I'm not a big fan of April Fool's Day, to be honest. Most of these pranks seem uninspired, but there are exceptions. I'm a huge fan of "The Office," and some of Jim's pranks on Dwight really made me belly laugh.

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How about the time Jim bought a 500-foot spool of red wire, connected one end to the back of Dwight's computer, and ran the other end out of the office and up a telephone pole? Or, there was the time Jim placed nickels into Dwight's phone, one at a time, so he would slowly get used to the weight, and then he removed them all at once so Dwight would accidentally smack himself in the face with the phone.

Another incident involved Jim stealing all of Dwight's items from his desk and paying the snack guy to put them in the vending machine. My favorite joke, which I borrowed, was when Jim stole Dwight's cellphone, placed it in the drop ceiling above Dwight's desk, and called it repeatedly.

These are the kinds of April Fool's Day pranks I can get behind—not telling someone they won a hundred grand and giving them a 100 Grand candy bar. Basically, I can appreciate a really clever gag, but I don't pull too many of these myself. Recently, we were talking about April Fool's Day jokes on the I-95 Morning Show, and we received a message from one of our listeners named "Dave G" from Brookfield.

Dave attached a newspaper clipping under the heading "Witty & Wise" that read:

New Jokes in the New World - 1796

The earliest recorded American April Fools' prank took place in Middletown, Connecticut, where a handbill promised a marketplace for fools' coats. It said sellers should bring coats of various colors, yellow to predominate with lots of tin bells and tassels.


Hoaxes.org backs up this story. they write:

"A handbill requesting the delivery of 17 fool's coats and caps to Middletown, Connecticut on April 1 for a convention (presumably of fools) was printed up and distributed in various New England towns. The handbill was signed Sancho Panca, which is almost certainly a pseudonym. Its author may have been Moses H. Woodward, who was the only printer in Middletown in 1796."

Beyond the existence of a 'fools-market' there is another layer of humor in the reference to Sancho Panca. That is sort of an Easter Egg, literary reference to the character Sancho Panza from Miguel de Cervantes' novel "Don Quixote."

Being first always counts for something and this is the first documented April Fool's joke in Connecticut and maybe the country. There are pictures of the actual handbill all over the internet.

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