Paul Krassner’s Stereophonic Hoax
News that a TV network had gone to great lengths to appease a viewer who had complained after (mistakenly) believing he had seen a black man kiss a white woman on TV infuriated Paul Krassner, editor of the satirical underground magazine The Realist
. So he designed an April Fool prank to serve as payback for what he saw as the TV industry's lack of moral courage and its desire to not offend anyone, even racists. He asked his readers to all write in to NBC after the April 1st airing of the celebrity panel show Masquerade Party
. He asked them to complain that they had been offended by something on the show, but not to specify what it was that had offended them. The prank worked exactly as planned. Over a hundred of his readers wrote in, creating a panic at the network. Reportedly the network executives watched the tape of the show repeatedly, desperately trying to figure out what exactly had offended so many people.