Members of the board, when my father, Finneas Q. Chortle III left me a majority stake in Laughing Stock Novelties upon his untimely demise in that whoopie cushion accident, he entrusted me to keep this prank factory looking toward the future. That’s why today, in my first official capacity as president, I am calling for a complete redesign of our Classic Rubber Chicken.

Everyone, please… please! Settle down and remove those googly-eye glasses from your faces.

Because we need to face the facts: Our rubber chickens—and indeed our entire portfolio of goofs and gags—have lost their context. Dare I say, they are no longer funny.

Can someone fetch Ms. Pennywinkle some water for that cough? In a non-dribbling glass if you would, please.

Just look at this lanky, lifeless, school-bus-yellow, rubber chicken. Really look at it.

To produce one of these is to immediately tip the hat that some tomfoolery is afoot. The average person isn’t regularly handling freshly plucked, head-and-feet-intact chickens anymore. Today’s roaster hens are pink, plastic-wrapped butterballs, plumped full of hormones and saline. Our rubber chickens are strung-out roosters the color of candy corn.

We’re the first prop every hacky magician and cheesy clown procures. We’re a joke, but not in the way we want to be a joke. We set out to fool people. Instead, we’ve become the mascot of fools.

So what can we do?

It’s simple: Manufacture rubber chickens that look like today’s broiler hens. Yes, it means a full retooling and redesign of our entire factory. It means no more talons or cockscombs or beady eyes or gaping beaks. It means retraining our artists to paint on blue blood vessels and those white stringy things. We’re making big, bald, beautiful, and fully-rubberized broiler birds.

But we shan’t stop there. I intend to take us into a wholly revolutionary, heretofore unexploited direction: fully-cooked rubber chickens.

Come now. Unfurl your spring-loaded polka dot neckties. And for godsakes, someone stop Mr. Tiddly’s toupee from spinning, I think he’s passed out.

Now then, I’ve taken the liberty of having the folks in R&D make silicone molds of Costco’s $5 rotisserie chickens to show you what I’m talking about.

Before you are two cloches, one contains a chicken fresh from the clamshell container and one is made from foam latex. Go ahead, try your hand at determining which is the real deal—and, at the risk of projecting too much confidence, I suggest you have your siren whistle rings at the ready.

Ah-ha! Not so easy, is it? No doubt those are a much more familiar sight to today’s consumer. Every dummy drumstick we sell will be putting laughs on the dinner table.

Yes, yes, I hear you flipping your groan tube about, Mr. Harrumph. Of course the chickens should squeak. We’re not throwing out what works. They can squeak, they will squeak, they must squeak.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, my friends. I have more changes in store. We need to stop putting snakes in metal cans of mixed nuts because nobody has eaten mixed nuts from a can in decades. We’re already experimenting with bags of Wonderful Pistachios.

I have research on our squirting boutonnieres that shows Gen Z only associates giant, garishly-colored lapel flowers with spraying water. They see the gag coming from a mile away. What they won’t expect are squirting AirPod Pros.

We must change with the times. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We need a joy buzzer that works with fist bumps!

Look, trends come and go. We no longer see a demand for our Poo-Poo Pocketwatch, our Dial-a-Toot Rotary Phone, or The Farting Fedora… I could go on.

Our novelties are only novel until they’re not.

There’s no reason to keep making the rubber chickens of the past when we can be the rubber chickens of the future!