Following from last weeks Promo post about misguided competitions and promotions – I was talking to a Jock in Canada and he was set on planning and doing an on-air prank or hoax before Christmas – and I wanted to know WHY?????
It’s no where near April Fools Day – so why would you do it?
It turns out that a rival station have been taking ‘liberties’ with him and his show, and he wanted to get some payback – ouch – really?
Personally I would only ever do a prank or April Fool once a year – I would never seek retaliation, or revenge on a rival station, I would try to rise above all that – but he was absolutely set on doing something – anything – so I tried to talk him down from vandalising signage, buildings and vans (which seemed way too dangerous to me – not to mention illegal).
We talked about some of the classic pranks that I knew about – from the Spaghetti Drought (the BBC) although it was on TV – it was backed up on radio.
There was Richard Nixon running for president, again, in 1992! This happened on NPR with Rich Little behind it.
I, Libertine which is a semi famous prank that Jean Shepherd pulled in New York after a book store clerk said that a book he was after, didn’t exist.
New Zealand radio has a great history of pranks and hoaxes, and my favourite is the mile wide swarm of wasps – this happened in 1949! Yet it is still talked about today – DJ Phil Stone at 1XB did a breakfast radio show telling people to prepare for the incoming swarm.
1976’s famous Decreased Gravity due to planetary alignment by Sir Patrick Moore was a great one with listeners falling for it hook, line and sinker.
We ran through probably another 5 or 6 ideas and he started to calm down – seeing how much work would be involved to create an effective prank.
He has decided to wait, gather information and data and then come up with a plan to do something spectacular – I hope I haven’t let the cat out of the bag here by telling you this – but we will keep it between us – right?
If you want to know about more radio based hoaxes and pranks – see THE MUSEUM OF HOAXES page of Radio Hoaxes – its worth the visit.