Last year, a conspiracy theory emerged on social media site Reddit in which numerous Redditors sweared to remember watching comedian Sinbad star in a 1990s movie called “Shazaam”, in which he played a magical genie who grants wishes to two children.
Go ahead and look it up on Imdb.com — it doesn’t actually exist. Despite all the certainty from those who insist they remember it, Sinbad has never played a genie on either the small or large screens (although it’s likely those who recall it have had a memory mix-up with 1996’s “Kazaam”, in which basketball great Shaquille O’Neal played a wish-granting genie).
Sinbad addressed it at the time, blaming the confusion on a TV marathon of “Sinbad” (the sailor, not the comedian) movies he hosted back in the 1990s.
To goof on the whole controversy, Sinbad teamed up with the folks at CollegeHumor.com to present what is said to be “lost footage” from Sinbad’s “Shazaam” (remember, a movie that doesn’t exist) as an epic April Fools’ Day prank.
“Like most Americans, we had weird memories of this movie existing, but just thought we were confused,” CollegeHumor.com says in a straight-faced statement in a “Shazaam” press release. “Then, one of our producers found this VHS in a box behind a shut-down Blockbuster. It’s quite damaged, and most of it has been recorded over, but what’s there is classic cinema and movie magic. We’re excited to share it with audiences at large.”
Sinbad also issued a statement about “Shazaam,” insisting he was glad to see it lost to the ages. “It was my first time directing and the studio wasn’t happy with the project,” Sinbad says. “It was pulled from theatrical release. I would prefer if we all just pretended this never happened.”
The “lost footage,” however, was just part of the fun, with Sinbad taking to social media to extend the prank into the Twitterverse, going along with clueless folks who didn’t realize the whole thing was an April Fools’ prank.
Some people (presumably the ones who looked at a calendar and noted the day) were a bit more savvy:
Even Sinbad’s own son, Royce Adkins, was apparently fooled: