- This is in answer to:
- What are the best (and worst) April Fools' Day pranks you've seen online this year? See all answers
- April 1, 2009 by Slocombe
- They don't make April Fools' Day like they used to..
In 1957 the BBC broadcast a documentary hosted by Brit TV Royalty Richard Dimbleby. It was a short documentary on a Swiss family and their day harvesting the annual spaghetti crop. The film went to show the family trooping out into their orchard and begin picking strands of pasta from the nearby trees and bushes. For the next few minutes, the film went on to explain the trials and tribulations of a pasta farmer before letting the credits roll and the next programme start.
There was no instant payoff. No corpsing at the camera before cracking into a big broad smile and reassuring the audience that it was all a big gag.
50-odd years later, it's this time of year EVERY. SINGLE. TIME that my dad informs me that this was the finest single April Fool's gag every perfomed in the history of windups, ever.
Forget Punk'd, forget the Moon landings, forget George Bush - bits of pasta loosely draped onto a few branches whilst a group of actors pretending that it's a hard life is the One True Joke.
And in a way, I can see where he's coming from. That's the one April Fools stunt that sticks in his mind, because no-one was expecting it. In a world of broadcasting that was ordinarily very straightlaced, the idea that there was a spoof documentary was inconceivable.The film ended and for _days_ afterwards, people were gently finding out that the programme on the telly they'd watched the other night was utter crap. There are probably still people out there who've not quite twigged.
Admit it. Who of you didn't venture out onto the web today armed with a large pinch of salt ready for any errant April Fool's blog articles? We all know about them now - the internet is a great place to find all sorts of great ideas, but the longest we're probably going to be tricked by any of these today is the time it takes to get from the meat of an article to the time you're halfway through a forwarding email to your mates before you remember what day it is.
It's a shame, because some ideas are really inventive, superb works of effort and craftsmanship - time has clearly been spent. For instance, on youTube there's the whole "upside down video thing" - very clever indeed, but ultimately it's for about 10 seconds of "oh- hang on .. oh you guys!" type reactions before you get on with your day.
There's nothing - NOTHING that I saw today that I'll be telling my mates about in 50 days time, never mind 50 years.
Although that whole "Internet Explorer 8 actually quite good" thing did make me giggle..