out-and-out nonsense; bunkum.
elements of low comedy introduced into a play, novel, etc., for the laughs they may bring.
sentimental matter of an elementary or stereotyped kind introduced into a play or the like.
false or irrelevant material introduced into a speech, essay, etc., in order to arouse interest, excitement, or amusement.

1915–20, Americanism; probably blend of hocus-pocus and bunkum

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World English Dictionary
hokum (ˈhəʊkəm)
1.  claptrap; bunk
2.  obvious or hackneyed material of a sentimental nature in a play, film, etc
[C20: probably a blend of hocus-pocus and bunkum]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1917, theater slang, "melodramatic, exaggerated acting," probably formed on model of bunkum (see bunk (2)), and perhaps influenced by hocus-pocus. The derived adj. hokey first recorded 1927.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Mailer's obituaries tended to settle for the nil nisi hokum note.
Such miracles, in this day and age, bespeak a hokum beyond the reach of art.
What makes this hokum work as entertainment is the series' unquestioned belief
  in basic human benignity.
It may be a piece of well-polished hokum in plot, but it possesses a certain
  refreshing levity that makes it a good entertainment.
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