Lifestyle | Culture

Final Curtain


Year(s): 1998, 1999, 2000

The Final Curtain was an over-the-top parody of the death care industry, designed to provoke people to think about their feelings about life, death and burial in a new light–before it’s personally too late.

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Doody Rudy


Year(s): 1999

On December 4, 1999, Joey Skaggs and a team of co-conspirators marched into Washington Square Park toting a 10’ x 14’ painting of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as the Madonna and a large vat of elephant dung. The painting was a satirical replica of the Chris Ofili painting “Holy Virgin Mary” which was part of the Brooklyn Museum’s “Sensation” show. The Mayor had recently attempted to defund the museum because, to him, the artist’s use of elephant dung instead of paint was offensive. Skaggs’ plan was to offer the public an opportunity to doody Rudy with Dumbo’s dung.

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Baba Wa Simba


Year(s): 1995

In February of 1995, Baba Wa Simba–Swahili for the Lion King–arrived in London ready to meet with his London Pride and later with the press. Born the son of American missionary parents in Kenya, Baba Wa Simba had grown up with the Masai at a lion sanctuary. His parents had been killed and eaten by lions, and, drawn to disenfranchised and troubled youth, he had developed his own philosophic approach to therapy, to heal the wounded animal within. Or, so he said. Baba Wa Simba was actually Joey Skaggs and the hoax was on the international media.

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Nat’l Enquirer & Boing Boing


Year(s): 1994

After The New York Times Magazine published John Tierney’s article, Falling For It, about Joey Skaggs’ Dog Meat Soup hoax, the National Enquirer called Skaggs and told him they were doing a profile about him. They wanted an exclusive photo shoot. They had covered Skaggs numerous times before and should have known what he looked like. He decided to send an impostor.

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Dog Meat Soup


Year(s): 1994

In May of 1994, Kim Yung Soo (a.k.a. Joey Skaggs), president of Kea So Joo, Inc., sent 1,500 letters to dog shelters around the U.S. soliciting their unwanted dogs for $.10 a pound. The outrage was instant.

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Maqdananda, Psychic Attorney


Year(s): 1994

For April Fool’s Day in 1994, Joey Skaggs wrote a script and produced a 30 second TV commercial in which he portrayed a psychic attorney called Maqdananda to satirize the proliferation of both New Age psychics and ambulance chasing attorneys. The commercial aired 40 times throughout the last week of March on CNN Headline News in Hawaii.

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UT TV Hoax


Year(s): 1993

In 1993, Joey Skaggs was invited to give a presentation called “The Media: Politics, Power and Persuasion” at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. When the local NBC TV News called to interview Skaggs before the talk, Skaggs sent Assistant Professor Beauvais Lyons, creator of a collection of mock-archaeology and curator of the Hokes Archives, in his place.

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Faith Daniels TV Hoax


Year(s): 1993

Joey Skaggs couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hoax the Faith Daniels Show when they sought couples who use sex tapes to appear in a segment called “Sex Tapes — Do They Work?”.

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Geraldo Hoax


Year(s): 1991

Joey Skaggs was invited to appear on Geraldo’s TV talk show. They also asked him to bring a journalist he had previously hoaxed. The topic was to be media hoaxes. Skaggs instead brought a friend posing as an Associated Press journalist, who said she had been hoaxed by him. Geraldo fell for the hoax hook, line and sinker.

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To Tell The Truth Hoax


Year(s): 1991

When “To Tell The Truth”, one of the longest running TV game shows in U.S. history, invited Joey Skaggs to Los Angeles to be a guest, Skaggs could not resist sending his friend Norman Savage in his place. The producers had seen Skaggs’ photo in a recent New York Times article (their inspiration for inviting him), but when Norman arrived at the studio, they never suspected he was not who he said he was.

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