Did How I Met Your Mother Work an Insult of the Show by Star Jason Segel Into an Episode of the Series?

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: How I Met Your Mother worked an insult of the show by Jason Segel into the series.

Being a regular on a popular television series is often an interesting double-edged sword for actors. On the one hand, it tends to be extremely lucrative in a profession where being unemployed is much more common that actually having a regular gig. On the other hand, actors sometimes feel as though they are “trapped” working on a regular series, whether because they are not fans of the material or because they feel that their role has changed from when they were originally cast or perhaps just because they prefer the freedom to do other work, like films (one of the most common reasons for actors leaving a popular television series is because they want to go make motion pictures instead). In past TV Legends Revealeds, I have featured the results of such conflicts for actors like Denise Crosby on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Robert Downey Jr. on Ally McBeal. Today we look at the curious case of Jason Segel and How I Met Your Mother. Unlike the other actors, Segel never actually left the series, but his frustrations with the show eventually were worked into the show itself with hilarious effect.

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Read on to see how!
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How Did Playing “Sweet Caroline” Become a Red Sox Tradition at Fenway Park?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music 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 Red Sox began playing “Sweet Caroline” in honor of a Red Sox employee who named her newborn daughter “Caroline” in 1998.

One of the coolest baseball musical traditions is the singing of the Neil Diamond hit “Sweet Caroline” during the 8th inning of Boston Red Sox games played at Fenway Park.

WHY the song is played during the 8th inning of Boston Red Sox games played at Fenway Park is a whole other story.

The song has nothing to do with Boston, so why the connection?
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #529

Welcome to the five hundred and twenty-ninth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, did the screenplay for never-produced Superman V become Superman: The Earth Stealers? Did Kurt Busiek almost have a series at DC Comics that ended up being hurt by Busiek getting TOO good of an artist for the series? And finally, did Steve Englehart take a West Coast Avengers story and make it a Fantastic Four story instead?

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 Joss Whedon Cast a Lead in a Film Based Just on One Scene in the Avengers Where She Was an Extra?

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Joss Whedon cast one of the leads in his film Much Ado About Nothing based on just a single scene in The Avengers where she was an extra.

There are many stories of famous actors who got their start in the film industry working as a background extra in films. Sylvester Stallone, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Renee Zellweger, Clint Eastwood and Channing Tatum all worked as extras in films before they got bigger acting jobs. However, to say that work as background extras led to their work as actors is usually a bit of a stretch. To wit, many famous actors also worked as waiters and waitresses at some point in time, and you wouldn’t say that their work there led to their careers as actors. Being an extra is typically just a gig you do while trying to work your way up to becoming a featured actor. It’s fine work for what it is, but it very rarely has a direct connection to ongoing acting work. A notable exception I’ve featured in the past was how an extra knowing how to make a cappuccino eventually got him a recurring role on Friends. Another notable exception was a background extra on the hit film The Avengers whose one scene eventually led to her netting one of the lead roles in the next film by Joss Whedon, director of the Avengers!
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Was A Long Day’s Journey Into Night Released Two Decades Before Eugene O’Neill Intended it to be Released?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about theater and whether they are true or false.

THEATER URBAN LEGEND: A Long Day’s Journey Into Night was released over twenty years earlier than Eugene O’Neill expressly stated that it should.

For a man who already had written a number of classic plays, A Long Day’s Journey Into Night is likely Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece.

The playwright finished the play in 1942, eleven years before his death.

For whatever reason, O’Neill decided that he did not want the play to be published until twenty-five years after he died. This might be because of the autobiographical parts of the play, but honestly I don’t know for certain what O’Neill’s motivations were. He had the manuscript of the play kept in the document vault of his publisher, Random House. O’Neill even had a contract written up that stated that the play not be published until twenty-five years after his death.

That’s not what happened.
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Did Cartman on South Park Originally Have a Father AND a Sister?

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: Originally Cartman from South Park had both a father and a sister.

Throughout the long run of their hit animated TV series, South Park, about the misadventures of four boys in South Park, Colorado (Eric Cartman, Kyle Broflovski, Stan Marsh and Kenny McCormick) its creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have always liked to mess with conventions. This was perhaps never quite as evident as how they handled their Season 1 cliffhanger. The final episode of Season 1 was dubbed “Cartman’s Mom Is a Dirty Slut,” and it deals with the mysterious identity of who was Eric Cartman’s father? The second season debuted on April 1, 1998 and instead of resolving the cliffhanger, as an April Fool’s prank, Parker and Stone delivered Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus, an episode completely focused on the minor characters of Terrance and Phillip and having nothing to do with the previous episode’s cliffhanger. The second episode of the season didn’t come out until three weeks later.

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“Cartman’s Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut” revealed that Liane Cartman was actually a hermaphrodite and that she was Cartman’s father, with the mother now being a mystery (twelve years later, it was revealed that the hermaphrodite story was a lie and that Liane was Cartman’s mother and his real father was the father of Eric’s rival, Scott Tenorman). So more than one episode of South Park has revolved around who Cartman’s father was. This is particularly interesting since originally, Cartman’s father appeared in the very first episode of the series!
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Was Danielle Fishel Originally Cast on Boy Meets World in Another, Non-Topanga Role?

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: Danielle Fishel was originally cast in another non-Topanga role in Boy Meets World.

The enduring popularity of Boy Meets World is one of those rare occurrences where a show that was only relatively popular when it was originally airing (Boy Meets World never finished in the top thirty in the Nielsen ratings – it peaked at #36 in Season 2) finds a new life in syndication (the most famous example of this phenomenon is The Brady Bunch, which also never hit the top thirty during its original run). After finishing its original run on ABC, it was syndicated for seven seasons on the Disney Channel and three seasons on ABC Family. It was off the air for a couple of years before it returned to ABC Family in 2010 and has actually gotten more popular in recent years, with MTV2 also adding the show to its schedule in 2011. The recent increase in popularity led to the Disney Channel debuting a sequel to the original series, Girl Meets World, starring the pre-teen daughter of the show’s main couple, Cory and Topanga (Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel). That series is currently in its second season.

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For whatever reason, Cory and Topanga have become a sort of iconic couple for a generation of fans. However, surprisingly enough, Cory and Topanga almost never came to be! Read on to find out what happened…
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June 23rd, 2015 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Was the Song “Mony Mony” Written About a New York Bank?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music 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 song “Mony Mony” was named after the bank Mutual of New York.

“Mony Mony” was a big hit for Tommy James and the Shondells in 1968.

It was later a hit for Billy Idol, as well.

In an interview with Song Facts, James explained the interesting name of the song:
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #528

Welcome to the five hundred and twenty-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, did Marvel’s editor-in-chief retroactively keep Wolverine from being a killer? Did Marvel squelch plans for a trans superhero during the 1980s? And was Brian Michael Bendis really going to be the original artist on David Mack’s Kabuki?

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.

How Did Learning to Speak English Lead to Eugene Ionesco Writing His First Play?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about theater and whether they are true or false.

THEATER URBAN LEGEND: Eugene Ionesco was inspired to write his first play at the age of 40 while learning English.

Eugene Ionesco was one of the more acclaimed playwrights of the “Theatre of the Absurd” movement of the mid-20th Century (along with Samuel Beckett).

Ionesco did not begin his career as a playwright, though. Originally, his works were poetry and literary criticism. He did not write his first play until he was in his 40s. The origin of that first play is fascinating.
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