We’ve gathered here a collection of some of the more prominent April Fool jokes played on the public in recent years … were you ever fooled by them ? 😀
In 2000 the Daily Mail announced that Esporta Health Clubs had launched an innovative new type of socks which could help people lose weight. Dubbed FatSox, these revolutionary socks could suck body fat out of the feet if they were made to sweat.
In 1997 an email message went round the world announcing that the internet would be shut down for cleaning for twenty-four hours from March 31 until April 2. This cyber-cleaning was said to be essential to clear out the ‘electronic flotsam and jetsam’ that had accumulated in the network and was threatening to block it completely. The cleaning would be done by five very powerful Japanese-built multi-lingual Internet-crawling robots. All dead websites and emails would be purged. During this period, all users were warned to disconnect all devices from the internet. The message supposedly originated from the ‘Interconnected Network Maintenance Staff, Main Branch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’ This joke was an updated version of an old joke that used to be told about the telephone system. For many years, gullible phone customers had been warned that the phone systems would be cleaned on April Fool’s Day. They were cautioned to place plastic bags over the ends of the phone to catch the dust that might be blown out of the phone lines during this period.
In 1980 Soldier magazine reported that the black fur on the bearskin helmets worn by the Irish guards while on duty at Buckingham Palace kept growing and needed to be regularly trimmed. The article quoted a Major Ursa who said: ‘Bears hibernate in the winter and the amazing thing is that in the spring the skins really start to sprout’. An accompanying photo showed guardsmen sitting in an army barbershop having their helmets trimmed. A national newspaper fell for the report and ran it as a straight story.
In 1998 Burger King ran an ad in USA Today saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people with condiments designed to drip out on the right-hand side.
In 1996 the fast-food outlet Taco Bell took out a full-page ad in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to ‘reduce the country’s debt’ and renamed it the ‘Taco Liberty Bell’. When asked about it, the White House press secretary Mike McCurry joined in the prank by saying that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
In 1986 Le Parisien newspaper stunned its readers when it reported that the Eiffel Tower was to be dismantled and reconstructed in the new Euro Disney theme park to the east of Paris.
In 1965 BBC TV featured an interview with a professor who, it was claimed, had just invented a device called ‘smellovision’ which enabled viewers to experience smells from the television studio. The professor proceeded to offer a demonstration by brewing coffee and slicing up some onions. A number of viewers called in claiming that they had experienced these scents as if they were right there in the studio with him.