Australian Press Prank On Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales

update: The video of this is now available.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales spoke at a conference in Sydney, Australia last week. After his talk he took questions.

As reported by the Brisbane Times, Andrew Hansen raised his hand as a member of the press and was selected to ask a question. What Wales didn’t know is that Hansen is part of the cast of a wildly popular public television show in Australia called The Chaser’s War on Everything, a weekly half hour satire/prank show.

Hansen said “Ah, Jimmy, um, look I just have 10 questions,” and then fired off ten questions in a row, not waiting for answers (It’s normal at events like this for reporters to ask a follow up question at the same time as the initial question to save time). This is a regular prank by the cast of the show, called “Mr. Ten Questions.”

His questions:

  • First, how are you enjoying Australia?
  • Second, how do our computers compare to the ones in America?

  • Third, why does everyone in IT look so nerdy, yet you look like a daytime soap star?
  • Fourth, Mac or PC – do you really give a shit?

  • Fifth, there are 1.7 million articles on Wikipedia; how long did it take you to write them all?
  • Sixth, Craig Reucassel’s a bit unhappy with the photo on his page. Could you upload a better one maybe for him?
  • Seventh, my dog is getting some scabs under his chin. I don’t know if you can bring him in the number of a local vet?
  • Eighth, Jessica Rowe and Peter Overton – will it last?

  • Ninth, cracked pepper?
  • Tenth, how do you feel about the fact that when I looked you up on Wikipedia this morning I changed your page to say that you were a teenage drug lord from Malaysia?

To his credit Wales attempted to respond to four of the questions. :-)