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|
American April Fool's Day Hoaxes
American April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Sidd Finch (1985)Sports Illustrated published an article about the Mets’s new rookie pitcher, Sidd Finch (short for Siddhartha Finch). He could reportedly throw a ball with startling, pinpoint accuracy at 168 mph. Sidd Finch had never played baseball before. Instead he had mastered the “art of the pitch” in a Tibetan monastery under the guidance of the “great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa.“ Mets fans celebrated their teams good luck and flooded Sports Illustrated with requests for more information. In reality, this legendary player sprang from the imagination of George Plimpton. (For more information, see the Sidd Finch article in the Hoaxipedia.)
Soybean Computer Disks (1985)Byte Magazine featured a section called "What's Not," instead of its usual "What's Hot" section. Included were technological gadgets such as computer disks made of soybeans:
The MacKnifer (1985)Byte magazine also described a new product called the MacKnifer:
Byte later received a call from a USA Today reporter inquiring about the Transporter.
The Tell-All Judge (1985)Former Municipal Court Judge Lewis Wenzell sent an anonymous letter to San Diego Union-Tribune writer, Neil Morgan, describing a book he was supposedly about to publish detailing the seamy, behind-the-scenes lifestyle of San Diego's judiciary. According to the anonymous letter, the book described bitter feuds between judges, sexual relationships between a married judge and a clerk, and after-court pot parties in a judge's chambers. Morgan fell for the bait and printed an article, which he titled 'The Trash Pile,' detailing the sordid revelations. In the article he frequently referred to the book as if he had seen it himself. San Diego judges were outraged by the accusations, and were not much happier when they learned that they were victims of an elaborate prank. Morgan later claimed that he had attempted to phone Wenzell to verify the story, but Wenzell denied that he had ever received a call.
The New York City Packers (1985)New York City Controller Harrison Golden called a news conference at which he announced that the city was purchasing the professional football team, the Green Bay Packers. City retirement funds would be used to make the purchase, and the Packers would replace the Giants and the Jets. Reporters had already phoned the story into the New York Post and Daily News when a press representative in Golden's office announced that the news was an April Fool's day joke. The Post complained that they had almost put the story on their front page, a mistake which would have cost them $100,000 to correct.
School For Sale (1985)The students of Newtonbrook Secondary School in Canada placed an ad in a local newspaper putting their school up for sale. The ad read: "For Sale—106-room mansion, 5 1/2 acres of well-kept grounds in the heart of Willowdale. $1 million." According to the principal, Richard Frise, the school's secretaries answered a number of calls from interested buyers before they realized what had happened.
The Tasmanian Mock Walrus (1984)
Daylight Savings Contest (1984)The Eldorado Daily Journal, an Illinois paper, announced a contest to see who could save the most daylight for daylight savings time. The rules of the contest were simple: beginning with the first day of daylight savings time, contestants would be required to save daylight. Whoever succeeded in saving the most daylight would win. Only pure daylight would be allowed—no dawn or twilight light, though light from cloudy days would be allowed. Moonlight was strictly forbidden. Light could be stored in any container. The contest received a huge, nationwide response. The paper's editor was interviewed by correspondents from CBS and NBC and was featured in papers throughout the country.
The Durand Auto Plant (1984)The Durand Express, a Michigan weekly, reported that Nissan would built an auto plant outside of Durand City. The new plant would reportedly employ thousands and pay higher wages than the nearby General Motors plant. Furthermore, Nissan would pay farmers $10,000 an acre for the land on which the plant was to be built. Many unemployed auto workers believed the story and inquired about how to apply for jobs at the plant. However, the story was exposed as a fake by a reporter working at a newspaper in Flint, Michigan. Many people responded angrily to the news that the story was a prank and cancelled their subscriptions. The paper’s editor explained that he hadn’t been trying to hurt anyone, and thought that he had exaggerated his story enough to make it unbelievable.
Tingle—The Video (1984)On Cable magazine reported that a huge publicity blitz was being planned around an upcoming Michael Jackson song called "Tingle." The song was said to be three minutes and twelve seconds long, and a video of it would feature Jackson walking out of a boutique and catching fire. Jackson's record company had reportedly also developed a 37-minute promo clip to hype the video, and this promo was, in turn, being developed into a 3-hour film by Paramount. Three video versions of the song would be sold: "Michael Jackson's 'Tingle'" for $39.95; "Making the 'Tingle' Video" for $79.95; and "The Making of 'The Making of the "Tingle" Video'" for $99.95. MTV was going to show the 37-minute promo clip hourly. Parker Brothers would release a board game designed around it. Pepsi would be the official soft drink of the video, and Allstate would sell "exclusive fire insurance" along with the video. At the bottom of the article a note said "On Cable, April Fool, 1984." Nevertheless, two weeks later a reporter for "Breakaway," a syndicated news-magazine program broadcast on 55 television stations around the country, went on the air and reported the "Tingle" story as breaking news, not realizing that the article was a joke. The reporter, in his defense, later explained that he had never read On Cable Magazine, and that he had heard the story instead from "a woman that I know who is a friend of the family."