April Fools 愚人节

April Fools’ Day 愚人节!

Celebrated on April 1 each year—has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, though its exact origins remain a mystery. Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. In the Julian Calendar the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.

People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.”

My 2021 April Fools… in cinemas never 

“Happy Buddha film”

“You may recall a couple of years ago Zhang Yimou cast me as laughing buddha in an untitled (at the time) movie… I was like a gold version of The Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man, in head-to-toe spray gold make-up daily for 6 weeks of shooting almost killed me, but the excitement of being in a Chinese movie made it all worthwhile…

Due to COVID-19, the release was delayed, but I found out today that the now titled HAPPY BUDDHA will be released on August 8… Thrilled with the poster including above title credit for me (with my Chinese name 沈途彬) along with Gong Li (巩俐), Jing Tian (景甜) and Jet Li (李连杰).”

“Zhang Yimou’s HAPPY BUDDHA is the story of Mi Lo Fu (buddha) reincarnated as an American theatre director in China, that brings joy to many via entertainment, proving the world is actually border-free and much smaller than we all think. Starring Gong Li, Jet Li, Jing Tian and introducing Toby Simkin.”


Happy Buddha advance film posterLaughing Buddha April Fool

My April Fools 2022… Lobby Vending Machine

Presumably to reduce our building residents need to walk the streets of Shanghai during the pandemic, vending machine snack foods installed in our lobby today, adjacent to our N95 face mask vending machine.

April Fools Lobby Vending Machine (2022)

Offering local delicacies of ready-to-eat fried lizard, boiled crayfish, fried cockroaches, chicken head, fried spider, chicken feet, century old egg, live crab, boiled snake, centipede, fried seahorse, boiled larvae, fried scorpion, baijiu alcohol, great wall wine, local beer, pineapple beer, chinacoke & moutai liquor.

April Fool! 愚人节!

April Fools’ Day Pranks

For the average trickster, there is always the classic April Fools’ Day prank of covering the toilet with plastic wrap or switching out sugar and salt.

But in modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and websites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences.

  • In 1985, Sports Illustrated writer George Plimpton tricked many readers when he ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour.
  • In 1992, National Public Radio ran a spot with former President Richard Nixon saying he was running for president again… only it was an actor, not Nixon, and the segment was all an April Fools’ Day prank that caught the country by surprise.
  • In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell.
  • In 1998, after Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich.
  • Google notoriously hosts an annual April Fools’ Day prank that has included everything from “telepathic search” to the ability to play Pac Man on Google Maps.

Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post cover

Famous US artist Norman Rockwell’s whimsical cover for the Saturday Evening Post, lighthearted in nature, Rockwell’s 1943 April Fools cover still features the painstaking amount of detail for which the artist was known, packing odd and amusing details.

Can you spot all of them?

Norman Rockwell

The Game April Fool, 1943 by Norman Rockwell, The Saturday Evening Post, April 3, 1943

I found 43…  The principal April fooleries in the painting are:

1.  the trout, the fishhook and the water, all on the stairway;
2.  the stairway running behind the fireplace, an architectural impossibility;
3.  the mailbox;
4.  the faucet;
5.  wall-paper upside down;
6.  wallpaper has two designs;
7.  the scissors candlestick;
8.  silhouettes upside down;
9.  bacon and egg on the decorative plate;
10. the April-fool clock;
11. the portraits;
12. ducks in the living room;
13. zebra looking out of the frame;
14. mouse looking out of the mantelpiece;
15. a tire for the iron rim of the mantelpiece;

16. medicine bottle and glass floating in the air;
17. fork in-stead of a spoon on the bottle;
18. the old lady’s hip pocket;
19. the newspaper in her pocket;
20. her wedding ring on the wrong hand;
21. buttons on the wrong aide of her sweater;
22. crown on her head;
23. stillson wrench for a nutcracker in her hand;
24. skunk on her lap;
25. she is wearing trousers;
26. she has on ice skates;
27. no checkers on checkerboard;
28. wrong number of squares on checkerboard;
29. too many fingers on old man’s hand;
30. erasers on both ends of his pencil;

31. he is wearing a skirt;
32. he has a bird in his pocket;
33. he is wearing roller skates;
34. he has a hoe for a cane;
35. billfold on string tied to his finger;
36. milkweed growing in room;
37. milk bottle on milkweed;
38. deer under chair;
39. dog’s paws on deer;
40. mushrooms;
41. woodpecker pecking chair;
42. buckle on man’s slipper;
43. Rockwell’s signature is in reverse.

BBC’s Spaghetti Trees

Likely the best April fools…

In 1957, BBC Panorama reported that a happy Swiss family was harvesting their prized spaghetti trees. Unbeknownst to many viewers, the four-minute “news” segment, literally showed strands of cooked pasta dangling from the trees in a family vineyard, an intricate April Fools’ Day hoax produced for a paltry £100.

Toby Simkin’s Broadway Entertainment, LLC
dba within China as: 沈途彬商务咨询(上海)有限公司

– ~ ~  {:-)-:}  ~ ~ –

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