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Y101′s Best April Fools Pranks

Matt Cardy, Getty Images

April Fool’s Day is an informal day filled with jokes and pranks played on people. Over the last several years Y101 has pulled a couple of pranks that are quite memorable, but one of the best pranks ever was conducted by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). 

In 1957, the BBC pulled a prank, known as the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest. Sixty-one years ago they broadcast a fake film of Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti from plants. The BBC was later flooded with requests on where to purchase spaghetti plants, forcing them to declare the film a prank on the news the next day. For the uninitiated, spaghetti does not grow on trees.

Here at Y101, we pulled off a couple of doozies. Several years ago we announced that Dennis Oliver and Jeff Dorsey’s contracts had expired at midnight “last night” and were not renewed. Not only that, but the format also changed to Disco and the station was calling itself “Disco 101.” The phone was answered “Disco 101″, the news people ended the news signing off with their name at “Disco 101.” We played disco music from 6 a.m. to 12 noon that day before we finally let everyone in on the secret.

The other prank we played was a couple of years ago when we interviewed a fictitious engineer from Louisiana who said the City of Quincy was looking to save energy and fuel costs for its citizens. In doing so, the bogus engineer said the City of Quincy contracted with his southern engineering firm to “experimentally” work the traffic signals to turn green if car drivers would hit their horns. This would only work of the light was red and no one was coming the other way.

So basically all you had to do was hit your horn and the light would change to green and you could be on your way. We recorded that fictitious interview. Played it on the air and stepped outside our studios and then listened to all these horns going off in the city. I have to admit, we were laughing ’til we were crying listening to all those horns going off.

So, just a word to the wise, beware of everything today.

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