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Sean Hannity and Pat Gray tell us some of their most brilliant April Fools' Day Pranks (one involves Madonna)


"I had kids calling in and taking a chastity pledge."

(Fox News)

In honor of April Fools' Day, TheBlaze reached out to a few people in the radio world and asked them to share memories of past stunts, pranks and dumb ideas they recalled from the past.

We got some great responses.

Glenn Beck and Madonna

Before he was a talk show host, Glenn Beck worked on B-104 in Baltimore, Maryland, in the early 1990s. The B-104 morning show also featured Pat Gray and was like many "wacky morning shows" of the 80s and 90s.

Image source: YouTube

Gray shared a story with TheBlaze about two of the "successful" April Fools' Day stunts they pulled on listeners.

The exact year escaped Gray's memory, but he recalled one April Fools' Day when the duo announced a surprise Madonna concert was going to take place at the lounge of a suburban Holiday Inn, 25 miles away in Laurel, Maryland.

Despite the fact that Madonna was on top of the pop charts and filling stadiums, people believed it could be true and swarmed the suburban motel, creating a traffic jam Gray described as "two miles long on I-95."

Another Beck stunt during the Baltimore years was something called "Six Flags Under Baltimore." Beck and his crew produced a series of radio promos talking about an exciting, new underground amusement park from the Six Flags company. After weeks of talking about it and playing the fake commercials, the show pretended to be inside the underground theme park, testing the rides and previewing it for the public.

Callers swamped the station switchboard, trying to get directions to the park. Sadly, in the course of Glenn's many moves, none of the recordings of the promo and its on-air execution can be found.

 The Space Shuttle Has Been Diverted to San Diego

TheBlaze Radio's Chris Salcedo reminded us of a prank from a California radio station.

In 1993, San Diego radio station KGB caused traffic jams and confusion after the station's morning show fooled thousands, telling them the NASA space shuttle was landing at a nearby airport. The on-air hosts told listeners the shuttle was diverted from Edwards Air Force Base to the much smaller, local Montgomery Field.

Despite the fact that no space shuttle flight was on NASA's schedule, and the airport where the fictional landing was supposed to take place was much too small to handle the ship, officials say more than 1,000 people showed up.

Police needed to divert resources to the area to assist with the traffic jam.

Dave Rickards, of the Dave, Shelley and Chainsaw Show, told the LA Times the prank was his idea.

After the event, Rickards told the newspaper, "I just light these bombs, and then I run away."

Listen to a synopsis of the event and media coverage.

Rush Replaced By Howard Stern, Hannity Bans Nirvana

In 1996, Sean Hannity was hosting a conservative talk show in Atlanta. Hannity shared the story of how he switched places with an alternative rock radio show on 99X.

Hannity told the stunned listeners the entire staff of the station had been fired and replaced with the likes of him. 

"I had kids calling in and taking a chastity pledge," Hannity said to TheBlaze, adding, "I told them the station was moving in a new direction with more family friendly music." He even proposed a ban on all Nirvana songs.

Of course, over on Hannity's show, rock jocks Leslie Fram and Jimmy Baron told listeners that Howard Stern would be replacing Rush Limbaugh, adding that homosexuality is something that should be looked at as a way to reduce teen pregnancies.

The stunt has been memorialized in a 2005 issue of Atlanta magazine. They called it, "the best morning show prank - ever."

"Boston's Mayor Has Died"

Long time radio partners Opie & Anthony pulled off a massive April Fools' Day prank in Boston in 1998. That's when they told listeners the city's beloved mayor, Tom Menino, had died after his car was hit head-on by a tractor trailer while he was on vacation in Jacksonville, Florida.

Hughes recalled the events of the day and posted some of the newspaper clippings on his Instagram account Wednesday:

Front page of the Boston Herald on our #aprilfools prank of reporting the Mayor had died. #boston #tbt 1998

A photo posted by opie radio (@opieradio) on

The story was front page news and dominated local television news as well.  Despite an immediate suspension by the radio station and making a very public apology to the mayor, "Opie and Anthony" were terminated over the stunt.

Have an April Fools' Day stunt story to share? We invite you to add them to our list in the comments section.


Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.

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