Comic Book Legends Revealed #614

Welcome to the six hundred and fouteenth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends have their own link now.

How Iron Fist Gave Us Venom

How Was Warlock’s First Appearance Re-Written?

Is This Suggestive Wolverine Toy For Real?

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #613

Welcome to the six hundred and thirteenth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends have their own link now.

Did Rogue Nearly Die in Morrison’s New X-Men?

Did We Nearly Get Kamandi Instead of Batman: TAS?

A Surprising Superman TV News Reference

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #612

Welcome to the six hundred and twelfth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends have their own link now.

Was Iron Man Originally Going to be Addicted to Cocaine?

Hellboy’s Surprising Origins

Was There Nearly a Kamandi TV Series?

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Was The Don Mattingly Sideburns Plot on The Simpsons NOT a Real Life Reference?

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: Don Mattingly’s sideburns plot on The Simpsons was not actually a reference to a real life incident that happened with the Yankees benching Mattingly over the length of his hair.

In August of 1991, Yankee star first baseman Don Mattingly famously sat a game due to a controversy involving the length of his hair. The Yankees had rather draconian rules in place for how long players’s hair could be, and manager Stump Merrill came to four Yankees and told them they had to cut their hair or they would be benched for a game on August 15. Catcher Matt Nokes did so and so he played. Mattingly refused, and instead sat that game.

mattingly

He then played the next game with his long hair still on (and received a standing ovation from the fans at Yankee Stadium). He then cut his hair the next day and actually auctioned off the clippings for charity. Mattingly’s main concern was the time frame that they gave him. He later recalled:

“My biggest issue that day was ‘If you don’t get your haircut today, you don’t play,’ and I was at the ballpark. Well, don’t tell me two days ago. If you tell me today, ‘If you don’t have it cut by tomorrow, you won’t play,’ I would have got it cut.”

The next year, Mattingly was one of a group of star baseball players who appeared in a third season episode of “The Simpsons” called “Homer at the Bat,” where Mister Burns brings in a group of professional ringers once the plant’s softball team makes the playoffs. One by one, the players come down with various maladies that leave them off the team (all except the one player who played Homer Simpson’s position, Darryl Strawberry). I just wrote a TV Legend today about how one of the players was not happy about the story that they wrote for him, so the writers changed it.

For Mattingly, he was kicked off of the team after Mister Burns insisted that he cut down his sideburns, even after Mattingly shaved the side of his head, Burns still saw them there.

sideburns

It’s a funny bit and it appeared a clear cut reference to the incident back in 1991. However, that shockingly is somehow not the case!

Jon Vitti, the producer of the episode, explained to the Associated Press back in 1992, “That script was written and ready to record in July [of 1991]. It was pure coincidence. When those things happened, the first thing we thought was, `Hey, this is great,`Then we thought, `No, it isn`t great. No one is going to believe those things were written before they happened.`”

Mattingly also told Jim Caple, “The weird thing is, everyone thought they wrote it in later but they didn’t.”

I mean, the Yankees’ long hair policy WAS in existence before the famous incident, but it still seems so hard to believe. But since Mattingly really has no reason to lie about it, I’m willing to go with the legend as…

STATUS: True

Be sure to check out my archive of TV Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of television. And click here for more legends about the Simpsons.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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February 2nd, 2017 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Comic Book Legends Revealed #611

Welcome to the six hundred and eleventh in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends have their own link now.

Does Pink Kryptonite Really Exist in Superman Comics?

How Cheetah’s Life Was Accidentally Saved

Was There Nearly Batman/Judge Dredd by Moore/Bolland?

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #610

Welcome to the six hundred and tenth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends have their own link now.

Did Marvel Get Bomb Threats When Rhodey Became Iron Man?

How Was Dell Allowed to do a Dracula Superhero?

Which Character Almost Outlasted the Ultraverse?

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #609

Welcome to the six hundred and ninth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends have their own link now.

Did Rogue Nearly Become a Cosmic Hero?

Did a Comic Strip Invent the Word Malarkey?

Did House of M Begin as an Astonishing X-Men Fill-In?

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #608

Welcome to the six hundred and eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends have their own link now.

Was Stan Lee Really an Army Playwright?

Was Cheryl Blossom Archie’s Answer to Cherry Poptart?

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby…Cover Models?!

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #607

Welcome to the six hundred and seventh in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Each part of this week’s legends have their own link now.

Where did Todd McFarlane get the idea to give Spider-Man “spaghetti webbing”?

Why was there never a Governator comic book?

Was Stephanie Brown nearly Robin the Girl Wonder two years earlier than she ended up getting the gig?

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Did A Charlie Brown Christmas Drive Aluminum Christmas Trees Out of Business?

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: The success of A Charlie Brown Christmas drove aluminum Christmas trees out of business.

Over the years, we’ve pointed out some of the interesting commercial connections to Charles Schulz’ famous anti-commercialism TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas (like how the special came about due to ads for Ford and how there was originally an ad for Coca-Cola in the actual story of the special). Today, we look at an often-repeated legend about how A Charlie Brown Christmas was responsible for driving those symbols of mid-20th Century commercialism, the aluminum Christmas trees, out of business.

aluminum

Famously, in the special, Linus and Charlie Brown are sent to pick out a Christmas tree for the school pageant. Lucy wants Charlie Brown to “get the biggest aluminum tree you can find — maybe paint it pink.” Charlie Brown, instead, buys a puny half dead tree. The other kids mock him for his choice, but after Linus reads to them from the Bible, the kids change their tune and in the end, through care and attention, they spruce his tree up into a beautiful little Christmas tree. Linus famously notes, “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”

Charlie_Brown_Xmas_tree

Well, according to a number of articles about A Charlie Brown Christmas, but let’s just pick one of the first results that popped up when I searched for this story. From Smosh.com:

It may only have twelve needles and collapse under the weight of a single ornament before the curative properties of Linus’s blanket rescue it, but Charlie Brown’s twig of a tree single-handedly put an end to a horrible new holiday tradition. Starting in the early 60’s—a period not known for the best decorating trends—people were forgoing real Christmas trees for brightly colorful aluminum ones (think a cheerier Festivus with spray paint), as seen in the tree lot in the TV special. But when viewers saw Charlie Brown stand by his little wooden wonder in the face of ridicule and tree’s own fast-impending mortality, they tossed aside their metallic pink decorations and returned to a more natural choice that also involved sweeping up dead needles from the floor every six seconds.

Is that true?
Read the rest of this entry »

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December 23rd, 2016 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments