Category:
Pranks

Canned Roadkill

1990: T. Roy Gentry began selling cans that he advertised as containing possum run over by a cattle truck 2 miles south of Ozark, Missouri. The cans actually contained potted meat from a local grocery store.

Newsweek - Mar 19, 1990



Kansas City Times - Feb 20, 1990

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 18, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, 1990s, Pranks

Mae West Cocktail

Last night I was watching TV with my 98-year-old great aunt, when an ad for Alka-Seltzer came on. She immediately perked up and said that, back in the 40s, they used to mix Alka-Seltzer and water in a glass, and then put a condom over it. They called this a Mae West cocktail. It was a popular party trick, she said, to ask someone if they wanted a Mae West cocktail and serve them this.

I immediately thought that I needed to add this to my list of things named after Mae West that I posted four years ago.

I googled the term 'Mae West cocktail' and found a variety of different recipes for alcoholic cocktails named after her, but no mention of the Alka-Seltzer and condom trick. Though I did manage to find a picture of the trick being performed.

image source: ourbusandus.blogspot.com



Since my great aunt's version of the cocktail has no alcohol in it, I suppose that technically it's a virgin Mae West cocktail.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 07, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Sex Symbols, Pranks

The screaming baby in the classroom prank

I don't think this would go over well nowadays. From the Iowa City Press-Citizen - May 12, 1975:

As a pediatrician [Dr. Charles Johnson of the Iowa Medical School faculty] gives a lecture on child development. It’s scheduled for 1 p.m. The students are sleepy, not only because the subject doesn’t send them but because they’ve just finished lunch.

To liven them up Johnson does this:

“I start the lecture by playing a stereo recording from Sesame Street, which awakens about a third of the audience. I briefly outline the two-hour lecture and then, on cue, in comes the first patient... a newborn in a wheeled isolette pushed by a nurse.

“For the pediatrician,” I announce, “this is where it all begins.”

The baby then starts to scream. As it gets louder and louder Johnson becomes more and more annoyed.

At first he rocks the isolette gently, then with more vigor. Finally, in a fit of anger he flings open the glass top, seizes the infant, and throws it out into the audience.

Pandemonium!

“When the hysteria dies down I state: ‘Infants are helpless parasites. They can be and are battered.’

“Most of my other pearls are soon forgotten, but rarely does the student forget the ‘helpless parasite’ flying into the audience. All that’s needed is a straight-faced nurse, a good tape recording of an infant yelling — and a life-size doll.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 07, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Babies, 1970s, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia, Pranks

Jack in Pack





Posted By: Paul - Sun May 05, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Tobacco and Smoking, 1950s, Pranks

Niagara Falls with bubbles

Adding a foaming agent to Niagara Falls was evidently the fantasy of some chemical engineer at Monsanto.

Newsweek - Mar 17, 1952

Posted By: Alex - Sun Feb 24, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Advertising, 1950s, Pranks, Natural Wonders

Picnic Table Pyramid

Was it a prank, or was it art?

Des Moines Tribune - Aug 1, 1963

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 11, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: 1960s, Pranks

How to pepper a ceiling

The ingenuity of teenagers knows no bounds.

The Salem News - Sep 17, 1953



PRANKSTERS PEPPER CEILING — Teenagers have forgotten the goldfish-swallowing fad which swept the U.S. a few years back, but they've started another one which is giving restaurant owners a headache. The new fad requires some drinking straws, chocolate syrup and a bit of wind power. Tom Taylor, left, and John Wasson of Ludington, Mich., show how easily a restaurant ceiling can be "redecorated" by dipping the straw's tissue casing into syrup and shooting it like a blowgun up into the air.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 24, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: 1950s, Pranks

Makes bomb threat from jail

October 1971: While being booked on charges of malicious mischief at Los Angeles police headquarters, Frank Elby Taylor asked to exercise his right to make a phone call. He was allowed to do this, so he called the airport and made a bomb threat. The call was quickly traced back to the police station. The police got Elby out of his cell and booked him again on felony charges.

Reno Gazette-Journal - Oct 30, 1971

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 21, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, 1970s, Pranks

School chief shot a moon

October 1978: Cleveland School Board President John E. Gallagher Jr. was charged with a misdemeanor and fined $100. The prosecutor explained the reason for the charge to the press: "He shot a moon — that's what he did." A state trooper had witnessed Gallagher, who was a passenger in a car driving north along I-271, pull his pants down and expose his bare buttocks to his brother, who was driving in a passing car. Gallagher pleaded no contest.

The Akron Beacon Journal - Nov 1, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 27, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: School, 1970s, Pranks

Trigger Happy TV



More episodes on YouTube.

Wikipedia entry here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 09, 2016 - Comments (0)
Category: Television, 2000s, Pranks, Europe

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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