Viral Hoax: German Kids’ Magic Trick Ends in Death

Video of two children trying to perform the tablecloth stunt ends very badly—but not really

Michel and Sven are all right, promise. - Credit by GOP Varietéshow

A video of two German kids named Michel and Sven performing a magic trick that ends very, very badly went viral over the weekend, garnering over 2.2 million views and shocking and awing viewers everywhere.

In the video, Sven tries to perform the old tablecloth trick, and it ends in Michel being crushed (possibly to death) by a huge bookshelf. Those of you feeling guilty about chuckling when Michel got crushed, not to worry! As you’ve most likely guessed, the video is a fake.

Michel and Sven’s trick is apparently a viral advertising campaign for a German variety show called GOP Varietéshow. The campaign is called Stoppt Die Show. If you visit the campaign website, you’ll find an explanation in German, which we’ve given a rough pass with using Google Translate (please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong):

“Do you believe everything that you see on the Web?  No psychological or physical harm has come to any of the guests of GOP vaudeville shows.  Michael and Sven are enjoying perfect health and their mother, Mrs. Boeckel, is an enthusiastic supporter of GOP.”

This video isn’t the only one in the campaign. It is preceded by three videos in which the brothers unsuccessfully attempt to perform the tablecloth trick. The same YouTube channel also features a wedding dance video in which a bride is accidentally catapulted across the room while dancing with her groom.

Check out the other three Michel and Sven videos below and let us know what you think of the campaign. Did it have you fooled?

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.

Publish date: September 12, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT