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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Pranks
Abu Sharmouta and the Gag Name Prank
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 19, 2013
The classic example of the "gag name" prank is to tell a reporter your name is "Haywood Jablome" — and hope the reporter doesn't think too long about what phrase that name sounds like. Haywood Jablome digging out a snowdrift. Fargo Forum - Dec 27, 2009 An older example: back in 1930, students at Cornell made headlines by getting politicians to praise the legacy of one "Hugo N. Frye" (you go and fry), supposed founder of the Republican party in New York state. A more recent version of the prank occurred earlier this year when San Francisco station KTVU reported that the pilots of the crashed Asiana…
Categories: Pranks Comments (2)
Santa in Kinky Boots
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 16, 2013
Macy's decision to include the cast of the broadway musical Kinky Boots in its Thanksgiving Day parade was criticized by some conservative groups — since Kinky Boots features drag queens, and (so the conservatives argued) this made it inappropriate for the children watching the parade. But instead of being repentant, Macy's seemed to be doubling-down on its support of Kinky Boots when a flyer started to circulate online announcing that Macy's would be having an event in its kids department hosted by a Santa in kinky boots: "Bring your whole family to see Santa wearing a glittery addition to his traditional outfit!" Both Harvey Fierstein (who stars in Kinky…
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Spaceman First-Class Bob Percy
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 23, 2013
In February 1959, Bob Percy, rush chairman of the Psi Omega professional dental fraternity at the University of Southern California, was kidnapped by his own pledges and dressed in a "space helmet, toe-less tennis shoes, sweat pants and shirt with chained hands and feet." He was then taken to the airport and put on a plane, with no idea of where he was going and no money. The picture below was taken as he was boarding the plane. Halfway through the flight he figured out he was en route to Las Vegas, by overhearing a passenger. Once in Vegas, he called the Las Vegas Sun,…
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Telekinetic Coffee Prank
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 11, 2013
The video of the "Telekinetic Coffee Shop Prank" has gotten over 30 millions views on YouTube in 4 days. So it's definitely served its purpose, which is to promote the upcoming release of the Carrie remake. A lot of people have questioned whether the customers in the coffee shop were real or actors. But according to Andrea Morales, the actress who played the telekinetic coffee woman, the customers definitely were real. She says in an interview with the NY Daily News, "We got some awesome reactions. Some people got really into it. A constructor worker actually came toward me to calm me down, saying everything was going to be okay."
Categories: Pranks, Videos Comments (1)
Invasion of the Housekeepers, 1909
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 11, 2013
The Cowichan Valley Citizen has dug into its archives for a story about a 1909 hoax that caused a small army of housekeepers to descend upon Victoria, British Columbia, in response to a want ad that turned out to be a prank: 'Hoax' goes too far: Victoria's invasion of the housekeepers Cowichan Valley Citizen First to become aware of the invasion of foreign domestic help was V.C. Maddock, a city realtor. For days, he'd had to explain to job applicants, some of them very insistent, some of them in tears, all of them frustrated and mystified, that he wasn't the "H. Maddock" who'd placed an ad in the Seattle Times. A steady stream…
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Cow Tipping Debunked Once Again
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 23, 2013
Cow tipping has been thoroughly debunked before, but Modern Farmer's recent article on the subject is interesting nevertheless. It emphasizes that cows are not easy animals to tip over because they've got a lot of mass, they're very stable on their feet, and they're difficult to sneak up on. To underscore how difficult it is to tip a cow, the author, Jake Swearingen, notes that farm vets often need to get a cow down on its side to perform a medical exam, and it's not easy to do. The process is called "cow casting." The vets use ropes and teams of highly-trained individuals, and often things still go badly wrong, as the video below shows.
Categories: Animals, Pranks Comments (0)
The Bunny Ears Prank Revisited
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 20, 2013
Rugby player Manu Tuilagi recently apologized for making bunny ears behind David Cameron's head during a photo shoot outside of 10 Downing Street. Cameron replied, "No need to apologise, I know it was just a bit of fun." [espn scrum] This got me thinking again about the history of the Bunny Ears prank, a topic I last posted about back in 2006. How old is the Bunny Ears prank? Does it predate photography? Nobody knows. After a bit of searching online, the oldest example of making bunny ears that I could find is this 1944 World War II photo in which a French woman (apparently a prostitute)…
Categories: Pranks Comments (1)
The Royalton’s Special Tea Blend
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 17, 2013
George Jean NathanOrson Welles was fond of telling the following story about drama critic George Jean Nathan (1882-1958) — a story which is repeated in the recently published My Lunches with Orson, Peter Biskind (ed.). [via the Legends & Rumors Blog] Orson Welles: Let me tell you a story about George Jean Nathan, America's greatest drama critic. George Jean Nathan was the tightest man who ever lived, even tighter than Charles Chaplin. And he lived for forty years in the Hotel Royalton, which is across from the Algonquin. […] He never tipped anybody in the Royalton, not even when they brought the breakfast, and not at Christmastime. After about ten…
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Mystery Letterbox
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 11, 2013
A red letterbox has appeared on the side of a bridge crossing the Thames in the village of Sonning-on-Thames. It's accessible only from the river. The Royal Mail says it's "a mystery to us." What makes this story doubly strange is that spoon-bender Uri Geller happens to live in this town and was interviewed about it by the BBC. He speculates that "the ghost of a mischievous little girl" might have put the letterbox there. Uri Geller mystified by letterbox on Thames Sonning Bridge BBC News Entertainer Uri Geller and other villagers say they are mystified by the appearance of a red letterbox in the middle of a…
Categories: Pranks Comments (3)
Bricked-in Car Prank, 1964
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 29, 2013
October 1964: The work of pranksters. A car boxed in by brick walls on a foot bridge of the North Branch of the Chicago River in the 5000 block of North Spaulding. Source: Chicago Daily News.
Categories: Pranks Comments (2)
The Girl Scout Cookie Order Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 18, 2013
This is all over the news. [oregonlive, csmonitor] Some girl scouts in Portland, Oregon thought they had landed a massive sale of cookies when they received an order via email for 6000 boxes — a $24,000 order. Whoever was handling the order (a scout's mother, I assume) exchanged some emails with the buyer, and everything seemed legitimate. The buyer was even an acquaintance of the troop. So the girl scouts went ahead and processed the order, committing themselves to receiving 6000 boxes. And then they discovered the mega-order was a fake. The buyer was actually a young girl using her mother's email address. The girl was apparently young enough…
Categories: Pranks Comments (1)
Do not push this button!
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2013
Here's a prank that's also an interesting experiment in social psychology. In the middle of a busy public square, a big sign over a red button says, "DO NOT PUSH THIS BUTTON." Of course, random people walking by inevitably do push the button. At which point, everyone in the square appears to drop dead. So what does the person who pushed the button do? Does he/she try to help the people? No. Every single person who pushed the button runs away, as if trying to escape being found out. The prank was filmed in a square in Rio de Janeiro. The TV presenter Silvio Santos provides a narration (in portuguese). More info at forbes.com.…
Categories: Pranks, Psychology Comments (4)
The Proposal Rejection Prank
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 18, 2013
The Proposal Rejection Prank is a perennial favorite. Back in 2005 I posted about how a couple had developed a routine they were performing at basketball game halftime shows, in which the guy would propose to the girl in front of the entire crowd. But instead of saying yes, the girl would break into tears and run away. It never failed to get a reaction from the crowds. The PrankvsPrank duo recently performed the identical stunt at various locations outdoors. Their resulting youtube video currently has over 4 million views.
Categories: Pranks, Sex/Romance Comments (0)
The Frank Zappa Frieze Prank, 1975
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 15, 2013
Bridges Auditorium stands on the campus of Pomona College in Southern California. A frieze on the front of the building displays the names of five great composers: Wagner, Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, and Schubert. But for a few days in April 1975, Chopin's name disappeared and was replaced by that of another iconic, but more modern composer — Frank Zappa. For years, no one knew who put Zappa's name up there. But in 2012, the pranksters finally revealed themselves, submitting a dossier about their prank to Pomona College Magazine, which published the details in its Nov. 2012 issue. The pranksters were Pomona math majors John…
Categories: Pranks Comments (3)
Dead Bodies Rising
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 12, 2013
Viewers of The Steve Wilkos Show on CBS affiliate KRTV in Great Falls had the program interrupted on Monday by an emergency alert that delivered this warning: Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Follow the messages on screen that will be updated as information becomes available. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are extremely dangerous. Seems that someone had hacked into the station's emergency alert system. The police (who are looking into the matter) report that four people called them to check if the alert was…
Categories: Death, Pranks Comments (3)
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