Was the Owner in Major League Originally Secretly the HERO of the Film?

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 film Major League originally had a dramatic twist at the end involving the team’s owner.

As I have mentioned in a number of Legends Revealed over the years, test audiences can dramatically change the way that a TV series or movie end up. Test audiences gave us Penny instead of Katie on The Big Bang Theory, they broke up Andie and Duckie in Pretty in Pink, they gave us Edd “Kookie” Byrnes on 77 Sunset Strip and they gave us Hill and Renko on Hill Street Blues. They also dramatically changed the ending of the hit 1989 baseball film, Major League.

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Originally, the owner of the Cleveland Indians was secretly the hero of the film! Read on to see how test audiences changed the film.
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #531

Welcome to the five hundred and thirty-first in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, did Frank Miller want to make a creative personnel change in the middle of The Dark Knight Returns? Was Walter Simonson given approval of using Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman in his Avengers run only to have that approval rescinded as soon as he began using them? And do we know of twenty-five “lucky” fans who tore a page out of Action Comics #1?

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.

What Unusual Feature Does Ohio State’s Orton Hall Have In Honor of Their First President, Dr. Edward J. Orton?

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

ARCHITECTURE URBAN LEGEND: Ohio State University’s Orton Hall was designed in a peculiar fashion to honor the school’s first president, Dr. Edward J. Orton, Sr.

Dr. Edward J. Orton, Sr. (1829-1899) was a geologist who was also the first President of Ohio State University. He served in that capacity from September 17, 1873 – June 21, 1881. He taught geology at Ohio State from 1873 until his death in 1899. Similarly, he was the school’s official geologist from 1882-1899. He did this despite suffering a semi-paralytic stroke in 1891.

In any event, in 1892 the school unveiled Orton Hall to honor their first president. Here is a modern day picture of the hall, which includes the Department of Geology and Mineralogy’s offices and laboratories of Paleontology, Historical Geology and Sedimentology, the Orton Geological Museum, and the Orton Geological Library (the Library was dedicated by Orton’s son, Robert Orton, Jr., the first Chairman of Ceramic Engineering at Ohio State, in 1920)….

But here’s the interesting thing about Orton Hall, and the reason that the Hall has been entered into the National Register of Historic Places.
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Was the Dixie Cups’ Hit Song “Iko Iko” Recorded Without Their Knowledge?

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 Dixie Cups’ version of “Iko Iko” was recorded without their knowledge.

The Dixie Cups hit the big time in 1964 with their #1 smash hit, “Chapel of Love,” which was originally written for The Ronnettes.

The Dixie Cups consisted of sisters Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins and their cousin Joan Marie Johnson. The trio grew up in New Orleans, and it was this New Orleans background that led to the trio using the 1950s tune, “Jack a Mo” as their warm up song while preparing to lay down some tracks in a New York recording studio in 1965 (the trio had signed with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s new record company, Red Bird Records).

Something weird happened, though, while they were warming up…
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Was the First Published Song About Baseball Written Before the Civil War?

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/BASEBALL URBAN LEGEND: The first published baseball song pre-dates the Civil War!

“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is now over one hundred years old. And yet, there was a song that pre-dated that tune by fifty years! Before the United States Civil War!
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Did Barack Obama Personally Squelch a Saturday Night Live Sketch?

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: Barack Obama personally squelched a Saturday Night Live sketch

While Saturday Night Live (SNL>) has been doing political humor since pretty much their first episode (Chevy Chase first portrayed Gerald Ford on the fourth ever episode of the series) every four years or so there is an extra spotlight cast on the show when it comes time to elect the President of the United States. Sometimes this spotlight results in the show raising their game and doing sketches that permeate the zeitgeist (like in 2000) and sometimes the results are forgettable (2012). One of their more prominent election seasons was the 2008 race for the Presidency, which featured both a pitched battle for the Democratic nomination between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and then a controversial Vice-President candidate for Republican nominee John McCain (a candidate who happened to look a lot like former SNL head writer Tina Fey).

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Reader Matt K. wrote in a little while back to ask about a story he had heard earlier this year about whether it was true that then Senator Obama had the show kill a sketch during the election (I love how suspicious my readers are – Matt specifically noted to me that he thought it sounded like a sound bite that could be so misleading that it was basically false). Were Matt’s instincts correct? Is the story too good to be true? Read on to find out!
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Did Kevin Smith Write a Decoy Screenplay for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice?

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: Kevin Smith wrote a decoy screenplay for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

There are two interesting competing forces nowadays when it comes to the creation of films. On the one hand, spoiler culture is so prevalent that most movie trailers pretty much give away the entire plot of films, because, as director Robert Zemeckis famously noted, “We know from studying the marketing of movies, people really want to know exactly every thing that they are going to see before they go see the movie. It’s just one of those things.” And on the other hand, you have the filmmakers themselves, who want to keep as much of their film a secret as possible. The above Zemeckis quote continues to note, “To me, being a movie lover and film student and a film scholar and a director, I don’t.” So when you have a legion of fans who want to know everything about a film and a filmmaker who doesn’t want to spoil the fans, you end up with a whole lot of subterfuge going on. Film studios have been experts in subterfuge for decades now (I did an interesting Movie Legend Revealed about how 20th Century Fox managed to market A Miracle on 34th Street without revealing that it was a Christmas film!) but it has taken on a whole new life in recent years. Gone are the days of simply giving a movie a fake working title (like Return of the Jedi being called Blue Harvest) to keep people off the scent, we now have directors like Christopher Nolan who keep only a single physical copy of the script to his upcoming film, Interstellar, to prevent people from leaking it.

Recently, though, fans were abuzz at what was rumored to be a whole new level of subterfuge on the behalf of Warner Brothers and their highly anticipated film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

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As CBR’s Comic Reel reported:

Rumors have circulated that “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” had its script leaked, which is where new rumors and details of characters in the film came from. However, a new report from MovieWeb contends that the script is a fake. Not only that, it was written by “Clerks” director Kevin Smith at the behest of Warner Bros., then leaked to throw press and fans off the scent of Zack Snyder’s actual plans for the movie.

The fake script led to rumors that Amanda Waller, Mr. Zsasz, Morgan Edge, and David Cain would appear in the film.

So it is true? Did Kevin Smith write this decoy script?
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What Role Did Richie Ashburn Play in the Naming of the Band Yo La Tengo?

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/BASEBALL URBAN LEGEND: Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn indirectly led to the naming of the band Yo La Tengo.

Yo La Tengo is a highly acclaimed alternative rock band that consists of Ira Kaplan (guitars, piano, vocals), Georgia Hubley (drums, piano, vocals), and James McNew (bass, vocals). Kaplan and Hubley, who are married to each other, formed the band in 1984. The current lineup has been in place since 1992. While perhaps not the most popular band in terms of album sales (of their dozen albums that they have released only one of them has ever been in the Top 100 of the Billboard Top 200 charts) they have a dedicated fan following (allowing them to have released so many albums) and are one of the best reviewed rock bands of the past two decades.

Their interesting name is derived from a famous baseball story involving Richie Ashburn.
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #530

Welcome to the five hundred and thirtieth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, did Marvel create the Spider-Mobile because they had a deal with a toy company to make a Spider-Mobile toy? Did Walter Simonson have feathers on Velociraptors before scientists proved that they actually DID have feathers? Did the same comic that got sued for ripping off Superman also get sued for ripping off the title of a pulp magazine?

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.

Was the Ghostface Mask From Scream First Discovered in an Abandoned House?

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 mask used in Scream was discovered in an abandoned house during location scouting for the film.

It appears that with the creation of any sort of iconic film, there is always a little bit of serendipity mixed into the process. In an old Movie Legends Revealed, I discussed the various factors (including, improbably enough, the 1970s soft rock hit, “Dream Weaver”) that went into Wes Craven coming up with the idea for Nightmare on Elm Street. Over a decade later, Craven was once again inspired from an unlikely place for the iconic “Ghostface” mask that terrorized victims in the hit 1996 film Scream.

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Reader Guillermo M. asked if it was true that the mask was discovered by Craven by accident in an abandoned house during the location scouting for the first Scream film. Did this iconic piece of horror film history really have such a spooky origin? Read on to find out!
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