April Fool's Gone Wrong: Worst Pranks Ever Pulled on April 1st
While April Fool’s Day is usually meant for harmless pranks, some practical jokes have taken it too far and gone horribly wrong on April 1st.
Radio DJs, city workers, clothing store employees and former lovers with questionable intentions have pulled cruel pranks that had consequences more severe than the joke itself.
Learn from the mistakes in the following examples of how not to create the worst April Fool’s Day ever.
- Real News on April Fool’s Day: Historical Events Mistaken for Jokes
- April Fool's Day: Jokes, Pranks, History and Origins
Radio Pranks Gone Wrong
In 1999, a year after the Ochoco creek in Oregon flooded, radio DJs at 102.9 KSJJ warned listeners that the Ochoco dam had burst and another flood was on the way.
Residents panicked, remembering the hundreds of houses that were damaged in the previous flood, and as they packed their belongings to leave town, the DJs admitted it was an April Fool’s joke.
The previous year, controversial radio DJs Opie and Anthony claimed that Boston mayor Tom Menino had died in a car accident.
Menino was hard to reach that day, which caused even his family to worry until the hoax was revealed. Opie and Anthony were suspended without pay.
Don’t Stress Your Boss on April Fool’s Day
Glenn Howlett of London City Hall was working on a big report with a far-away deadline when he received a memo that said it was due in 2 weeks. He got so worked up trying to finish it on time that he had heart palpitations and collapsed, causing him to take leave from work.
The impact of the stress forced him into early retirement and he sued everyone at City Hall after he found out it was a not-very practical joke.
In 2003, after working just 2 weeks at a clothing store, Sitra Walker felt comfortable pranking her co-workers when she called the manager and said the store was being robbed.
The manager dialed 911, and as 4 police cruisers were en route to the store, Walker called the manager back and said, “April Fool’s!” She was charged with inducing a panic and was fired.
Randy Wood’s Infamous April Fool’s Joke
Randy Wood pranked his ex-wife in 2004 by asking her to come over so he could show her something.
When she arrived at his house, Woods appeared to be hanging from a tree in his front yard (he was actually being held by a safety harness).
His unknowing ex-wife dialed 911 before he could reveal the gag. Wood was fined $1,000 and jailed for a year.