Was Cap’n Crunch the Character Introduced Before Cap’n Crunch the 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: Cap’n Crunch the character predated Cap’n Crunch the cereal.

In 1961, Jay Ward and Bill Scott, the creators of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends, were given an unusual offer from Quaker. The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends had been sponsored by General Mills cereals, but now a rival wanted Ward and Scott to create some new cartoon characters for them, only this time, the cartoon characters would be tied directly to cereals!

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August 11th, 2020 | Posted in Cuisine Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Did a Typo Accidentally Make Rudolph’s TV Special Public Domain?

TV URBAN LEGEND: A typo accidentally made Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Special public domain.

Everyone knows the classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Special that has been airing yearly on CBS for over FIFTY years now…

The story of Rudolph, mocked for his shiny red nose, who heads off with a depressed elf named Hermey (who wants to be a dentist instead of work for Santa Claus) and end up on an island of Misfit Toys before everything works out for everyone involved, is a total classic.

However, did you ever notice that there is a major error in the opening of the special?

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December 20th, 2019 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Did Captain Kirk Never Actually Say ‘Beam Me Up, Scotty’ 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: Kirk never actually ever said, “Beam Me Up, Scotty” on Star Trek.

It’s funny, I’ve done legends like this one before, like on whether B.A. Baracus ever actually said “I pity the fool” on The A-Team or whether Gracie Allen said, “Goodnight, Gracie” on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, but I’ve left this one alone because I figured that it was too famous. And don’t get me wrong, it IS pretty well known, but what about the people who DON’T know it? I figure I might as well get it out of the way for those folks, as well.

So here ya go, despite there being a whole lot of teleportation on Star Trek over the years…

and Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (who also famously hid his right hand for most of the series) often being the one being the controls of the teleporter…

Did he ever use the phrase “Beam me up, Scotty”?

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August 27th, 2019 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Did Eddie Murphy Get His SNL Gig After Another Comedian Forgot to Sign His Contract?

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: Eddie Murphy’s spot on Saturday Night Live was only available because another comedian forgot to sign his contract.

Reader Jim S. wrote in to ask about the following piece of information that he had read about how Eddie Murphy was cast on Saturday Night Live in 1980’s Season 6. From TV Tropes, it states that Robrt Townsend “[a]uditioned for season six and was chosen to be a cast member, but everyone else (save Jean Doumanian) saw potential in an up-and-coming stand-up comedian at the time named Eddie Murphy. Also, Robert Townsend forgot to sign his contract.”

Robert Townsend, of course, was a talented stand-up comedian in the early 1980s who later gained a good deal of acclaim for his film work, especially his 1987 satirical film, Hollywood Shuffle, which he wrote, directed and starred in (Townsend would also later create and star in Meteor Man and the sitcom, The Parent’Hood).

It is true that when Jean Doumanian became the producer of Saturday Night Live for its sixth season, when she had to put together an entirely new cast, she was looking to hire just a single black actor for the cast. She also did, in fact, want Townsend at one point but she eventually was convinced to hire Eddie Murphy, who, of course, became a superstar…

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How Lorenz Hart Kept Writing New Lyrics for a Melody Until He Came Up With “Blue Moon”!

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 LEGEND: Lorenz Hart wrote new lyrics to the same melody for three different songs until finally coming up with “Blue Moon” on the fourth try.

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart were two of the most successful musical composers of the 20th Century. Rodgers would write the music and then Hart would write the lyrics. Sadly, Hart would eventually become an alcoholic and his drinking problem eventually broke up the partnership soon before Hart passed away in 1943. Rodgers would begin to work with the lyricist, Oscar Hammerstein II. Their partnership also worked out fairly well.

Anyhow, in the early 1930s, Rodgers and Hart were hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to do a song for a movie that never came about called Hollywood Party, which would be a basic revue where MGM’s biggest stars would do numbers. Rodgers and Hart came up with a song that Jean Harlow would have sang about her saying her prayers about hoping to become a movie star. Again, the movie didn’t happen. MGM copyrighted the unpublished work.

Later, the two men were hired to write a title song for the new major motion picture, Manhattan Melodrama, about childhood friends who come back into each other’s world when one of them is the district attorney (and later running for governor) and the other is a criminal. The criminal’s girlfriend eventually ends up falling for the politician friend and their friendship is tested when the public believes that the district attorney covered up one of his old friend’s crimes.

Hart wrote new lyrics for the previous song but once again, it didn’t work and it was pulled from the movie.

However, the filmmakers then went back to Lorenz and Hart and asked for them to come up with a song for a nightclub scene and sure enough, they changed the lyrics enough and FINALLY the song was published and it was called “The Bad in Every Man” but, well, just listen to it…
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April 24th, 2019 | Posted in Music Urban Legends Revealed | 1 Comment

Was the Song “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Not Written About Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

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 LEGEND: The song “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was inspired by the film “Roman Holiday.”

In 1995, the band Deep Blue Something debuted their hit song, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

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It was on their second album, Home.

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The song is about a couple in a relationship, and the speaker of the song is trying to convince the other half of the relationship that they should stay together, while she argues that they have nothing in common (“no common ground between us”) and he ends up relying on the fairly flimsy fact that they both liked the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” as grounds that they should remain a couple (as, after all, they have THAT in common, at least!).

It’s a really catchy song, but its genesis is pretty interesting…
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April 24th, 2019 | Posted in Music Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Were Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie Named After It’s a Wonderful Life?

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: Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie were named after George Bailey’s two best friends in It’s a Wonderful Life.

In the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey’s two best friends are Bedford Falls’ town cop, Bert (played by Ward Bond) and the town cabbie, Ernie (Frank Faylen)….

As you all know by now, two of the most popular Muppets on Sesame Street are the two best friends, Bert and Ernie…

Naturally, over the years, people have assumed that the Sesame Street characters were named after the It’s a Wonderful Life characters. You see this all the time, even from Sesame Street produces.

But is it true?
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December 24th, 2018 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Why Was Cheers’ Classic Thanksgiving Episode Protested?

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: Cheers received protests over their famous Thanksgiving episode, “Thanksgiving Orphans.”

One of the all-time great episode of Cheers occurred in the fifth season of the series, Shelley Long’s final season on the show. Titled “Thanksgiving Orphans,” the episode was written by Cheri Eichen and Bill Steinkellner (they are married and Eichen now goes by Cheri Steinkellner, but I don’t know if they were married at the time that they wrote this episode together). The concept of the episode is that due to various events, pretty much all of the gang from Cheers are alone on Thanksgiving. Cliff’s mother is feeding the homeless, and Cliff wasn’t interested in doing that this year. Norm’s wife, Vera, was visiting her family and Norm did not want to go. Woody decided not to travel to Indiana to spend the holiday with his family. Sam’s girlfriend at the time had her sister in town and they didn’t want to spend the holiday with Sam’s friends. Carla’s kids were spending the holiday with her ex-husband, Nick, and his new wife, Loretta. Diane had been invited to a party by one of her professors, but discovered that he intended for his graduate students to work as servers at the party. Finally, Frasier was just plain lonely. So everyone joined together for dinner at Carla’s new home.

However, a screw-up with the turkey led to dinner being so late that all of the side dishes got cold and the guests all got heated. A little food was thrown and then suddenly, everyone was ready for a food fight when Diane walked in on them from the kitchen, where she had just been checking on the turkey…

She exhorts them to all calm down and it looks like she might be succeeding…when Sam suddenly hits her right in her face with some cranberry sauce and so the food fight began!

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November 22nd, 2018 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Was WKRP in Cincinnati’s Famous Turkey Drop Based in Reality?

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 famous “WKRP in Cincinnati” turkey drop was based on an actual turkey drop.

Probably the most famous thanksgiving episode of any television sitcom is “Turkeys Away,” from the first season of “WKRP in Cincinnati.” The series was about a struggling radio station that changed formats from easy listening to rock and roll. The conflict (and thus, the comedy) came from the contrast between the people who worked for the station beforehand, bumbling but kindhearted station manager Arthur Carlson (Gordon Jump), sleazy ad salesman Herb Tarlek (Frank Bonner) and timid news reporter Les Nessman (Richard Sanders) and the new, young and hip hires, program director Andy Travis (Gary Sandy) and disc jockeys Dr. Johnny Fever (Howard Hesseman) and Venus Flytrap (Tim Reid).

The seventh episode of the series, “Turkeys Away” (which actually aired on October 30th, 1978, despite being the show’s Thanksgiving episode), showed Carlson trying to take on more of a hand’s on approach to prove that he still had what it took to run the station. He came up with a secret promotion for Thanksgiving. It was all hush hush until the end of the episode, where Nessman was on the street, reporting live when the event occurred.

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November 22nd, 2018 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

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