Washington State’s Biggest April Fool’s Day Prank Was a Disaster
What's The Biggest April Fool's Day Joke In Washington State History?
If you lived in Washington State in 1989, you might've heard about the biggest April Fool's Day prank ever pulled in Washington State.
Do You Recall This April Fool's Day Prank About The Space Needle?
If not, you'll want to hear this story because it was a complete failure but also brilliant in its conception.
A good April Fool's Day prank or joke is brilliant when you can pull off some good ole harmless fun and laugh about it later.
I've often been asked why radio stations don't do April Fool's pranks anymore and it's pretty simple to explain. The odds are that you'll either be hated or sued afterward.
I once worked at a radio station in Yakima where they had to pay $6000 out for a prank and since that day, it's kind of been a no-no to attempt a stunt, especially on April Fool's Day.
Like the infamous "War Of The Worlds" telecast, one April Fool's Day news report fooled everyone in Seattle and it even said "April Fool's Day" in the video.
Here is the stunt:
The 1989 April Fool's Day prank about the collapse of the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington was a hoax perpetrated by KING-TV and "Almost Live".
"Almost Live" was a local comedy sketch show that was similar to Saturday Night Live and it was very popular from 1984-1999 that aired before SNL on KING-TV on Saturday Night.
Famous alumni of "Almost Live" include Bill Nye The Science Guy and Joel McHale.
On April 1, 1989, Almost Live aired a fake news report claiming that the Space Needle had collapsed due to high winds.
The report included doctored footage of the Space Needle collapsing and interviews with people who claimed to have witnessed the event. The hoax quickly spread, and the 911 lines were jammed to the point of shutdown.
One cast member Tracey Conway was even in the eyewitness interview which played into the skit but viewers didn't notice and believed that the actual space needle had fallen.
The video even shows the words April Fool's Day across the top.
The prank received widespread backlash and criticism, with many people expressing anger at the station for causing unnecessary panic and distress.
The show had to go on the next week and apologize for the stunt but I'm thinking if you are looking for the biggest failed and funniest April Fool's joke in Washington State, that one might take the cake.
You can read more on the stunt here and here.