TV Urban Legends History

Here are quick descriptions of each of the previous editions of TV Urban Legends Revealed.

To see if they are true or false, you have to click on the link! The legends are in chronological order, so the most recent ones are at the end of the list!

1. Cheers was a fire hazard.

2. Empty Nest was a spin-off of The Golden Girls without actually spinning off any characters from the Golden Girls.

3. There were no black people in Mayberry.

4. Spike Milligan wore a shirt that said “Hashish” on it when he was on the Muppet Show.

5. One of TV’s Friends had a painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

6. One of the stunt shots in the beginning of the Fall Guy was not even done by a stuntman.

7. Aaron Spelling paid Luke Perry’s salary himself for the first two seasons of 90210.

8. A British candid hidden camera show accidentally aired a man masturbating to a porno tape in his house live.

9. Janitor was written in the first season and a half of Scrubs as though he was a figment of J.D.’s imagination.

10. Warner Bros. sued a company over the rights to the term “Daisy Dukes.”

11. The Simpsons edited a scene from re-airings of an episode because the original episode was offensive to those with Tourette’s Snydrome

12. RTE turned down Father Ted because of a similar show already airing on RTE.

13. Good Times was not originally a spin-off of Maude.

14. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz divorced twice.

15. An actor was fired from a TV movie where he played John Lennon because it was revealed that his name was Mark Chapman.

16. Clay Aiken learned of the results of American Idol Season 2 before they were revealed.

17. When Season 8 went to a Final 13 instead of a Final 12, that caused trouble due to a porn company owning all American Idol phone numbers beyond #1-12.

18. In Season 5, American Idol skipped Austin, Texas and just pretended that auditions in other cities were their Austin auditions.

19. A sketch written for a 1975 episode of Saturday Night Live ended up being used fourteen years later on the show.

20. Allen Funt produced an adult version of Candid Camera called Candid Candid Camera.

21. At the end of the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Burns would say “Say Goodnight, Gracie” and Allen would follow with, “Goodnight, Gracie.”

22. Officers Renko and Hill were intended to be killed off at the end of the first episode of Hill Street Blues

23. A Hill Street Blues episode was actually re-shot after airing to show a character who was killed surviving his attack so that they could bring him back.

24. An impostor came up on to the stage to accept Betty Thomas’ Emmy for her in 1985.

25. All My Children cut a storyline short in the middle of it because of the Oklahoma City bombing.

26. The police liaison to Dragnet ended up taking Lieutenant Joe Friday’s badge number when he made Lieutenant.

27. The Beverley Hillbillies’ original theme song included two alternate verses (each one about their sponsor)!

28. The Flintstones did commercials for Winston Cigarettes.

29. A Charlie Brown Christmas originally had an extra scene featuring its original sponsor.

30. The TV series Caprica was originally pitched NOT as a Battlestar Galactica tie-in!

31. A major character on Dark Shadows came into existence due to a typo!

32. Arnold Vinick was originally going to win the election until John Spencer died, and the producers decided they did not want Matt Santos to lose his running mate AND the election.

33. A perceived slight at an awards ceremony after Season 1 of the West Wing set off a chain of events that ended up with a plotline in a Season 3 episode.

34. The actor who played Eddie Haskel went into adult films (sometimes the legend is more specific and it is that the actor who played Eddie Haskel changed his name to John Holmes and started doing adult films)

35. The actress who played Judy on Family Matters went into adult films.

36. Cookie Monster was originally created as the “Wheel-Stealer” for a cheese snack commercial.

37. 60 Minutes gained its famous time slot due to an FCC regulation.

38. Jay Thomas’s character on Cheers was killed off because he called Rhea Perlman ugly.

39. Congressman Matt Santos was based on Barack Obama.

40. Barry Williams dated his TV mother, Florence Henderson.

41. An episode of How I Met Your Mother contained an genuine wedding proposal!

42. James Michael Tyler’s ability to work a cappuccino machine got him a decade-long acting gig.

43. Rebecca Schaeffer’s murder led to the cancellation of My Sister Sam.

44. Ernie Hudson auditioned for the role of Winston on the Real Ghostbusters animated series and did not get the job.

45. The Mafia ordered a hit on Desi Arnaz for his role as the producer of The Untouchables

46. When the series was first conceived, Remington Steele was not going to exist…for real!

47. Johnny Carson accidentally caused a toilet paper shortage in 1973.

48. 77 Sunset Strip was released in theaters specifically to take away rights from the show’s creator.

49. Edd Byrnes appeared on the pilot of 77 Sunset Strip as a totally different, and evil, character than Kookie.

50. NBC’s “Must See TV” was created for its Thursday night sitcom lineup.

51. Martin Luther King Jr. kept Nichelle Nichols from leaving Star Trek after the first season of the show.

52. Baretta was originally intended as a continuation of a previous series.

53. Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna White won a lawsuit over a commercial featuring a robot with a blond wig turning letters.

54. Joanna Kerns and Sandra Kerns are sisters (in the alternative, they are related)

55. The first two Emmy Awards for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series went to Robert Young for Father Knows Best.

56. The BBC bought the trademark to blue police boxes from the Metropolitan Police.

57. Julie Newmar once had a particularly cutting response to a crude remark by Michael Dunn.

58. Larry David had scenes from an earlier episode of Seinfeld re-shot so that Jerry Stiller could play the role of Frank Costanza in all of the Frank Costanza appearances.

59. The last episode of Ellery Queen aired as an episode of Murder…She Wrote!

60. Seaquest correctly predicted the Florida Marlins’ 2003 World Series victory.

61. Krusty the Clown was originally going to be Homer Simpson in disguise.

62. Kirstie Alley once had a publicist provide mother’s milk for Alley’s pet opossum.

63. Harrison Page was nominated for a Best Lead Actor Emmy Award for…Quantum Leap?!?

64. Dr. McCoy’s medical instruments on Star Trek were really just fancy salt shakers.

65. MTV canceled the TV series Fear because a contestant was killed during filming of an episode.

66. An episode of Quantum Leap correctly predicted that the Pittsburgh Steelers would play in Super Bowl XXX.

67. Mister Ed was made to talk through the use of peanut butter on his lips (in the alternative, through tiny electric shocks).

68. Star Trek once got John Drew Barrymore suspended from the Screen Actors Guild!

69. Sammy Davis Jr. did not do the theme song for Baretta at first for a slightly out of the ordinary reason.

70. There are aliens hidden in every episode of South Park.

71. Julie Newmar, Catwoman on the Batman TV series, received a federal patent on a special type of pantyhouse that accentuates a woman’s ass.

72. Omar was going to be killed off during Season 1 of The Wire.

73. Doris Roberts hid a back injury so that she could be cast on Remington Steele.

74. Every Saturday Night Live sketch set backstage since Seth Meyers became the head writer of the shows features a llama, a showgirl and Abraham Lincoln.

75. Dan Haggerty lost his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame because of a well-publicized drug bust.

76. X-Files and Picket Fences almost had a crossover episode until the network squashed it at the last minute.

77. Tom Selleck could have filmed Raiders of the Lost Ark AND done Magnum P.I.

78. Dolly Parton produced Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

79. An actor’s refusal to take of his wedding ring caused creative filming during the run of the TV series Hogan’s Heroes.

80. Life Goes On changed their opening credits for the series finale to give some justice to their dog.

81. There is a special R-rated version of Dexter’s Labratory called “Dexter’s Rude Removal.”

82. When Phylicia Rashād was cast as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, the intent was for her to be a female version of Ricky Ricardo.

83. Ron Howard was hired for Happy Days based on his performance in American Graffiti.

84. There was an unaired episode of the Simpsons where Bart dies.

85. Lawrence Welk played “One Toke Over the Line” on his TV show.

86. Ken Osmond (Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver) grew up to be the rock singer Alice Cooper.

87. John Charles Daly resigned from ABC News because of ABC’s rather…odd coverage of Election Night in 1960.

88. An episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation was never filmed because it featured two gay crew members on the Enterprise.

89. Scooby Doo was based on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

90. Michael J. Fox had a clever “revenge” for Brandon Tartikoff’s early doubts about whether Fox would be popular enough to star in a regular TV series.

91. Joe Penny forced Jake and the Fatman to move filming from Hawaii to Los Angeles because of his health problems.

92. When she was a little girl, Crystal Bernard was part of an Evangelical Christian singing act with her older sister.

93. Denise Crosby was fired from Star Trek: The Next Generation because she posed nude in Playboy.

94. Bill Cosby tried to purchase the rights to the Amos and Andy TV series to keep it off the air.

95. Masi Oka appeared on the cover of Time Magazine as a kid!

96. A short-lived Matthew Perry sitcom from the 1980s correctly predicted the year that Muammar Gaddafi would be killed.

97. The staff of The Simpsons got a measure of revenge on Justin Timberlake after he took issue with the dialogue that they wrote for him for a guest appearance.

98. Wacky Races was originally going to be a live action game show.

99. Mumbly was created as a stand-in for Muttley in the Laff-A-lympics.

100. Muttley and Dick Dastardly were removed whole cloth from one show and added to another.

101. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory originally had a typical sexual appetite.

102. Studebaker came up with an interesting way to sponsor Mister Ed.

103. Larry David based the “George quitting his job and then coming back to work on Monday pretending not to have quit” on a real life experience he had while working at Saturday Night Live.

104. The Misfit Toys were never saved in the original airing of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

105. Joe Mantegna came up with the name of his Criminal Minds character from an out of the ordinary source.

106. A character on Seinfeld was named after a Producer of Smallville.

107. Charles Schulz owning a Ford indirectly led to A Charlie Brown Christmas.

108. Star Trek: The Next Generation used Sherlock Holmes characters in an episode not knowing that the characters were not yet in the public domain.

109. A TV series continued production even after one of the two leads on the show killed himself.

110. Dick Gregory received almost 50,000 votes in the 1968 Presidential Election.

111. The Golden Girls spun out of a joke at an NBC function introducing the 1984-85 NBC lineup.

112. First Lady Barbara Bush wrote an apology letter to Marge Simpson.

113. Lost in Space coined the term “Does Not Compute”

114. Robert Downey Jr. was written out of his character’s wedding episode on Ally McBeal.

115. There was at least one back-up Mother in the show How I Met Your Mother.

116. Michael Jackson didn’t actually do any singing in his guest appearance on The Simpsons.

117. The first interracial kiss on a TV drama was originally going to be between Mr. Spock and Lt. Uhura.

118. Johnny Carson wouldn’t guest star on The Simpsons if they made fun of him.

119. Michael Landon had the set for Little House on the Prairie destroyed so that no one other shows could re-use the set and that there could be no future reunions for the show.

120. Oprah Winfrey got her name via a typo on her birth certificate.

121. The Da Vinci Code was nearly adapted for the third season of 24.

122. The state of Mississippi once banned Sesame Street

123. B.A. Baracus never actually said “I pity the fool” on The A-Team.

124. Robert Young once made a particularly dark “episode” of Father Knows Best to help sell U.S. savings bonds.

125. Kiefer Sutherland added lines to episodes of 24 just to mess with fans playing 24-based drinking games.

126. James Arness is the tallest person ever to be the lead in a television series in the United States.

127. Sarah Michelle Gellar was banned for life from eating at McDonald’s.

128. Miami Vice originated as a two-word brainstorming memo – “MTV Cops.”

129. Laverne Cox is the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy Award.

130. The Cagney from the first season of Cagney and Lacey was replaced because CBS executives felt that the show seemed like it was about a pair of lesbians.

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

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

133. Danielle Fishel was originally cast in another non-Topanga role in Boy Meets World.

134. Originally Cartman from South Park had both a father and a sister.

135. How I Met Your Mother worked an insult of the show by Jason Segel into the series.

136. Barack Obama personally squelched a Saturday Night Live sketch

137. Walter O’Brien has the fourth-highest IQ ever recorded.

138. Gabrielle Reece was cast as the She-Hulk in a failed She-Hulk TV pilot

139. The Apartment Building in 227 was the same one used on Sesame Street

140. Ray Palmer on Arrow was originally going to be Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle

141. Perry White was nearly played by James Earl Jones on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

142. The Big Bang Theory Originated the Term “Bazinga”

143. A Glee Plot involving a boy not being allowed to sing a “girl” song was drawn From Chris Colfer’s life

144. A TV writer once got a parking spot for his pseudonym

145. Spock originally was going to have red skin on Star Trek

146. Paul McCartney had a hidden message in an episode of The Simpsons

147. A Surprising character on Friends was originally going to have a kid

148. There was an odd secret behind Little House on the Prairie’s “Baby Battering Ram”

149. An actor was hired and fired as a Bonanza cast member all in one episode

150. All in the Family become Archie Bunker’s Place after Jean Stapleton left the show

151. The Simpsons’ famous opening credits were created to save on animation time

152. Family Guy was originally going to just be a segment on MadTV

153. Lily Aldrin on How I Met Your Mother had a strange origin involving the wife of one of the show’s creators

154. A nude stripper appeared on Soupy Sales’ kids show

155. A character’s NAME on ER saved the character’s life

156. South Park was not allowed to kill off Sally Struthers

157. Waylon Smithers was originally going to be black and married with a wife and kids

158. The Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer TV Special was written without access to the original Rudolph Picture Book

159. South Park was originally going to be a big parody of The X-Files

160. A famous TV director got his start on Buck Rogers as a protest over the show’s cancellation

161. A longtime How I Met Your Mother Mystery was almost revealed on the show’s final season

162. Lisa Kudrow was a virgin until she got married

163. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia subtly revealed the name of the waitress in an episode

164. Darkwing Duck is coming back to television in 2018

165. Bruce Willis only guest-starred on Friends because he lost a bet to Matthew Perry

166. Two 1980s teen stars had to turn down Breaking Bad before Bryan Cranston had his shot

167. Treehouse of Horror V was intentionally extra violent over complaints about the series’ use of violence

168. Sally Jessy Raphael kept wearing her trademark eyeglasses even after getting corrective eye surgery

169. The Brady Bunch’s dog was replaced mid-episode because their original dog was killed

170. How I Met Your Mother created an actual Canadian Sex Acts website

171. The host of Family Feud married one of the contestants

172. TaleSpin was sued over the voice of King Louie

173. “One Shining Moment” was almost a football song

174. A Survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima met one of the men who dropped the bomb on a reality TV show

Ta da!

2 Responses to “TV Urban Legends History”

  1. Interesting stuff. . .You got anything on the A-Team?

  2. I shall see what I can see!

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