30 Weird, wonderful & pointless US TV facts & trivia

by Lynn Connolly
Your Sunday chill out Primetime read...

Your Primetime Sunday chill out...

It’s Sunday, a day of rest, so why put your brain through anything taxing such as thinking? Instead, chill out and totally waste time by reading these completely pointless facts and trivia relating to US television…

1. The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s “Its A Wonderful Life.”

2. The original voice of Mickey Mouse was provided by Walt Disney himself and Walt Disney was afraid of mice!

3. In 1933, Mickey Mouse received 800,000 fan letters

4. In every episode of Seinfeld there is a reference to Superman somewhere – a figure, a poster, a DVD… whatever, but there always is

5. 1 in every 4 Americans has been on TV

6. Four people played bits of the character Darth Vader; David Prowse was his body, James Earl Jones his voice, Sebastian Shaw was his face and a fourth unknown person did the famous heavy breathing

7. Star Trek’s Captain Kirk never, ever said “Beam me up, Scotty,” but he did say, “Beam me up, Mr. Scott”

8. Apropos of Captain Kirk, the mask worn by Michael Myers in the original Halloween film was actually a Captain Kirk mask painted white.

9. There are 22 stars surrounding the mountain on the Paramount Pictures logo

10. The first video ever played on MTV Europe was “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits.

11. Jamie Farr, who played Klinger in M*A*S*H, was the only cast member who actually served as a soldier in the Korean war.

12. In Jurassic Park, the roaring of the T-Rex came from mixing the noises made by a crocodile, a lion, a tiger and a baby elephant.

13. Roy Scherer became Rock Hudson after his agent amalgamated the names of the Hudson River and the Rock of Gibraltar.

14. Orginally Susan Weaver, Sigourney chose her new name after a character in the novel, The Great Gatsby.

15. Oprah is actually a typo. Her parents wanted to use the biblical name Orpah, but the midwife couldn’t spell so it became Oprah.

16. Another Oprah fact is that as a college student, Oprah was the first African-American news anchor on a local U.S. TV station

17. The Muppet’s Kermit the Frog is left-handed.

18. The characters of Homer, Marge, Lisa, and Maggie were given the same first names as Simpsons creator Matt Groening’s real-life father, mother, and two sisters.

19. Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look alike contest

20. Barbara Bel Geddes, who played Miss Ellie on Dallas, was only nine years older than Larry Hagman, who played her son

21. Michael Jordan makes more money from his Nike sponsorship annually than all of the Malaysian Nike factory workers combined

22. The first TV couple to be shown sharing a bed was on “The Mary Kay and Johnny” show in 1947.

23. In 1990, the American company Upjohn ran the first TV commercial in the US in which an actor said he had diarrhea

24. The first documented on-air utterance of the “f” word in America occurred in 1946. A stage technician got smacked on the bum with an enormous – and very hot – stage light… and it was said on a children’s show, so it caused uproar!

25. Roseanne’s husband Tom Arnold hated her favorite ‘Egg and Chicken’ t-shirt, so after their divorce, she made sure the shirt appeared in every episode of Roseanne, either worn by one of the characters or used as a prop – for instance, as part of a load of laundry or framed on a wall!

26. To avoid the impression that they were lesbians, CBS insisted that the title characters on Kate and Allie were often filmed heading upstairs for their separate bedrooms.

27. The title role of Dirty Harry, 1971, was originally intended for Frank Sinatra. After he refused, it was offered to John Wayne, and then Paul Newman, finally being accepted by Clint Eastwood.

28. Famous singer Waylon Jennings was the narrator for every episode of the Dukes of Hazzard, but only appeared in one episode which was during the show’s seventh season and was entitled, ‘Welcome, Waylon Jennings’

29. Kelsey Grammar sings and plays the piano for the theme song of Fraiser.

30. Speaking of Kelsey Grammar, since Frasier began in 1993, the show’s bosses have used the voices of celebrities as the callers who ring Frasier’s show for advice. The celebrities who played the troubled callers include Art Garfunkel, Ben Stiller, Cindy Crawford, Carrie Fisher, David Duchovny, Elijah Wood, Gillian Anderson, Jodie Foster, Phil Donahue and Eddie Van Halen, to name but a few!

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed this total waste of time, but having said that, next time you’re stuck in an awkward silence, maybe you’ll recall one or two of these facts and hey presstud, the conversation will get going!

Have a great rest of  Sunday!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.