I’m not great at pulling off April Fool’s Day Pranks. I’m the kind of person who starts laughing before I deliver the punch line of jokes. On the other hand, I am the sort of person who thoroughly enjoys a practical joke or two, especially when I’m not the only sucker. That being said, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best April Fools Jokes that have been pulled by the media. I mean, think about it– the power the media has over us and what we believe in incredible. Case in point: The War of the Worlds broadcast. A simple radio show sounded so real that people were running for their lives. I’m sure there’s a good media/psychology study somewhere in there, but this post is all about the fun. Enjoy!
1. YouTube is turned upside-down
- In 2009, the whole YouTube website did an 180. The text, the videos, the everything– completely upside down. I can only imagine how trippy David Goes to the Dentist was then.
2. Nixon ’92
- How on earth the broadcaster managed to do this without breaking into giggles is beyond me, but in 1992 NPR announced that former president Richard Nixon would be running for President…again. The radio station even had sound clips of his supposed announcement, featuring his new slogan: “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.”
3. Burger King caters to Lefties
- In 1998, Burger King dished out the money to buy a full-page color ad in USA Today, announcing their latest addition to the menu: the Left-handed whopper. So what would be different about this lefty-friendly burger? The ingredients would remain the same, the ad proclaimed, but the condiments would be rotated a complete 180 degrees. The results? The fast-food restaurant reports that they received plenty of “left-handed” orders, as well as requests for the typical “right-handed” whopper.
- In 2009, the British newspaper, The Guardian, announced that they were giving up the ink and going completely viral. Their website of choice? Twitter. The newspaper claimed that they would be tweeting all of the articles in the 144 character format that Twitter is so well-known for. I can only imagine how well that would go…Then again, maybe more people would subscribe to “newspapers.”
5. The BBC predicts a bountiful spaghetti crop for the Swiss
- Picture this: It’s 1957 and your turning on your brand new television (or should I say telly?), when the BBC reports that the weather conditions are ideal for the Swiss spaghetti season. The report is followed by the discussion of the dreaded spaghetti weevil and accompanied by a picture of people pulling spaghetti off large trees– what else were people supposed to think? I mean, where else could spaghetti possibly come from? Several eager viewers even called in to find out how to grow spaghetti of their own.
6. YouTube RickRoll’d the World
- By now, all of us have heard Rick Astley’s classic “Never going to give you up.” Often, we have heard this song in a video when we were expecting something else. This phenomenon has been scientifically dubbed “RickRoll’ing.” In 2008, YouTube, as the ever clever pranksters they are, RickRoll’d the world. Each and every video on their site led to Astley’s cheesy 80s performance of his cheesy 80s song. Touche, YouTube.
Honestly, I could go on for hours with all the fabulous pranks that the media has pulled on us, their sometimes dimwitted audience. Instead, I’ve included some links below for you to check out and enjoy. So good luck this April Fools, either in your own pranking or in being pranked.
For more great media pranks, check out these links: