The convergence of Easter and April Fools' Day proved a double-edged sword. While holiday obligations may have made the gullible even easier to dupe, those same obligations - and the fact April Fools fell on a weekend day - worked against creativity and originality.
Still, a handful of Buffalo-area businesses dipped their toes in the pool of pranks, and a few pulled off their tricks with aplomb.
1) Churn announces an ice cream truck.
What happened: Lloyd Taco took to Twitter, Instagram and its website to drop news regarding its sister ice cream shop, Churn, which is set to open sometime in April for its second warm-weather season. Lloyd announced a Churn ice cream truck was on the way, too, fooling the majority of its Instagram followers; fans salivated over the idea of ice cream tacos and brainstormed a catchy truck song.
The best comment? "We're spending all summer on Allen on the prowl for this." Of the April Fools' Day tricks on this list, Churn's - unveiled around 9 p.m. March 31 - bluff
Changing the GAME this summer!!#ChurnSoftServe opens back up on Hertel in just a couple weeks, and this summer it's very first truck is hitting the streets of Buffalo!!
— Lloyd (@whereslloyd) April 1, 2018
Why it's funny: Lloyd partner Peter Cimino confirmed that the Churn truck announcement was, in fact, an April Fools joke - one certainly more believable than last year's taco delivery by drone.
2) Depew Police Department promotes "Stew Rabbitnovich" to assistant police chief.
What happened: There's always one police department that has a laugh on April 1, and Depew jumps in with the promotion of this ambitious hare.
Why it's funny: While there might be a sizable contingent of Eastern European rabbits in Depew, the first name Stew seems a little harsh for the bunny community. It's like naming a cow "Burger" or a chicken "Fingers," right? But the Facebook post is cute, with Peeps being apprehended for deviled egg larceny by this astute forager.
3) Mark Poloncarz raises the roof of the Rath Building.
What happened: Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, a regular partaker in April Fools' Day antics, disseminated a press release to announce The Edward A. Rath County Office Building would expand by 10 floors, adding a rooftop restaurant, private event space, garden and helipad, a landing for helicopters to modernize an otherwise antiquated structure.
Why it's funny: An underrated part of Poloncarz's release is this: "This is a forward thinking project that will convert the stodgy Rath building into a contemporary, attractive destination.” Stodgy is a brilliant word. Naming several elements of the expansion after past county representatives - like the "Collins Quiet Room," after outspoken former Erie County Executive Chris Collins - was good for a few chuckles, too.
4) Life Storage's moving bot, named Howie.
What happened: Buffalo-based Life Storage rode the wave of automation on April Fools' Day, releasing a commercial to introduce Howie, a mobile app-activated "smart bot" who helps move supplies and doubles as a surveillance system. The brand teamed with Optic Sky, a Rochester movie production company, to deliver this cute bit.
Why it's funny: Because Howie is so helpless! You feel for him as he struggles with the packing tape, then winds up on his side when called upon for vital storage surveillance. He has so much potential, and great blue eyes.
5) North Park Theatre teased "Citizen Kane," threw playful jab at Millennials.
What happened: On Facebook, North Park Theatre promoted the debut of a "locally colorized" version of "Citizen Kane," widely considered one of the best films ever made.
"Every frame has been painstakingly bedazzled using the latest in GIMP technology, and I really went to town with Millennial Pink," said North Park in-house "colorization director" Andrew Sasala.
In addition to the event scheduled for April 27, the North Park claimed Netflix would spread the Buffalo-colored version of the film worldwide. While classic movie buffs - including The News' Toni Ruberto - felt their hearts flutter for a second, the announcement proved a hoax.
Why it's funny: This quote, from the theater's Facebook event page: "Our studies show that 30% of our audience possesses a violent aversion to black & white cinema, so this is a match made in heaven. Thanks for the tax breaks!"
6) 43North will pay startup winners in cryptocurrency.
What happened: The annual business competition that has rewarded startups since 2014 with as much as $5 million added a new twist on April Fools' Day, announcing that it would pay its winners in a new cryptocurrency called Larkoin.
According to a press release, the phenomena of Bitcoin and CryptoKitties, new breeds of digital exchange currency, have affected the financial industry to a degree where 43North couldn't afford to be left behind.
Why it's funny: Our favorite line was this: "43North IT officials indicate that “Larkoin” will be, in their words, “secure-ish” and not as volatile as other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Cryptokitties, TRON, and SwayCoin."
7) Buffalo State agrees to sell campus to Ciminelli Real Estate.
What happened: The Buffalo State Record penned a well-sourced report that developer Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation had swooped in to purchase the entirety of the SUNY Buffalo State campus, for a modest $150 million. The meat of the report digs into the Green Code that governs the Elmwood Village and the conflicts over historic preservation caused by ambitious plans of developers.
Why it's funny: The article's tone and thoroughness makes it seem believable, and there are only a few hints that it's an April Fools joke - at least until you get to "The Wreckard's" disclaimer at the bottom of the page.