Long-Lasting Laughs

Katzenjammer Kids is the longest-running comic strip

Readers of the December 12, 1897 edition of the New York Journal had no idea that they were seeing something their great-great-grandchildren would still be reading more than a century later. That was the day The Katzenjammer Kids debuted, starting a run that would earn it the distinction of being the longest-running comic strip in history. Continue reading

Funniest Newspaper Correction is …. Drugroll, Please!

Typo correction on drugs instead of drums
Centralia, Illinois Daily Sentinel

In 2012 the editors of Centralia, Illinois’ Morning Sentinel learned the value of one little letter. Red-faced, the editors ran the following correction:

“Due to a typing error, Saturday’s story on local artist Jon Henninger mistakenly reported that Henninger’s band mate, Eric Lyday, was on drugs. The story should have read that Lyday was on drums.”

Click here to see how General Douglas MacArthur also learned what a difference one letter can make. 

Houston, We Have a Turd

Apollo 10 floating turd
The crew of Apollo 10, from the left, Eugene Cernan, John Young and Thomas Stafford at the Kennedy Space Center. In the background is the Apollo 10 space vehicle on Launch Pad 39 B. Photo Credit: NASA
Fans of television’s The Big Bang Theory are familiar with the memorable episode where Howard’s space toilet, the Wolowitz Space Disposal System, went horribly wrong and threatened to turn into a waste distribution system. As it turns out, such a scenario was more closely grounded in fact, rather than comedic fiction.  Continue reading

Hollywood Inspiration Changes History

Secret Service Agent Jerry Parr "Code of the Secret Service" Ronald Reagan
Secret Service Agent Jerry Parr (right) thrusts President Ronald Reagan into a limousine to protect him from an assassination attempt.

On March 31, 1981 Secret Service Agent Jerry Parr helped change the course of history as he acted to save President Ronald Reagan from an assassination attempt. In doing so, he proved himself equal to the motto of the Secret Service: “Worthy of Trust and Confidence.” Continue reading

Indiana Jones and Swallowed Bug

Indiana Jones Belloq eats fly

The most famous insect scene in the popular Indiana Jones films is from the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when the adventurers stumble across a cavern filled creepy crawlies. (Point of interest: producers filled the set with 50,000 cockroaches and 30,000 beetles to stage the effect.)

Although less famous, a different scene from the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, is potentially more troublesome.

One dramatic scene toward the end of the film shows Indiana Jones, armed with a rocket launcher, threatening to blow up the Nazis who have stolen the Ark of the Covenant. Antagonist René Belloq (played by actor Paul Freeman) calls Indy’s bluff and tells him to go ahead and launch the rocket. Keen-eyed observers note the presence of an insect on Belloq’s face during a close-up, and as the bug creeps toward Belloq’s mouth, it suddenly appears to be swallowed up.

Did Paul Freeman display his professionalism by swallowing a bug in order to avoid messing up a scene?

When asked about it in an interview, Freeman offered some clarification:

“I don’t think anybody noticed it during the shoot, there wasn’t any hilarity at that point in the film, and I think if you look at it carefully, if you freeze the frame around that point, you’ll see that actually some frames are missing…. I think they just took out a couple of frames when the fly flew off, just to make the joke. I got a very nice review from Pauline Kayland who noted what a devoted actor I was to go through it, with eating the fly and all.”

So much for the heroics of an actor performing his own stunts!

Time Lords and Talking Cabbage

Doctor Who Tom Baker Talking Cabbage

Fans of BBC’s Doctor Who know that the Doctor has had quite the variety of companions since the show’s debut in 1963. He has had humans, Time Lords, aliens, a robot dog, and even a Cyberman head.

He almost had a sentient vegetable, as well.

When actress Louise Jameson, who played Leela, left the program in 1978, Tom Baker (the fourth Doctor) wanted to replace her with a talking cabbage. He envisioned his new companion riding around on his shoulder. BBC executives were not warm to the idea, however, and nothing came of it.

While he did not get anything nearly as exciting as a talking cabbage, Baker’s successor as the Doctor, Peter Davison, did wear a stalk of celery on his lapel.

fifth_doctor
Peter Davison, the fifth Doctor, wore celery as part of his trademark uniform.

 

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Dogs Make a Lot of Money

How much did Toto earn in The Wizard of Oz

The smallest actor in the movie The Wizard of Oz was Dororthy’s dog, Toto. The tiny pooch did not draw the smallest salary, however.

Each of the actors who played the Munchkins earned a weekly salary of $50 for their talents. Toto walked away with $125 per week.