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Best April Fools' Day Jokes and Pranks of All-Time

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Every year on April 1st, several countries around the world celebrate what is known as "April Fools' Day." On this day, people are permitted to pull practical jokes, pranks and tricks on one another. This has led to different media outlets orchestrating many elaborate and hilarious hoaxes throughout the years. In this video, takes a look at some of the best April Fools’ Day jokes and pranks in recent history.

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Only a fool would fall for these. Well, an April Fool, that is. Welcome to and today we’re taking a look at some of the best April Fools’ Day Jokes in recent history.

The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest (1957)

Money might not grow on trees, but this hoax convinced viewers that spaghetti does! In what was probably the first April Fools prank on TV, a BBC news segment described the harvest of Swiss spaghetti crops. The British public was still relatively unfamiliar with pasta, and that’s what gave this joke its spice.

Instant Color TV in Sweden (1962)

A good chunk of the Swedish population almost literally had the wool pulled over their eyes with this prank! In the early days of television, Sweden’s national network told viewers that with a few common household items like nylon stockings, they could make their black-and-white TVs play in color. But spectators had the blues when the network was caught red-handed, and other broadcasters were green with envy that they hadn’t thought of this color-coded con themselves.

San Serriffe Island (1977)

Oh British humor! The Guardian newspaper published an in-depth seven-page spread on an imaginary semi-colon-shaped, constantly moving island and used words related to typography to describe this vacationers’ paradise. They even got advertisers in on the joke, making the public feel like a bunch of wingdings.

Copper Bra Wires Interfering with Radio and Television (1982)

Leave it to the tabloids to think of a joke like this! British Daily Mail readers were shocked when the paper revealed that the copper wiring in certain bras released static electricity that interfered with radio and TV signals. This, in turn, made much of the population look like a bunch of boobs.

Baseball Pitcher Sidd Finch (1985)

Sports Illustrated took a swing at practical jokes when they introduced eccentric rookie baseball player Hayden “Sidd” Finch. This Harvard dropout apparently studied yogic principles in Tibet, and was debating between a sports career and one playing the French horn. His most extraordinary talent was his 168 mile-per-hour fastball. This was one prank that covered all the bases and proved to be a home run.

Nixon Runs for President Again (1992)

When NPR announced that Tricky Dick was running for re-election almost twenty years after he stepped down in shame, it opened the Watergate floodgates – as it were. Listeners were infuriated, but fortunately for everyone the host later confessed that the prank ad was recorded by famed impressionist Rich Little, who was not a crook.

Taco Bell Buys and Renames Liberty Bell (1992)

When Taco Bell announced they had bought and renamed such an important symbol for American independence as the Liberty Bell to help ease the country’s mounting debt, the idea didn’t sit well with the public. Though Taco Bell was used to not sitting well with the public, they quickly declared the “Taco Liberty Bell” a prank. Yo quiero a sense of humor!

Burger King’s Left-Handed Whopper (1998)

Lefties everywhere rejoiced when Burger King advertised their Left-Handed Whopper on April 1st, 1998. What made it ideal for south paws was that all its signature condiments were rotated 180 degrees. The American public flipped for the idea and ordered right- and left-handed burgers the rest of the day. That’s one whopper of a joke!

Rickrolling (2008)

You can thank YouTube for turning Rickrolling into a global phenomenon. As an April Fools prank, all of the YouTube homepage featured videos linked to this Rick Astley music video and renewed his popularity over twenty years after his hit. We’re just glad he’s never gonna give us up or let us down.

Flying Penguins (2008)

The BBC had already broken the ice with the public in terms of pranks. But this incredible video offered a birds-eye-view of flying penguins that had been discovered near Antarctica. Hosted by Monty Python alum Terry Jones, the video also explained that these birds migrated to South America during the winter. The video succeeded online with flying colors.

With so many great April Fools’ Day pranks, we’ve certainly missed a few. Which was your favorite?

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