Chris Elliott Falls for Boilerplate

Status: Hoax claims victim
image In my Gallery of Hoax Websites (which I created about four years ago, and which has since been superceded by the Hoax Websites category of the weblog), I list the website of Boilerplate, the Victorian Era Robot. The site details the history of a robot named Boilerplate who was supposedly created during the 19th century in order to replace humans in combat. I admit that the site had me going for a while, and that I only realized it was a hoax when I tried to check the bibliographic references, none of which referred to real books. It seems I wasn't the only one to be taken in by Boilerplate. The New York Times reports that comedian Chris Elliott, believing Boilerplate was a nineteenth-hoax (not a modern one), incorporated the robot into his historical novel, The Shroud of the Thwacker. Only when the creator of Boilerplate threatened to sue him for copyright infringement did Elliott realize his mistake. If only Elliott had checked my site, he would have known better.

Literature/Language Technology

Posted on Tue Nov 01, 2005


Oooohhhh poor, hey, it was a good hoax, lol..
Posted by X  in  McKinney, TX  on  Wed Nov 02, 2005  at  08:48 AM
There's something kind of weird about hoaxers threatening to sue over theft of their hoaxes, but I guess it sort of makes sense, more or less.
Posted by Big Gary in Dallas  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Nov 02, 2005  at  04:33 PM
Yeah, it does seem weird. But apparently the Boilerplate creator also draws a comic book that contains the character of Boilerplate. Which makes his concern over copyright infringement seem more justified.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Nov 03, 2005  at  10:42 AM
good hoax. i thought the boilerplate website was cute.
Posted by Eva  in  New York  on  Fri Apr 07, 2006  at  07:45 PM
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