If you’re in Los Angeles, you were greeted by a change to one of the most iconic signs on the planet this New Year’s morning. Some unknown prankster managed to climb up and transform the Hollywood sign to reflect the new legal age for California and recreational marijuana usage.
For some, California legalizing marijuana was one of the positive results from Election 2016. That’s clearly where the mystery person or people found their inspiration to modify the Hollywood sign to read “Hollyweed” on New Year’s Day. It even has its own live stream on YouTube at the moment, likely counting down the moments until it changes back according to TMZ:
Cops say they’re gonna get their guy because there’s surveillance video. It looks like one man acting [alone] changed the most iconic image in Hollywood. We’re told he used a tarp to change the shape of the O’s.
The interesting part of this stunt is that 2017 is not the first time it has happened. In 1976, “vandals” managed to do the same with the Hollywood sign and actually would go on to modify the sign multiple times over the next few decades. The culprit at the time was Daniel Finegood, a “prankster” and artist who used $50 in curtains and other materials to alter the sign according to his obituary in the LA Times:
The first time Danny Finegood played a word game with the Hollywood sign, he hung curtains to make it read Hollyweed. That was Jan. 1, 1976 — the day the state’s relaxed marijuana law took effect.
The prankster and friends obscured consonants to coin Holywood for Easter later that year and Ollywood to protest the hero worship of Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North during the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987.
In his final round of wordplay, Finegood made a political statement against the Persian Gulf War by draping plastic sheeting over the 50-foot-high letters to form Oil War in 1990.