Apr 9, 2011

Notable pranks and hoaxes of Fool's Day...

One of the great media hoaxes of all time was perpetrated on April 1, 1957 by the BBC, which reported on its news program Panorama that Switzerland was experiencing a bumper spaghetti harvest that year thanks to favorable weather and the elimination of the dread "spaghetti weevil." Staged video footage showing happy peasants plucking strands of pasta from tall trees was so convincing that many viewers actually called the network to ask how they could grow their own.

Some of the best-known pranks in recent years were mounted by advertising agencies. In 1996, Taco Bell ran a full-page ad in the New York Times announcing it had purchased the Liberty Bell and would rename it the "Taco Liberty Bell." Burger King pulled off a similar prank in 1998, announcing the rollout of its "Left-Handed Whopper" supposedly designed so that condiments would drip from the right side of the burger rather than the left.

On the Internet hoaxes have become such standard fare that April Fools' Day is barely distinguishable from any other, though a few notable pranks stand out and tend to be reposted year after year -- e.g., the 1996 announcement that every computer connected to the World Wide Web must be turned off for Internet Cleaning Day, a 24-hour period during which useless "flotsam and jetsam" are flushed from the system.

No Response to "Notable pranks and hoaxes of Fool's Day..."

Post a Comment