No Hoax Here: Prankster's Bio One to Watch

Abel Raises Cain chronicles 'America's greatest living hoaxer'
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Mar 5, 2008 3:52 PM CST

(Newser) – Satirist Alan Abel has spent decades laughing at Americans who fell for hoaxes such as his "euthanasia cruises" and a school for training beggars. Abel Raises Cain, a documentary made by his daughter now out on DVD, is a "hysterical look at a gifted comic," even if it doesn't explain how he funded his grand schemes, writes Joe Keohane in Slate.

Abel, who regards his hoaxes as performance art, got his start when Walter Cronkite gave prime-time play to Abel's Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, convincing Eisenhower-era Americans that their peers were prudish enough to find free-hanging horse and dog privates offensive. He hasn't stopped, Keohane writes, working tirelessly in recent years to protect babies from their incestuous breast-feeding moms.