UN chief duped by Canada pranksters
A pair of Canadian radio comedians said it took them less then an hour to get UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the phone during international diplomacy’s busiest week — by pretending to be Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Ban was between meetings at the UN General Assembly of world leaders on Wednesday when he took a phone call from Quebec comedy duo The Masked Avengers, famous for tricking celebrities and politicians.
The pair said in a statement that the impersonator of the prime minister, who is known for his helmet-like coiffure, apologized to Ban for not being able to attend the UN General Assembly meeting in New York because he was too busy combing his hair with super glue.
During the five-minute discussion, the pair also said they asked him to speak with National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman to press for a Quebec City hockey team. It was at this point in the conversation — which switched between English and French — they said Ban realised he was being pranked.
Ban has more than 120 meetings with world leaders during the UN General Assembly this week and his spokesman described the prank call as not “the best use of his time”.
“The Secretary-General quickly understood that it was a prank, and he took it in the way that it was intended, as a joke,” Ban’s spokesman said. “It’s a busy time of year, and the Secretary-General has a considerable amount to do, so it wasn’t the best use of his time, but these things happen.”
The same radio duo, S‚bastien Trudel and Marc-Antoine Audette of Montreal radio station CKOI-FM, also duped US Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin just days before the 2008 election by pretending to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy and convincing her to accept an invitation to hunt baby seals.
Their other victims have included US business tycoon Donald Trump, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and rock stars Bono and Mick Jagger.