Balloon Boy Latest in a Long Series of Publicity Stunts

It is balloon!“We did this for a show” said 6-year old Falcon Heene, outing his father’s latest publicity stunt.  But what most people do not realize is that publicity stunts have a long and respectable history going back to the beginning of time.

The first recorded publicity stunt was “The Big Bang.”

“I was just starting out in this business” says God, “and I had a lot of competition from other omnipotent beings.   I kept thinking what can I do to attract attention to myself.  Then it hit me – create the universe.  Boy were the other Gods jealous.”

God’s “Big Bang” did do much to increase his business.  But it also came with a price.

“What they don’t tell you in ‘publicity stunt’ school is that 99% of life is maintenance.” according to God.  “If you create something you’re responsible for maintaining it.  And it’s a damn headache let me tell you. I haven’t had a vacation in 3 trillion years.  I’m tired.  I’m thinking of selling the Universe, or at least outsourcing it to India.”

More recently the American Civil War was a failed publicity stunt.   P.G.T. Beauregard and Robert Anderson had just released a book entitled “I’m a little bit Country – He’s a little bit Rock and Roll.”  It was thought by the two of them that a faux battle would greatly increase demand for their book.  So they staged the Battle of Ft. Sumter.  After the war Beauregard got a job as a railroad executive, “How else does one follow up starting a war” and defended his role in the Civil War.

“C’mon.  Are people that naive?  Can’t they take a freaking joke?  I was just trying to sell a book.”

The entire Presidency of Warren G. Harding is another example of a publicity stunt.  According to recently released documents, Harding did not actually exist.  The role of Warren G. Harding was played by Hollywood actor Fatty Arbuckle.

“Arbuckle had written a screen play about an unknown from middle America with no legislative achievement whatsoever who, despite his flimsy record, runs on a platform of hope and change, getting himself elected President of the United States.  Arbuckle thought the Warren G. Harding thing would be a great publicity stunt.  It would have worked too but Arbuckle had a little bit of a problem with a dead girl and a coca cola bottle at a party.”

The attack on Pearl Harbor is considered one of the most notorious failed publicity stunts of all time.

“Hirohito was looking for a way to break into Hollywood.  He wanted to be the next Bing Crosby.  Hirohito and several Hollywood producers who had investments in the Far East concocted the scheme to bomb Pearl Harbor.  They wanted something so outrageous people would talk about it for decades.  They hired top notch special effects people to make it look realistic.   Unfortunately it was decided to use real bombs since they are cheaper.”

After the surrender Samuel Goldwyn told a reporter, “War is always fun until somebody gets hurt.”

No word yet on who will play Falcon Heene in the TV movie though it is rumored that Gary Coleman is interested and sees the role as part of comeback attempt.  Though the rumor could be just a publicity stunt.


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