How The BBC Fooled Viewers Into Thinking Spaghetti Grows On Trees

Who knew the BBC had this much of a sense of humor? Here is a fantastic clip broadcast on April Fool's Day in 1957, which shows the "traditional spaghetti harvest" and educates its viewers on dangers like the spaghetti weevil.

I am a relatively credulous person. I can't tell you how many times I've believed that hoverboards have been developed. And I think, if I were in Britain in 1957, I might actually believe that spaghetti isn't made, it's farmed.


This short clip aired on Panorama, a "magazine show" that talked about various current affairs around the globe. This was a human interest story, focusing on a Swiss family, and their yearly harvest of the spaghetti crop. What makes this clip so believable is the verisimilitude, from the strained interest in the narrator's voice, to the allusion to the "vast spaghetti plantations in the Po valley," which the narrator is sure that many Britons have seen in photographs.

I wouldn't have been alone in being taken in. The BBC got hundreds of calls, some of which asked for spaghetti tree seeds, so they could grow their own spaghetti harvest. The staff answering the phone told the callers to "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."

I would like to hear some stories of the people who fell for that.

[Source: The 10 Best April Fool's.]


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