Today is not only the religious observance of Easter, it's also the sacred day of all pranksters, jokers, and merry-makers. Yes, April Fool's Day is upon us once more, and you may have had the bitter misfortune of sitting on a whoopee cushion, biting into a mayonaise-filled donut, or becoming the recipient of what the kids have dubbed "a crank call." Prank-pulling is a staple of the first of April, a longstanding practice that's enticed everyone from the Weasley twins (who were born on the holiday, FYI) to SpongeBob SquarePants to Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime.
However, this kind of spring-based merriment is not limited to the characters of the fictional world. All day long, folks like writers, filmmakers, reporters, comic book publishers, and more have a little fun with the public by pranking them on April 1. Those who help shape and disseminate pop culture have such an easy job of things, as they're so reputable the other 364 days of the year. Here are 5 genre-related pranks from today that really had us (and most people) going...
1. David F. Sandberg's Shazam! "teaser" trailer:
Sandberg's cinematic take on the classic DC character doesn't bow in theaters until April 5, 2019, but Sandberg decided to have a bit of fun with those looking forward to the movie. Writing "I'll just leave this here" on his Twitter page, the Lights Out director posted what seemed like a teaser trailer for the film. It begins in regular trailer fashion with ominous lightning and a deep voice saying, "Billy Batson, it is time" before transitioning to a clip from the Shazam! TV show of the mid-1970s set to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck." The end title reads: "Shazam! Rise of the Ponysmasher." Somehow, we don't think that's the actual title.
2. The "Golden" Turtles:
The official Twitter account for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles decided to pull a prank by teasing a "never-before-seen TMNT theme song" for the animated series that ran between 2003 and 2009. As it turns out, it's just the opening titles synced up with the theme song from the Golden Girls, "Thank You for Being a Friend," the original version by Andrew Gold. Still, if you think about it, a group of old ladies and a team of ninja reptiles actually aren't so different.
3. External underwear to the rescue!
DC Comics took to social media to announce a new initiative based solely around trunks, otherwise known as the external undergarments worn by so many superheroes. Of course, this is all just an elaborate ruse, but they did tie the announcement of "DC: Ultimate Trunks #1" to the fact that Superman is returning to his classic look within the pages of Action Comics #1000. As part of the Trunk Renaissance, Batman, Wonder Woman, and even Lex Luthor will get some excellent external underwear.
"That guy's got a whole designer closet full of them (they go over his three-piece suits)," says the website of Luthor's wardrobe. It goes on to hilariously write: "These inspired trunks designs come from some of comics’ most acclaimed creators who spent a painstaking three-month creative retreat making sure each and every pair had its own unique design and rich backstory." Finally, the whole hoax comes undone at the end when DC writes that you may find additional trunk info by following the publisher "on social media at @DCComics, hashtag #AprilFools."
4. Yee-haw! San Antonio jumps on the Black Panther train:
The Texas city's office of international relations revealed that its newest "Sister City" would be Wakanda, the fictional nation of the Marvel Universe and home of the Black Panther (aka King T'Challa). In COSA's Twitter post, they express their excitement for the cultural, economic, and educational exchanges between the two locations, especially San Antonio gaining access to the strongest metal in the Marvel Universe, vibranium.
5. Archaeologists make the discovery of a lifetime:
Did humans evolve from Porgs? In a new, apocryphal Twitter posting, Lindisfarne Heritage asserts that scientists from Durham University in England have discovered bones of the small, puffin-like creatures created just for Star Wars: The Last Jedi by writer-director Rian Johnson. Apparently, the Latin name for the species is "Porgus porgus" and they inhabit both remote islands in the North Atlantic and isolated islets on the Outer Rim.
One testimonial about the find comes from the project's archaeologist Jakku Bespin: "Although prominent in early medieval texts, Porg bones have proved to very hard to identify in the archaeology record. These finds will allow us to advance the study of human-porg entanglement." Of course, Bespin's name is just a combination of two planets that exist in the Star Wars universe, Jakku being the place where Rey's no-good parents dumped her when she was a kid.