Sunday marks April Fool's Day, so I wanted to take this time to warn you not to believe everything you read on that fated day. I'll accomplish this by taking a look back at some of the greatest pranks ever pulled. You can take these in and know some of the tropes people have used in the past and how to avoid them on Sunday.
When Google prankedly announced the release of Gmail on April 1, 2005, everyone kind of snickered at the release. “Yeah, like some megalomaniacal company would just give away nigh-unlimited inbox space to people who will just use it to make fake accounts aimed at bringing back Legends of the Hidden Temple. We ain't falling for it, Google!”
Faced with this unanimous prank-fail, Sean Herman, a 27-year-old developer at Google loaded up on Red Bull and off-brand Cheez Balls. Five hours later, Google had the complete and thoroughly bug-tested Gmail on its hands. While its prank earlier in the day didn't trick anyone, creating the actual project tricked everyone.
Thirteen Uinal, a date on the Mayan Base 20 longcount calendar which roughly translates as April 1, 231 BC on the standard Base 10 system, saw the first April Fool's Day prank ever. A bunch of Mayans were hanging out, feasting upon the brains of their recently fallen adversaries/comrades/alien invaders, when they realized they needed to trick people.
“If we don't trick them, they'll know the delicious of brain and then they'll eat us!” shouted J'hanGi as he riled up his friends. “We must make them paranoid and stupid, then they'll never think to do what we so thoroughly enjoy. But what can we do?”
“Convince them the world is ending?” said Milk, a fairly stupid Mayan. Instead of dignifying this bit of stupidity with a response, everyone merely ate his eyes so he'd never have to glance upon his stupidity again.
“Oh, don't worry, we don't even need to do anything,” said Archana. And 2088 years later, Jon Gosselin was born, completing the curse of the Mayans.
Cuba Gooding Jr.
On April 1, 2002, Cuba Gooding Jr. tried convincing people he still had a career. A good laugh was had by all.
|Shot solely to make the April Fool's Day|
joke even funnier.
Cuban Missile Crisis
If there's one thing President John F. Kennedy was known for, it's how noted horror writer Stephen King murdered him in cold blood. But if there's a second thing he's known for, it's his winning sense of humor. And this is most evident during the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis, or as it's better known by its codename “Mission Lots-o-Yuks.”
History books will try claiming that a “tumultuous” thirteen days occurred from October 14, 1962 to October 28, 1962. During this time, people freaked out, committed suicide, stabbed friends, neighbors and countrymen to secure the last box of Twinkies from the local A&P. They also pet kittens. Yet coming from the Oval Office all that could be heard were belly laughs as JFK, RFK and Robert McNamara could not stop laughing.
How this prank played out is the powers that be got together and decided to use national fear of Mutual Assured Destruction as the springboard for a joke about Mutual Assured Destruction. He convinced the Soviet army to build a nuclear weapons base on Cuba, which then lead to hilarity as world-ending nukes were launched back and forth across the Gulf of Mexico.
|"And everyone thinks the world|
will end! But it won't! ROFLMAO!"
After a while though, Kennedy decided the country had laughed hard enough and addressed the public from the porch at the White Housue Rose Garden. However, when he saw the literal waves of blood rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue, he started laughing so hard he fell off the podium. Only then did a wounded country realized they'd been had and could join in the comedy as well.
Some might point out that going over the course of 13 days and taking place in October might disqualify this as an April Fool's Day Joke, but that in-and-of-itself was part of the joke. Kennedy used his presidential powers and access to the “Lost”-esque time shifting device to permanently make those 13 days occur on April Fool's Day. Ironically enough, this time shifting also brought Lee Harvey Oswald and the guy who killed JFK into the '60s, in the end, making Kennedy the big April Fool.
I'll end with one final word of warning. This weekend, don't be a Kennedy, realize anything published online that day probably isn't true. But also, please realize that anything published right now is dead-on serious and true... you fool.