It’s that time again, and we’re sure plenty of you have got something sneaky lined up for your friends and workmates…managers, beware!
Whilst you may not be able to re-create these genius pranks on such an epic scale, we definitely think they’re worthy of remembering. Here are some of our favourite classic April Fools pranks…
UFO Landing in London
In 1989, the M25 ground to a halt as thousands of London motorists were stunned and alarmed to see a UFO – complete with blinking strobe lighting – flying low, during their 4am commute. By the time the UFO made its decent over a Surrey field, both the Police and the army had been alerted to its presence. As the ‘UFO’ made its landing, it was surrounded by hesitant police…Sir Richard Branson – the mastermind behind the prank – commented that they “sent one lone policeman with his truncheon across the field to greet the alien.”…as the door slowly opened, the terrified policeman was then greeted by billowing dry ice and a dwarf dressed in an ET outfit! Needless to say, he turned and fled!
BBC’s ‘Miracle of Evolution’
On 31st March 2008, the BBC released documentary footage showing ‘evidence’ of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. The film, narrated by Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame), features the extraordinary evolution of the Adélie penguin, as it (re-)discovers the ability to fly – a survival adaptation in response to the extreme Arctic winters. The film even gained such notoriety, that by the following morning, the BBC’s unprecedented discovery had made front page news on both the The Daily Mirror and The Daily Telegraph. However, the game was soon up, when people began to realise that the film maker who made the discovery – Prof Alid Loyas – was in fact an anagram of April Fools Day. Genius.
YouTube “Rick Rolled” the internet
In 2007, the internet sensation of Rick Rolling swept the world. Rick Rolling is in an internet ‘Bait and switch’ meme, whereby a person is tricked into clicking a link which they believe to be something else, and are sent straight to a clip of Rick Astley singing ‘Never Gonna Give You Up”. On the 1st April 2008, YouTube took the prank to the ultimate level, redirected EVERY video on it’s homepage to the clip…due to YouTube’s huge audience, it essentially Rick Rolled the entire internet!
Back in 1998, Burger King printed a full page advert in the US newspaper USA Today to announce the release of their new burger – the “Left Handed Whopper”, which was designed specifically with the 32 million left-handed Americans in mind. According to the advertisement, the burger included all of the same ingredients as the original “Whopper”, but rotated by 180 degrees, to ensure optimum weight distribution, and less spillage of the salad ingredients. According to a press release the following day, thousands of customers had requested the burgers in stores across the country, and many had actually requested the ‘right handed version’!
The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
Of course, we couldn’t exclude the best known public prank to date… The Spaghetti Harvest – a classic news broadcast by the respected BBC. In 1957, the news show ‘Panorama’ reported that due to a very mild winter and the close elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were reaping the benefits of their spaghetti crop. The announcement featured footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti from trees. The BBC received an influx of calls from watchers demanding to know how they could too grow their own spaghetti tree, to which the BBC replied ‘Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best’. The show certainly proved that “there’s nothing like real home-grown spaghetti!
Of course the internet is full of hilarious prank ideas, so if you’re thinking small scale…I’m sure there will be something do-able which will make you chuckle…just don’t be too cruel!