pranks

#pranks

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"Weird Al" Yankovic - My Bologna
"Weird Al" Yankovic once produced a parody of The Knack's classic song "My Sharona" called "My Bologna." When the song became a huge hit (his first) Yankovic presented Doug Fieger, The Knack's lead singer, with an unusual gift as a token of his appreciation. The gift? A large bologna.[Yankovic's song 'Christmas at Ground Zero' was banned at some radio stations. It's subject? Nuclear war in the Yuletide Season.]
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Richard Branson meets Sir James Goldsmith
Virgin Records' founder Richard Branson was once invited to an exclusive party at the luxurious home of billionaire merchant banker Sir James Goldsmith. While admiring Goldsmith's beautiful pool, Branson—on a whim—crept up behind his host and pushed him in![Branson was not invited to the next party.]
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When Loren Smith Declined An Ashtray
U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Loren A. Smith, a maverick cigar smoker, became a legend at a meeting on election law. The other participants, in an elegant, white-carpeted conference room, watched in disbelief as Smith repeatedly declined an ashtray for use with his eight-inch cigar—which he calmly smoked until seven inches of perfect ash bedecked its end. "I was testing something Clarence Darrow used to do," he later explained. "I had inserted a straightened-out paper clip before I lit up..."
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Walter Hagen Etiquette
Golf great Walter Hagen was among the most flamboyant players in the game's history. On one occasion, he attempted to annoy his partner and exaggerate the man's obsession with proper etiquette by playing the entire round in a full tuxedo.On another occasion, Hagen asked England's Edward VIII to tend the flag for him. His exact words have become a thing of legend: "Hey Eddie," he said, "get the stick, will you?"[One day in the late 19th Century, Griswold "Grizzy" Lorillard appeared at the exclusive Tuxedo Park Club in New York City wearing an unusual tailless dinner coat—and the 'tuxedo' was born.]
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Henry Arthur Jones - deathbed decision
As he lay dying, Henry Arthur Jones was asked whether he would prefer his niece or his nurse to spend the night at his bedside. "The prettier," he replied. "Now fight for it!"
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Max Beerbohm is mistaken for James Barrie
At George Meredith's funeral in 1909, Max Beerbohm was mistaken for fellow scribe James Barrie (the Scottish author of Peter Pan): "As I left, a young woman rushed up to me, crying, 'Mr. Barrie, Mr. Barrie—you are Mr. Barrie, aren't you!? Will you write something for me in my autograph book? Here it is!'—I know it was in poor taste; I said nothing, but when I took the volume my pen ran away with me, and I wrote, 'Ay, Lassie! It's a sad day the noo. J. M. Barrie.'"
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Brendan Behan - Anglo-Saxon Swine
While working in Paris in 1949, Brendan Behan—a housepainter by trade—was asked to paint a sign on the window of a cafe to attract English tourists. Behan kindly complied, composing a short poem:Come in, you Anglo-Saxon swineAnd drink of my Algerian wine!'Twill turn your eyeballs black and blue,And damn well good enough for you!After receiving payment for the job, Behan fled before the cafe's proprietor had time to have the rhyme translated.[Behan was later imprisoned (twice) for IRA-related political offenses.]
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John Barrymore & the War of the Worlds
In 1938, Orson Welles broadcast a radio reproduction of H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds (which depicts a Martian invasion). So persuasive was Welles's delivery that the broadcast caused a minor nation-wide panic. John Barrymore—convinced that Martians had in fact landed—remained silent until Welles reported that the invaders were marching down Madison Avenue, at which point he rushed to his kennel (in which he kept twenty St. Bernards), flung open the gate, released the dogs, and cried, "Fend for yourselves!"
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H. L. Mencken & Joseph Hergesheimer - Speaking Together
Posters once inadvertently announced that novelist Joseph Hergesheimer and critic H. L. Mencken would speak "together" in New York. Taking the pronouncement literally, the two men took the stage together and, standing side by side, simultaneously delivered separate lectures.
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How Rebecca Romijn's Father Greeted Her Boyfriends
Lucky boys who dated Rebecca Romijn in high-school were often surprised by her father's efforts to put them at ease. "When they used to pick me up," she once recalled, "Dad would open the front door... completely naked."[Though her parents were "anti-establishment" Rebecca never became a pothead: "I had nothing to rebel against. Kids at my school became preppies—just to rebel against their hippie parents."]