does spaghetti grow on trees? check out this classic BBC News report

From the April 1st, 1957, edition of the BBC’s program Panorama:

The BBC News channel has been going on about this all day. Apparently it fooled a lot of viewers, and some people consider this the best April Fools joke ever. What do you think?

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Tue, Apr 01, 2014 9:24pm

I think it’s pretty good. In the UK in those days, pasta was still regarded as exotic foreign food.

The other classic, for me, is San Serriffe, from The Guardian in 1977: a completely invented island nation. The seven-page article was filled with typographical jokes (the capital Bodoni, president Pica, etc.) and various real companies were brought in on the joke to place fake advertisements. Of course these days everyone’s at least heard some of the font terminology.

In fact I think that one of the great advantages we have today is that we can trivially check stuff like this…

Jonathan Roth
Jonathan Roth
reply to  RogerBW
Wed, Apr 02, 2014 3:25pm

It’s too bad so many people don’t bother. :/

I think my personal favourite was the Great Comic Switcheroo of 1997, when most of the newspaper comic strip artists swapped for a day. Lead to some wonderfully surreal strips.