Pranks, Practical Jokes, and April Fools

The history of April Fools Day and other mischievous occasions, famous pranks gone wrong, practical jokes in the news and in comics, cartoons, movies and video games.

Music: “Just Kiddin’ Around”  by Artie Shaw




17 Responses

  1. Toren will have expected this reply.


    Despite the obvious studio notes in the pilot (Be more like Tim Burton’s Batman – Danny Elfman even did the theme song), the show is quite enjoyable. I own the entire series and will happily lend it out should Kevin ever acquire good taste.

    From what I have read in various articles, the show could have a seen a second series if wasn’t so expensive to make. It didn’t help that it had to compete against a still funny Simpson in the ratings. The show’s main writers featured Howard Chaykin for crying out loud!

    I would also like to point out that the Trickster is NOT a Joker rip off. First, the Trickster relies on his various gadgets and constantly uses them. The Joker does not. Second, the Trickster is a thief more likely to pull off a bank heist than murder someone for kicks. Third, he’s campy as all get out. Still. The Joker had to be campy due to the comics code. He’s not any more.

    The current run of the Flash is quite good. In fact the current episode features the new Trickster. Check it out. It’s worth it.

  2. With regard to the Australian radio hosts, the coverage in Australia was ultimately pretty supportive of them – not that the prank was especially condoned but that they shouldn’t be blamed for the poor nurse’s death and that it was entirely unforeseeable. They took themselves off air and I think they were genuinely really upset about the whole affair. The interview they did was, due to their station’s contractual obligations, on one of the horribly sensationalist current affair shows (cf CNN as Kevin said), so if they looked like they were crying crocodile tears it’s because of the show’s editing – the weren’t allowed to speak to any other stations.

    The big issue from the Australian perspective is that it came off the back of another series of radio scandals caused by another radio host, Kyle Sandilands, who you may have heard of as “The Biggest Dickhead in the Southern Hemisphere” (doing his best to take the mantle from Alan Jones, who told his listeners that the Prime Minister’s father died of shame of how she was running the country), and a lot of calls for more regulation of the industry. Kyle decided to ask a minor (13-14yo) about her sexual experiences on live air (accompanied by the poor thing’s mother, mind you!), and when she finally confessed to having been raped the previous year, he asked her if that was it. He spent a few weeks off air for that, but that was only because massive socmed campaigns forced advertisers to pull their ads from the shows. He followed this up a few months later with a 6am rant against a female journo who’d given his one-show-only TV show a poor review, saying he was going to hunt her down like the dog she was, or words to that effect. Another campaign forced advertisers to leave the station again, but the guy is still on air. Advertisers simply often simply moved their sponsorship to different shows on the same station, and after a few weeks people here forget and they can return to sponsoring the guy again.

    Sorry for the rant, it’s one of the things that bugs me most: bastards with huge audiences that spout bile and misinformation (see Alan Jones) to further their agenda without any oversight, under the guise of freedom of the press. The communications minister tried to bring in reforms the other week to create a body that could actually enforce any rulings of the media’s self-regulatory complaints board but was howled down by the Opposition and portrayed by one paper as equivalent to Stalin, Kim Jong Il, Ahmadinejad, and Mao Ze Dung (sp?).

    Okay, finished now. Great ep guys. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to you make each other laugh. I just thought I’d add a little context for the Aussie radio issue.

  3. My coworker told my lab his wife was having a baby yesterday, on April Fool’s. Nobody believed him until he brought out the video of his wife having an ultrasound. (He’d forgotten it was April Fool’s).

    Regular Show is apparently at least partially based on a short JG Quintell animated in film school about two dudes in a gas station on an acid trip.

  4. One of my favorite childhood tv shows was The Adventures of Pete and Pete, which I’m happy to say I find just as entertaining now as an adult as I did as a kid. In the episode “Apocalypse Pete” in season 1, the Wrigley family engage in a prank war with neighborhood father Mr. Hickle, played by Steve Buscemi.

  5. your safe word is, “no duff”
    then even people who don’t know it’s the safe word, will know it’s the safe word

  6. Walter Koenig left Star Trek TOS (or was largely written out) before it was cancelled. The animated series explained it as a transfer for Chekov. Not only did Chekov not appear in the animated series, but he never appeared in Space Seed with Khan, yet Khan still ‘recognises’ Chekov in Wrath f Khan.

  7. I reckon the best prank gone wrong I’ve heard of was on Radiolab ( The, I think, head of local radio in Quito, Equador decided to play the War of the Worlds radio show in the same way it as by Orson Welles in the US and a lot of people thought it was real. The Army got called out, people rioted and burned down the radio station and the local newspaper (perhaps this was a small town, and not Quito itself) and the guy who came up with the prank died in the fires.

    I might have got some of the details wrong, but it’s a great yarn and well worth the listen. 🙂

  8. Just realised, no Rickroll? Wasted opportunity! 😉

    Btw, am I the only one who wondered at the mechanics of how to get a live (or dead) eel up a drunk’s backside?