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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Did No One Guess the Right Answer in The Simpsons’ “Who Shot Mr. Burns” Contest?

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: In The Simpsons contest “Who Shot Mr. Burns?,” no one guessed the correct answer.

Fan contests have a long history in film and television. Most famously is when fans win “Walk-on” roles (quick minor appearances where they essentially just walk on and then walk off the set), like the two teens who won DC Comics “The Great Superman Movie Contest” and appeared briefly in 1978’s Superman. Just in the last year, the new Star Wars film, the Dumb and Dumber film sequel and TV shows Teen Wolf and The Exes have all either had contests where fans could win a walk-on role or had auctions where people could bid to win a walk-on role (one of the rewards in the Veronica Mars Kickstarter was a walk-on role in the film).

In 1995, The Simpsons offered their own unique fan contest when they offered up a chance for a fan to be drawn with The Simpsons. How would a fan win the chance? Simply correctly answer the question, “Who Shot Mr. Burns?”

BurnsShot

How many fans got it right? Read on to find out!
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Was 50 Cent Sued Over the Use of the Phrase “It’s Your Birthday” in His Hit Song “In Da Club”?

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: 50 Cent was sued over the use of the term “it’s your birthday” in “In Da Club.”

50 Cent’s debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was a monster smash hit.

The biggest single off of the album was the resounding dance club song, “In Da Club.”

While obviously the beat is the most memorable part of the song, the most repeated lyrics from the song is likely the introduction of the tune, where 50 Cent notes:

Go, go, go, go
Go, go, go shawty
It’s your birthday
We gon’ party like it’s yo birthday
We gon’ sip Bacardi like it’s your birthday
And you know we don’t give a f***
It’s not your birthday!

Amazingly enough, 50 Cent was actually sued by Joseph Weinberger, former manager of 2 Live Crew, who owns the rights to the 2 Live Crew catalog. Weinberger contested that 50 Cent plagiarized the lines “its your birthday” from Luther Campbell (lead singer for 2 Live Crew) from the 2 Live Crew album Still a Freak for Life.
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Did Harrison Ford Accidentally Audition for the Role of Han Solo in Star Wars?

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: Harrison Ford accidentally auditioned for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars.

While he has been lucky enough to play many different roles in a series of blockbuster films over his long movie career, the most important role in Harrison Ford’s career is still likely that of smuggler Han Solo in 1977’s Star Wars.

hansolo

The success of that film directly led to him going from a little-known actor already in his mid-30s to a guy who you would hire to star in your big budget film. With all respect to his other famous role, Indiana Jones, if it were not for Solo we wouldn’t know Harrison Ford’s name today (outside of obsessed American Graffiti fans, of course). Ford eventually had a sort of love/hate relationship with the role that made him a star (as we’ve covered in an old Movie Legends Revealed, he even asked Star Wars Director George Lucas to kill off Han in the third Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi), but he also noted in a Reddit AMA that “Han Solo was also a huge part of my life.” But how did Ford get the chance to play Han Solo in the first place? Did it tie in with his famed early career in carpentry? Read on to find out!
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Did a Play About Daniel Boone Invent the Fiction That he Wore Coonskin Caps?

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

THEATER URBAN LEGEND: The idea that Daniel Boone wore coonskin caps came from an 1822 theater production about Boone.

Actor Fess Parker portrayed both Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett in popular television series (the latter was a mini-series), with both characters wearing coonskin caps.

Crockett came first and made coonskin caps big business in the United States and the United Kingdom, with it becoming practically a staple of young boys, but Boone continued the trend with the hit 1960s TV series.

Here is Parker as Boone…

danielboonefessparker

(click on the image of Boone to enlarge)

The problem was that while Crockett definitely did, in fact, wear a coonskin cap (at least a times), Boone hated them. He wore felted beaver hats. He felt that coonskin caps for “uncivilized.”

And the weird thing is, we really don’t know exactly how we got from “Boone hated coonskin caps” to “Boone wore coonskin caps all the time,” which was part of the Daniel Boone myth well before Fess Parker started to play him on television.
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #527

Welcome to the five hundred and twenty-seventh in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, was Jean Grey set to survive the Dark Phoenix Saga even after the original ending was scrapped? Was Quicksilver not originally meant to return to being a hero in the late 1980s? And what was the deal with Hulk losing a fight to a snake?

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 Ellen Burstyn Get an Emmy Nomination for a 14 Second Appearance in a TV Movie?

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: Ellen Burstyn was nominated for an Emmy Award for an appearance that lasted fourteen seconds.

In the Summer of 2006, Ellen Burstyn received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for the HBO film Mrs. Harris (about the murder trial of a Scarsdale, NY socialite).

The film was an acclaimed drama (it received twelve Emmy nominations as a whole), so an acclaimed actress like Burstyn getting a nomination would not seem like much of a surprise.

Here’s the catch, though – she only appeared in the film for fourteen seconds!!
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Were the Foo Fighters Originally the FooD Fighters?

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: Due to a marquee missing a “D,” the Food Fighters became the Foo Fighters.

The Foo Fighters are a popular rock band formed by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl in 1994, soon after Nirvana disbanded (following the death of lead singer Kurt Cobain).

A story about their unusual name was that the original name for the band was the Food Fighters, possibly named after the obscure late 1980s action figures…

foodfighters

, but when they were to play at a local theater in an early appearance of the band, the marquee at the theater was shy a letter D, so the band just went on as the “Foo Fighters.”

Is that true?
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Did Milton Bradley Invent the Paper Cutter?

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: Milton Bradley invented the paper cutter.

It is pretty weird that in the relaof Board Game Legends Revealed, TWO of them involve the life of Milton Bradley (here‘s the earlier one).

In any event, last time around, I told the tale of how Milton Bradley’s career as a lithographer was turned upside down by Abraham Lincoln growing a beard, which led Bradley to try out different enterprises, ending up with the creation of the board game The Checkered Game of Life.

However, Bradley is ALSO credited in many places with inventing the paper cutter (just tossing one recent one out there, in Samuel Greengard’s 2008 book, AARP Crash Course in Finding the Work You Love: The Essential Guide to Reinventing Your Life, he states declaratively “Bradley, who also invented the paper cutter”).

This is untrue.

It is basically a mixture between the standard “telephone game” approach to urban legends as well as the adage “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

Bradley received a patent in 1881 for a one-armed paper cutter. That much is true. However, the patent was for an IMPROVEMENT on the paper cutter, which had existed in the modern form for nearly forty years at that point. Guillaume Massiquot developed the basic design of the modern paper cutter.

Here’s an 1878 advertisement for a paper cutter…

However, earlier versions of the device dated back even earlier to the 1820s…

So the little knowledge of Bradley patenting a paper cutter soon developed into Bradley inventing the paper cutter.

But hey, nothing wrong with improving a good invention! That’s still quite commendable.

The legend is…

STATUS: False

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