Pie in the Face Day
annually on November 27th
Have you ever gotten a pie thrown at you, or smooshed in your face? Watch out, because today is Pie in the Face Day! There are many reasons why people end up with cream or other pie remnants on their face or in their hair. Pieing, as throwing pie in someone's face is called, has been used for comedic effect in films and other skits, as a political display against politicians or other high profile people—to ridicule or humiliate them, to raise money for charity, and for celebratory reasons in sports. It is usually done with a cream pie without a crust. If it is done without consent it can result in battery or assault charges, or lawsuits.
The "pie in the face" gag has its roots in slapstick comedy. It was first seen at the end of the 1909 silent film Mr. Flip. Simple pie in the face routines in film eventually turned into extensive pie fights. For example, Laurel and Hardy's The Battle of the Century was filmed using 3,000 pies. The largest pie fight in film history was in The Great Race in 1965, where 4,000 pies were used. Even Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove filmed a pie fight scene, but it never made the final cut. Besides live action films, pieing has been seen in cartoons such as Loony Tunes. Monty Python used the routine, as have countless circus clowns.
The first use of pie in the face for political purposes is seen as being by Thomas King Forcade, who founded High Times magazine. In 1970 he pied Otto N. Larsen, the Chairman of the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. The Biotic Baking Brigade has pied, or attempted to pie, people such as Ann Coulter, William F. Buckley, and Fred Phelps. Many other political or noteworthy people have been pied by various other groups, such as Bill Gates in 1998, and Rupert Murdoch in 2011.
A more positive reason why people get pies in their face is to raise money for charity. People may pay money to throw pies at celebrities, or students may pay to throw pies at their teachers, and the money goes to a good cause. Oftentimes pies are squashed and spread in someone's face, instead of being thrown, as it is much safer. Another positive reason why pies may be thrown or put in someone's face is out of celebration. For example, there are many instances in professional baseball where pies have been squashed or thrown at someone for celebration. Notably, former MLB pitcher A.J. Burnett smashed pies of whipped or shaving cream in the faces of teammates who had helped score the winning run in games, oftentimes while they had been getting interviewed by television crews.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by throwing or squashing a pie in someone's face. Be careful who you do it to though, as you don't want them to press charges against you! Maybe you could film your own slapstick comedy routine with a friend. It is best to use a Bavarian cream pie, since it is Bavarian Cream Pie Day today too. If you really think you are good at it, register for next year's World Custard Pie Championship, and plan a trip to England. If you are more of a spectator, maybe you could just watch some of the films that are listed in the days' description.