For more than three decades, prankster Joey Skaggs has rejoiced in ensnaring the national media into covering fake news of his own invention. But this April Fools’ Day, he insists he’s absolutely serious about mocking Donald Trump.
“You can certainly accuse me of being the Boy Who Cried Wolf, given my past track record with this parade,” Skaggs told Heat Street. Indeed, for the past 31 years, Skaggs has sent out elaborate news releases announcing not only the April Fools’ Day Parade schedule and route but also describing floats—all fake, all for a parade that doesn’t actually happen.
“But the reality of this April Fools’ Day makes it absolutely essential that I finally show up along with, hopefully, hoards of Donald Trump look-alikes,” Skaggs said, adding that he’s hoping to earn a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest gathering of Donald Trump look-alikes.
For what it’s worth, we called the Guinness Book of World records, which confirmed there is an open application under Skaggs’ name. “But the category that he’s applying for is a new category, so the category would have to be accepted by the records team first, before he could attempt a record,” said spokeswoman Sofia Rocher. She said it’s not yet clear whether they’ll have an answer for Skaggs by April 1.
New York City requires a permit from the Police Commissioner for any parade. Skaggs says he has not gotten one, adding, “We’ve gone 32 years without a permit.”
Skaggs claims he’s got 150 Donald Trump masks to hand out to parade participants, and he’s also put a printable mask template on the event’s website. He sent us photographs of his parade float, which depicts Trump texting on the toilet of an outhouse, the door plastered in photos of his current and former wives, other bikini-clad women, and himself. The photos and masks, at least, look legit.
But Skaggs’ news release also has some details to raise a skeptic’s eyebrow. For instance, he says there will be “a 50-ft Burning Woman effigy of Hillary Clinton. Everyone is encouraged to toss their Samsung Galaxy 7 smartphones onto the Pyre.” He promises that Michael Flynn and his son will be serving complimentary food from the Pizzagate restaurant. Oh, and he also suggests the event is sponsored by the Donald J. Trump Foundation and Wells Fargo.
“The April Fools’ Day parade was an opportunity to criticize corporations, politicians, anyone who qualifies as being a total butthole or fool,” Skaggs says. “And this year, with Trump being president, how could you not? Of course there’s a parade.”
Real or not, Gothamist has included the parade on its weekly roundup of Trump protests and organizing events in New York City. “In addition to a bunch of masked Trump impersonators, this bit of street theater will also have a brass band, a huge Trump Gold Ass float and confetti made from shredded InfoWars and Breitbart articles,” it said. Sounds fun.
Bottom line, despite our best efforts, Heat Street can’t confirm or deny whether this parade is actually going to take place. But if Skaggs is hoping people show up in earnest this year, the joke may be on him.