Did a Popular Radio Show Change the Name of the Show and the Lead Character Because of the Blacklist?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to radio and the people “behind the microphone,” so to speak, and whether they are true or false.

RADIO URBAN LEGEND: A popular radio series changed the name of the show (and title character) because the novelist who originated the character was blacklisted.

Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade had already found success in novels…

and film (with some help from Humphrey Bogart)…

before gaining radio success, as well, with the 1946 radio serial, The Adventures of Sam Spade, starring Howard Duff as Spade (Duff was largely an unknown in 1946 – within a couple of years he would be famous and married to Ida Lupino!).

The show was sponsored by Wildroot Cream-Oil.

Here is an old ad campaign for the show that appeared in comic books of the time…

Wildroot Cream Oil also used one of Al Capp’s characters in their ads, using the catchphrase, “Get Wildroot Cream-Oil, Charlie!”


This becomes important later.

The show debuted on ABC and then ran on CBS for a few years.

So it’s now 1950, and Hammett has been blacklisted by the government due to his constant protests for civil rights. The show had already removed his name on the credits.

Now, though, Howard Duff, as well, has been getting some inquiries from the House Un-American Activities Committtee.
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #497

Welcome to the four hundred and ninety-seventh in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week,, This week, did a personal tragedy lead to the death of the Hulk’s wife? Discover the secret Teen Titans crossover! Finally, did Marvel almost spoil the classic Thunderbolts reveal before the first issue even came out?

Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and ninety-six.

Click here to read this week’s legends.

Was the Unrated and Explicit Trailer for Nymphomaniac Accidentally Shown to the Audience of the Animated Film Frozen?

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: The unrated and sexually explicit trailer for Nymphomaniac was accidentally shown to attendees of a showing of the children’s animated film, Frozen.

There is an old journalism adage that goes “everyone reads the false report and no one reads the correction.” This is true to this day, where rarely anyone actually reads the corrections section of a newspaper, but it is an even bigger deal in the era of internet news, where not only does news spread faster, but while a false report in a newspaper might appear in a single edition of a newspaper, false reports on the internet will always remain out there and so when you search for information on the story, the widespread original story is still going to be the one that shows up the most in your searches.

This appears to be the case with the story of how the sexually explicit “red band” trailer for Nymphomaniac was accidentally shown at a movie theater filled with movie goers there to see the Disney animated film Frozen.

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Did a Radio Show Accidentally Air a Re-Run Complete With the Breaking News Bulletin From the Original Episode?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to radio and the people “behind the microphone,” so to speak, and whether they are true or false.

RADIO URBAN LEGEND: A daily Washington D.C. radio show accidentally played a re-run episode complete with a breaking news bulletin from the past.

In 1998, Kojo Nnamdi took over a long-running daily morning talk show called Public Interest on WAMU in Washington D.C. that first began as The Fred Finke show in 1977 (when it was a nighttime public interest show). After a couple of host (and name) changes, WAMU went with “Public Interest” rather than naming it after the new host, Nnamdi.

In 2002, they ended up naming it The Kojo Nnamdi Show anyways, which is what it remains called to this day.

In November of 2002, Nnamdi woke up sick one day and did not feel that he would be able to come in and work.

Without adequate time to find a guest host, the producers decided to re-run a recent show.

They grabbed a show from October and popped it in.

The show went on as it normally did, with Nnamdi discussing various topics. However, while discussing dreams and nightmares with neurologist Richard Cytowik, a bulletin interrupted the show.

Five people had been shot in Montgomery County!!

Yes, the producers had unwittingly chosen the October 3rd episode of the program, the day that the infamous “beltway sniper,” John Allen Muhammed first broke into the news with his early morning sniping murders of four random strangers in Montgomery County, Maryland (just north of Washington D.C.) which was coupled with a shooting from the previous day (Muhammed would go on to murder a sixth victim later that night).
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #496

Welcome to the four hundred and ninety-sixth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week,, This week, what role did George R.R. Martin play in the creation of Sandman at DC Comics? What Marvel artist was also an actor in a Tony Award-winning musical? And did Jim McCann really come up with the idea of bringing Mockingbird back in Secret Invasion?

Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and ninety-five.

Click here to read this week’s legends.

Was “The Book of Love” Inspired by a Pepsodent Commercial?

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.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: The famous “I wonder, wonder who, who-oo-ooh, who” part of the Monotones’ “Book of Love” was inspired by a Pepsodent commercial!

If you’re compiling a list of the most famous lines from do wop and early rock ‘n’ roll history, you simply would have to include The Monotones “I wonder, wonder who, who-oo-ooh, who (who wrote the book of love)” from their 1957 hit single, “Book of Love” (a song that became so popular that the record company that originally released the record literally could not meet the demand for the song, so they had to have it be re-issued by a major record label in early 1958).

What’s even more amazing than the coolness of the line (and the song itself, which is an utter classic) is what INSPIRED that great line.

Lead singer Charles Patrick (shown above) drew his inspiration from, of all things, a Pepsodent commercial!
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #495

Welcome to the four hundred and ninety-fifth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week,, This week, was Robin nearly in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth? Did Peanuts coin the term “security blanket?” And was Mockingbird nearly black?

Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and ninety-four.

Click here to read this week’s legends.

Did Pretty in Pink Originally End With Andie and Duckie Together?

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: Pretty in Pink originally ended with Andie and Duckie together.

Pretty in Pink was a 1986 romantic comedy written by John Hughes and directed by Howard Deutch that starred Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, James Spader and Jon Cryer.

The film centered on Ringwald’s working class Andie and her relationship with McCarthy’s upper class Blaine, countered with her relationship with her best friend, Duckie (played by Cryer).

Spader played Blaine’s rich friend, Steff, who pressures Blaine to not date Andie (as it turns out, Steff’s anger is mostly based on Andie spurning his advances earlier in the film). Besides perhaps the soundtrack (and James Spader’s amazing performance as the villainous Steff), the film is best remembered for the best friend who wished he could get the girl, Duckie.

However, while the film ends with Andie and Blaine together, in the original version, Duckie actually did get the girl!

Read on to see why that ending failed and how Robert Downey Jr. actually played a small part in it all…
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #494

Welcome to the four hundred and ninety-fourth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.This week, did Twin Peaks almost continue as a comic book? Does Marvel really have a trademark on the words “thwip” and “snikt”? Was Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse’s debut published six issues after her first appearance?

Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and ninety-three.

Click here to read this week’s legends.

How Did a Radio Jingle Save Wheaties?

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.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: The cereal Wheaties was saved from termination by a radio jingle.

There always needs to be some sort of lucky confluence of events for ANY product to really break through in the marketplace. But sometimes, the events are a bit more out of the ordinary than others. Like, for instance, how Wheaties managed to be saved by something as a simple as a radio jingle.

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