Comic Book Legends Revealed #590

Welcome to the five hundred and ninetieth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, learn the hilarious origins of Deadpool’s evil emblem logo! Discover which two Avengers teammates almost got married! And find out whether Spider-Woman owed her creation at all to a Native American feminist theater group!

Click here to read this week’s legends.

If you really don’t want to post comments on Facebook, you can comment on the article here, if you’d like.

Were the Rights to the Board Game Operation Sold for Just $500?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to board games and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of all board game urban legends so far.

BOARD GAME URBAN LEGEND: The board game Operation was sold for just $500.

For over fifty years, fans of all ages have enjoyed the board game Operation, in which players have to test their precision skills by trying to lift items from small holes in a board (the board is of a man and the items are in parts of his body, like removing an apple from where his Adam’s apple would be – stuff like that) using a metal tweezers. If the tweezers hit the metal sides of the holes, then an electrical current is connected and a buzzer goes off and the patient’s nose lights up.

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As the story goes, the whole rights to the game were sold for $500 and a job – and only one of those two things ever actually happened!

Is it true?
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August 26th, 2016 | Posted in Board Game Urban Legends Revealed, Grab Bag Urban Legends | No Comments

Did Joss Whedon Nearly Have a Bleak Rape Plot on Firefly?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Inara on Firefly had a syringe that was originally going to tie into a very dark rape plot on the series.

Very often, what TV shows have originally planned for their characters does not necessarily end up being what happens on the screen. Sometimes plots go off in different directions on their own and sometimes outside forces step in. Ally McBeal was about to get married until her would-be husband was abruptly written off the show due to Robert Downey Jr. getting arrested again over drugs. The West Wing writers were close to having Arnold Vinick win the Presidency before the death of John Spencer solidified the show’s original plan to have Matt Santos win the job. All My Children had a bomb storyline that had to be cut short due to the Oklahoma City bombing. So there’s all sorts of reasons why planned plots do not actually become reality. Sometimes, though, it is more natural reason, like the show simply deciding to go in a different direction. That was the case on Joss Whedon’s classic TV series, Firefly, which had a very dark storyline planned for Inara (Morena Baccarin) that never came to fruition.

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Read on to see what Whedon originally had planned.
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August 24th, 2016 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | 3 Comments

Did MGM Give Up Their Rights to Lassie Just to Avoid Paying Lassie’s Trainer Backpay They Owed Him?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE/TV URBAN LEGEND: MGM gave up the rights to Lassie in exchange for not paying $40,000 in back pay to owner/trainer Rudd Weatherwax.

(NOTE: This is also pretty much a TV Legend, as well, so I’ll include it in both archives)

Rudd Weatherwax and his brother Frank trained the dog Pal who starred in the hit 1943 film, Lassie Come Home (co-starring a young Roddy McDowell), which was adapted from the Eric Knight novel of the same name.

The movie was popular enough to spin off a series of sequels, including, among others, one film featuring a young Elizabeth Taylor…

In 1951, the film series was dried up and MGM was looking for a way to get out of their contract with Weatherwax. They still owed him another $40,000, which certainly was not chump change in 1951. What they decided to do next changed, well, Lassie’s history, at least, forever.
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August 24th, 2016 | Posted in Movie Urban Legends Revealed, TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Comic Book Legends Revealed #589

Welcome to the five hundred and eighty-ninth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, how did the Spider-Man movie lead to Spider-Man Unlimited being created? Did John Byrne originally intend to transform the Vision back into the original Human Torch? And how did Mike Grell being late give us the Rocketeer?

Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to access it to update it in a while).

Click here to read this week’s legends.

Did M.A.S.H. Really Never Show Radar O’Reilly’s Left Hand on the Show?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Radar O’Reilly’s left hand was never shown on M.A.S.H.

One of the few actors to star in both the film M.A.S.H. and the TV series M.A.S.H….

Gary Burghoff, otherwise known as Radar O’Reilly, is one of the actors most associated with M.A.S.H. (perhaps only Jamie Farr and Alan Alda are more associated with the series than Burghoff).

Look again at the picture above. Notice anything? In the photo, Burghoff is hiding his left hand. This is because Burghoff was born with a misshapen left hand. Reader Eric P. wrote in to ask if it was true that Burghoff’s left hand was never seen on the series.
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August 19th, 2016 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | 7 Comments

Was There Nearly a Love Triangle Between Spider-Man, Mary Jane and DOCTOR OCTOPUS in Spider-Man 2?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: There was nearly a love triangle between Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson and DOCTOR OCTOPUS in Spider-Man 2.

When it comes to major motion pictures, there are often a surprising amount of screenwriters involved in the writing of each film. There are complicated and often draconian systems in place to see who actually gets credited for the final film. Movies can have a dozen screenwriters but only have one or two actually credited when the film is released. As you might imagine, then, that leads to drastically different stories for films based on who was writing the story. In one draft of Empire Strikes Back, Luke had a whole other sister! In one draft of the Green Lantern film, Superman was going to get a chance at a Green Lantern ring! In one draft of Batman Returns, the villainous Max Schreck was the Penguin’s long-lost brother!

This system of drafts led to an interesting period when Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2 was going to be part of a love triangle between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson!

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August 19th, 2016 | Posted in Movie Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Comic Book Legends Revealed #588

Welcome to the five hundred and eighty-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, what other classic X-Men member was going to be a founding member of Excalibur? Did Marvel really sue Dave Stevens and Disney over the name “The Rocketeer”? And did Marvel call Venom’s current book “Venom: Space Knight” so that they could trademark the name “Space Knight”?

Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to access it to update it in a while).

Click here to read this week’s legends.

Is Marge Simpson’s Hair So Tall Because It Hides Her Rabbit Ears?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Marge Simpson’s hair hides two rabbit ears.

Something that we’ve dealt with repeatedly in this column is the fact that very often, major decisions about movies and television shows aren’t made until pretty much the final moment. In the world of animation, sometimes it seems like it is even longer than that, since you’re not dealing with real life actors, so changes can be made much further along in the process (as you don’t have to worry about casting). Over the years, we’ve learned how Homer Simpson and Krusty the Clown were originally going to be one and the same, that Eric Cartman was originally going to have a father and a sister and that Waylon Smithers was going to be married with kids. In the case of Cartman and Smithers, the changes were made as a result of scenes getting cut out of early episodes that would have established those facts and when it came time to rethink them, the show’s creators thought otherwise. In the case of Homer and Krusty the Clown, that was more a case of Simpsons creator Matt Groening throwing out a ton of ideas early on, not all of them were feasible.

It’s that latter type of idea that we’re talking about today, in response to reader Joe B.’s request that we address something that has been puzzling him for a long time – does Marge Simpsons’ long blue hair hide a pair of rabbit ears?

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Let’s find out!
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August 12th, 2016 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Did Josie and the Pussycats Not Receive Any Money for Product Placement?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Josie and the Pussycats did not receive any money for the excessive product placement within the film.

Josie and the Pussycats was a film adaptation of the Archie comic book series (and animated series) of the same name that came out in 2001, starring Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson as Josie and the Pussycats, respectively.

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The film was famous at the time (or infamous?) for its constant use of product placement within the film.

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A few of my friends were discussing the movie recently on Facebook, and my buddy Mark noted:

Interestingly, the “product placements” were part of the satire, and according to the commentary, they weren’t actually product placements because they didn’t receive a dime from them. They just figured that using real world products would have a bigger impact than if it was fake products. Or at least that’s how I remember it from watching the commentary 15 years ago. Hey Brian Cronin, would that be a good Entertainment Legends Revealed? Did the movie Josie and the Pussycats actually get money from all the product placement?

Let’s find out!
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August 9th, 2016 | Posted in Movie Urban Legends Revealed | 3 Comments