Prankster Author Reveals Pranking Bachmann and Playing Beatles Records Backwards

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Prankster Author Reveals Pranking Bachmann and Playing Beatles Records Backwards

Dr. McLeod speaks at Prairie Lights on his book Pranksters.

Dr. McLeod speaks at Prairie Lights on his book Pranksters.

Madeline Deninger

Dr. McLeod speaks at Prairie Lights on his book Pranksters.

Madeline Deninger

Madeline Deninger

Dr. McLeod speaks at Prairie Lights on his book Pranksters.

Madeline Deninger, Reporter

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Kembrew McLeod, who lives in Brooklyn and is also a professor at the University of Iowa, filmmaker, and writer, spoke about his book Pranksters at Prairie Lights on Wednesday night.

“A prank a day keeps the man away,” McLeod said.

McLeod has had no problem keeping the man away.

His own pranks include when he dressed up as a robot to protest Michele Bachmann when she came to Iowa City. He was unapologetic when talking about the lengths he took to voice his opinion and how he didn’t care if he got kicked out of public places for doing so.

Prankster, the book, focuses on the big pranks of modern history. They include when Benjamin Franklin worked for his brother’s newspaper, The New England Courant, under fake names like Ephraim Censorius, Anthony Afterwit, and Silence Dogood.

Further pranks included a conspiracy that Paul McCartney actually died and was taken over by a body double.  It stemmed from fans interpreting records played backwards and hidden messages in lyrics and album covers.

He talked about what a real prank was, and how cons or hoaxes that are at the expense of others are not real pranks. McLeod also criticized reality t.v. shows, other modern “punks,” and how they are different from real pranks.

The history lesson included everything from the first pranksters in the 1600s and 1700s, such as Jonathan Swift, who pranked an astrologer and all of London into thinking he was dead to feminists protesting the Miss America Pageant in 1968.

McLeod explained how we can all be deceived. He used these examples as a way of showing how people can all be fooled by media and big corporations.

“The success of a prank lies in the big reveal.” McLeod said.

A complete calander of events at the Mission Creek Festival can be found HERE.