Laughter Through Time

It’s April First. Besides rent being due, today has become special since about the 1500s as April Fool’s Day. This year, I happened to learn some of the most famous pranks ever done.

Back in 1957, BBC aired its traditional serious Panorama program, reporting that Switzerland has seen an unusually large spaghetti (a delicacy at the time) harvest, with the broadcast showing a woman picking the pasta from a tree and laying it to dry. Many believed the telecast and called trying to find a way to buy a spaghetti plant.

Snapshot of the BBC spaghetti harvest program. (Courtesy of

The Swedish channel Sveriges Television, the only one in the country at the time, reported in 1962 that if you put a nylon sock over your device’s screen and sit a certain distance away, you can watch TV in color. Many rushed to find socks and try out the method, so well scientifically described in the broadcast.

Snapshot of the technical expert showing how to change the TV broadcast to color.

The chain Burger King announced its Left-Handed Wooper in 1998. Thousands showed up in stores on April 1 trying to buy it and many asked specifically for a right-handed burger.

The Left-Handed Wooper (Courtesy of


Lastly, the most recent hoax I learned was The Guardian’s prank stating it will only publish on Twitter. You can read the original April 1 story here.

All these made me laugh and I hope April Fool’s brings you nothing short of roaring giggles.



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