Friday Factday: April Fools' Day
Friday Factday

Friday Factday: April Fools' Day

Ben Thornton
Ben Thornton

Hello, fellow fools, and welcome to another episode of Friday Factday! I'm your humorous host, Ben, and this week it should be no surprise that I'm going to talk about April Fools' Day.

Before we begin, you can check out the video that accompanied our April Fools' Day campaign this year right here:

WindCon 2024 was wild

The Original Fools

April Fools' Day has much-debated origins but the most commonly agreed one is a result of the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in France, in 1582. This changed the New Year from April to January, though not everyone seemingly got the message. This meant some folks were celebrating around April as normal, which led to them being ridiculed for, presumably, not keeping up with their Facebook feed.

Public Broadcasting Humour

The BBC is a bit of a joke all year round these days, but that shouldn't detract from their stellar track record of April Fools' Day gags. They've pulled off many iconic pranks, the most famous of which is the Spaghetti Harvest, aired in 1957.

The skit played itself as a news piece reporting on the "bumper" harvest of spaghetti in Switzerland, thanks to mild weather and the eradication of "spaghetti weevils." Pasta was a new concept in the UK at the time (as was television itself), resulting in a mixture of outrage at the inaccuracy and inquiries about spaghetti bushes from the public.

Fast Food Pulling a Fast One

I want to preface this by saying that the reputation of Americans in the rest of the world is, as most stereotypes are, often unfair.

Sometimes, though, it's earned.

Not only did the 1/3lb burger fail in America because people thought it was smaller than a 1/4lb but a number of them also fell for a whopper of an April Fools' campaign as recently as 2008. Burger King introduced the "left-handed Whopper" to their menu, spitting out some spiel about redistributing the ingredients for maximum compatibility.

Many people ordered the left-handed Whopper and were presumably in blissful ignorance as they ate their perfectly standard Whopper.

Water Under the Bridge

In 1992, NPR, with a little help from comedian and impersonator Rich Little, ran a segment that announced former President Nixon's intent to run for President again. Little recorded some spot-on impersonations of Nixon to provide soundbites for the piece, and they even had experts on to assess the impact of this announcement on the race that year.

I'm going to put it down to the fear and loathing of Nixon, but a lot of people expressed concern, outrage, and terror at the idea of the man getting back into the seat of power for 4 more years.

Cutting Out the Humor

Here at Windscribe, we've developed a bit of a reputation for a sense of humor ourselves. We like to go big or go home with our April Fools' Day pranks and this year the only difference was that we amped up our efforts.

You can check out the breakdown here but we started it just before April 1st for maximum controversy generation - and it seemed to work. Perhaps too well. Still, we won't apologize for being funny, even if it affects our bottom line!

Ben Thornton
Ben Thornton