Merry April Fools: 7 Pranks That Got 'em Good
Written by: Violet Myers
We love a good prank here at North Four. Cling film on the loo seat, salt in the sugar bowl – the more people enraged and bowls of Weetabix ruined the better. In honour of the day of the fool we present to you 7 of the greatest pranks released on the unsuspecting world. These master prankers caused chaos, outrage and shockwaves throughout the media and for that we say thank you!
It’s Your Lucky Day, She’s Gonna’ Blow!
On April 1st 1974 residents of Sitka, Alaska rolled out of their walrus skin beds, said a prayer to their Sarah Palin murals and reinforced a few more Alaskan stereotypes, before looking out of their windows to see Mount Edgecumbe, the volcano that had laid dormant for 400 years, smoking and seemingly ready to ruin their morning. Luckily, this wasn’t the start of a natural disaster but actually one of the world’s greatest pranks. Local resident Oliver “Porky” Bickar had hauled 70 tyres up to the peak and set fire to them, tricking everyone including the coast guard…
Morgan Freeman Lied To Us.
In 2008 the BBC fooled a nation by broadcasting exceptional new footage showcasing ‘The Miracle of Evolution’, in which a group of penguins took to the air and well, fucked right off. The clip was narrated by Monty Python funny man Terry Jones and went on to be one of the most watched videos on the internet.
Ken’s Out Of The Closet.
In 1990 a woman and her daughter were doll shopping in Toys R Us, when they stumbled across a Ken doll looking somewhat more festive than usual. The sealed box contained Barbie’s long standing boyfriend rocking a pink tank top and mini skirt combo. The woman bought the fabulous doll and it wasn’t long before local and national news picked up the story, suggesting that Ken was finally out of the closet. It was soon revealed that a Toys R Us employee had dressed Ken, before resealing the box with glue. Obviously thrilled by the free publicity the prankster had given them, and also being refreshingly in possession of a sense of humour, Toys R Us swiftly fired the employee.
Finally, We’ll Know What Lorraine Kelly Smells Of.
Those sneaky pranksters from the BBC are up to no good again, don’t they have Pointless questions to write? This time in 1965 they managed to convince their audience they had invented ‘smellovision’, encouraging viewers to write in if they had been able to smell the foods they were seeing on their screens. The most embarrassing part? Plenty of people did, with some even claiming to have been brought to tears by the smell of the raw onion.
I Just Totally Love Seasonal Blow Jobs.
Basic bitches (we like to keep our cusses somewhat current) around the world rejoiced when a pumpkin spice flavoured Durex condom started making the online rounds in 2014. The condom, which featured orange packaging, a free copy of The Notebook and the tagline: “because safe sex is important, no matter what season it is”, was soon revealed to be a hoax by a prank loving web designer.
At Last, A Politician We Can All Get Behind.
Cacareco broke records when she received the highest total vote for a local candidate in Brazil’s history to be elected Mayor in 1959, ultimately winning by a landslide. However, she was unable to serve due to her being a five year old African black rhino… didn’t stop Boris Johnson. Yeah, I went there. The prank was set up by students who urged people to vote for her, fully knowing that their vote was going towards a candidate who lived in the local zoo. Locals were so despondent by the other candidates that they happily cast their votes, claiming it ‘was better to vote for a rhino than an ass’.
From Russia With Love.
This very cheeky April Fool’s Day prank caused prim British outrage throughout the UK and is our own personal favourite prank of all time. In 1987, during a tour of Moscow, Margaret Thatcher was caught smooching with Mikhail Gorbachev, the head of the Soviet Union. Pictures included the unlikely pair holding hands, sneaking kisses and pretty much putting the XXX in Marxxxist State. It soon came out that The Daily Mirror had simply hired and posed lookalikes, but had managed to fool thousands.
Spirited away from the hubbub of the city, sitting on the bustling boundaries of Islington and Camden, a 65 metre wide gallery resides hidden behind the Attic Self Storage building in Kings Cross. Market Road Gallery is a newly opened space for everyone to contribute to. It is London’s first bookable open air public gallery. Everyone, from the neighbourhood cat to a fancy pants established artiste, can create artwork for the space.
Today Britain will relish (moan) in 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight, with the sun rising at 4:43am and setting at 9:31pm. It’s set to be a record breaking 33 degrees in London. I for one am going to need all the help I can get not to disappear like the wicked witch of the West into a sticky puddle on Stroud Green Road. Here’s our Solstice-worshipping, Pagan inspired tips for surviving the hottest and longest day of the year in London.
It’s time. Time to bask (complain) in the sun and ask why god why when will it end?? Yes, Summer is officially here for the week, the hottest week in the last 20 years. This Friday, Drum n Bounce are coming all the way down South to help us celebrate this fact, as healthily as possible. Right in the middle section of VeloPark (link) you can take part in uplifting and limbering flow yoga with Tammy’s Yoga before 45 minutes of energising drum n bounce aerobics. This is basically getting hot and fit and dancey to your favourite tracks before you head off in to the night (or bed) with a massive sweaty smile on your mug.
Next Friday night, ignore your mounting list of life admin and venture outwards into the ether for a misanthropic wine a plenty. It’s the Black Books pub quiz at The Duke of Wellington as part of their couch potato themed quiz series. Entry is a meagre £2 but you can win some cold hard real cash if you’re up on your Dylan Moran / Tamsin Greig / Bill Bailey shaped references.
Who are the Heather Brothers? It’s a question that’s been keeping me up at night. Ever since I was asked to review their latest musical, Holy Crap, I’ve been trapped in something of a Google wormhole. To begin at the beginning: the Heather Brothers are, depending on who you ask, a musical writing duo/trio/quartet. Born in London, they grew up in Zimbabwe, where they spent their teenage years performing in a fraternal rock band. Again, depending on who you ask, they were variously known as: The Chequers, The Three People or Quiet World.
“Arriving back in the UK, after a long time away, there seemed to have been a swing towards xenophobia and the dehumanizing and vilify of both migrants and refugees was happening at the highest levels. I wanted to create a short that would address this trend.” Director Daniel Mulloy
The gin enthusiasts down at Hendricks have decided to take these cucumber celebrations a slice further with their Cultivate the Unusual campaign. Encouraging gin fans to grow their own cucumbers over the last few months in preparation, Hendricks are asking us to bring said veggies to participating pubs and bars this Thursday 15th June. The Canonbury Tavern for example, will light up if you walk in with a cucumber and will proceed to exchange it for a free gin and tonic. Can you imagine?
Hang Up Gallery have some pretty hush hush news. And it goes a little something like this: Darryl ‘Run’ DMC McDaniels will be popping up in the Stoke Newington gallery this month to launch his new collection of works, The Art of DMC. This is the icon’s first London exhibition, showing new and unseen collection of ‘Darryl Makes Comics (DMC)’ Fine Art, a body of signed limited edition prints showcasing his underlying passion for comics.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Summer of Love ’67 where freedom of expression, art and love reigned supreme. #ShopStroudGreen are celebrating the fact with a Summer of Love Local weekend festival this June. Celebrate artistic expression and support local independent traders and makers with a weekend of live art, workshops and music (with a few special discounts, tasters and freebies for good measure).
Oh snap! Another general election looms. Whether you’re hopeful for a landslide win or a surprising wild card outcome, wipe the bitter disappointment from your tastebuds with some gins, ales, burgers and strong covfefe. Because let’s face, it will be neither of those results will it really? Find the perfect place for you to receive the bad news in good company.
Get a different perspective on the city you live in this June. Film London are holding a screening of archive footage of London’s outer boroughs through the decades, underscored by live music accompaniment. The best of London’s Screen Archives hugely successful project, London: A Bigger Picture will be shown, funded by Heritage Lottery three years ago.
We caught up with Snowy the Harringay Station cat to talk Twitter, working life and his unsavoury friendship with Gus the fox. Summer is coming and, in North London, that means it’s time to hit the train stations. So we took Snow the Haringey Station Cat and photographer Mike Barry tumbling across one of them: the undergrowth of Haringey Station. Then we sat down with Snowy for a raw conversation about how to move forward after things fall apart.
“You grow it, we mow it” might be their blasé catchphrase, but Rocket’s attitude to your haircut is far from casual. These guys are serious about hair and the person that grew it. Rocket Stoke Newington are holding a day of free beer and entertainment with your cut in aid of Men’s Mental Health Sunday this 12th June. Also known as “Chopping for Chazza”, there’ll be talks on mental health, stand up comedy and more from 12 - 5pm.
Unless you’re already working for charity or regularly ‘do your bit’, that £6 monthly donation to The Dogs Trust might not be doing enough to quash your conscience / save the world. Whether you’re doing it for experience, to reset your karmic balance or generally give back and help out, there’ll be a role out there for you. On the Volunteer Centre Camden’s website for example, there’s a handy search page that lets you filter through hundreds of opportunities by location, interest and activity.
Currently showing at Camden People’s Theatre, performance artist Tom Marshman’s play Kings Cross (Remix) is a glorious celebration of a bygone era. The show is a tightly crafted journey through the stories of some of the people who made up the 1980s Kings Cross LGBTQ scene. Bursting with warmth, charm and affection, the play is a must see for anyone interested in learning more about London’s alternative history.
The Londoner behind 'Strong and Stable My Arse'. It’s a simple message. A slogan that’s straight to the point. 'Strong and Stable My Arse’ is a statement everyone can understand with a wry grin as they spot it slathered onto billboards, phone boxes and brick walls around the UK. So who could possibly be behind such a simple, cheeky, dig in the ribs campaign? Someone who knows his audience, who knows the mindset of the British like the back of his left hand.