Celebrity Hoaxes: All the News That Is Fit to Fake
To celebrate the hoax that is the Balloon Boy, here are some celebrity hoaxes perpetrated against us, the trusting and loyal, make that gullible, public.
"Paul is Dead"
Probably the mother of all celebrity hoaxes was the rumor that Sir Paul McCartney, lead singer of The Beatles, died. "Paul is dead" is an urban legend that Paul passed away and was replaced by a look-alike/sound-alike. Weird.
Pretty Popular for a Lonely Girl
Lonelygirl15 was Bree, a real 16-year-old video blogger, who's early posts dealt with everyday things. Later admissions regarding ventures into the occult and the disappearance of her parents after she refused to join a secret ceremony fueled intrigue. Eventually it was revealed that Bree was 20-year-old New Zealand actress Jessica Rose and the hoax was originated by Creative Artists Agency.
David Zalubowski, AP
Lonelygirl15 / AP
Tiziana Fabi, AFP / Getty Images
Scott Gries, Getty Images
Family Communications Inc. / Getty Images
AFP / Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian, AP
Ron Galella, WireImage
War of the Radio Words
Leave it to one of America's greatest thespians, and part-time magician, to pull off one of the greatest media hoaxes of all time. Although now it seems a little far-fetched, the doom-saying Orson Welles was able to convince a startled nation that it was being invaded by Martians resulting in widespread panic. Oh the pleasures of naivete.
The Dalton Brothers
The legendary Dalton Brothers played two kinds of music: country and western. Well, add rock n' roll to make that three. Who were the lucky members of this short-lived fictional spoof country band who opened for U2 during their Joshua Tree Tour? The members from U2.
The celebrated writer Jeremiah "Terminator" (JT) LeRoy lived a hardscrabble life of drug addiction, prostitution and vagrancy. Well that was until an expose revealed that Mr. LeRoy was a woman named Laura Albert. Albert was later convicted of fraud and ordered to pay reparations on signed legal papers made in Mr. LeRoy's name.
Before 'Where the Wild Things Are,' there was another place where director Spike Jonze and his merry band of pranksters hung out. It was outside a Westwood, California theater where Jonze and the Torrance Community Dance Group made onlookers think they were a real dance troupe boppingto Fatboy Slim's song 'Praise You." Has to be seen to be believed.
Geraldo Rivera Opens Al Capone's Vault. And Then?!?
Geraldo hosted the one-time live TV event "The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault" which focused on the opening of the infamous gangster's secret treasures. The short story? The vault was empty, except debris.
Andy Kaufman Resurfaces
Andy Kaufman's persistent wish to fake his death and mysterious death from lung cancer (he didn't smoke), made many wonder if he was still alive. The performance of alter-ego "Tony Clifton" after his death made it seem even more likely.
Britney Spears and Justin, RIP
Two Texas DJs reported on the death of Britney Spears and former boyfriend Justin Timberlake in a car crash. KGEL was sued and the radio station fired both DJs. Now it's just Britney's career that is dead.
Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin was duped by a couple of French-Canadian radio hosts pretending to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy. That's why you get aides to handle your incoming calls...
Mr. Rogers: Ass Whuppin in a Sweater
Fred (a.k.a. Mr.) Rogers was rumoured to have had approximately 150 kills during the Vietnam War and that his legendary sweaters were worn to cover tattoos. Don't go into Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. It could be deadly.
Smarty Pant Singer and Fiery Crooner
Documentary filmmaker Chris Atkins and his team conned major tabloid newspapers into publishing fake stories about celebrities. One claimed that a furniture mover found quantum physics books proving that 'Girls Aloud' singer Sarah Harding was a physics savant. Another was that troubled torch singer Amy Winehouse suffered from having her beehive hairdo caught ablaze.
One Man. Three Alter Egos
"Ali G," "Borat" and "Bruno" all were fictional characters created by Sacha Baron Cohen. The list of victims is legion. Donald Trump, David Beckham, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, UN Secretary General Boutros "Boutros" Boutros-Ghali, academic Noam Chomsky. Is there anyone serious Cohen hasn't tricked?
Whereas we are still reeling from the death of the King of Pop, every couple of years we are dealing with the life of the King of Rock n' Roll. One of the most persistent of celebrity hoaxes is the sighting of Elvis Presley among his faithful.
"Dicking Around" France
Bernie Rhodes, manager of 'The Clash,' convinced frontman Joe Strummer to hide out with one of Rhodes' friends to stir up ticket sales on the Scottish leg of a 1982 tour. But Strummer took it to heart, genuinely disappearing to France where he "dicked around." During his sabbatical he ran the Paris Marathon. His training? Ten pints of beer the night before the race.
Before the Material Girl, Bob Dylan was the last word in personal reinvention. Whether it was his name change (from Robert Zimmerman to Dylan), a more interesting place of birth (he was born in Duluth, Minnesota, not Gallup, New Mexico), to even who he was raised by (parents, not Native American Indians), Dylan made so many changes that switching from acoustic to electric guitar probably felt easy.
- Jennifer Aniston
- Paris Hilton
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According to Denise, she's not sure that her estranged ex is completely sober....
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