GREATEST APRIL FOOLS DAY JOKES OF ALL TIME
In 1992 National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation program announced that Richard Nixon, in a surprise move, was running for President again. His new campaign slogan was, “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.”
In 1965 BBC TV featured an interview with a professor who had just invented a device called “smellovision.” This miraculous technology allowed viewers to experience directly in their own home aromas produced in the television studio. The professor offered a demonstration by cutting some onions and brewing coffee. A number of viewers called in to confirm that they distinctly experienced these scents as if they were there in the studio with him. Since no aromas were being transmitted, whatever these viewers thought they smelled coming out of their TV sets must be chalked up to the power of suggestion.
In 1996 the Taco Bell Corporation announced that it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell was housed to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a practical joke. Incidentally, Taco Bell also reported as fact that sales increased by $500,000 on April 1st and $600,000 on April 2nd over the prior week’s same day sales.
In 1993 a German radio station announced that officials in Cologne had just passed an unusual new city regulation. Joggers going through the park would be required to pace themselves to go no faster than six mph. Any faster, it was felt, would unnecessarily disturb the squirrels who were in the middle of their mating season.
In 1998 Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a “Left-Handed Whopper” specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, “many others requested their own ‘right handed’ version.”
In Canada, CHEZ FM fooled the listeners one April Fools Day making listeners believe that it was the last day that the treasury would honor all the two-dollar bills still in circulation. The same year they had people going through their change looking for the mysterious two-dollar coins that had mistakenly been minted from real gold.
On 1 April 1957 on BBC’s show Panorama opened with a line about Spring coming early this year, prompting the spaghetti harvest in Switzerland to be early as well. In the normal news manner, spaghetti’s oddly uniform length was explained as the result of years of dedicated cultivation. The report stated that the ravenous spaghetti weevil had been conquered.