AP News

UN chief gets pranked by Quebec radio station


UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Former victims include Bill Gates, Mick Jagger, Britney Spears and Sarah Palin.

This week, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined the ranks of those pranked by a Quebec radio station, his office confirmed Thursday.

Montreal comedy duo Marc-Antoine Audette and Sebastien Trudel called Ban on Wednesday afternoon and pretended to be Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"He quickly realized it was a prank ... and he took it as it was intended: as a joke," said Eri Kaneko, associate spokeswoman for Ban's office.

Known as the Masked Avengers, the two are notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state. The duo said in a news release that the world's top diplomat was rushed out of an important meeting to speak to them. Quebec City radio station CKOI played excerpts of the prank Thursday, and was planning on broadcasting the entire call Friday.

During the call, Ban appears to become suspicious when fake Harper complains he was too busy combing his hair with Krazy Glue to attend this week's ministerial meeting of the U.N. General Assembly — a clear dig at the Canadian prime minister's immaculate hairdo.

"Excuse me, am I speaking with Prime Minister Harper right now?" Ban is quoted as saying.

Fake Harper begins the call in French by explaining why he sent his "lap dog," Foreign Minister John Baird to New York in his place.

Audette said he was surprised by how quickly they got to Ban after talking to about half a dozen people on the phone.

"We thought it would take us a few days to get the secretary-general on the phone," he said. Audette played Harper, while Trudel acted as his aide.

The joke on Ban came during his busiest week of the year, when leaders from all over the world converge to headquarters in New York.

"Perhaps this was not the best use of his time," Kaneko said. "In the future, we will be listening extra hard for poor French accents for any calls coming from Canada."

Nevertheless, Ban was a good sport, the prankster said.

"He was very cool about it, even laughed," Audette said. "He's very likeable."

"Well played," Harper's spokesman tweeted about the prank.

___

Couvrette reported from Ottawa, Ontario.


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