April 24, 2009 | Mark Paradies

Friday Joke: April Fools Jokes

Our local ASSE section newsletter sent these memorable April Fools Jokes around and I thought I would pass them along…

1957 Spaghetti Trees: The BBC TV program Panorama runs a story proclaiming the eradication of the despised pest, the spaghetti weevil, and showing the Swiss harvesting spaghetti from trees. People contact the BBC wanting to know how to cultivate their own spaghetti trees.

1976 Gravity Experiment: British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore tells listeners of BBC Radio 2 that unique alignment of two planets would result in an upward gravitational pull making people lighter at precisely 9:47 a.m. that day. He invites his audience to jump in the air and experience “a strange floating sensation.” Dozens of listeners phone in to say the experiment worked.

1979 Doggie Driver: The BBC program That’s Life!, which often features talented pets, fools many viewers with its story about an Old English sheepdog that can drive a car.

1985 Fireballing Finch: A George Plimpton article in Sports Illustrated describes a New York Mets prospect named Sidd Finch, who can throw a 168 mph fastball with pinpoint accuracy. This kid, known as “Barefoot” Sidd[hartha] Finch, reportedly learned to pitch in a Buddhist monastery.1988 Lefty Whoppers: Burger King runs an ad in USA Today, saying that left-handed people can now get a specially engineered Whopper sandwich in which the condiments drip out of the right side.

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1996 Taco Liberty Bell: Taco Bell takes out a full-page ad in The New York Times announcing that it has purchased the Liberty Bell to “reduce the country’s debt” and renamed it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replies with tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial has also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.

1998 Opie and Anthony Mayoral Hoax: Local WAAF shock jocks, Opie and Anthony report that Boston mayor Thomas Menino has been killed in a car accident. Menino is on a flight at the time and can’t be reached, lending credence to the prank. The rumor spreads quickly across the city, eventually causing news stations to issue alerts denying the hoax. The pair is fired shortly thereafter, after which they become syndicated and famous.

1999 New Radio Format: Radio station KFOG in San Francisco, claiming new corporate ownership, says it’s switching to a new format – the best 15 seconds of every song. All morning they mix in false calls from perky listeners calling with compliments. In 2006, radio station KOSY in Salt Lake City, Utah, switches to a new format of year-round Christmas music.

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