Saturday, April 01, 2006

April One

April Fools Day. Every year there is the usual bogus item in the local newspaper. Our friends in radio get in on the fun usually as well. Over the years I have seen and heard many "media" pranks. I would like to share two of them, both happened some years ago back east.

The first one happened early in my career, I beleive it was 1982 or 83 (don't hold me to it) but the local CBC morning radio show, a well respected and venerable news source in that part of New Brunswick, lead the morning cast with a "live" broadcast from one of their field reporters. He set the scene as a remarkable phenomena of a once in hundred years happening. It was the "great lobster migration". Lobsters would come to the shore, leave the water and march, in single file up King Street. The reporter described a most bizarre scene. "Yes, the Lobsters are moving, slowly, but what a scene. Traffic is stopped. People are getting out of their cars to catch a look. We have with us a marine biologist,,,,,," The "biologist" says something like "The last time this march took pace was over 100 years ago,,,,,
Now we all know better right?,,,,,
Well across town in a TV Station Newsroom a particular assignment editor who always relied on CBC Radio for his morning fix heard this report. He picked up the phone and immediately dispatched a Camera to the scene. "The Lobsters are coming ashore and marching up King Street!" he exclaimed "Get over there! Fast!" a voice on the two way radio came on and said "Dude, it's April Fools Day!"
There was a pause back at the newsroom end, "Ah, I knew that"
The camera guys laughed their asses off for years after that. That assignment editor always denied it ever happened. But some of us know better,,,,

The second one happened on TV and was back around 1994. We lead the newscast with a story about an Iceberg in Halifax harbour. I'll give the creative minds in our Halifax office top marks for this one. Anyway they took the wide shot of Halifax harbour from a couple of our "Live Eyes" and CG ed in a giant IceBerg. Right between the bridges. God it was funny. They of course added some reaction shots from the Navy base and coast guard. Well, they of course announced before the end of that section of the show, that the Ice Berg was just an April Fools Prank. Well someone from St. Stephen, New Brunswick didn't wait for the end of the item or didn't hear the "prank" part and drove the family, six and a half hours to Halifax to see the "Ice Berg". Now damn that was funny. I think the fellow wanted the station to pay for his gas when he discovered he had been duped.

Regardless, in whatever you do, try to find the humor. Try to have at least one good belly laugh a day. It's good for us.

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