UT TV Hoax

Joey Skaggs > Works > 1993 > University of Tennessee TV Hoax

University of Tennessee TV Hoax

Year: 1993

Categories: Lifestyle | Culture


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.

Later during Skaggs’ lecture the inevitable question came up, “What have you done recently?”.

Skaggs walked over to a television monitor and popped in a tape of Professor Lyons playing him on NBC earlier that day. Needless-to-say, the audience screamed with delight.

Immediately after the lecture presentation, NBC was besieged with calls. The next day they came and interviewed the real Joey Skaggs for their retraction.

This was a simple, opportunistic hoax. But it was a good example of some of the issues Skaggs’ had addressed during his presentation, that is, how easy it is to be fooled when you accept things at face value.