Harper gets pranked
Sep 28, 2012 / 9:48 pm
A pair of well-known radio pranksters managed to dupe Prime Minister Stephen Harper into having a five to 10-minute conversation where he offered political advice.
Harper thought he was chatting with Quebec politician Francois Legault in a French-language conversation to be aired Monday.
The prime minister congratulated the third-party leader for fighting the new Parti Quebecois government's plan to increase taxes on high income-earners while, at the same time, he cautioned against toppling the minority government too fast.
Quebec's so-called Masked Avengers say they got the prime minister on the phone Thursday while he was in New York City to receive an award for international statesmanship.
They say they did it by posing as the Coalition party leader, Legault, and pretending not only to be seeking Harper's advice but also to be offering congratulations on the award.
The comedy duo said it's grateful to the United Nations for its very successful week.
First, officials at the global body put them through to secretary-general Ban-Ki Moon in a stunt Wednesday that aired the following day. Next, they gave the duo phone numbers that they used to track down the prime minister.
"It was really thanks to the United Nations. It's fun to have an organization like that, which really lends a hand to Quebec comedians," said Marc-Antoine Audette, one member of the pair, in an interview Friday.
"(They) gave us a lot of direct numbers to Ottawa, and to the Conservative party and to the government in general."
The jokesters weren't satisfied with merely pranking two famous leaders. They also tried pulling a fast one on the entire UN, by fibbing to officials that the contact information for the Government of Canada had changed. They gave them their own numbers as a replacement.
"So for about an hour or two hours on Wednesday, if there had been any problems at the UN, they would have called us, not Stephen Harper," Audette said.
Fortunately, there was no diplomatic incident.
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