Anatomy of a Prank

Boy, did this site get hammered yesterday!
Check it out:

  • Hits 552263
  • Files 414861
  • Pages 77827
  • Visits 45273
  • Sites 37453
  • KBytes 2873576

Then we had to put up the moose.
So I want to talk about this, for just a second, and how it came about.
I thought it would be cool to pull an April Fool’s prank, because I’ve never done it before, and I am always taken in by them. Matter of fact, the only reason I didn’t completely buy all the otherwise unbelievable stories I read yesterday is because I was spoofing one myself!
Here are the ideas I had, in the note I sent to my friends:


I want to do a good April Fool’s Day thingy on the site.
Current ideas include:
1. WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER DOT NET -funny on the face of it, but could be considered derivative of the parody SA did of WWDN.
2. A false news story revealing that I have signed a contract to appear as a regular, reprising the Wesley role, on Enterprise.
3. Put up a page that says something about “w3 o\/\/nxx0rs j00!”
4. Same as 2, but the story is that I’ve signed to be in Stand By Me 2: Back to the Body. It’s a horror film, this time, and The Body has come back to life.
I like 2 the best, because I think it’s the most plausible, and should be able to fool the most people.
Do you cats have any ideas?
Oh, and keep this secret, you bastards.

So that was the genesis of it. We all hammered it out, and you saw the results. What you didn’t know is that MT got completely borked on Thursday last week, and I’ve been observing a “minimal computer on the weekends” policy for about 4 weeks now. It was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to fix it in time to do the story, so I downloaded the entire index page, and hard-coded the entry in notepad. That’s why you saw the date being all screwed up at the top.
A couple of things have come out of this: it would seem, at least on the face of it, that the ratio of Wesley (and therefore Wil) haters to non-haters has changed, from like 6:1 to 1:4 or so (well, maybe 7:5, thanks to pari-mutuel betting). This was a really surprising, and wonderful discovery. I really did begin to feel badly that people were congratulating me, and sending me all these warm fuzzies…but it really did make me feel good to know that so many people want me to do well. When I am really successful again, I will feel so good knowing that I’m sharing that success with everyone who reads WWDN, sends me mojo, and rides the insane roller coaster of the entertainment industry along with me.
Last time I’ll say it: I didn’t intend to do anything rivy. It was really just a prank, and I’ll apologize again to everyone who was taken in. I hope you’ll forgive me. Also, apologies to everyone else who is hosted by logjamming. I’m sorry that WWDN took the server down, and took your sites with it.
IMDB even picked up on it, saying, “April Fool’s Joke Backfires on TNG Actor.” I couldn’t disagree with that characterization more, but it’s pretty cool that they picked up the story!
The Think Geek WheatoniX joke was created a few weeks ago, and I had intended to send them a picture of me, surrounded by technical manuals and printouts and stuff, but then I got super busy with auditions and meetings last week…so they ended up using artwork that my friend Ben designed*. You may recognize that head drawing from the “Wil Has A Posse” T-shirts. I strongly encourage everyone to check out Ben’s portfolio, and consider him for some design work. He is such an amazing artist, and should be way more famous than he is.
Watching the dust settle, would I do it again? Yeah, I probably would. It was really fun, and the “god you suck, jackass!” emails have been vastly outweighed by the “oh man, good prank! you totally got me!” emails. I also think it may have brought a few new people to the website, which is always a good thing.
I’m out. I have a meeting, then an audition, then a commute.
I hope everyone is having a great day! :-)
(*Yeah, I know that the link is currently down, but I’m sure it will come back up soon enough.)