I’ve never been a fan of the practical joke. Needless to say, I’m also not a fan of an entire day set aside for them. There is nothing funny about practical jokes in R Dub’s opinion.
Probably the best known practical joke in recent history was Orson Welles’ live radio broadcast of an adaptation of H G Wells’ 1889 novel “War of the Worlds” on Halloween night in 1938. Well, recent if you are a member of the Greatest Generation anyway.
The broadcast was scripted as normal programing interrupted with frequent breaking news coverage of alien war ships attacking the United States. A New Jersey location was hit with heat rays and New York City was being attacked with poisoned smoke. People were dropping like flies and there was nothing that the armed forces could do to stop it.
There was a disclaimer at the beginning of the broadcast indicating that the show was fiction. However, many who tuned in after the intro were fooled into thinking that Mars was indeed attacking earth and went into wild panic mode.
The origins of April Fools Day dates back to April 1, 1582 when the world switched from the Julian calendar to our present day Gregorian calendar. The new year was changed from April 1st to January 1st.
The news of the calendar switch took some time to reach all citizens. People who mistakenly celebrated the new year on April 1st were said to be “April Fools.” An early form of calendar shaming I guess…
Modern pranksters can’t seem to let go of the tradition, so here we are today.
…and that’s no joke.