Who Was the Surprising Mystery Owner of Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl Costume?

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: Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl costume ended up being owned by a surprising person.

On the 1966-68 Batman television series, Julie Newmar’s Catwoman and Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl and their respective skintight costumes launched a million crushes by adolescents watching the show (and I’m sure plenty of adults watching the show, as well). Newmar specifically went out of her way to make sure that her costume accentuated her curves by altering the way her belt hung on her Catwoman costume so that it showed off her hips. Newmar was so involved in that sort of thing that she even ended up getting a federal patent on special pantyhose that wouldn’t flatten a woman’s curves! While all the attention was likely flattering to Newmar and Craig, at the same time it must have been a bit disturbing, as well, to constantly be under the scrutiny of the “male gaze,” even from fellow actors. Mark Evanier has a hilarious story about the late Craig’s response to some of that excess attention, while there is also a legend about Newmar responding to the come-ons of another actor with a sharp rebuke.

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Craig, meanwhile, was also in for a bit of a surprise when she returned to the Batgirl role one last time a few years after the series ended, when there was a mystery of – who had Batgirl’s costume?
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June 13th, 2016 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | 4 Comments

Comic Book Legends Revealed #578

Welcome to the five hundred and seventy-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, did Fredric Wertham really claim that Batman and Robin were gay? Did Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross try to take over Iron Man before doing Marvels together? And was Captain America already set to relaunch as part of Heroes Reborn before Mark Waid and Ron Garney’s run even began?

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 Christine Baranski Get Her Start on the Brady Bunch?

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: One of Christine Baranski’s earliest roles was as a friend of Marcia’s on the Brady Bunch.

Reader Rob N. wrote in with this one a while back.

The story is a simple one. In the Season 2 episode, “The Slumber Caper,” Marcia almost is not allowed to have a big slumber party because her principal believes she drew an unflattering portrait of her teacher. Marcia insists that it was just a drawing of George Washington that someone else captioned in such a manner as to make it look like Marcia was insulting her teacher. Her parents eventually trust her enough to let her throw the party, but Marcia then disinvites a friend of hers that she thought wrote the caption. In the end, it turns out it was a different friend who did it, thinking that only Marcia would see the humorous caption.

The friend, Paula, was played by a child actress named Chris Charney…

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Over the years, the rumor has been that Chris Charney was the stage name for a young Christine Baranski, star of shows like Cybill and The Good Wife…

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Is that true?
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June 2nd, 2016 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Is Deadpool a Part of Fox’s X-Men Movie Deal?

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: Deadpool is covered by Fox’s X-Men movie deal with Marvel Comics.

As we have discovered when discussing whether Marvel actually owns the rights to do an Incredible Hulk movie, one of the most confusing things about superhero movies is who, exactly, owns the rights to certain characters. We know that, generally speaking, 20th Century Fox owns the production rights to the X-Men and their respective characters, such as Wolverine. We also know that Sony owns the production rights to Spider-Man and his respective characters, such as Venom. Marvel Studios and Disney own most of the other rights (with some interesting disclaimers, like the aforementioned Hulk confusion). There are times, though, when there is debate over who has the rights to certain characters. The most famous instance of this debate came when Marvel Studios/Disney and Fox both claimed rights over the character of Quicksilver, as he was a notable member of the Avengers (so Marvel Studios thinks they should have him) but he also is a mutant who debuted in the pages of X-Men (so 20th Century Fox would want him). They worked out a compromise there.

Another area that is apparently very confusing are the movie rights to Deadpool, who just starred in a 20th Century Fox movie that included a crossover with Fox’s X-Men movie characters.

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So most fans just presume that Deadpool is part of Fox’s general deal with Marvel for the movie rights to the X-Men. Is that true, though? A fan wrote in to ask me this question, by the way, but I can’t find their e-mail anywhere, so if they wish to e-mail me later for credit, I’ll add it in for them.
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May 31st, 2016 | Posted in Movie Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Was the Famous Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima Photograph Staged?

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

PHOTOGRAPHY URBAN LEGEND: Joe Rosenthal’s photograph, “Raising of the Flag at Iwo Jima,” was staged.

As we end Memorial Day this year, I thought it would be nice to clear up a bit of confusion about one of the most famous war photographs of all-time (heck, one of the most famous photographs of all-time period), Joe Rosenthal’s photograph “Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima,” a shot of five United States Marines and a United States Navy corpsman raising the United States flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

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The photograph was an instant classic, but over the years, Rosenthal has been accused of staging the photograph.

Is that true?
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May 30th, 2016 | Posted in Grab Bag Urban Legends, Photography Urban Legends Revealed | 1 Comment

Comic Book Legends Revealed #577

Welcome to the five hundred and seventy-seventh in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, in honor of the release of X-Men: Apocalypse this weekend, it’s an all-X-Men week! Did Deadpool nearly debut in an X-Men/G.I. Joe crossover comic? What was the shocking original ending of X-Men: Zero Tolerance? Was Banshee originally intended to be a woman?

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 the Original Host of Blue’s Clues Leave the Show Because He Was Going Bald?

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 original host of Blue’s Clues left the show because he was going bald.

One of the constants with television fans is that they are obsessed with what happened to actors from their favorite shows when they seemingly “disappear” after leaving said show. This leads to false stories about teen stars going into adult films ((Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver), true stories about teen stars going into adult films (Judy from Family Matters) and far too many “they grew up to become Alice Cooper!” theories to count.

One of the most famous recent examples, though, was what happened to actor Steve Burns when he left the popular children’s programs, Blue’s Clues in 2002.

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The show was about a young man (originally Burns) who has a cute, animated puppy named Blue. Blue always wants to do something different each episode and she gives Steve three clues per episode that Steve has to solve and, through the magic of television, the audience plays along with Steve as he figures the clues out. The show was a major hit for Nickelodeon right from its debut in 1996 and it was as critically acclaimed as it was commercially successful (it received nine Emmy nominations during its run). In 2002, Burns left the show as the host and was replaced by actor Donovan Patton as Steve’s younger brother, Joe, with Steve going “off to college.” Patton hosted the show until it ended in 2006. Even before he left the show, Burns was dogged by rumors that he had died (either from a car accident or a heroin overdose). It got to the point where Burns and Blue’s Clues executive producer and co-creator Traci Paige Johnson actually went on to The Rosie O’Donnell Show in 1998 to show everyone that Burns was still alive (Johnson was worried that these rumors were especially difficult for little kids to process). When Burns left the show, seemingly at the height of his success, and seemingly vanished from the public spotlight, then that just made the rumors even more prevalent.

More recently, though, the story has changed, and now the story goes that Burns left the show for a peculiar reason – that he was going bald! Is this the truth or (forgive me) a bald-faced lie? Read on to find out!
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May 26th, 2016 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Was Chicago First Nicknamed the “Windy City” Because They Talk Too Much?

Here is the first in a series of examinations into urban legends related to newspapers and whether they are true or false.

NEWSPAPER URBAN LEGEND: Chicago was first dubbed “the windy city” as a reference to how much they talked.

It’s not so much of an occurrence nowadays, but years ago, it was quite common for newspapers from different cities to rile each other up by writing negative things about each other. These little “wars” helped drive circulation, as it became a matter of city pride for people to read in THEIR local paper about how stupid the people were in those OTHER cities. This would especially pick up when there was a debate over where to hold a major event. In the early 1890s, one such event was the 1893 World’s Fair, which was set to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christoper Columbus “discovering” America. It was a big to do to get the Fair for your city, and there was a big rivalry between the New York newspapers and the Chicago newspapers over who should get the Fair.

One newspaper editor in particular, Charles Dana, of the New York Sun, was very much hated in Chicago for all the nasty things he said about the city. One of these things, allegedly, is that Chicago should be called the “Windy City,” not for the winds off of Lake Michigan, but because they TALKED so darn much!

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“The Windy City,” of course, remains the practically official nickname for Chicago. But did the name really come about from an insult?
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May 25th, 2016 | Posted in Grab Bag Urban Legends, Newspaper Urban Legends Revealed | 1 Comment

Did Bob Dylan Really Write “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” About the Cuban Missile Crisis?

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: Bob Dylan wrote “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” about the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Since today is Bob Dylan’s 75th birthday, I thought it only right to do a legend about Dylan. This one is about one of his earliest classics, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”…

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The song was written in 1962 and its lyrics are striking and, at times, quite bleak:

I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded with hatred
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

In the liner notes to the 1963 album that had the song on it, Dylan’s breakout hit album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, Nat Hentoff quotes Dylan about the song, talking about how he wrote it at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, where the United States seemed like it might be involved in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union over the presence of missiles in Cuba:

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“Every line in it is actually the start of a whole new song. But when I wrote it, I thought I wouldn’t have enough time alive to write all those songs so I put all I could into this one.”

So that seems like it addresses it evenly, right? Or no?
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May 24th, 2016 | Posted in Music Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Did Vincent and Mia Steal the Twist Competition Trophy in Pulp Fiction?

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: Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace stole the trophy for the twist dancing competition in Pulp Fiction.

One of the most memorable sequences in Quentin Tarantino’s classic 1994 film, Pulp Fiction, is when Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) compete in a twist competition at a 1950s style restaurant (Vincent was assigned by his boss, Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames), to take care of Mia while Marsellus is out of town).

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Later, when they return to Wallace’s home, they’re carrying a trophy from the competition. A very popular theory has popped up, though, that they actually STOLE the trophy. Is that true?
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May 23rd, 2016 | Posted in Movie Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments