Entertainment. It’s one of those things that brightens out lives beyond comprehension. From sporting events through to comedy and horror films, the many different forms of entertainment provide our lives with momentary breaks from reality. But what about behind the scenes? Did you know that there are a lot of fun entertainment facts out there that many people simply don’t know about? It’s true. So as part of out effort to enlighten you with tidbits of information, here is our list of 15 fun entertainment facts.
1 Happy Days Was Originally Called New Family In Town
Happy Days extremely popular sitcom from the 1970’s through to the 1980’s. It ran from 1974 through until 1984 and was based on 1950’s America. In the sitcom we were introduced to the Fonz, played by Henry Winkler, and Richie Cunningham, who was played by the now acclaimed director Ron Howard. Would you believe that the pilot actually aired in 1971 and under a completely different name?
The original version of the hit TV series was called New Family In Town. It actually had many of the same characters played by the same actors, although the Fonz was not yet a part of the cast. It was put on the back burner until 1973 when American Graffiti, which starred Ron Howard, became a success. It premièred in 1974 under the now memorable name of Happy Days, and it didn’t take long for it to become a cult favorite.
2 Happy Days Had Many Popular Spin-offs
We have just read that Happy Days originally had a different name, but did you also know it had some spin-off shows that became hits in their own rights, and even made mega stars of some of their actors? Happy Days had four spin-off shows that had varying success, one of them might really surprise you. Two became hits, and two failed.
The first show we will mention that failed was the short lived Joanie Loves Chachi that ran from 1982 until 1983 on ABC. It starred Erin Moran and Scott Baio who were acst members of Happy Days.
The second failure was also the shortest lived. It was Blanksy’s Beauties, and it ran for only a few months in 1977. Its pilot episode was actually a anniversary special of Happy Days.
One of the successful spin-off series was Laverne and Shirley. It ran from 1976 until 1983 and consisted of 178 episodes. Laverne and Shirley made their first appearance in a Happy Days episode in 1975. Cast members from Happy Days made regular appearances in Laverne and Shirley also.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the spin-off’s was Mork and Mindy. Mork from Ork made his first appearance in Happy days on February 27, 1978, and had a follow up appearance in the March 5, 1979 episode, “Mork Returns”. Mork became extremely popular with both cast members and the viewing public and was very soon given his own show. Mork and Mindy ran from 1978 until 1982 and consisted of 95 episodes.
3 Has Coyote Ever Caught Roadrunner?
Nearly all of us are, or were fans of the Roadrunner cartoons where the hapless Coyote forever tries to catch his next meal, the Roadrunner. Every chase always ended badly for the coyote. Yet regardless of the countless near death experiences he faced he never lost hope that he would one day catch the roadrunner. So did the coyote ever catch the roadrunner? The answer is yes. He caught him in a special episode that aired in 1980, some 31 years after the first episode called “Soup Or Sonic” directed by Chuck Jones. In the end he holds up a sign saying “Okay, wise guys – You always wanted me to catch him- Now what do I do?”.
In the episode the usual chase is ensuing. They both run through a series of pipes that get smaller and smaller before coming out the other side a fraction of their original size. They stop turn around and run back through. The Roadrunner exits first at his normal size, but when the Coyote exits he is still small. He stops at the Roadrunner and realises just how big he is now. He then holds up his sign.
Watch the special moment above.
4 The Muppets Had A Regular Spot On Saturday Night Live
Would you believe that the Muppets had a regular spot on Saturday Night Live during its first season? It does sound a little quirky at first, but let’s just say that you wouldn’t have found the polite and pleasant Kermit on this form of the show.
During the first season of SNL, Jim Henson had a segment with his puppets, better known around the world as Muppets. The segment, although regular, only lasted for 15 episodes during the first season. The segment was called The Land Of Gorch, and it was directed at a more mature audience, not children of very school age years as they are today.
5 Maui Was Nearly Renamed To Gilligan’s Island
We all know just how popular Gilligan’s Island was during its brief stint over three seasons from 1964 until 1967. But would you believe that it was so popular that there was actually a petition to rename Maui to Gilligan’s Island?
When Gilligan’s Island first hit the airwaves it actually created a bit of confusion. Basically a lot of people thought that it was a real event. But it wasn’t only the viewers that were confused by the idea of stranded castaways. Even the producers couldn’t understand how the show could be funny. But despite the battles, it was still very popular.
So, back to Maui nearly being renamed Gilligan’s Island. In 1992 a petition of 30,000 signatures was sent to the governor of Hawaii to change Maui to Gilligan’s Island. It was part of “Operation Deserted Isle,” a plan by fans of the show to rename the island. Obviously the name was never changed. Apparently when the petition arrived the secretary burst out in laughter, and the governor said no.
6 The Most Common Names On Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame
There are a lot of celebrities in Hollywood with a variety of names. But as we all know, when it comes to surnames there aren’t as many around as there are first names. So it should make perfect sense then that some names are more prevalent on the Hollywood Walk of Fame than others. So which names are the most common?
Looking at the phone book you’d probably think that there would be a lot of Smith’s followed by Brown’s on the walk. But that’s not exactly the case. The most common name on the Hollywood walk of fame is Williams with 15, followed closely by Moore with 14, and Jones with 12. Smiths only have 7 stars on the walk of fame.
17 The Most People On One Hollywood Star
While the most common name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is Williams, just having only one name to a star isn’t exactly the law, so to speak. In fact, there are several stars that have more than one name, such as the Apollo 11 astronauts. So this does raise the question. If stars can have more than one name on them, which star has the most names on it?
The most people on one star on the Hollywood walk of fame is the estimated 122 adults and 12 children collectively known as the munchkins from the Wizard Of Oz movie in 1939.
And you don’t even have to be a real person to get a star either.
8 Fictional Characters On Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame
While most of the stars are set aside for real people associated with the entertainment industry, sometimes fictional characters get a star for themselves. This has happened several times, but the two most notable ones are Kermit the Frog and Big Bird who have two stars each. but why?
Well, it’s hard to argue their celebrity status. Among the Muppets, they are the two most notable creations. And it is for this exact reason that they have two stars on the Walk of Fame. They have one for themselves, and one as part of the Muppets.
9 Fauntleroy The Middle Name Of Donald Duck
Who would have ever thought that Donald Duck would have had a middle name? I certainly didn’t/ So when was Donald Duck’s name revealed?
Donald Ducks middle name of Flauntleroy was first revealed in the 1942 Disney short film “Donald Gets Drafted”. His second name was confirmed once more in the Quack Pack episode “All Hands on Duck”.
10 Futurama’s Heads Really Are Free On Tuesdays
When it comes to making a television program more than just a good plot and story line is needed. Sometimes the writers have to ensure that the finer details will be correct. The reason is that the public today are becoming smarter and more demanding. Even when it comes to cartoons, where it has been traditional for them to break all of the rules. But the writers of Futurama were especially careful when they chose dates for their show, it would seem anyway.
In the pilot episode of Futurama Bender, the smart mouthed robot, takes Fry, the main character who was frozen for 1000 years, to hide inside a head museum. The date of them hiding inside the head museum is December 31, 2999. Bender says to Fry that “it’s free on Tuesdays.” December 31, 2999 is actually on a Tuesday.
Whether or not this was planned or a coincidence, they had a one in seven chance of getting it correct.
11 Candy Crush Saga
Alright, we know. Candy Crush Saga is a game, but it still is a form of entertainment, so we included it in our list here.
Candy Crush is a popular online game that became a massive hit on Facebook when it was released on April 12, 2012. The game has provided its creators with the bulk of their revenue bringing in a massive $633,000 every single day. If the game can maintain its rate of popularity it is estimated that it could earn its makers $230 million a year.
Candy Crush has 425 levels on Facebook, while the mobile and flash versions have 365. It is also the most popular app currently on Facebook with over 35 million likes for the app. It is extremely popular in Hong Kong with around 395,000 fans. It is so popular it has even appeared in a music video! The game also has a hack that allows for unlimited replayability.
12 16,000 Children Auditioned For Harry Potter
One of the most popular transitions from book to the big screen would have to be the Harry Potter franchise. The books have captivated the minds of children and adults the world over. So when it was announced that the books would be made into a series of movies, there was little doubt that a part in the movies would be very hotly contested. And they were. A role, even as a side character, could have the potential to propel an aspiring child actor into super stardom, and maybe even make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. So imagine what could happen to a child that earns the title role.
The role of Harry Potter was a very hotly contested role. In fact more then 16,000 children from the UK and US applied for the role of Harry Potter. As we all know it went to Daniel Radcliffe.
13 The Winner Of The First Series Of Survivor Was Charged With Tax Evasion
Oops. This was a bit of a mistake. The first winner of the Survivor reality TV series, Richard Hatch, was charged with tax evasion for not reporting his $1,000,000 prize money. He could hardly claim forgetting he had won the prize, and it was no secret either. And just think. If he was in a country such as Australia where prizes aren’t taxed, it would have been a situation that he could have completely avoided.
14 The Super Bowl Wardrobe Malfunction Fine Was Less Than One Minutes Worth Of Air Time
If there was one of the most controversial live television events in modern history. The Superbowl wardrobe malfunction. The one single, yet brief moment when Justin Timberlake tore off a small section of Janet Jackson’s clothing exposing her breast. Needless to say, during a prime-time event watched by millions, the exposure of a breast was enough to generate a lot of uproar. But once the controversy had settled the time for action and fines had arrived. However, the fine was minuscule.
CBS’s fine for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in the 2004 Super Bowl show was $550,000. This could be paid with only 7.5 seconds of commercial time during the same Super Bowl telecast.
15 The 1982 Release Of Tron Was Snubbed By The Oscar Committee Because Of The Special Effects
In 1982 the original Tron movie received a snub from the Oscar committee for their special effects because they cheated by using computers. This has got to be one of the cruelest and most unfair snubs in Oscars history, made even worse by the advances of technology today. What is so bad about this snub? Tron was snubbed by the Oscar committee because they believed that they were cheating.
The 1982 release of Tron was not a particularly captivating movie for its plot, acting or story line. Even though the movie was technically a success, it was the ground breaking use of computers to create the special effects for the movie that really generated much of the hype. Sure, the acting was ordinary, the plot was wafer thin and the story was just horrible, but for all its failings it had one huge thing going for it, the special effects. Prior to this movie the vast majority of special effects were made by other means such as animatronics, puppets, makeup and creative art, such as with the light sabers in Star Wars. No one had invested as much time and faith into special effects as the people behind Tron had. But it did have it’s problems when it came to being recognized for their work and achievement.
As we have already said, the movie itself, without the special effects is really nothing great, so it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that it wasn’t nominated for an Oscar in the best film category. Apart from a young Jeff Bridges, the acting seemed rather shallow and B grade at best, so again, no surprises at an Oscar snub for Tron here either. But in the one category that it really excelled, special effects, the Motion Picture Academy refused to even nominate it for an Oscar. The reason behind the snub according to director Steven Lisberger was because they believed that they cheated by using computers.
Bear in mind that prior to Tron most movies relied on a more conventional, hands on approach to special effects. The use of computers would have certainly appeared to be a style of cheating, but has since become the norm.
It’s worth pointing out that the Academy didn’t completely snub Tron. It received nominations in two categories. It was nominated for best costume design and best sound, but failed to win in either category.
It has been a common factoid bandied around that the Land of Oz got its name from a filing cabinet. The story goes that Frank Baum saw the letters O to Z on a filing cabinet, so chose that as the name for his mythical land. However, there is no evidence to support this claim. Additionally, even his wife has contradicted this claim.
Some people have suggested that the land was even named after Australia, as the land down under is often referred to as Oz. However, the first time that Oz was used to identify Australia was in 1902, which was after the book had been published. Some have claimed that it is based also in New York, because O follows N and Z follows York. But this also is a long shot.
Another possible origin for the land of Oz is based upon “Óg” in Tír na nÓg, which is an Irish folklore that translates into “Land of the Young.” But no direct link has been made.
So it remains a mystery as to the origin of the naming of the Land of Oz. It’s even possible that he just liked the sound of it.