Abel Raises Caine

Back when I was writing The Museum of Hoaxes (the book) I exchanged a few emails with Jenny Abel, daughter of professional hoaxer Alan Abel. During the course of our correspondence she mentioned that she was making a movie about her father. Now I see that she's completed the movie, titled Abel Raises Caine. It can be seen at the Slamdance Film Festival in LA next week. Phil Reisman describes it in this way (his article also tells about some of Abel's more famous hoaxes):

It's an entertaining and at moments a laugh-out-loud film about growing up in a creative, dysfunctional family in the vein of "Capturing the Friedmans" and "Crumb," but minus the sinister elements that made those documentaries especially creepy. Using archival footage of now defunct talk shows, press conferences and long-forgotten news broadcasts, Jenny Abel attempts to explain her antic father, who has never held a 9-to-5 job and it would appear has never had much of an attachment to the truth. About anything.

The only Abel hoax I describe on this website is his most famous one, the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals. But I included many more of his hoaxes in my book. I've been meaning to describe more of his hoaxes on this site for ages. Just never got around to it.


Posted on Wed Jan 19, 2005


Posted by BugbearSloth  in  earth, 3rd planet, sol system  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  02:02 AM
I've been a friend and admirer of Alan for a long time now. I'm going to see him in Las Vegas at the beginning of February. The two of us, along with a few other people, are going there for the formation of a group called the International Association of Professional Pranksters.

I'm not entirely sure what the group will do, but it will be really interesting to see what we collectively come up with.

I've also been corresponding with Alan of late about his daughter's documentary. He seems pretty excited about it (understandable). I'm looking forward to seeing it myself, as I was present for a few of Alan's more memorable moments--the "wedding" of Idi Amin, his press conference announcing that, despite the obit in the New York Times, he was still alive and some of the Omar the Beggar stuff.

I've always thought that SINA (along with Arm The Homeless) was one of the truly great satirical hoaxes of the 20th Century. Reading about it and seeing it on TV when I was a kid was the reason I wanted to meet Alan in the first place.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  04:23 AM
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