Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Here at Dave’s corner of the Universe we love urban legends as much as anyone (by we at Dave’s Corner of the Universe I mean me sitting here in my room.) So we are going to go over five of Tinsel Town’s urban legends and see if they are any truth to them. If they are real we will label them “Golden”. And if they are false they will be appropriately tagged “Bogus”.
Urban legend #1) PBS’ best neighbor Fred Rogers was a deadly sniper in Vietnam.
The true story: The story is that Rogers was drafted and fought in Vietnam as a sniper, and while he was there he went all Rambo on the Viet Cong killing many of them, while only eating snakes, he had to kill with his bare hands.. It’s not true. Even if he was eligible for the draft, as a minister and would have been exempt for religious reasons. But let’s disprove this one with math. Fred Rodgers was born in 1928, America declared war on Viet Nam in 1964 that would have made Mr. Rogers Thirty-six at the time of the conflict, too old for the draft.
Now there is a terrible rumor that Mr. Rogers was a child molester and got into TV by doing PSA’s for his criminal offenses. That is pure undiluted BS. There is no truth to those stories what so ever.
Urban legend #2) There was supposed to be a huge whip vs Sword fight in Indiana Jones, but because Harrison Ford had dysentery he wasn’t up to it, so on the spot he pulled out his pistol and the stunt man just went with it improvising that he’d been shot.
Verdict: (kind of) Bogus.
The true story: Well parts of it are true. Yes the script called for an epic sword versus whip battle. And yes Ford had the trots, but the scene wasn’t improvised, it was re-written the night before. According to Mr. Han Solo himself in his 2014 AMA interview it was the last thing they had left to shot left n Tunisia and he was running off to the bathroom every fifteen minutes or so, when he suggested the now classic scene, everyone agreed Indy was the kind of guy to just pull his gun and shot. He even ran it by Steven Spielberg before they did it.
Urban Legend #3) Devon Aoki couldn’t drive when she got her role in 2Fast 2 Furious.
The True Story: It is true they had to bring in professional stunt drivers to teach her how to drive. Here at Dave’s Corner of the Universe (and again I mean me in my room) we love Dev and do not hold her lack of driving expirence against her, any more than she wasn’t a real vampire when she got her role In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead. But she did make the hottest vampire in all moviedom.
Urban Legend #4) Star Trek’s Scotty, James Doohan had his middle finger shot off during D-Day.
The true story: OK, I don’t use this word very much but the only way to describe pre-trek Doohan was badass. First he was in the Canadian Air force and someone dared him to slalom his plane through a bunch of telephone poles, and he did it. Somehow, maybe because of stunts like that, he was an officer in Canadian Artillery on D-Day. He personally takes out two Nazi snipers, ran through a field of tank mines (regular anti-personnel mines where to sissy for Doohan) then that night gets shot by one of his own sentries, losing his right middle finger.(And hit five other places in his body)
Now you almost never saw that on Star Trek, because Doohan insisted that they never filmed it. He made a TV career hiding his right hand form the camera. It slips in a few times but in most cases they used a stunt hand if they had to focus on Scotty’s hand.
Urban Legend #4) Orson Wells wrote a Bat Man script in 1946, where he would play both Bat Man and Bruce Wayne.
The true story: Yeah, this one is real, in some totally awesome alternative reality. It is a practical joke pulled by Mark Millar, the author of the comics Wanted and Kiss Ass. Millar made the story up and even gleefully produced design sketches he reported were made by Wells, but they like the story are fake.
Urban Legend 5), Matt Groening created the Simpson in fifteen minutes.
The true story: Before the Simpson’s Groening was simi-famous with his comic strip Life in Hell. He was going to talk to producer James L Brooks, about using Life in Hell for the Tracey Ullman Show. But then he found out he might loose the rights for LiH, and was afraid that if the TV show tanked it would take the cartoon down with it. So in the lobby of Brooks’ office he quickly sketched out the characters that would become TV icons, naming Marge and Homer after his parents.