It’s pretty easy to hoax people. We all want to be deceived, but only up to a point. Some hoaxes are fun and pleasant, others malicious and unpleasant. We’d like a way to tell the difference (Robert Carroll).

Sep 4, 2012

Los Angeles Highways are Closed for Repairs

In 1987 a Los Angeles disc jockey Steve Morris from KRTH-FM radio station have announced that on April 8th all the major Los Angeles highway system would be shut down for repairs for an entire month, as part of an elaborate 3 1/2-hour hoax. As you understand, this was quite surprising and alarming news for Los Angeles drivers, since there it's necessary to use the highway to get almost anywhere.

KRTH-FM staffers were quite surprised over the overwhelming response to their little April Fool's prank. "We wanted to do something special for April Fool's day," explained KRTH program director Phil Hall. "We thought that this was the most ludicrous thing we could say--so crazy that nobody would believe." They overestimated (or underestimated) their audience.

The radio station immediately received hundreds of angry calls in response to the announcement, and the California Highway Patrol reported that they were also flooded with phone complaints throughout the day. The station later admitted that it was stunned by the intensity of the public reaction to the hoax. A representative from the California Department of Transportation contacted the station's managers to share their opinion of the prank. Hall said he received a call from Caltrans "telling us that they didn't think it was very funny and asked us to make an announcement that it was a hoax." Deejay Morris readily complied 20 minutes later, as he had initially planned.


KRTH (101.1 FM, "K-Earth 101") is a U.S. oldies radio station located in Los Angeles, California, broadcasting to the Greater Los Angeles Area. Currently, it is the oldest continuously operated FM station in southern California, signed on in 1941.

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