A Master Hoaxer Reveals His Tactics at Recess

On April 1, Alan Abel will discuss a half-century of hoaxes and satiric scams he’s pulled off, from prank political campaigns to faking his own death.

Alan Abel in a still from <em>Abel Raises Cain</em> (2005) (courtesy Alan Abel)
Alan Abel in campaigning for Yetta Bronstein in the 1960s (courtesy Alan Abel)

Alan Abel created the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, an organization that advocated for clothing the naked animals of the world because, as the group’s slogan put it, “A nude horse is a rude horse.” Alan Abel posed as a golf pro and taught executives how to incorporate ballet movements into their swings to improve their games. Alan Abel created the company Euthanasia Cruises, Ltd. and proposed cruise packages that culminated in passengers jumping overboard to their deaths after days of hard partying. Alan Abel served as manager for the US Presidential campaigns of Yetta Bronstein, a fictional candidate of the made-up “Best Party” played by his wife Jeanne Abel, whose catchy slogan promised: “Vote for Yetta and Things Will Get Betta.” Alan Abel, who will speak at Recess on Saturday, was pronounced dead in 1980 by the New York Times, which, two days later, had to retract an obituary for the first time in its history.

Depending on who you ask, Abel is either a manipulative nuisance or the Donatello of derisory deception. Appropriately, on April Fool’s Day he will discuss some of his classic capers, from the aforementioned drive to clothe naked animals to his short-lived stint as the spokesperson and director of Omar’s School for Beggars.

Alan Abel in a still from <em>Abel Raises Cain</em> (2005) (courtesy Alan Abel)
Alan Abel in disguise as Omar, the director of Omar’s School for Beggars (courtesy Alan Abel)

When: Saturday, April 1, 4–6pm
Where: Recess (41 Grand Street, Soho, Manhattan)

More info here.

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