Now that everyone's recovered from April Fool's Day, its time to take a look back at some of history's greatest pranks, hoaxes, and antics. Rather than take too narrow a slice of the large number of 'HILARIOUS COMPILATION!' YouTube videos, we've decided to look at a wider selection of the rich variety of pranks that've been pulled off over the past few decades.
Tech companies, students, actors, friends, and brands have all gotten in on the game with hoaxes big and small that range from the most intricate to the elegantly simple. Sometimes the best prank is as straightforward as trapping your co-workers in a confined space with stinging insects, but at other times it is necessary to get a whole host of professional actors, production sets, and weeks of set up to really perfect your escapade.
20 Pregnancy Phone Call In Class
Since the rise of Facebook, each year on April 1st there is a stream of 'hilarious pranks' on everyone's news feeds. Many of them aren't funny, or just involve someone getting mildly injured, but every now and again there's a great stunt. This year's student prank is a good example of careful planning and execution, and the result is online for all to see.
18 Bad Grandpa
16 YouTube: The Contest
Around a year ago on April Fool's Day 2013 YouTube teamed up with The Onion to create a lengthy, YouTube-star studded video declaring the end of the website. In the video the Director of Communications stated that 'We are so close to the end. Tonight at midnight, YouTube.com will no longer be accepting entries. After eight amazing years, it's finally time to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner.'
14 Twitter & Twttr
Like YouTube and many of the other large Silicon Valley tech-companies, Twitter feels the need to regularly show its fun loving side (perhaps in an effort to make us forget about all of them playing ball with the NSA). Their chosen vehicle for this is a series of April Fool's pranks. The quality of the pranks vary, but Twitter's 2013 offering was a good one.
12 VW Beetle
10 Jackass: Beehive Limo
'So the boys think they're arriving in a limo for a photo shoot, but little do they know we've got a s**t load of bees we're going to put through the sunroof, and we've rigged the locks so they can't get out.'
8 Prank Wars
6 Domino's Canned Pizza
Open the can, heat, and remove a slice of fresh tasting pizza. Tempting stuff, but sadly not real. When Dominos Japan released a press statement advertising their new product, a lot of people were taken in. The pizza slice was shown curled up in a small can in a way which looked both oddly delicious and possible.
4 Patrick Moore's Gravity Prank
Though famous for many reasons, the late Patrick Moore is often remembered for his 1970s prank on BBC Radio 2 listeners. Live on air he stated that at 9.47 am. the planet pluto would disappear behind Jupiter and cause a momentary gravitational misalignment with earth, and as a result if everyone jumped they'd experience temporary weightlessness.
2 Space Cadets
The British TV program named Space Cadets takes the number 1 spot simply for the pure scale of the prank. The program -which described itself as the most elaborate hoax perpetrated in television history - centred around fooling 12 contestants (who answered an advert for 'thrill seekers') into thinking they were undergoing rigorous training before making them believe they were going into space.
The 12 people were fooled into thinking they were in Russia, and were the first group of space tourists to visit the Russian Space Station. Unbeknownst to them they were in Suffolk, and their astronaut trainers were actually actors equipped with fake accents and Russian cigarettes. The prank was so complete that three members of the group were plants whose job was to steer the 'thrill seekers' into believing the whole affair.
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