HOAXES, HARRISON AND ‘HARLOTS’, by Hannah Brown, July 6, 2017
In this era where the new way to tell someone “I disagree with you” is to accuse them of reporting “fake news,” it’s a good time to look at the life of one of the most famous pranksters of all time, Joey Skaggs. He is the subject of the new documentary The Art of the Prank, directed by Andrea Marini, which will be shown on YES Docu on July 7 at 10:30 p.m.
Skaggs, who has been called “The Godfather of the Media Hoax,” is an artist who has promoted himself for decades by coming up with silly scams that have taken in virtually every major media outlet. Among his most memorable schemes were that of a “cathouse” for dogs; a scientific discovery that cockroaches hold the secrets of the human immune system; a protest by gypsies to have the gypsy moth renamed; condos for fish so they could escape increasingly polluted oceans; and so on.
Skaggs explains that creating funny scams is serious business. While you may or may not agree with the political convictions that drive his work, watching one media outlet after another fall for his nonsense is extremely entertaining.