Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fools

On April 1, 1957 the British news show Panorama broadcast a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. The success of the crop was attributed both to an unusually mild winter and to the “virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil.” The audience heard Richard Dimbleby, the show’s highly respected anchor, discussing the details of the spaghetti crop as they watched video footage of a Swiss family pulling pasta off spaghetti trees and placing it into baskets. The segment concluded with the assurance that, “For those who love this dish, there’s nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti.”

The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest hoax generated an enormous response. Hundreds of people phoned the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this query the BBC diplomatically replied, “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

To this day the Panorama broadcast remains one of the most famous and popular April Fool’s Day hoaxes of all time. It is also believed to be the first time the medium of television was used to stage an April Fool’s Day hoax.

28 comments:

Shelby said...

This is the 3rd time today I've run across this.. I hadn't known the origin of today until today.. interesting.. beautiful photo you have in your header. absolutely gorgeous.

take care :)

Carla said...

Hi Shelby, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. The header is actually my everyday view (although the sky is not always so blue, nor do we always have those low hanging mountain clouds). Yes, I know, sometimes I just need to pinch myself.

sirdar said...

That is pretty good. I've never seen or heard of that before. Very clever.

Carla said...

Sirdar, For its time, it was quite something. I thought it was hilarious.

Sara said...

I never knew that but love it, thanks for sharing!!

The Fool said...

You mean my spaghetti tree isn't going to grow? Durn...

BurdockBoy said...

I saw that years ago. Thanks for bringing it back. I love fake documentary stuff. I guess that's why I like the Onion and movies like Best in Show.

Carla said...

Sara, You're most welcome. It's quite humorous, isn't it?

Fool, Imagine if it was. Oh the fun we could have!

Carla said...

Burdock Boy, I especially like the older stuff like this. But I too enjoy the Onion.

we're doomed said...

I am impressed. I'm heading to the garden center right now to get a few spaghetti plants.

jillie said...

I was not aware of that...very interesting.

I guess the spaghetti tree isn't going to drop any meatballs soon.

Jannie Funster said...

Ah! Totally Monty Python, isn't it? I can' wait to have my husband see the clip.

Thank you, Carla. A wonderful laugh.

Mark said...

This was a great hoax! From what I understand in 1957 pasta was still all home made and one could not buy a box at the local grocer.

Isle Dance said...

How funny is that!

Carla said...

We're Doomed, Wish you luck.

Jillie, FUNNY!!!

Carla said...

Jannie, It certainly is. I love how they pull it off coming off so serious.

Mark, I'm not sure...but I was told that it was considered quite exotic at that time.

Carla said...

Isle Dance, Pretty, I'd say.

wallycrawler said...

I love crank phone calls and hoaxes of all kinds. I have seen this before, but thanx it cracked me up again!

Your still kind'a hawt. No hoax!

Steffi said...

That is very good!Thank you for sharing ,Carla!

NYD said...

My mom actually is still trying to grow that damned tree. She keeps the can in the kitchen, next to the avocado seed with the tooth picks in it.

pandave said...

That is priceless! At lease it was harmless, except for those who wondered why their spaghetti sprig was wilting and not growing in the tomato sauce.
I listened to a radio show about how broadcasts of "War of the Worlds" on radio caused pandemonium and even death, more than once.

VE said...

I hadn't heard of that. Most excellent. I do all my April Fools Day pranks in July...just to avoid suspicion...

The Fool said...

Okay, Nomad, this April Fool's joke has gone on long enough. Hope all is well, and you haven't abandoned ship for Facebook...

Fida said...

Are you sure it's a hoax? I just spent a few days in the Tessin (the Southern Part of Switzerland). I tell you, they grow all kinds of things on trees :):):)

Carla said...

Wally Crawler, Thanks for dropping by. My internet connection is down, but I'll drop by just as soon as I'm able.

Steffi, You're most welcome. I hope you're doing well.

Carla said...

NYD, I've seen those avocado seeds you're talking about.

Pandave, I love a good joke!

Carla said...

VE, That would be the best April fool's joke of all. You should choose a day a month.

Fool, For Facebook? Not a chance. First I was just plain lazy...it's been a little busy, I've had company. Now my internet connection is down making it a little hard to post. I'll be back soon. I promise.

Carla said...

Fida, I found the most wonderful tree in Switzerland. Seriously. I even smuggled back some seeds. I know, tsk, tsk. Must find them to see if I can get them to grow.