Greatest April Fools Pranks

Greatest April Fools Pranks, Famous April Fools Jokes, Is there any occasion that people look forward to less than April Fools’ Day?

Christmas perhaps, or Valentine’s Day if you’re single, but aside from the few skilled pranksters among us, we dread the humiliation that April Fools’ Day jokes can bring.

Known in Quebec as “Poisson d’Avril,” it’s a day devoted to playing practical jokes on one another until noon, and similar days are practiced in several cultures. It is similar in form and function to ancient Rome’s Hilaria, a day of merriment that honoured the god Attis. Iranians, too, play pranks on each other during Norouz, the Persian New Year.

Here are a few April Fools’ jokes that have hit right on target over the years.

1. Vancouver City considers underwater bike tunnel (Vancouver Courier)

Now this one was almost cruel. Coming at a time when many Vancouverites were incensed about bike lanes being constructed on busy downtown streets, the Vancouver Courier reported on City Hall’s apparent plans for an underwater bike tunnel to go beneath False Creek, connecting the mainland with the downtown peninsula. Needless to say, Vancouver’s less discerning readers were outraged at what would have been an enormous waste of taxpayer money before they got a little wiser.

2. Sidd Finch (Sports Illustrated)

In 1985, George Plimpton wrote one of the year’s biggest sports stories, about a budding pitcher for the New York Mets who plied his trade at a Tibetan monastery. Hayden (“Sidd”harta) Finch was projected to be baseball’s next big thing, a 28-year-old pitcher who could fastballs at speeds of up to 168 miles per hour. The first letters of the article’s subhead, “He’s a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent life-style, Sidd’s deciding about yoga,” spell out “Happy April Fools’ Day.” Needless to say, Sidd never even got a professional tryout.

3. Jack Layton’s moustache

NDP leader Jack Layton knew how to take a joke. April Fool’s Day 2011 fell during a federal election, and reporters tracking Layton’s campaign were keenly aware of that fact. The CBC’s Rosemary Barton cut up little moustaches for journalists and distributed them prior to a news conference. Here you can see CTV’s Richard Madan struggling to keep a straight face as he poses a question to the NDP leader.

4. Don Cherry to attend Royal Wedding

On the very same day that reporters pranked Jack Layton at a news conference in Sudbury, aggregator service National Newswatch carried a quick hit announcing that Don Cherry would be representing Canada at the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. It’s hard to believe that Cherry would have made it 10 minutes at the Royal Wedding before being thrown out for obnoxious behaviour.

5. Portugal sells Cristiano Ronaldo to pay down its debt

At the height of the Eurozone crisis, the U.K.’s Independent newspaper reported that Portugal had sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Spain in a 160-million-pound transfer deal in order to pay down the country’s debt. The fee, which was double the amount that Real Madrid paid to snatch the star striker from Manchester United, would only put a dent in Portugal’s 21-billion-pound debt. There was precedent for the deal, however. Argentinian footballer Alfredo di Stefano had many years before moved from Argentina to Spain to play for Real Madrid, and took Spanish citizenship when he arrived there, thus allowing him to play for the country’s national team. The Independent went to say that English Prime Minister David Cameron was lining up a 200-million-pound offer for the striker, but that too has failed to materialize, and Ronaldo will play for Portugal in the Euro Cup this June.

6. Terrance and Phillip

The world was introduced to two of South Park’s most famous characters by way of an April Fool’s Day joke. In April of 2008, the previous week’s episode promised (somewhat) that hte next week’s episode would reveal who Eric Cartman’s mother was. Instead Trey Parker and Matt Stone played a prank on their audience, hilariously informing them that the conclusion of “Who is Eric Cartman’s Mother” would not be seen that night, to bring a special screening of Terrance and Phillip’s “Not Without My Anus.” The film tells of two flatulent Canadians who get off on telling each other fart jokes and laughing uproariously. The film spawned a kind of sequel, “Terrance and Phillip: Asses of Fire,” which went on to be a box office sensation and spark a cross-border war between the U.S. and Canada.

7. The Left-Handed Whopper

In a food marketing ploy that required little-to-no imagination on the part of Burger King’s product development department. For April Fools’ Day one year, Burger King introduced the “Left-Handed Whopper,” which was made virtually the as the fast food chain’s original product except that all its ingredients were turned 180 degrees. Needless to say, purists complained, demanding specifically that the Whopper be served to them in its original form.

What April’s Fools Day jokes do you most remember?


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