Top 5 cons
- Brian Donaldson
- 5 August 2006
This article is from 2006.
They don’t come as straight down the line honest as Magnus Magnusson. So, why is he chatting about fakes, phoneys and pranksters? Here, we pick some infamous con artists he may or may not be discussing during his event.
In 1990, the ‘brothers of soul’ were awarded a Grammy for Best New Artists. Amid growing speculation and mounting sarcasm, it was admitted that neither Fab Morvan nor Rob Pilatus ever sang on the records. Their careers were effectively over, Pilatus eventually dying of an overdose and Morvan appearing on America’s Celebrity Boot Camp.
When Pope Leo IV died in 853AD, the unanimous choice for successor was John Anglicus. So, imagine everyone’s astonishment when two years into his reign, he gave birth to a child. Yup, John was in fact Joan. Legend has it that Pope Joan was either killed instantly or sent to a secluded convent for repentance.
It says ‘comedian’ on his CV.
At the beginning of the 20th century this guy was one of the world’s leading violinists. His popularity soared when he claimed to be playing some lost classics from Pugnani and Vivaldi but on his 60th birthday he casually mentioned that he had in fact written them. Scorn and praise were heaped upon him with equal measure until the day he died.
For years the cult comedian spoke of faking his own death and showing up 20 years later to tell everyone about it. So, when in 2004, a press release was produced insisting that the ex-Taxi star had been living a quiet life on New York’s Upper West Side, everyone believed it. For about five minutes.