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Is April Fools Day Dying Out?
Status: Commentary
Jeff Daniel, in a recent column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, wonders if anyone celebrates April Fool's Day anymore. He writes:

For all practical purposes, the official day of practical joking appears to be as flat as a deflated whoopee cushion if reports from Sacramento, Calif., and Columbus, Ohio, are to be believed. Last April 1, newspapers in those cities ran stories investigating the tradition's demise. In one of the pieces, a reporter's random polling found not a single April Fools' Day participant.

Daniel conducted his own informal poll, asking people at a local mall if they observed April 1st. He found one person who did, but "The next 20 or so people queried at the mall have no April Fools' Day tales to tell. Zilch. Nada. No pranking. No punking. Just a lot of, 'Nothing leaps to mind' and, 'I don't think people do much these days, do they?' Our collective joy buzzer seems to have lost much of its buzz."

Of course, people have been predicting the imminent demise of April Fools' Day for a long time. On April 1, 1874 the New York Times printed this commentary:

"The absurd customs of All Fools' Day are fast passing away, and although there is but a yearly recurrence of the season, people are prone to tire of follies which are entirely destitute of even the slightest flavor of wit. In England the April-fools making custom has still some standing, but here it dies out apace, and if it has any tangible existence at all, it is among small boys, who adopt such shallow devices to make fools as suits their idea of fun."

I'd agree that most people don't bother to celebrate April Fools. They never have. But a small, dedicated group of pranksters does the hard work of pranking for the rest of us. And thanks to the internet, their exploits have a far larger audience than ever before. So, in this sense, April Fool's Day has never been more popular. In other words, I think there's no chance that April Fool's Day is going to fade away any time soon.
April Fools Day
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 28, 2006

It only makes sense most people don't celebrate April Fools Day. The whole concept depends on most people not realizing what day it is and that makes them more vulnerable to pranks.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Tue Mar 28, 2006  at  11:08 PM
If only it would die out. The Internet is almost unusable on April 1, as various sites do cute things with their cursors, with redirections, and whatnot.
Posted by Not Richard Stallman  on  Wed Mar 29, 2006  at  05:17 AM
I'd like to see something on the history of April Fools Day - why on earth do we have it anyway?
Posted by Owen  on  Wed Mar 29, 2006  at  02:32 PM
I just read the article below this...oops
Posted by Owen  on  Wed Mar 29, 2006  at  02:33 PM
I think April Fool's Day may be waning in popularity, because it is based on the premise that reports, anecdotes, offers, and people in general can usually be trusted.

Is this notion obsolete? Seen the Fox Network lately?
Posted by Big Gary in Old Dime Box, Texas  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Wed Mar 29, 2006  at  07:18 PM
A story investigating April Fool's, run *on* April Fool's Day? I'd wonder if the story itself was the joke (no actual demise.)
Posted by cvirtue  on  Thu Mar 30, 2006  at  09:19 AM
OH it's not dead... Like the article said

"But a small, dedicated group of pranksters does the hard work of pranking for the rest of us. And thanks to the internet, their exploits have a far larger audience than ever before. So, in this sense, April Fool's Day has never been more popular"

I got well over 700 ppl on mine :D I love April Fools day!

Posted by NeO A.K.A Mr.Sloof Lirpa  in  The Matrix  on  Sun Apr 02, 2006  at  05:13 PM
Only pranks I see on April Fools' Day are a bunch of online newspapers or blogs publishing fake articles, thus destroying their credibility as a reliable news source in the process. Would you find it funny if a judge sentenced you to jail as a prank, or if you were told by a doctor you have terminal cancer as a prank? Some people are not entitled to mislead, not even as a joke. News editors tricking readers with lies is no laughing matters, readers will never trust them again.
Posted by Not Amused Guy  on  Tue Apr 04, 2006  at  07:30 AM
that wuz so good!
Posted by me  on  Mon Apr 02, 2007  at  11:41 AM
All Fools day is not dead. There are some of us that will keep the tradition alive! I fooled all my co-workers into thinking I had quit! To see the looks of suprise on their faces when I came back from a doctor's appointment wss priceless!
Posted by Katherine  in  Fullerton, CA  on  Wed Apr 02, 2008  at  04:21 PM
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