April Fools' Day Hoaxes: Madonna, 'Breaking Bad,' Google Lead Pranks

Deadmau5, Flaming Lips, *NSYNC and Wilco all celebrate mischievous holiday

Madonna
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CBGB
Madonna
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Madonna, Deadmau5 and Flaming Lips were just some of the musicians — willingly or not — that celebrated April Fools' Day, a day revered by some and dreaded by others. But they were hardly the only ones to peddle fake beefs, promote nonexistent tours and hype up products that you'll never be able to use in real life. We rounded up some of our favorites in music, film, TV and tech, but will never admit which ones of these we actually fell for.

Music

Madonna Buying Cheap Storage Building to Create Rooftop Restaurant

According to Brooklyn paper Bushwick Daily, Her Madgesty purchased the top three floors of a Cheap Storage building and planned on converting the space into "a dance studio, a biannual space for ongoing children’s macrame workshops, a latex clothing company entitled 'Wrap Me,' a bi-weekly reading room for Adoptive Parents of Strictly Non-American Children (co-owned by Brangelina) and, most excitingly, a Raw Vegan Fruitarian Farm-to-Table restaurant that is rumored to showcase a rooftop lounge, organic miniature farm animals and a barmitzvah [sic] room." Madonna, we presume, had no direct involvement in the prank.

Wilco to Release "Deconstructed-yet-Patriotic" Children’s Music Yankee Doodle Foxtrot

Building on the success of their 2001 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco announced that they would release a children's album on July 4th. The tweet was accompanied by a recontextualized cover of Foxtrot featuring a child in full stars-and-stripes Uncle Sam gear.

*NSYNC Announce Reunion: Two New Songs, Tour Coming in 2015 

Given his status as one of music's top pop purveyors, Ryan Seacrest's announcement that *NSYNC would reunite for new music and a tour was on the more plausible end of Tuesday's hoaxes. Seacrest reported that the group's new album would be a greatest hits collection with two new tracks, one of which was a collaboration with Miley Cyrus. Cyrus was reported to be the group's opening act on the upcoming There Are Still No Strings Attached world tour next year. 

Deadmau5’s Twitter "Hacked" by Anonymous

Famed DJ/provocateur Deadmau5 made fans think his Twitter, Facebook and iPhone were hacked by Internet activist group Anonymous, who changed Deadmau5' profile photos to an image of two swords and their beloved Guy Fawkes mask in the shape of a pirate's skull and crossbones. The producer unmasked himself later that day with a picture with the text, "April Fools You Tools, luv anon + mau5."

Flaming Lips’ Dark Side of the Moon Companion Album Is Bogus

The Flaming Lips' recent companion album to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, dubbed Flaming Side of the Moon, naturally, was part of an elaborate April Fools' stunt done with Funny or Die. While the companion piece does exist, the Lips released a handful of videos, and one tell-all essay written by frontman Wayne Coyne, proclaiming the Flaming Lips have finally sold out.

Film/TV

Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston Partners With British Food Firm for Blue Pickles 

Trend-hunting site Firebox advertised its special brand of pickles with "Heisenberg hat screw-top lid" and a "distinctive and curiously addictive flavour." Extra points for the line: "If you've not tried this potent pickle before, maybe your best course is to spread lightly."

In the Kitchen With Hannibal

Hulu promoted their "new show" based on the popular TV show about Dr. Hannibal Lecter with a trailer for the new cooking series. "Feast your eyes as he creates his greatest works of art just for you," says the narrator. "Nothing here is vegetarian," adds Lecter, smiling. The series was one of several spin-off shows Hulu launched Tuesday, including Brooklyn Nine-Nine spin-off The Field, Scandal spin-off That's My Fitz and Community spin-off Hola Señor Chang.

Netflix Unveils Sizzling Bacon Movie

"The boundaries of TV and time go up in smoke with this tasteful, Memento-style puzzle that takes the viewer out of the fire and into the frying pan," notes the DVD and streaming service for their new bacon-themed show. The top comment? "The bacon part between 0:10-19:50 was my absolute favorite! I would definitely watch again." The company also introduced the 73-minute original series Rotisserie, noting, "In the tradition of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, witness a searing, chronology-defying return to one’s origins that stokes the imagination."

Drew Carey and Craig Ferguson Switch Jobs

The Price Is Right host and Late Late Show host switched roles for a day, with Ferguson taking over the game show and longtime friend Drew Carey filling in as talk show host. Ferguson, of course, was one of the stars of The Drew Carey Show, while Carey had hosting experience with the improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Tech

Google Automates David Hasselhoff Photobombs for April Fools'

Google+ introduced "Auto Awesome Photobombs," a new feature allowing you to insert David Hasselhoff into any of your photos. "Upload a new self-portrait or a group photo with friends, and leave some room for The Hoff," said the search engine behemoth. "He might just make your photo a little more #Hoffsome."

Google Maps Now Lets You Find and Catch Wild Pokémon

As The The Next Web notes, "From an iOS or Android device, you simply need to launch the Google Maps app and tap the 'Search' option at the top of the screen. You’ll see a new ‘Press Start’ option and a blue Pokéball icon, signalling the classic quest that awaits every aspiring Pokémon trainer. As you swipe around the map, you’ll see colorful sprites for individual Pokémon, which you can then catch and add to your Pokédex for safekeeping." An accompanying video released Monday has more than 6 million views.

Reddit Introduces New Service "Headdit"

"Reddit is serious business. As such, we are using this day to furnish you with an experience that will figuratively make your facial muscles sore," the popular link-sharing site wrote. "Using revolutionary hand equivalent action detection, headdit allows you to upnod, frownvote and navigate your way around reddit. So sit back, relax and enjoy headdit." Many redditors presumably nodded in agreement.

LinkedIn Introduces "Cats You May Know"

Playing off the Internet's insatiable love for all things feline, LinkedIn's new service "recommends new potential cat contacts — and allows you to connect with the cats you already know." The service features "large photos so you can clearly see which cool cat you’re connecting to" and allows you to "easily access every feline’s expertise (from chasing bits of lint on the floor to watching birds), as well as their locations and interests — all with a single click." Points added for "cat-nections." Points off for not including "com-purr-nies."

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