Monday, 1 April 2013

Best of today's April Fools jokes

It's April Fools Day so the newspapers and websites are littered with spoof stories, some funny, some clever, some puerile. When I was an editor I used to be very po-faced about such whimsy. I never really understood why we would spend the whole year persuading people of our integrity and credibility and then one day just tell blatant lies - and take the mick out of the readers. Apart from anything else, very few so-called pranks were particularly funny. So under my tenure, there were no April Fools' jokes at all.
Now, though, I have lightened up a bit. The web, Photoshop and the fact humour is a key part of what publishers do, have made me take a slightly different view.
There are certainly a few stories around today that have potential. You would be forgiven for thinking that Sunderland signing a new right winger - head coach Paolo Di Canio - and Princess Diana sneaking into a gay bar disguised as a man with Freddie Mercury, were spoofs. But both are, apparently, true. Anyway, as it's Easter Monday, raining and I am not working, I have had time to have a bit of a trawl. Here are a few that caught the eye.

The New Statesman
I am always a sucker for a typography gag, so I enjoyed the New Statesman's decision to change its masthead to the much ridiculed Comic Sans. This is its old stylish slab-serif masthead:

And here is the new one:

The website says: 'We're delighted to announce that the New Statesman is unveiling a brand new look to celebrate its centenary, using the popular Comic Sans font. Starting today, we'll be replacing our web header and text fonts with Comic Sans, and the magazine will soon change too.'

"It's a classic font, and one which has been unfairly maligned," said Wolfgang Brick of the Berlin design house Täuschen, which was employed by the NS to makeover the title. "Like the New Statesman, it is jaunty, fun and frolicsome. It doesn't take itself too seriously."
And to prove how the New Statesman has become fun and folicsome its site has some fascinating teasers including Alex Andreou's article 'Melanie Philips stole my Muslim transsexual baby, forcing me to eat my cat, which gave me cancer'. 


Twitter has announced that from now on you will be charged to use vowels.  The basic service Twttr is still free but you get only consonants. The premium Twitter service, with vowels, is $5 a month. Sounds a bit too plausible to me. Maybe they are just testing the water ... 

Daily Mirror

Another joke which might have had an element of credibility is Virgin's plans to put glass bottoms on its planes. There are of course technical reasons why it can't happen - and you would just be looking at a load of luggage. Pity though! 

Channel 4

The report that Boris Johnson will stand in David Miliband's seat of South Shields stretches all credibility, even without the newsagent called April Firston (possibly the least creative anagram ever). They might as well have said that Johnson, a right winger with no experience at the top level, had taken over the head coach's job at Sunderland. Oh, hang on ... 

The Daily Telegraph

The paper carries an advert from BMW on Page 3 for the new P.R.A.M. (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile) - a limited edition soft top convertible to coincide with a forthcoming birth.


Metro ran a round-up of all the best April Fools from this morning ... including The Sun's report that the Angel of the North is to be painted pink and renamed after Cheryl Cole.

But then the paper revealed that it had made them all up ... an elaborate reverse ferret kind of joke.

Daily Mail

According to the Mail, Asda is now selling toilet paper in 50 shades of greyEach ‘shade’ has been named after Christian Grey’s traits, from ‘enigmatic’ to ‘obsessive’. Asda’s director of tissue buying, says there is a growing trend towards themed toilet paper. ‘Much like Grey’s character all rolls are tightly wound and will take time to unravel.’ I really do hope this is an April Fools joke.
The Mail also reports that owls are being trained to deliver the internal post at a North Yorkshire animal sanctuary. The story is written by Nesta Vowles. Funny, don't remember her on any of our training schemes.
Other jokes include Google launching Google Nose - with its Aromabase. Don't just type and talk, now you can smell too. And then there's YouTube closing down and choosing the best ever video to mark its departure.
The Daily Telegraph has a round-up of most of the newspaper jokes here. The Guardian has a blog here. Unlike them though, I waited until after midday to reveal all. Isn't that what you are supposed to do? 

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