Saturday, February 26, 2011

Did you know III

I had started writing this post on philosophy. And then, I looked at my previous posts this year and seven of eight of them were on history or politics, with another political update coming up next week. I said to myself, “Lookit here, son, I say son, write something light-hearted.” So I will.

It’s also because I can’t find the philosophy piece I was writing, but, same difference.

I haven’t done a Did You Know in quite a while. A Did you know is a post about movies and tv trivia. I have done two before (10/29/07 and 12/24/07), and despite the fact that I know almost none of the information before I start researching it, it's a lot of fun. By the way, I am furious to see that IMDB now calls it's trivia section "Did you know?" and I am thinking of suing. Does anyone know a lawyer?

So here we go. Did you know. . . .

that I dream of Jeannie (1965) was based on a movie made only the year before called The Brass Bottle, where Tony Randall played the master and Burl Ives the genie? And that Tony Randall’s girlfriend in the movie was played by a stunning 31 year old actress named – Barbara Eden? But, she wasn’t expected to play Jeannie. The producer, Sidney Sheldon, wanted a brunette, to differentiate it from Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched. That is, until Jeannie – I mean Barbara, auditioned.

that Alec Baldwin was offered the role of Richard Kimball in The Fugitive?

that Mel Gibson turned down the lead in Gladiator (I hated that movie)?

that Will Smith was supposed to be the lead in The Matrix? That would have been different. He won the first rap Grammy ever, had a hit tv show and has been in 15 movies that have grossed over $100 million dollars.

that John Travolta could have been Forrest Gump and Tom Hanks the lead in Field of Dreams?

that Christopher Walken has played Hamlet and Romeo and MacBeth? That he has been married 42 years, which is a like a thousand years in Hollywood? That he was briefly a lion tamer when a kid and was that close to being Hans Solo – Lucas’ second choice?

that John Ratzenberger, who played Cliff on Cheers, has been in movies grossing over 3.7 BILLION DOLLARS, making him number 4 all time only behind actors Samuel Jackson (2) and Tom Hanks (3), and beating out actors like Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise? That one of those movies was Gandhi, in which his voice was dubbed?

that the all time box office king is someone named Frank Welker, who I sure never heard of, but is a voice in a zillion animated films which have grossed over 5.7 BILLION, dwarfing even films Samuel Jackson has been in?

that When Harry Met Sally was in the works it was originally called Boy Meets Girl and How They Met? That in the original script, they didn’t end up together at the end? That Meg Ryan was the 5th choice for Sallie? That Billy Crystal and the director, Rob Reiner, were actually best friends and that Harry's character was based on Rob's loneliness after his divorce to Penny Marshall, and his conversations with his friend in the movie (played by their real friend, Bruno Kirby) were based on Rob’s and Billy’s conversations after Rob's breakup? That Sallie's character was based on writer Nora Ephron (and her friends)? That Bruno Kirby (who I think was one of the best actors around when he died very young in 2006) has a jawbreaker of a real name – Bruno Giovanni Quidaciolu Jr.? That Meg Ryan’s real name is Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra?

that cute little Brandon Cruz, who played Eddie on The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, quit acting at age 18 (1980) to play punk rock, starred as the lead singer for years with the Dead Kennedy’s (who coincidentally, have the only punk song I have ever liked – Kill the Poor) and still performs with a different group?

that not only did David Carradine play Kwai Chang Caine but so did his little brother Keith, as a younger version?

that Happy Days has to be the all time spin-off king (itself spinning off from Love, American Style), including, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Joanie Loves Chaci, and two I never heard of and which were incredibly short lived – Out of the Blue and Blansky’s Beauties, not too mention animated spin-offs of Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy?

that NCIS’s Sean Murray (McGee) is the step-son of the producer, Don Bellisario, whose mother used to play the mysterious redhead dating Jethro in season one? That Ziva's (Cote de Pablo) real name is Maria de Jose Pablo Fernandez, who was born in Chile, raised in Miami, and of course speaks English just fine? That in the first season Tony didn't know anything about movies, not even who Gary Cooper was? That in the first episode Gibbs didn't know FBI agent, Tobias Fornell, but later on later it became Fornell was briefly married to Gibbs' second wife, though Gibbs tried to warn him? That Sasha Alexander (Kate) is Sophie Loren's daughter-in-law and has never really said why she left, but has said there are a million reasons she can't talk about? That George W. Bush appeared as himself on the first episode.

that Cary Grant was one of Ian Fleming's models for James Bond, and he turned down the role in Dr. No, believing himself too old? That's kind of odd, because the next year he starred in Charade with a vastly younger Audrey Hepburn as his co-star and 3 years later he married a young starlet, Dyan Cannon, and had a kid with her.

that Stargate-SG1, a favorite of mine, was the longest running American Sci-Fi show ever - even longer than X-files, but soon to be passed by Smallville? That Christopher Judge, who played Teal'c, was was once on Richard Dean Anderson's MacGyver, which was also the show that inspired Michael Shanks (Dr. Jackson) to become an actor? That the voice of Thor is actually Michael Shanks?

that Megan Mullally, Karen on Will & Grace, played George's girlfriend on Seinfeld in the "double dip" episode? That Debra Messing played Jerry's girlfriend who turned out to be racist? That Michael Chiklis (The Shield, Commish) was the friend from LI whose house the gang went to for a party at which Elaine says to an obnoxious mother "Maybe the dingo ate your baby"? That Courtney Cox, shortly before Friends, played Jerry's girlfriend in the episode where they pretended to be married to get a discount at a dry cleaner? That Amanda Peet was a Jerry girlfriend in the episode where she lived with another guy while dating him? That Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) played the mechanic obsessed with cars who steals Jerry's car to protect it?

that, speaking of Courtney Cox, she was supposed to audition for Rachel, but liked Monica's character -- already turned down by Janeane Garofolo -- better? That she was the only one of the six not to get nominated for an Emmy? That John Cryer, Alan of Two and a Half Men, was first choice for Chandler? That when Matt LeBlanc auditioned for Joey he actually was a broke actor? That the original plan was for Joey and Monica to be the main couple?

that Jennifer Taylor, the actress who played Charlie Harper's fiancee for a while on Two and a Half Men, had previously played four different women on the show?

that the actors and actress who play Raymond and Deborah's kids on Everybody Loves Raymond were actually brothers and sister?

that Bob Munden, at least at one time considered the world's fastest draw (I've seen him on tv and his abilities appeared super human), claimed that Jerry Lewis was actually Hollywood's fastest draw followed by Sammy Davis, Jr.?

that The Andy Griffith Show was actually a spin off from Make Room for Daddy? That Barney and Andy were cousins in season one?

Okay, that does it.


  1. Anonymous2:32 PM

    I knew Meg Ryan's real name but I didn't know those other facts about When Harry Met Sally.
    Thanks for an enlightening post.

  2. Anonymous9:08 PM

    спасибо большое было интересно читать

  3. "спасибо большое было интересно читать" is actually not spam, but means "thanks large was interesting to read" or probably better "Many thanks. It was interesting to read."

    And I thank my Russian visitor for reading.

  4. Good job! A bunch of stuff I didn't know.

    I see you are starting to develop the "ancient greek" following.

  5. Re Don's comment: That was actually Russian, not Greek. I used an online translator. The only Russian I know is dasvidaniya and wouldn't know it in the Cyrillic alphabet if it hit me betweent the eyes. According to Google I do have some Russian audience. No idea why.

  6. Good thing the cold wat is over or the CIA might be giving you a call>

  7. "... and I thank my Russian readers for visiting..." WTF!!! Listen Johnny Carson, that cyrillic phrase means "eat me you prissy, greek-loving, ass kisser of Socrates".Good god almighty, what's happened to you, son? Interesting and fun "did you knows" though I was looking forward to the second half of the England blog. Typical of you to leave that hanging, asswipe.

  8. According to Google I had 41 hits from Russia this month. I'm puzzled, but I am grateful someone reads this stuff. Besides, having a blog makes me an assistant secretary of state, doesn't it? I have to be polite.

    Language - please. This is a G rated blog. Honey, if you read this, I'm sure the bad man didn't mean it.

  9. Anonymous6:15 PM

    You are the only bad man


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About Me

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I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .