These well known and documented April Fool’s pranks will give you a chuckle.
- Alabama Changes the Value of Pi: The April 1998 newsletter of New Mexicans for Science and Reason contained an article written by physicist Mark Boslough claiming that the Alabama Legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi to the “Biblical value” of 3.0. This claim originally appeared as a news story in the 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.
- Taco Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to “reduce the country’s debt” and renamed it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
- Free concert: Radio station 98.1 KISS in Chattanooga, Tennessee falsely announced in 2003 that rapper Eminem would be doing a free show in a discount store parking lot. Several police were needed to deal with traffic gridlock and enraged listeners who threatened to harm the DJs responsible. Both DJs were later jailed for creating a public nuisance. Also, radio station WAAF 107.3 in Boston announced that Pearl Jam was having a free concert in a fictitious city in New Hampshire. A gas station in New Hampshire reported that several streams of car drivers stopped in asking for directions to the fictional town.
- Left Handed Whoppers: In 1998, Burger King ran an ad in USA Today, saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people whose condiments were designed to drip out of the right side. Not only did customers order the new burgers, but some specifically requested the “old”, right-handed burger.
- As part of an April Fools’ joke on April 1, 1997, Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak switched hosting duties. Pat hosted Jeopardy! that day and Alex hosted Wheel of Fortune where Sajak and Vanna White played as contestants. Jeopardy! announcer Johnny Gilbert did double duties that day.
- Smell-o-vision: In 1965, the BBC purported to conduct a trial of a new technology allowing the transmission of odor over the airwaves to all viewers. Many viewers reportedly contacted the BBC to report the trial’s success. This hoax was also conducted by the Seven Network in Australia in 2005. In 2007, the BBC website repeated an online version of the hoax.
- Tower of Pisa: The Dutch television news reported once in the 1950s that the Tower of Pisa had fallen over. Many shocked people contacted the station.
- The Canadian news site bourque.org announced in 2002 that Finance Minister Paul Martin had resigned “in order to breed prize Charolais cattle and handsome Fawn Runner ducks.”
🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂