The 'Disposable Paper Phone' is a Prank by a Magician, Not a New Technology

This video shows a magician pranking people and does not show a real 'disposable paper phone'.

3 min read
Hindi Female

A video showing a salesman selling a 'disposable paper phone' to two customers is going viral on social media with a claim that it's a new innovation in the world of technology.

This video shows a magician pranking people and does not show a real 'disposable paper phone'.

An archive can be seen here

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

(Similar claims can be seen here and here.)

What's the truth?: This video shows a prank performed by a magician, Michael Carbonaro, for a TV series named The Carbonaro Effect on TruTv.


How did we find out the truth?: We found the original video from 2016 which specified a magician performing tricks on people.

  • We noticed a logo that read 'truTV' on the corner of the video.

This video shows a magician pranking people and does not show a real 'disposable paper phone'.

The logo of 'truTV' on the video.

(Source: Screenshot)

  • We conducted a relevant keyword search on Google and came across the original video uploaded by 'truTV' on 17 June 2016 on YouTube.

  • TruTV is a American based channel owned by Warner Bros.

  • The channel runs a prank show called The Carbonaro Effect, where magician Michael Carbonaro plays tricks and pranks on people.

  • The video's description mentions that Carbonaro is a 'magician by trade, but a prankster by heart' who performs tricks on people and catches their reactions on camera for his show.

  • We also checked Carbonaro's website which read, "Whether posing as a coffee shop barista, museum curator, or seemingly unremarkable store clerk in the REAL world, Carbonaro's illusions – along with his absurd, matter-of-fact explanations – leave REAL people bewildered and families at home laughing out loud."

This video shows a magician pranking people and does not show a real 'disposable paper phone'.

Carbonaro's bio onhis official website. 

(Source: Screenshot/Michael Carbonaro's website)

Do such paper phones exist?: An American toy developer Randice-Lisa Altschul was issued a patent for the disposable cellphone in 1999 which was made out of recycled paper products. However, it does not match the one shown in the video.

  • Google had also launched a 'Paper Phone' in 2019 which was foldable paper sheets printed with a limited amount of information.

  • No other reports about an invention of a 'disposable paper phone' as seen in the viral video was found.

We have also reached out to Carbonaro, the story will be updated once we receive a response.


Conclusion: A video showing a magician tricking people into thinking that the disposable paper phone is real is being passed off as a real invention.

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