April Fools Day is right here, which means you’re probably looking for that perfect April Fools Day prank or LOLing at one you just made. Here are some of the coolest, best April Fools Day pranks that have ever gone down.
Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
On April Fools Day in 1957 “Panorama”, a news show on BBC aired footage of Swiss “Spaghetti Farmers” picking spaghetti from trees. The fake footage was aired as a joke, but viewers called in to find out how they could grow their own spaghetti trees. Instead of coming clean, the BBC cheekily replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
Richard Nixon Runs Again
In 1992 NPR’s “Talk of The Nation” show pulled off a pretty impressive prank, they convinced their listeners that RIchard Nixon planned on running for president again. After announcing that Nixon planned to run, the host aired clips from a speech by “Nixon” (recorded by impressionist RIch Little) that included his new campaign slogan. “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.” NPR was flooded with calls from outraged listeners who wanted to declare their stance against the faux-candidate.
Youtube Rickrolls Everyone
All over the internet links were being posted that claimed to be something else, but actually lead to the music video for RIck Astley’s hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” This act was known as Rickrolling and Youtube took it to a whole other level on April Fool’s Day 2008. Youtube made every featured video on their site a link to RIck Astley’s famously cheesy music video.
The Taco Liberty Bell
Taco Bell attempted a different kind of advertising for April Fool’s Day 1996 when they purchased full page ads in seven major newspapers across the U.S. In these ads Taco Bell announced that they had purchased the Liberty Bell and were renaming it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” They claimed that the purchase was to “help alleviate national debt.” Thousands of people picked up their phones and protested until Taco Bell revealed the hoax at noon that day. It is believed that Taco Bell’s strategy paid off and earned them millions of dollars in free publicity.
The April 1st 1998 edition of the USA Today featured a full page ad by Burger King announcing the creation of their latest twist on their most popular sandwich, The Left Handed Whopper. The ad stated that the condiments on the burger were rotated 180 degrees for easier consumption by people who were left handed. The following day Burger King released a press release that confirmed that the Left-Handed Whopper was not real and that thousands of people went into various Burger Kings asking for both left and right-handed Whoppers.
The first time Google pulled a prank on it’s faithful users was for April Fool’s Day in 2000. Google announced it’s new “Mentalplex Technology” which claimed to be able to read a user’s mind so they didn’t have to enter their search query. A person using “Mentalplex” would have to stare at a revolving shape and then would be treated to a Google Results page for “April Fool’s Day”. This was the first time Google surprised it’s users and it certainly wasn’t the last. There is an entire Wikipedia article dedicated to Google’s various hoaxes.
BBC’s ‘Flying Penguins’
The Daily Mirror and Telegraph both fell for this bogus documentary discovery on the BBC that was described as Darwin’s theory of evolution working in reverse: Flying Penguins! You would think ex-Monty Python player Terry Jones would tip people off that it was a joke, but alas. It was a great prank! (Thanks Ian V!)
Alabama Changes The Value Of Pi
The “New Mexicans for Science and Reason” newsletter played a huge prank on its number crunching readers. For their April 1998 issue, the newsletter ran an article claiming that Alabama State legislature had legally changed the value of Pi from 3.141 to the more biblically important 3. This article spread like wildfire and was reported by other news outlets. The result was Alabama’s State Legislature being flooded with phone calls in protest of a law that they weren’t even aware of. The perpetrator of the prank was physicist Mark Boslough. Who knew that a physicist could be such a prankster?
Big Ben Goes Digital
1980: The BBC reported that Big Ben, in order to keep up with the times, was going to be given a digital readout. The announcement received a huge response from listeners shocked and angered by the proposed change. The BBC Japanese service also announced that the clock hands would be sold to the first four listeners to contact them. One Japanese seaman in the mid-Atlantic immediately radioed in a bid.
And finally the why of the tittle enjoy :).
In 1999 the Singapore Straits Times reported that a 17-year-old high school student had one-upped all the major software corporations of the world by creating a small computer program that would easily solve the Y2K bug. The camera-shy C student had supposedly devised the program in twenty-nine minutes while solving an algebra problem for his homework. His family and a technology consulting group were reportedly forming a joint venture named ‘Polo Flair’ in order to commercialize the discovery. They anticipated achieving revenues of $50 million by the end of the year. Numerous journalists and computer specialists contacted the Straits Times, seeking more information about the boy genius and his Y2K cure. One journalist even wanted to know if the boy would be willing to appear on TV, despite the fact that he was camera shy. Unfortunately the boy and his ingenious program didn’t exist. Quick-witted readers would have noticed that ‘Polo Flair’ was an anagram for ‘April Fool.’
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