Greatest April Fools' Day Gags of All Time
April Fools' Day ain't what it used to be.
Companies will come up with gags. Everybody will have a good laugh, but nobody will be fooled.
Oh, for the days when April Fools' Day hoaxes and pranks could cause lines outside liquor stores or prompt people to smell their TVs or choke telephone lines with complaints to the National Park Service.
Well, to prepare you for this day of trickery, here are 5 of the best April Fools' pranks in history, brought to you from all of us at Anderson Behel, a company that will never fool around with your car.
- Pasta grows on trees
On April 1, 1957, the BBC TV show "Panorama" ran a segment about the Swiss spaghetti harvest enjoying a "bumper year" thanks to mild weather and the elimination of the spaghetti weevil. Many credulous Britons were taken in, and why not? The story was on television -- then a relatively new invention -- and Auntie Beeb would never lie, would it?
The story was ranked the No. 1 April Fools' hoax of all time by the Museum of Hoaxes website -- a fine source for all things foolish.
- The fastest pitcher of all time
George Plimpton, always a wry writer, invented the tale of Mets pitcher Siddhartha "Sidd" Finch for Sports Illustrated. The story about Finch, who could throw 168 miles per hour, ran in the magazine's April 1, 1985, issue, and eagle-eyed readers caught on immediately: The first letters in the words of the story's secondary headline spelled out "Happy April Fools' Day." But others wondered whether the Mets had added another fireballer to their top-notch staff.
Plimpton later turned the story into a novel.
- Left-handed toilet paper
Why should right-handers be closer to cleanliness? In 2015, Cottonelle tweeted that it was introducing left-handed toilet paper for all those southpaws out there.
The joke followed a 1998 stunt by Burger King about its new "Left-handed Whopper."
Few people may have been taken in by Cottonelle, but that wasn't the case in 1973, when Johnny Carson cracked a joke about a toilet paper shortage. Worried Americans immediately stocked up. Well, you can never be too sure.
- The Taco Liberty Bell
In this now-classic 1996 prank, Taco Bell took out newspaper ads saying it had bought the Liberty Bell "in an effort to help the national debt." Even some senators were taken in, and the National Park Service even held a press conference to deny the news. At noon, the fast-food chain admitted the joke and said it was donating $50,000 for the landmark bell's care. The value of the joke, of course, was priceless.
- Big Ben goes digital
The Brits are masters of April Fools' gags, and in 1980, the BBC's overseas service said the iconic clock tower was getting an update. The joke did not go over well, and the BBC apologized. That hasn't stopped it from popping up again in the digital era, however.
About Anderson Behel
With today’s sophisticated cars, it’s more important than ever that your body shop be certified to repair your type of vehicle. At Anderson Behel, Silicon Valley’s leading collision repair company, we’re proud to hold several certifications, which means we’re a Honda Certified Body Shop, Acura Authorized Body Shop, Nissan Authorized Body Shop, Subaru Auto Body Shop a Porsche Collision Center and most recently a Volvo certified shop. What does this mean? At Anderson Behel, we’ve invested in the finest training, equipment and tools to do an O.E. repair on each and every Honda, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Nissan and Subaru that comes into our shop. Why not work with a body shop that is qualified, experienced and certified by the carmaker itself to work on your car? It just makes good sense and that’s why we proudly tell the world that we’re certified on some of the world's finest vehicles.