April Fool's Day Content
April Fool's Day Content
April Fool Categories
April Fool: Recurring Pranks
April Fool: Regions
April Fool: Perpetrators
April Fool's Day Archive, Contents:
|Before 1900:||Origin of April Fool's Day | 1700-1799 | 1800-1899|
|Early 1900s:||1900 | 1901 | 1915 | 1919 | 1920 | 1923 | 1925|
|1930s & 40s:||1933 | 1934 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1940 | 1949|
|1950s & 60s:||1950 | 1957 | 1959 | 1960 | 1962 | 1965 | 1969|
|1970s:||1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979|
|1980s:||1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989|
|1990s:||1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999|
|2000s:||2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009|
|2010s:||2010 | 2011|
Magazines and Journals
Magazines and Journals
Econoland (2009)The Economist magazine announced it would be building a new theme park on a former industrial estate in East London:
Car and Driver Magazine revealed that the White House had ordered that "GM and Chrysler must cease participation in NASCAR at the end of the 2009 season if they hope to receive any additional financial aid from the government." The White House was said to have released the following statement: "In order to receive this money, corporations must demonstrate they will spend it wisely. Racing has been said to improve on-road technology, but frankly, NASCAR almost flaunts its standing among the lowest-tech forms of motorsport. NASCAR is not proven to drive advancements that transfer from the racetrack to the road, and this nation’s way forward does not hinge on decades-old technology. We need new, and we need innovation.” NASCAR was said to be exploring other options, such as inviting Korea's Hyundai corporation to compete in GM and Chrysler's place.
Ocean Youth Association (2009)Yachting Monthly inserted a joke item in its April issue about the Ocean Youth Association, an organization that supposedly allowed children to compete in wold sailing stunts. What Yachting Monthly didn't realize is that the name of their fictitious organization was similar to the names of several real organizations, Ocean Youth Trust and the Association of Sail Training Organisations, both of which subsequently began to receive inquiries from people seeking clarification about the Yachting Monthly article.
Pick Your Own Cow (2007)
Motive magazine ran an article about a new program from Lamborghini allowing owners to pick specific cows with which to outfit their cars' leather interior.
Migrant Mother Makeover (2005)Popular Photography Magazine ran a special feature on how to touch up photos in which subjects have unsightly wrinkles or unattractive expressions. "Can these photos be saved?" the article asked. One of the examples used was Dorothea Lange's famous Depression-era photo of a "Migrant Mother" huddling with her children in a roadside camp outside Nipomo, California.
Under the masterful touch of Popular Photography editors, the Migrant Mother was transformed from an iconic symbol of the struggle for survival into a smooth-faced suburban soccer mom. Her wrinkles were erased, her gaze softened, and the poverty-stricken kids removed. Readers were appalled. The editors later noted that the article "generated more responses than anything we've done in years… Most of our readers got the joke. But many didn't. We received hundreds—yes, HUNDREDS—of rants, hate letters, and excommunication threats."
The bicycle magazine VeloNews revealed the shocking truth behind the Tour de France: The fields of sunflowers lining the tour's route were the result of a secret program of genetic manipulation designed to produce flowers that would exactly match the color of the yellow jersey of the Tour de France. Unfortunately, these genetically engineered sunflowers were also prone to fungal infection. Those concerned were "embarking on a nationwide campaign to warn farmers about the risks involved in accepting cash, seeds or other considerations to plant flowers along the route of this year's Tour."
Nature.com reported a startling discovery made by astronomers. The increasing force of trade winds had slightly accelerated the spin of the Earth. As a consequence the length of the day had decreased over the past century, meaning that the calendar was now inaccurate: "Just as February has an extra day in leap years, we conclude that March ought to have 30 days once every 100 years, not 31… If we start the adjustments this year we should be back on track." In other words, "today should be 2 April, not 1 April."
Maxim magazine chose National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice as its "Girlfriend of the Day."
The girl next door: "I always say to [the President], 'This is what I think, but let me tell you what the others think.' The key is to not take advantage of the fact that I live a few doors down from the Oval Office."
Where you've seen her: Lighting up the small screen and the press in her current role as President George W. Bush's sassy national security adviser. Look for her soon, when she will be making her hotly anticipated debut before the 9/11 commission.
Greatest Cities Prank (2002)
Maxim magazine printed multiple covers for its April 2002 issue, simultaneously declaring thirteen different American cities (including Detroit, Philadelpia, New York, and Miami) to be the "Greatest City on Earth." Readers in each city received an appropriately targeted issue of the magazine. In addition to the cover, the issue also included two pages listing the benefits of the cover city and disparaging the other cities. For instance, Philadelphia readers were told about their collective toughness and the Ivy League "hotties" at the University of Pennsylvania. However, readers in other cities were told that Philadelphia was merely a "glorified . . . [bathroom] break between New York and Washington, populated by larded pretzel-munchers and 'half-wits' who dress up as the Founding Fathers." However, some of the New York cover issues were "accidentally" sent to Philadelphia, thus revealing the joke.
Supreme Court Dress Code (2001)A special edition of the Denver Bar Association's newsletter, The Docket, described a new dress code adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court. Male attorneys would be required to wear blue blazers with a Colorado state seal displayed on the pocket, while female lawyers would have to wear plaid skirts. The Docket received five calls from lawyers concerned about this new dress code.
The Romanian edition of Playboy published an article titled "How to beat your wife without leaving a trace." Written from the point of view of a policeman, it offered a step-by-step guide to concealable abuse, suggesting that abuse could lead to a better sex life.
Deputy editor Mihai Galatanu later insisted the article had been an April Fool's joke, and that the abuse methods described "cannot work." Nevertheless, the article generated widespread condemnation. Women marched through central Bucharest in protest.
Playboy Enterprises chairman Christie Hefner soon issued an apology and reprimanded the Romanian chief editor.
Freewheelz (2000)Esquire introduced its readers to an exciting new company called Freewheelz in an article titled "There Are No Free Wheels." Freewheelz apparently planned to provide drivers with free cars. In exchange, the lucky drivers had to agree both to the placement of large advertisements on the outside of the vehicle and to the streaming of advertisements on the radio inside the car. Prospective drivers also had to submit to a screening process, which required them to submit stool samples and notarized video-store-rental receipts. The article was actually a satire of the much-touted “new economy” spawned by the internet. Attentive readers would have caught on to the joke if they had noticed that Freewheelz’s official rollout on the web was slated to occur on April 1. However, readers who did not notice this barraged the offices of Esquire magazine with phone calls, demanding to know how they could sign up to drive a Stayfresh minivan.
Telepathic E-Mail (1999)Red Herring Magazine ran an article profiling a revolutionary new internet technology called Orecchio (Italian for "ear"). This technology used the TIDE communications protocol (short for "Telepathic Internet Data Exchange") to allow users to compose and send e-mail telepathically. To e-mail telepathically users would wear a device nestled between their ear and skull. The company developing this device was Tidal Wave Communications, led by Yuri Maldini, a computer genius from Estonia. Adding credibility to the story was a reference to some real research at Emory University in which researchers had allowed a paralyzed man to move a cursor across a computer screen by implanting a device in his brain. Mr. Maldini, who had once been employed by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, claimed that he had developed the idea for Orecchio from the encrypted communications systems he had put in place during the Gulf War and the conflict in Somalia. Nevertheless, despite the revolutionary potential of telepathic e-mail, skeptics abounded. Clarence Madison, managing partner of New World Associates, was quoted as saying, "I know crap when I see it. This is crap." Ignoring such critics, Mr. Maldini was pressing ahead with his plans to commercialize Orecchio. He even was anticipating future features such as telepathic web browsers and word processors and the ability to receive e-mail telepathically as well as send it.
At the end of the Red Herring article the reporter recalled a moment when he asked Mr. Maldini how big the market for such a product might be: "Mr. Maldini falls silent. He stares vacantly for several moments out his office window and then says, 'I just sent you an email with my answer.' Upon returning to our office, we find the response waiting: 'It's going to be huge,' reads the email. 'Simply huge.'" Red Herring received numerous letters from readers admitting they had been fooled by the article.
Smaugia Volans (1999)
The scientific journal Nature, in its online edition, revealed the discovery of "a near-complete skeleton of a theropod dinosaur in North Dakota." The discovery was referred to in an article by Henry Gee discussing the palaeontological debate over the origin of birds. The dinosaur skeleton had reportedly been discovered by Randy Sepulchrave of the Museum of the University of Southern North Dakota. The exciting part of the discovery, according to the article, was that "The researchers believe that the dinosaur, now named as Smaugia volans, could have flown." In actuality, the University of Southern North Dakota does not exist; Smaug was the name of the dragon in Tolkein's The Hobbit; and Sepulchrave was the name of the 76th Earl of Groan in Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan. This Earl, believing that he was an owl, leapt to his death from a high tower, discovering too late that he could not fly.
The Discovery of the Bigon (1996)
Discover Magazine reported that physicists had discovered a new fundamental particle of matter, dubbed the Bigon. It could only be coaxed into existence for mere millionths of a second, but amazingly, when it did materialize it was the size of a bowling ball. Physicist Albert Manque and his colleagues accidentally found the particle when a computer connected to one of their vacuum-tube experiments exploded. Video analysis of the explosion revealed the Bigon hovering over the computer for a fraction of a second. Manque theorized that the Bigon might be responsible for a host of other unexplained phenomena such as ball lightning, sinking souffles, and spontaneous human combustion. Discover received huge amounts of mail in response to the story.