The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘April Fool’s Day’

A Vintage Plimpton Prank

April 1, 2014 | by

Today’s been so chock full of hoaxes, shenanigans, pranks, put-ons, spoofs, tomfoolery, and good-natured hooliganism that we’ve almost forgotten to remind you of the hoaxes, shenanigans, pranks, put-ons, spoofs, tomfoolery, and good-natured hooliganism of yesteryear. One case in particular merits revisiting: we speak, of course, of a 1985 hoax executed in grand fashion by our late founder, George Plimpton. PBS’s American Masters tells the story with help from Jonathan Dee:

For the April 1, 1985, issue of Sports Illustrated, George Plimpton wrote “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch,” a profile on an incredible rookie baseball pitcher for the New York Mets. Sports fans took his April Fools’ Day joke seriously. Even other journalists were willing to believe a novice could throw a 168-mph fast ball, thanks to his Buddhist training (Sidd was short for Siddhartha, the title character of Herman Hesse’s novel). To keep the hoax going, a nervous George Plimpton relied on a young Jonathan Dee, now a famous fiction writer but then an associate editor and Plimpton’s personal assistant at The Paris Review. Dee describes Plimpton’s tense days surrounding the hoax in this film outtake.

American Masters’ Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself premieres nationally Friday, May 16, on PBS.

 

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Here’s Pie in Your Eye

April 1, 2014 | by

Pieing for fun and profit.

pietoface

“I used to throw pies for a living.”

The story usually elicits a good chuckle or two. It’s the perfect gambit when dinner-party conversation lags—a legendary prank executed long ago in my rascal past, a kind of April Fools’ joke.

But what my audience never knows is this: they’re talking to a guy who once commanded a hit squad of domestic terrorists that carried out a slew of public attacks in broad daylight and got away with it.

Well, mostly. An enraged crowd of Trekkies nearly stomped me to death after I’d boldly gone and pied William Shatner, their beloved Captain Kirk, at a Star Trek convention. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Read More »

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The Bookstore of the Year, and Other News

April 2, 2013 | by

Square-Books

 

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