Yes, The Great Committer was an April Fools’ gag. I didn’t expect anyone to actually believe it, but it gathered a few laughs, so I’m content.
Far more successful was the FreeBSD and NetBSD to merge gag that Dan Langille and I pulled back in 2003. The United Nations Fretbsd.org site has long since expired, but Dan archived it. (Eight years later, and I still giggle madly about the moose in that one.) That one actually sucked in a reporter from an reputable tech site, who pestered Dan and I for details all day.
John Baldwin really did surpass PHK’s commit total, however, and deserves credit for working so hard on FreeBSD. I heard from John on Friday, and while I’m not going to be so gauche as to copy his email here, I can honestly say that I am relieved that I did not displease The Great Committer.