Being that it’s April Fool’s Day, I thought I would share what is probably the best prank that I was ever involved in. It was either 1993 or 1994, and I was working as the Assistant Promotions Director and as a DJ at WKCI (KC 101) in New Haven Connecticut. Our morning show at the time was Glenn Beck (Yes… THAT Glenn Beck) and Pat Grey, weirdly enough, known as Glenn & Pat.
The prank went like this… A few days prior to April Fool’s Day, Glenn & Pat started talking on-air about how worried they were for their jobs. Their contracts were set to expire at the end of March and nobody from management had approached them about renewing. This set off a flurry of listener phone calls.
Here’s the thing… LOTS of radio stations and morning shows have pulled this exact same stunt, only to have the morning hosts show up as normal and shout “April Fools!” We didn’t do that. As a matter of fact, we went the extra step and actually brought back Chris Evans (known as Doctor Chris) to do the morning show that day. Chris, was actually the morning host prior to Glenn & Pat and was fired to make room for them. The phones went CRAZY!!!!
We had to set up a voice mail line to handle all of the calls to our General Manager. After a while, people started thinking that this WAS an April Fools gag, and that Glenn & Pat would be back the next day. We made the decision, and with Chris’s graciousness, to extend the “Dr. Chris” show one more day. THAT did it. People went nuts. Threats were made, the local news picked it up… it was insane!
It wasn’t until April 3rd that Glenn & Pat went back on the air and spoke of it as an April Fool’s joke.
I wish I could say that I was the architect of this joke, but I wasn’t. It was kept a secret from everyone in the building except for those who needed to know. The only reason I knew about it prior was because I was on the air before the morning show, and I had to play dumb before the “morning show” came on.
I think a lot has to be said for the teamwork that was involved in this being a successful stunt. I also have to commend Chris Evans for agreeing to go along with it, since he was let go a couple of years prior.