Alan Abel is a writer, lecturer, actor, filmmaker, jazz musician and comedian. He graduated from Ohio State University with a B.S. degree in Education. He has published ten books and sixteen musical compositions, including works for percussion ensembles and a series of advanced drum solos. Alan has recorded several albums for RCA Victor and produced two feature films with his wife, Jeanne.

Abel is best known for his work as a professional prankster. He has been pulling the wool over the eyes of the media for the past half-century. His hoaxing career began in the late 1950s with S.I.N.A., the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals. This tongue-in-cheek moral crusade, whose purpose was to clothe all animals for modesty's sake, was actually a commentary on censorship. After launching the campaign, however, Alan soon found himself in the midst of a national craze. Newspaper, radio and television reporters couldn't seem to get the story fast enough. Abel realized that, with very little funds and very few props, with a straight face, he could convince America, and the media, that an absurd idea like S.I.N.A. truly existed.

Over the years, Alan continued masterminding scores of other allegorical satires and outlandish stunts, all with the purpose to amuse and provoke. Ultimately, with his hoaxes, Alan's goal has always been to give people, what he calls "a kick in the intellect."

In the 80s, Alan taught a creative workshop at The New School in New York and has lectured extensively for the past thirty years on promotion and public relations throughout the United States, Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand. He currently lectures a self-help series called "Using Your Wits to Win," based on his two books, Don't Get Mad... Get Even! and How to Thrive on Rejection.

Alan Abel's radio and television appearances include Today, Tonight, BBC, Good Morning America, 20/20, 48 Hours, National Public Radio and CNN Financial News. His published articles have appeared in National Lampoon, The Atlanta Constitution, San Francisco Chronicle and U.S. News and World Report. Abel has been profiled by New Yorker Magazine, Interview, Insight and Town and Country.

Abel continues to taunt the media and the masses with his nutty ideas, imaginary organizations and seemingly nonsensical campaigns. In 2000, Life Magazine recognized Alan as a cultural icon during the 20th century in their volume edition, Century of Change.

In 2005, Alan's daughter, Jenny Abel, along with her partner, Jeff Hockett, wrote, directed and produced ABEL RAISES CAIN, an unprecedented glimpse into weird world and lifelong escapades of Alan Abel. A forerunner to the highly popularized satire of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Alan's story resonated with audiences worldwide. Following its premiere and Grand Jury win at Slamdance Film Festival, the documentary went on to screen at fests and broadcast around the globe.

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"Before Stephen Colbert, there was Alan Abel, the man behind the world's most infamous pranks."
— The Toronto Star

"Like a reverse Jon Stewart, Abel has been creating fake news... preying on mainstream media's insatiable thirst for the lurid, the perverse, and the wacky."
— PBS POV blog

"Alan Abel is a master spoofer with incredibly perceptive insights into the human comedy."
— San Francisco Examiner

"Abel challenges the obvious and utters the outrageous."
— New York Times

"Abel is the Franz Liszt of put-on artists, the Rembrandt of the ridiculous"
— Cleveland Press

"The imagination and sheer guts of Mr. Abel are pure delight."
— Erma Bombeck

"His droll dry wit is hilarious... it's intelligent humor."
— New Orleans Times

"Alan Abel is a jester with a serious face bound for an adventure in absurdity."
— Atlanta Constitution

"Long before the Yes Men satirized Exxon and Halliburton, and before Ashton Kutcher was born, Alan Abel was the undisputed king of media hoaxers."
— UTNE Reader

"Alan Abel is devilishly clever, perhaps the greatest hoaxer of our times."
— New York Daily News


Biting Back at the Media
by David Nanasi

PBS POV Blog continued>>

Before Stephen Colbert, There Was Alan Abel
by Greg Quill

Alan Abel in Toronto Star continued>>

Veteran Prankster Behind Esquire's 'Fat Tax ' Spoof
by Peter Carlson

Washington Post expose continued>>

Old trickster - Alan Abel's life is still one big joke
by Ian Sands

Boston Phoenix article continued>>

Ten Questions for the Best Prankster of All Time
by Nicole Tourtelot

Esquire interview with Alan continued>>

Pranking the Media to New Lows
by Bennett Gordon

UTNE Reader continued>>


Erma Bombeck — To Zany Alan, Thanks Pal
— Detriot Free Press

Backgrounder: The death - and life - of Alan Abel
— People Magazine

Alan's a Master Prankster
— Chicago Tribune

The joke's on him
— Daily News

A hoaxer's job can be dead funny
— Sun Herald

The talk of the town
— The New Yorker