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Top 10 Funniest Celebrity April Fools' Pranks

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
These celebrity pranks are AMAZING! Who doesn’t love a good April Fools joke, especially from the best celebrity pranksters? From Ellen pranking her audience to Joe Jonas’ sonogram gag, these funny celebrity April Fools pranks leave us in stitches. Join WatchMojo as we count down the most hilarious pranks played by celebs on April Fools Day! Are you a fan of April Fools’ jokes? Tell us about the best one you’ve ever pulled in the comments!
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Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Funniest Celebrity April Fools' Jokes


One day a year, most of the news actually IS fake! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Funniest Celebrity April Fools' Jokes.

For this list, we’re looking at the funniest April Fools’ pranks that celebrities have played over the years. Celebrities need not have been the masterminds of the prank, so long as they went along with it or were notably involved in its execution.

#10: Ellen DeGeneres Braces Herself

There are few television personalities more likable or widely loved than Ellen DeGeneres. And so you can only imagine the concern that fans felt in 2014 when Ellen stepped onstage wearing a neck brace. As Ellen begins telling the harrowing story of how she injured herself, playing it up for her adoring audience, she takes a sharp left turn by reminding everyone in the crowd (and at home) that it’s April 1st! Yes, it’s a simple little gag, but just look at that grin on Ellen’s face; she’s clearly having a blast with the harmless prank, and that enthusiasm is infectious. She then proceeds to mess with the audience for much of her opening monologue. Well played Ellen, well played.

#9: Michael Phelps Fools His Fans

Celebrities love to get in on the action of April Fools’ Day, but Olympic athletes? They’re usually considered to be somewhat more serious types. But on April 1st, 2017, American swimming icon Michael Phelps joined the fun, making a noticeable splash on Twitter. In 2012, Phelps had retired from swimming, stating that he was done with the sport for good. Considering everything he’d accomplished already, people took him at his word. Then, in 2014, he launched a comeback in the lead up to the 2016 Olympics, where he again blew away the competition. Though this second comeback may have been a joke … many of his fans didn’t think it was such a crazy idea.

#8: Sir Richard Branson's Total Temperature Control

Unlike so many of his peers who prefer to avoid the limelight, English business magnate and philanthropist Richard Brandon seems to love it. Considering his colorful and outspoken personality, it’s hard to put anything past him, and as the founder of the Virgin Group, he certainly has the means to pull almost anything off. On March 31st, 2014, he made a video promoting a new feature on Virgin America airlines, “Total Temperature Control”, which promised to give passengers the ability to set the “climate” of their seating area. The ad is so well-made, you almost fall for it - and we’re sure some people actually did!

#7: Joe Jonas Shares a Sonogram

When it comes to popstars, the sky 's the limit when it comes to unpredictable antics. Who’s dating who? Who’s marrying who? Who’s having a baby with who? It’s hard to keep up! So, on April 1st, 2015, when Joe Jonas tweeted a picture of a sonogram with the caption “So happy to announce @HaileeSteinfeld and I are expecting our first.”, more gullible fans - and those who forgot to look at the date - understandably lost it! Steinfeld and Joe, who are good friends, have a history of joking around, but this remains the most memorable prank to date.

#6: Tom Brady Wears a Body Cast

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Tom Brady is one of the most iconic quarterbacks to ever play the game. Considering the amount of money riding on him, not to mention the emotional investment of Patriots fans, him getting injured is a BIG deal. On April 1st, 2015, Brady posted “Jordan's crossover is no joke!” and paired it with an image of him in basically a full body cast. It was seemingly inspired by a pick-up game of basketball the QB had recently played with Michael Jordan. The idea of the body cast is funny enough, but the injuries occurring in the off-season while playing basketball is absurd. Body cast or not, Brady’s funny bone clearly isn’t broken.

#5: Lin-Manuel Miranda Announces Plans to Make a Musical of “The Room”

Unlike those who grace the big and small screen, stage actors rarely become a household name. In order to be instantly recognizable to the masses, you need to achieve a massive level of success; you need to be Idina Menzel or Lin-Manuel Miranda. And after accomplishing what few actors and playwrights ever dream of with “Hamilton”, Lin-Manuel Miranda can do pretty much anything he wants. On April 1st, 2018, as reported by TheaterMania, it seemed that Miranda had chosen to adapt Tommy Wiseau’s infamous contender for “worst film ever”, “The Room”. Initial credit goes to TheaterMania for crafting the prank, but Miranda jumped onboard and ran with it to hilarious effect, playing along like a true sport. But seriously… we’d totally watch that.

#4: David F. Sandberg Releases a Trailer for Shazam

Making comic book movies - or films in any popular franchise for that matter - can often be a thankless task. Fans have high expectations, strong opinions and generally demand a lot. How should filmmakers navigate this mindfield? Follow the lead of Shazam director David F. Sandberg by speaking to the internet in its own language. On April 1st, 2018, Sandberg posted a fake trailer for the film. The date and lack of press set off immediate alarms, but we can imagine a few people getting their hopes up regardless. It was the perfect troll - good-natured, lighthearted, and showing a solid sense of humor. It might not have been the trailer people wanted, but it was further proof that Shazam was in good hands.

#3: Netflix Acquires Seth Rogen

Remember when Netflix was mainly a DVD-by-mail rental service? Oh how the times have changed! Nowadays, there are very few announcements that Netflix could make that would surprise us. It’s a juggernaut of modern media. They’re constantly acquiring content, both existing series and properties and concepts to develop in-house. Poking fun at themselves in the best way possible, Netflix announced on April 1st, 2018 that they’d acquired Seth Rogen. Not his catalogue of films, or an exclusive content for x-number of films - him as a person. The video jokes about owning his body and mind, and Netflix reserving the right to frame him for murder and turn it into a true crime docu-series. This gag is pure gold.

#2: John Stamos & Netflix Join Forces

What can we say? Not only does Netflix know what the people want in terms of content, they’re also seriously on top of their social media game and marketing strategies. Come April 1st, they bring their A-game. On April 1st 2017, Netflix basically rebranded its website as a John Stamos fansite. It was an entire John Stamos takeover, but one that the actor himself seemingly had no part in. He even filmed a fake freakout response video. Of course, Stamos was totally in on it and even teamed up with the company to film a trailer for a fake documentary series about him. Stamos and Netflix went all in on this one, and we love them for it.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions

Sam Smith Comes Out as Straight

Paris Hilton & Nanodrop

Rebel Wilson's "Injury"

#1: Rihanna Visit Jimmy Kimmel

For many, waking up to find Rihanna in your bedroom might be a dream come true. Disorienting, but undeniably exciting. Waking up to a face full of money? Also an enticing proposition! But Riri rolling up dressed in all black, with a posse in tow, blasting her trap anthem “Bitch Better Have My Money"? Well that’s intimidating enough to make even the most seasoned late night talk show host soil his bed sheets. To celebrate April Fool’s in 2015, Rihanna and her team decided to beat the legendary prankster at his own game. Suffice it to say, it goes perfectly; Jimmy Kimmel is thoroughly bewildered, but a good sport, making for the ideal prank start to finish - funny, over-the-top, and enjoyed by all.
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