It's a global phenomenon, spanning countries, cultures, and customs. The earliest known referrence to April Fools' Day is in the classic Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. If it hasn't faded away by now, I fear civilization will never tire of this frivolous tradition. Besides being afraid of having an annoying gag pulled on me, almost no news headlines can be trusted on April 1. As a pop culture addict who thrives on the latest entertainment buzz, I become flustered every year on that day as my naive nature is tested time and again.
Businesses, marketers, publicists, celebrities, journalists, all become infected with the goofy bug on April Fools' Day and start making false announcements to celebrate the occasion. I suspect the real rationale is to acquire attention, and gullible fools like me tend to fall for their shenanigans.
Nevertheless, if we must endure lame April Fools' tricks, here are some that might actually be worth it.
George Lucas should announce that he is accepting submissions from fans for ideas for Episode VII, the first long-awaited part of a new Star Wars trilogy (to be helmed by another director and scripted by another screenwriter). After six months or so, after a million fan-made YouTube clips are gathered, Lucas can announce that it was all a gag, but at least we'll have some new, non-Prequel material to enjoy, even if they are non-canonical and created by amateurs. There are bound to be some diamonds in the rough, and even the dreck would likely have some value for audiences starving for new adventures in that galaxy far, far away that progresses the story rather than dwells in the saga's past.
South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker should have the talented cast of their critically acclaimed musical The Book of Mormon perform an improvised version of Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. It would likely be better, more creative, more fun, and more faithful to the comic book source, than the much maligned real Broadway fiasco.
The producers of So You Think You Can Dance should announce that, in an homage to (i.e., rip-off of) Dancing with the Stars, their new season will be a Celebrity Edition, featuring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Jim Carrey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and the Jennifer Beals body-double from Flashdance.
Those are just a few ideas from my comedy-challenged brain. I'm sure many of you have even wittier suggestions. Feel free to share!