In March of 2016 reports about an Australian-run Simpsons blog and podcast trolling local news agencies began to go viral.
The prank is fairly straightforward. Someone emails or texts a news agency and reports that they have some sort of outrageous footage, sometimes claiming to possess footage of a crime in progress. When a representative of that news organization expresses an interest in the footage the sender is offering, the agencies are sent a photo or video from the longest running sitcom in the history of television.
According to the website’s “About” page, the podcast Four Finger Discount was created by Simpsons fanatics Brendan Dando and Mitch Grinter. For about a year the show’s creators have discussed various facets of the show’s history, interviewed cast members and more. Since then they have made alliances with other Simpsons fan communities across the web and have expanded to include articles and more on their Four Finger Discount blog. They say that ultimately they would like to build the largest community of Australian Simpsons fans on the web.
In an email interview with the Daily Dot, show creator Brendan Dando says that the prank started with a screenshot sent by a fan. From there they urged their followers to try it out and the prank and has since snowballed. One news agency, Channel 7 News, was a good sport about the trolling and decided to roll with the punches, responding to tips with Simpsons photos of their own. Since then the prank has been a regular staple of the podcast’s Facebook page, scattered amongst Simpsons news and show-related posts.
Though we wouldn’t recommend our listeners to submit false crime tips to media or otherwise, we have to admit that we had a good laugh over the podcast’s prank.