Archive for the 'Grab Bag Urban Legends' Category

Was Monopoly Once Ruled a Generic Term and Thus Not Protected by Trademark?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to board games and whether they are true or false. BOARD GAME URBAN LEGEND: Monopoly was once ruled a generic term and un-trademarkable. As noted in the last Board Game Urban Legend, Parker Brothers had a specific version of the history of [...]

Was Monopoly Invented as a Tool to Teach People the Evils of Capitalism?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to board games and whether they are true or false. BOARD GAME URBAN LEGEND: Monopoly was created by Charles Darrow. BOARD GAME URBAN LEGEND: The predecessor to Monopoly was created to demonstrate the teachings of Georgism. For years, it has been basically [...]

Was Tennessee Williams’ First Published Work in the Pages of Weird Tales?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about theater and whether they are true or false. THEATER URBAN LEGEND: Tennessee Williams’ first published standalone work was a story in the pulp magazine, Weird Tales! Tennessee Williams is one of the most celebrated playwrights of the 20th Century (and one of [...]

Was the Word Robot First Coined in a Early 20th Century Czech 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: Karel Čapek coined the word “robot” in a play. Karel Čapek was one of the notable writers in Czechoslovakia during the 20th Century, and he was especially noteworthy when it comes [...]

Did Bob Cummings Pretend to be British to Get a Broadway Role?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about theater and whether they are true or false. THEATER URBAN LEGEND: Bob Cummings pretended to be from England to get a role on Broadway. Bob Cummings was a popular actor with a career that stretched a number of decades, from the stage [...]

Were the Bronte Sisters Raised as Vegans?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about novels and novelists and whether they are true or false. NOVEL URBAN LEGEND: The Brontë sisters were forbidden by the their father from eating meat. The three Brontë sisters (not counting their two older sisters who died in their youth) were all [...]

Did Stephen King’s Wife Fish Carrie Out of the Trash and Compel Her Husband to Finish the Novel?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about novels and novelists and whether they are true or false. NOVEL URBAN LEGEND: Stephen King’s wife fished his work on the novel Carrie out of the trash and forced him to finish it. A major example of a matter of chance having [...]

Was the Taser Really Invented Based on an Invention From a Tom Swift Novel?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about novels and novelists and whether they are true or false. NOVEL URBAN LEGEND: The taser was invented based on a device in a Tom Swift novel (the taser was actually named AFTER the novel) Edward Stratemeyer invented the Tom Swift series of [...]

Did Paul Robeson Originate the Role of Joe in Show Boat?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about musicals and whether they are true or false. MUSICAL URBAN LEGEND: Paul Robeson originated the role of Joe (and as a result, first sang the song “Old Man River”) in Show Boat. One of Paul Robeson’s most famous songs is the Jerome [...]

Was There Nearly a Muppet Version of Into the Woods?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about musicals and whether they are true or false. MUSICAL URBAN LEGEND: Into the Woods was almost made into a film by Jim Henson Productions. Into the Woods was Stephen Sondheim’s second straight classic musical that had unfortunate timing on the year in [...]