Home > Humor/Satire > April Fools Pranks- Past and Present

April Fools Pranks- Past and Present

(Photo courtesy Aprilfoolideas.com)


Monitoring the World Wide Web much like NORAD watches out for incoming missiles- here’s a brief report on April Fools pranks pulled today…plus a couple of the best pranks of all time. 

Techcrunch is doing a very nice job cataloguing their end of the world.  My favorites for April 1, 2011:

 In a move sure to irk at least the two or three people who work for The New York Times, The Huffington Post has erected a paywall that applies only to NYT employees.


The Irish Airline, Ryanair has announced it’s now offering child-free flights: “When it comes to children we all love our own but would clearly prefer to avoid other people’s little monsters when travelling.”


And yet another anti-family fake announcement:


Newslite is breaking the news that Facebook will soon be rolling out wedding and baby filters, so that users can turn off the incessant chatter of their friends droning on endlessly about upcoming weddings as well as births and all baby-related content. The social network also expects to soon begin preventing all individuals from uploading pictures of their children to use as their profile images. With these updates rolling out, Facebook expects to hit the 1 billion user mark within weeks.

And those crazy kidders over at Google have arranged it so when you google “Helvetica” the entry is written in all Sans Comical.

Of course when it comes to April Fools printing humor…nothing beats the British newspaper, The Guardian.  This is courtesy of Musuemofhoaxes.com which has an elaborate list of the top 100 April Fool’s jokes of all time.

#5: San Serriffe

1977: The British newspaper The Guardian published a special seven-page supplement devoted to San Serriffe, a small republic said to consist of several semi-colon-shaped islands located in the Indian Ocean. A series of articles affectionately described the geography and culture of this obscure nation. Its two main islands were named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. Its capital was Bodoni, and its leader was General Pica. The Guardian‘s phones rang all day as readers sought more information about the idyllic holiday spot. Only a few noticed that everything about the island was named after printer’s terminology. The success of this hoax is widely credited with launching the enthusiasm for April Foolery that gripped the British tabloids in subsequent decades.

And of course…the number one April Fools prank of all time which came to us from the BBC:

#1: The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest

1957: The respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

And finally, a prank you wouldn’t wanted to pull off today in the super-heated partisan environment in Madison, Wisconsin where the Governor, lawmakers and public employee unions have been at war for the past couple of months.  But, apparently, this was pretty funny back in 1933 (from Dhgate.com):


…The “Madison Capital-Times” announced that the capitol building had collapsed after a series of strange explosions that they attributed to “large quantities of gas, generated through many weeks of verbose debate in the Senate and Assembly chambers.”

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