Monday, April 1, 2013

When TV Guide Went April Fools

Welcome to members of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, new and old.

I live in upstate New York in the United States, and I like to write about anything that strikes my interest.  I do not do this as a business, but because I enjoy writing.  I also enjoy photography, as you'll see from time to time.

On Sundays, I write a United States Civil War post. (I'm not a historian or a "buff"- just a person who likes to investigate the human side of the war.)  On Wednesdays, I have a Spring Things feature.  On Saturdays I try to concentrate on farmers' markets, local foods, or sustainable growing.  The 15th of each month is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, so you will see pictures of flowers.

Every other day I write about-well, you'll have to visit daily to see.  You can't say I didn't tell you what you were getting into.

So today, on April Fools Day, I want to talk about-The Good Old Days.

April Fools Internet pranks are fun to find each year but if you think about it, enough of the top hoaxes of the last hundred years (including the famous BBC Spaghetti Tree Harvest Documentary) pre date the Internet.  (Sorry, I can't bring that documentary to you, because You Tube is offline until 2023.)

But we used to have a lot of fun "in the old days" with April Fool's jokes in magazines - including special TV supplements published in TV Guide magazine.  I wonder if anyone else remembers this, because I can't find anything online about these April Fools issues. 

Back "then", before cable TV systems had online TV programming information, and before cable TV further homogenized the weekly TV listings, a weekly magazine called TV Guide published the listings.  They had tens of of regional editions and I loved to collect them when I went traveling.   Just think of how much work this all took.

At least twice in the early 1960's I remember the issue that would have contained listings for April 1 having a special section, with hoax TV shows and other non-information. 

This, of course, was part of a distinguished April Fools tradition of hoax magazine articles. I just think it would be so cool if anyone else remembered what TV Guide did - and if I could even see some of those issues.

Does anyone else remember?


  1. Looking forward to reading more of your blog during this blog challenge! I'm over in Western NY!

  2. I remember the TV Guide books, but can't say I remember what was in them. I am a huge fan of tangible items that can be read so I am sure I would have loved the TV Guide special issues.

    All the best to you.

    Stopping by from UBC

  3. No I don't remember that but it is very cool. We had a rough April 1st with my daughter having oral surgery. No one was in a pranking mood. Maybe next year!

  4. I do. In at least one issue, one of the features had many of the hosts of various talk shows appearing as guests on the other talk shows. It was so very clever, nuanced, funny!

  5. OMG - I thought I was the only person who remembered those editions! I grew up in Poughkeepsie and I remember one with a hoax description for an episode of Green Acres. Thank you for validating this very old memory of mine!

  6. Yes I remember one of the TV Guide April Fools issues. The "fake" cover showed Vince Edwards, aka "Ben Casey" posing with Bullwinkle, and smiling -- his TV character was famous for newer cracking a smile.


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