Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Remembering the typos

A look through decades of April Fools’ special editions

The origins of April Fools’ Day date back several centuries, and the holiday has been celebrated every April 1 by many different cultures. Each year, newspapers, TV and radio stations and websites have played jokes on their audiences by creating outlandish, fictional news stories. 

In the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, the Advance-Titan frequently participated in the mischief. 

Advance-Titan staffers created April Fools’ editions with parodied titles, like the Advance-Triten and the Advance-Typo. Editors even created ads for fake products and services. 

In these special editions, reporters published under pseudonyms that were either a play on their real names or were completely fabricated to fit the theme of the fake story. Some standouts include the bylines Joe Journalism, Red Snapper and Cock E. Doodle-do.

Although April Fools’ issues have fallen out of the Advance-Titan’s coverage, our archives show how UWO’s humor has changed (or stayed the same) throughout history. 

Here are some of the Advance-Titan’s April Fools’ Day stories published throughout the years.

April 1, 1976

“Parketeers pirating for palm paradise”

Rob Schlitz reported that the employee who hands out the most parking tickets in one semester will win a two-week vacation to Acapulco.

Leader of the “Screw the People Union” Assacrombie Hole said he created this contest because he was sick of watching his men “play cribbage all day.”

Hole offered to build a whole new building for the Advance-Triten if they did not print this story (they did).

April 1, 1976

“Classy ADS”

The Oshkosh Advance-Triten featured a plethora of “classy” classifieds like “FOR RENT: One average student dump, near campus. Outrageous prices and no heat,” “MERCHANDISE FOR SALE: Used IUD, also proved ineffective. Call Marie at Mercy Medical Maternity Ward,” and “PERSONAL: Tired of walking around with a stick up your ass? Try our new super long vibrator. Get a thrill while acting like a snob.” 

March 31, 1977

“Crabs crawl through campus crevices”

Advance-Triten staffer Red Snapper reported on the National Guard and the Oshburg city police attempts to fend off the campus from “giant crabs.” 

Dr. John Lobsterman, senior crabologist, said the crabs came from the bottom of “Lake Winnebagle,” where they typically feed off of “freshwater weeds, plankton, empty beer cans, bald tires and clumps of grease.”

Advance-Titan Archives
1977’s Advance-Tritan staffers capture a military personnel taking out a giant crab in front of Dempsey Hall.

March 29, 1984

Silly goose arrested for scalping

An editor wrote, “This goose was arrested Tuesday for scalping tickets for this week’s NCAA championship tournament games in Seattle. The goose wouldn’t comment on where he got the tickets.”

March 29, 1984

“Country is barf”

Advance-Triten reporter Frederick A. Phlegm covered the musical performance of the Country Barf Trolls, who put on an allegedly “vomit inducing” performance. 

According to Phlegm, the audience “spit chew in time to the music.” At the end of his story, Phlegm warned readers, “please, mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Country Barf Trolls.”

March 29, 1984

Call for Phone Sex ad

One advertisement in this April Fools’ issue offers a deal on phone sex at the number 241-6969. 

Phone sex worker Wanda can make you an object of “passion, shame, bondage, and even desire,” according to the ad.

Advance-Titan Archives
The 1984 phone sex advertisment features Wanda and her receptionists.

March 29, 1984

“Stuff banned…….”

Advance-Triten staffer Joe Journalism reports on Councilwoman I.M. Stoned banning the sale of copper pipe fittings. Stoned said the reason for this ban stems from the need to “cut down on the smoking of marijuana in the high schools and at UW-Oshkosh.”

Stoned said she learned about this improper use of copper pipes from her son. She suggested the “little drug fiends” should try using highly flammable pipes for smoking marijuana instead because the burns would deter users from smoking. 

March 30, 1989

Beer Goggle Special ad

This advertisement promoted a pair of beer goggles for just $1.69. It claims to help buyers find the “perfect woman TONITE!”

The advertised goggles are meant to make women look “taller, thinner, blonder and bustier.”

April 1, 1999

“Chancellor unleashes 6-foot cock”

Advance-Typo reporter Cock E. Doodle-do featured then chancellor John Kerrigan’s “6-foot cock,” which was really a 6-foot-2 tall rooster named Big Red. 

According to Doodle-do, Red enjoyed “gentle stroking and petting.”

Advance-Titan Archives
Former Advance-Titan staffer Skota Ontario says, “One of the funniest
[April Fools’ editions] ever was in 1999. It involved a Photoshopped photo
of our beloved chancellor standing next to his 6-foot tall… rooster.”
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