prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

The Infamous Spaghetti Tree Harvest

Posted by prof e on March 31, 2015

April Fool’s Day is a time to prank your friends and family members with a tall-tale or fib designed to make them believe something that isn’t true. When I was growing up it was not uncommon for one of us to look out the window first thing in the morning and exclaim, “Wow, look at that…it snowed last night!” Of course one could only hope that the target of the prank would look outside before remembering what day it was.

But how would you feel if your local news broadcaster pulled a fast one on you this April 1st? In 1957 the BBC’s Panorama program broadcast a 3-minute segment about the spaghetti harvest in the south of Switzerland. Here, see for yourself…

According to the hoaxes.org website,

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.

You can read more about it here.

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