Was The Flash’s Harrison Wells Based On an Obscure DC Comics Character?

TV URBAN LEGEND: Doctor Harrison Wells was based on an obscure DC Comics character.

When the CW series of superhero shows started out, it was not always easy to get permission to use certain characters on TV series, not with all of the various licenses out there. Ray Palmer, for instance, was introduced in Arrow only after Warner Bros. nixed the first DC Comics character that they wanted to introduce to play Felicity’s new boss.

One interesting way that the producers on the various CW superhero TV series have gotten around any possible issues is to just take obscure DC characters and essentially just make them brand-new characters. The most famous example of this asw Arrow star Felicity Smoak, who was named after an obscure Firestorm character from the 1980s.

However, things are complicated by the fact that the shows also occasionally invent completely new characters that have no comic book counterparts, with the most famous example being John Diggle, one of the main characters on Arrow. Diggle has since been adapted into comics, but he was invented for the TV series.

Doctor Harrison Wells on Flash seemed to be another example of an original character, but reader Victor C. wrote in to ask if it was true that Wells was actually named after an obscure character from a 1991 Flash one-shot.

Let’s find out!
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June 30th, 2021 | Posted in TV Legends Revealed | No Comments

How Did Monica Potter Save the Counting Crows’ Song, “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby”?

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 music urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC LEGEND: Monica Potter saved the Counting Crows’ song, “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby” from never being released.

Adam Duritz, of the Counting Crows, is well known for writing songs about actual people and a great example of this is the song “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby” on the band’s third album, This Desert Life.

The song is based on the actor Monica Potter, who Duritz had seen in a few then-recent films like Con Air and Patch Adams and so he had a dream about her that inspired the song. Amazingly enough, the REAL Mrs. Potter ended up saving the song from oblivion!
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June 28th, 2021 | Posted in Music Legends Revealed | No Comments

Was George Clooney Cropped Out of the Photo That Became the Famous Barack Obama ‘Hope’ Poster?

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: George Clooney was originally in the photo that was used as he basis for the famous Barack Obama “Hope” poster.

During the 2008 campaign, a poster featuring Barack Obama created by Shepard Fairey began to appear. While it had a few different words under it, the most famous one included the word “Hope.”

It became one of the most iconic political posters of all-time and certainly the most iconic one in the 21st Century.

However, the origins of the poster have been the source of some wild intrigue and criminal charges, if you can believe it.

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June 25th, 2021 | Posted in Photography Legends Revealed | No Comments

Did Deadpool Lose His Bag of Guns in the Taxi Because of Budget Cuts?


: Deadpool lost his gun bag in “Deadpool” because budget cuts forced the filmmakers to cut out the scene where the character used the guns.

As the famous saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” This is very true when it comes to making films, as filmmakers are constrained by the budget of their film as to what they can actually do in their movies. You might want to have an epic battle sequence, but if you only have money in the budget for a small fight scene, you have to go with a small fight scene (or, of course, try to invent a new way to depict an epic battle sequence for less money). We’ve seen how budget concerns have dramatically affected the plotlines of films over the years, from the Ghostbusters going from a team of inter-dimensional time travelers to being “just” regular Ghostbusters to Marty McFly going from traveling to the future in an atomic bomb explosion to traveling to the future in a DeLorean. Budget had a similar impact on one of 2016’s biggest films, the surprise blockbuster, Deadpool, which saw major scenes and characters altered simply due to budget cutbacks, including one of the most memorable scenes in the film, when Deadpool loses his bag full of guns right before the climactic battle.

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June 23rd, 2021 | Posted in Movie Legends Revealed | No Comments

Did Tom Jones Really Faint While Hitting the Final Note on “Thunderball”?

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 music urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC LEGEND: Tom Jones fainted while hitting the final note on “Thunderball.”

The 1965 James Bond film, Thunderball, was a gigantic blockbuster, not only making the most money out of any James Bond film up until that point, but making more money than the next FIVE James Bond movies (and the next five all made fine money, just letting you know just HOW big of a hit Thunderball was).

The title theme was by Tom Jones and there is an interesting legend about it…
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June 21st, 2021 | Posted in Music Legends Revealed | No Comments

Did Quaker Oats Experiment On Children With Radioactive Cereal?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to cuisine (chefs, dishes, etc.) and whether they are true or false.

CUISINE URBAN LEGEND: Quaker Oats ran experiments on children using radioactive cereal.

In 1877, Henry D. Seymour and William Heston formed what would become the Quaker Oats Company, which was famous for its oatmeal (it is STILL famous for its oatmeal, but nowadays there are a lot more breakfast options being mass-produced. Back in the turn of the 20th Century, the pickings were a good deal less robust, so Quaker Oats was a HUGE deal).

In the 1890s, their biggest competitor, the breakfast porridge known as Cream of Wheat, debuted.

The two companies fought tooth and nail as the two major mass produced breakfast meals of the early 20th Century and when World War II ended and the boom in both suburban living and kids being born in general made breakfast an even bigger deal. Quaker Oats’ sales reached almost $300 million after the War. One of their biggest sales pitches was how healthy oatmeal was, as this was around the time that dietary guidelines were actually pushed by the government for the first time.

Thus, it was a big blow when a study announced that high levels of phytate (which would be found in oats) could interfere with the absorption of iron in the body, something that was not the case with wheat. So suddenly Cream of Wheat had a big feather in its health cap that it could use against Quaker Oats.

So Quaker Oats decided to fund an experiment to prove that oatmeal delivered iron to the body fine, while also showing that oatmeal did similar things for calcium. HOW they went about it was very, very messed up and eventually cost the company over a million dollars due to a lawsuit.
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June 18th, 2021 | Posted in Cuisine Legends Revealed | No Comments

Did the Sopranos Almost Resolve the Mystery of the “Pine Barrens” In the Final Season?

TV URBAN LEGEND: “The Sopranos” almost revealed the mysterious final fate of the Russian gangster from the episode “Pine Barrens” in an episode in the final season of the series.

When long-running television series begin to reach the end of their runs, there is often an urge (very often driven by the fans of the show) to try to resolve any unresolved stories left over from past episodes, whether such an impulse really fits into the final plot of the series or not. “How I Met Your Mother”, for instance, tried valiantly to resolve their long-running pineapple mystery in their final episodes (they never found a way to make it work). “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, on the other hand, seems to delight in defying fans’ desire to learn the true name of the Waitress before the series ends. When you take into account the famous final scene of the hit HBO drama “The Sopranos”, the show’s creator, David Chase, seems to pretty clearly lean towards the latter school of thought. The finale famously lacked a clear cut resolution to the life of New Jersey crime boss Tony Soprano.

There was another famous unresolved plot line on the Sopranos, though. In the acclaimed season three episode “Pine Barrens” (written by longtime “Sopranos” writer Terence Winter, who later created “Boardwalk Empire” and “Vinyl”, based on an idea by frequent “Sopranos” director, Tim Van Patten, who also worked on “Boardwalk Empire” with Winter), Soprano made men Christopher and Paulie were forced to fill in on a collection duty for another member of the crime family.

They were irritated at having to do collections and when one of the people they were collecting from, a Russian gangster named Valery, gave them attitude, Paulie snapped and killed the man. Or at least he believed he killed him.

When Paulie and Christopher drove to the Pine Barrens (a heavily forested area in New Jersey) to get rid of his body, they were shocked to discover that Valery was still alive. They then gave him a shovel and made him dig his own grave. However, Valery waited until their guard was down and then used the shovel to attack them and escape. Paulie then shot him in the head. Amazingly, Valery got back up and continued to run away. When the two men returned to Christopher’s car, they discover that it was stolen. So now the two men have to worry not just about the missing Russian but about surviving the night. They never found Valery, but they are eventually saved by Tony, who explained to them that if Valery shows up again and it causes any sort of problem with the Russian mob boss, Slava, then Tony would force Paulie to take responsibility for what happened. Valery was never seen or heard of again on “The Sopranos” (Slava was, though, so the presumption was that Valery never made it back to tell Slava about what happened).

Reader Matt G. wrote in to ask about a story he once read about Tony Sirico (who played Paulie) saying that they nearly addressed the Valery situation. Sirico, did, in fact, tell the New York Times soon after “The Sopranos” ended:

We had a scene this season when Chris and I are talking in the bar about whatever happened to that Russian guy. And in the script we were supposed to go outside and there he was standing on the corner. But when we went to shoot it, they took it out. I think David didn’t like it. He wanted the audience just to suffer.

Is that true?
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June 16th, 2021 | Posted in TV Legends Revealed | No Comments

Was Looking Glass’s “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” Written About a New Jersey Legend of a Woman Spurned By a Sailor?

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 music urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC LEGEND: Looking Glass’ “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” was written about a New Jersey urban legend of a woman spurned by a sailor.

In 1972, the band Looking Glass had its biggest hit with the song, “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl),” about a barmaid who is love with a sailor who can never truly love her back because he is too dedicated to his sailor’s life (As the chorus goes, “Brandy, you’re a fine girl. What a good wife you would be, but my life, my love and my lady, is the sea”).

The band Looking Glass formed as a college group when the members of the band were attending Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (only lead singer and lead guitarist Elliot Lurie and pianist and backing singer Larry Gonsky stuck with the band after college, they added drummer Jeff Grob and Bassist and backing singer Pieter Sweval after they graduated).

Well, also in New Brunswick is a legend of a woman that bears a striking resemblance to the song, “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl).”

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June 14th, 2021 | Posted in Music Legends Revealed | No Comments

Did Jane Foster Become a Scientist In Thor Due to a Suggestion from a Scientific Advisor on the Film?

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Jane Foster became a scientist based on a suggestion by a scientist advising on the film.

It is always interesting to see how characters evolve from the beginning of a screenplay until they end up on the silver screen. We’ve seen in the past how just a re-written song took Elsa from the villain of Frozen to one of its heroes and we’ve also seen how Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was almost completely re-written to make Belle more of a feminist. This was also the case with Jane Foster in the 2011 hit Marvel film, Thor.

Natalie Portman starred as Foster, who is an astrophysicist in the film, forced to deal with the contrast between her belief in science and Thor’s seeming proof of the existence of magic. Of course, astrophysicist is a good deal different than Jane Foster’s career in the Thor comic books, where she was a nurse for decades before eventually becoming a medical doctor, as well. As the story goes (as suggested to me by my pal, Travis Pelkie), Marvel got the idea to make Jane a scientist from one of the scientists who helped Marvel as part of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, a project of the Naional Academy of Sciences that helps advise filmmakers about the science in their films.

Is that true?
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June 9th, 2021 | Posted in Movie Legends Revealed | No Comments

Was Dancing Star Juliet Prowse Really Mauled By the Same Jaguar Twice?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to dancing and dancers and whether they are true or false. Click here to see all of the dancing urban legends featured so far.

DANCING URBAN LEGEND: Juliet Prowse was mauled by the same jaguar twice.

Juliet Prowse was born in India to a British father and a South African mother. After her father died when she was just a toddler, she moved with her mother to South Africa and soon began studying dance at a young age. She was discovered as a dancer in Paris in her twenties and she was soon a key player in the 1960 film, Can-Can…

Prowse starred in her own sitcom a few years later after some more film roles, where she plays an actress who marries a guy in the Air Force and they try to live on his salary while she continues working as an actress.

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February 24th, 2021 | Posted in Dancing Legends Revealed, Grab Bag Legends | No Comments