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.”

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

Comic Book Legends Revealed #606

Welcome to the six hundred and sixth 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 Comics really buy Malibu Comics (and the Ultraverse) for their coloring process?
Did Marvel nearly continue Transformers as an X-Title?

How did the Power Rangers lead to Guy Gardner getting new superpowers?

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #605

Welcome to the six hundred and fifth 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 James Cameron plan for there to be a sex scene in his Spider-Man movie?

Was the Spider-Man Unlimited animated series originally a Spider-Man 2099 show?

Did a video game use Spider-Man as an unlicensed villain?

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #604

Welcome to the six hundred and fourth 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 Superman and Wonder Woman almost have a one-night stand?

Where did Superman first fly?

Was Kojak almost in the first Superman movie?
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #603

Welcome to the six hundred and third in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, learn how close we came to a third Batman/Spawn crossover, find out which Luke Cage girlfriend was created as a challenge to Chris Claremont and just who named Mister Sinister?

Click here to read this week’s legends.

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Did Red Shirts Really Die at a Greater Percentage Than Other Shirts on Star Trek?

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 most dangerous shirt to wear on “Star Trek” was a red shirt.

Quite often, when a television series finds itself in an established place in the overall popular culture, catch phrases and cliches from the series become a part of the national jargon. “Star Trek” is certainly no exception to this, which catch phrases like “Live long and prosper,” “Damn it, Jim, I’m a doctor not a _____,” “Beam me up, Scotty” and others like them long being part of the public collective consciousness. However, what’s interesting about the public collective consciousness is that it doesn’t always remember things correctly. We’ve pointed out in the past that Gracie Allen never actually said, “Good night, Gracie” on the “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show”. Similarly, Mr. T never actually said “I pity the fool” on “The A-Team”. Heck, even within the world of “Star Trek,” Captain Kirk never said the explicit phrase, “Beam me up, Scotty” (although he said things close enough that it’s not a major thing to quibble over). With all this in mind, can you really trust the collective public consciousness on anything? For instance, do red shirts even die the most on “Star Trek”?

red-shirt-social

That’s the question reader Bob S. wrote in with the other day, telling me that he had read an article online that said that red shirts didn’t actually die the most on “Star Trek” and he wanted to know if that was true or not. Well, Bob (and everyone else), read on for the answer!
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November 22nd, 2016 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | 1 Comment

Comic Book Legends Revealed #602

Welcome to the six hundred and second in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, learn whether the X-Men were originally going to be called the “Merry Mutants”! See which famous artist liked to change the sound effect for Wolverine’s claws to “Sinkt!” And see what would have been Alex Ross’ first Marvel Comics work!

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #601

Welcome to the six hundred and first in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, learn how close we came to a Justice League/Transformers crossover, find out the Spirit-ual inspiration for Doctor Strange’s famous window and learn the real reason Sinestro wasn’t a villain on the “Green Lantern” cartoon!

Click here to read this week’s legends.

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Comic Book Legends Revealed #600

Welcome to the six hundredth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, to celebrate the big six-oh-oh, we’re doing a special DOUBLE-SIZED edition of CBLR! There’s a theme, to boot! Each legend this week is connected to a past legend, with each past legend falling somewhere in each hundred group (so one past legend from #1-99, one from #100-199, one from #200-299, etc.).

Click here to read this week’s legends.

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Did Major League Include a Line in Their Trailer to Mislead Audiences?

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: Major League included a line in the original trailer designed to mislead viewers as to what happened at the end of the movie.

Sadly for Cleveland fans, the Indians lost the World Series last night to the Chicago Cubs, so 1948 remains the last time (for now) that the Indians have won the World Series. After playing well through the mid-1950s, the Indians then entered a long slump as a franchise, which was used as the basis for the hit 1989 comedy film, Major League, which is about a hapless Cleveland Indians franchise suddenly becoming good after the owner cut salary dramatically and only had walk-ons and has-beens on the team.

majorleague

A while back, I discussed how the owner in the movie originally was secretly the HERO of the film! Today, based on a suggestion from reader Gage, we look at whether a famous line from the film’s trailer was inserted into the trailer (and not the actual movie) in an attempt to mislead audiences as to how the film would end!
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November 3rd, 2016 | Posted in Movie Urban Legends Revealed | 2 Comments