this wasn't the same Empath that I had smurfed around with during his year-long visits to the village!

Reporter: Admittedly I smurfed the same way mysmurf about Empath that night, as it also made me smurf of the day 80 years ago when Papa Smurf smurfed us that "grown-up" statue of Empath, saying that someday he will smurf home for good, and when he does we will all smurf free. And in recent years it made most of us Smurfs think that meant Empath would smurf us free from the evil human wizard Gargamel -- which is where you got involved in smurfing Empath to be the hero that would deliver us from Gargamel with the remodeling of that statue. I just wonder how you felt about the whole thing and what made you smurf along with this plan.

Jokey: The day when Gargamel and Azrael accidentally smurfed themsmurfs into a statue when they tried to smurf us into statues, Papa Smurf decided to smurf an antidote to free them from being petrified. Though I honestly respect Papa Smurf for all he's smurfed over the years, this was one decision I thought was the un-wisest, because I knew Gargamel wasn't going to change his ways no matter how many times Papa Smurf would smurf his sorry tail from anything even from his own hand. And sadly, when Gargamel attacked us with that strange magical armor from the Gauntlets of Gantharros he was smurfing, that would be the straw that smurfed the camel's back as far as Papa Smurf believing that Gargamel would ever change. At that point, somebody had to smurf in as the hero that would smurf the day, and though Empath originally refused to smurf that when we were rallying around that statue that he desmurfed with that "mind's eye" of his, he eventually smurfed that role upon himsmurf when the one Smurf he actually started to care about was among those Gargamel had smurfnapped that day -- Smurfette.

Reporter: Which smurfs me to this next question -- what do you think of Empath smurfing around with Smurfette for the past two years?

Jokey: It just smurfs me a little jealous, Reporter, that, despite all that I smurfed for Smurfette over the past several years to smurf her to love me more than any other Smurf, Empath had smurfed Smurfette's heart without even trying! I mean, how can a Smurf like me ever hope to compete with a Smurf like Empath, who can smurf anything he can smurf his mind to? He smurfs poetry better than Poet, he smurfs paintings better than Painter, he smurfs statues better than Sculptor, he smurfs food better than Greedy, he smurfs stronger and faster than Hefty and Tuffy, he makes Brainy smurf like a total dimwit, he smurfs more time listening to our problems than Papa Smurf does -- where does it all end for him? And besides that, he's got all these mental powers that make me smurf a bit afraid of him at times. I could only wish to smurf half of what Empath has just to be able to be near Smurfette like he is all the time, smurfing things the two of them have never smurfed before alone, like that Ray of Sunshine album Smurfette's smurfing out.

Reporter: Yeah, that's been pretty much in heavy rotation around the village these days, Jokey. You have any comments about that album?

Jokey: Only that Smurfette's singing voice blows everything I ever smurfed in music away -- including the Smurflings' "Smurfbop", which was pretty smurfy around the time they first smurfed into the village. I can't believe this is the same Smurfette I've been smurfing with in the village who smurfed of nothing but flowers and smurfing the perfect Smurf to marry someday -- and, of course, smurfing care of Baby Smurf, whom she singlehandedly rescued from being smurfed back to where he smurfed from! One of her songs, "Once Upon A Blue Moon", was written and sung specifically for Baby Smurf, and it's one of my favorites on the album.

Reporter: So do you have any thoughts about what you would like to smurf in the future? Maybe, if the Smurf Village does find another village that has female Smurfs, even settle down with a female Smurf who appreciates your sense of humor?

Jokey: That would be something I'd like to smurf for mysmurf, Reporter, but even if that doesn't happen, I'd still like to smurf what I always smurf best -- be the best darn prankster the Smurf Village has ever smurfed! I hope that's one thing I can smurf on to Baby Smurf and maybe even to Smurfette's child if and when she ever decides to smurf married, especially with Empath. Somebody's got to make sure the future of the Smurf Village is always full of laughter and Smurfs who are not afraid to not smurf life too seriously. Right now, I'm trying to make Empath's friend Polaris Psyche smile because he's been so smurfed up in what he calls "the Psychelian way" that he could use a good laugh in his life.

Reporter: Polaris is quite a challenge in that area, Jokey. It might smurf you a whole lifetime just to smurf him to laugh.

Jokey: Well, I'm pretty much up to the challenge of smurfing that! I'm never going to give up on Polaris until I smurf him with an uncontrollable grin that he can't stop smurfing, even if it smurfs me a whole lifetime.

Reporter: And there we have it -- an inside view of the village's greatest prankster of all! Thank you for letting me smurf an interview with you, Jokey.

Jokey: No problem, Reporter. By the way, you can have the surprise -- I smurfed it just for you!

Reporter: (curious, but doubtful) You certain you haven't smurfed anything to this "surprise"?

Jokey: (trying to sound innocent) Oh, I swear that you won't be disappointed.

Reporter: (deciding to give in) Well, this better be good!

(Reporter undoes the ribbon and opens the box, only to find that, as usual, it explodes in his face.)

Jokey: (bursting into laughter) It is good...good and funny to still smurf you fall for it!

(Jokey goes away still laughing at the "surprise" he pulled.)

Reporter: (sighs) He's still up to his usual tricks, all right!

NOTE: Jokey is voiced by June Foray in the Smurfs cartoon show, and by Paul Reubens in the 2011 Smurfs movie.

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