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Space Needle Collapses -- April Fool's Day, 1989
Seattle's "Almost Live" comedy show started their April 1 program with a news flash: the Seattle Space Needle had collapsed. A reporter presented the news, and then several shots of the Space Needle lying on its side in a pile of rubble were shown.
A banner across the images read, "Space Needle — April 1, 1989. April Fools Day." Also, the show's host, John Keister, appeared after a commercial break and assured viewers the announcement had only been a joke. Nevertheless, many people were fooled. Staff at the Space Needle reported receiving over 700 calls from concerned viewers, and 911 lines jammed from the sudden rush of calls from people seeking more information.
Craig Smith, the channel's programming director, told the Seattle Times the next day, "I really think they used as much common sense as they could, but maybe it (the disclaimer) was too subtle. If we scared anybody, we certainly want to apologize."
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