Dolly Parton secretly produced Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The word “Bigfoot” was first coined in 1958 by a crew of men who worked for a logging company in Northern California. It started when one of those men, Jerry Crew, discovered very large human-like footprints in the mud of a site they were working on in the forest.
After the discovery of the footprints, the loggers began experiencing weird things at the site. They would find big heavy things (like oil drums and tires) thrown about. The men blamed the vandalism on Bigfoot — though they never physically saw it.
Two months later, a story about the loggers and the mysterious Bigfoot was published in the local newspaper for Humboldt County, California, the Humboldt Times. After the story was published, it was then sent out over newswires, and it went, well, viral.
While stories about Bigfoot predate the 1958 event — specifically in Native American folklore tales about Sasquatch — the loggers’ story is what brought Bigfoot into the mainstream.
While the 1958 story about Bigfoot started Bigfoot-mania, it is the Patterson-Gimlin film that is probably the best-known alleged Bigfoot encounter. In October 1967, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin travelled to Bluff Creek in Northern California to search for Bigfoot — after Patterson heard that some unidentifiable footprints had been found in the area.
Patterson brought along a rented Cine-Kodak 16 mm movie camera with them as the two ventured deep into the woods on horseback. Somewhere around 1:15 and 1:40 p.m., the horses began to get really spooked and the air smelled like skunk, and that’s when the two men saw the Bigfoot standing around 100 feet away from them. Patterson quickly grabbed his camera and managed to capture just under a minute of film of the creature walking away from them.
While the film has never been fully debunked, many people over the decades have been skeptical about it. Along with inconsistencies in their story, Patterson had written a book about Bigfoot a few years earlier and had tried to shoot a movie about a hunt for Bigfoot — so him capturing one on film seems too convenient. The film would end up breaking up the two men’s friendship (although they made up shortly before Patterson’s death in 1972), with Gimlin saying he wished he had never agreed to go on the trip to hunt Bigfoot.
Dolly Parton secretly produced one of the most iconic and influential shows of all time: Buffy the Vampire Slayer!!!
The show was produced by Sandollar Entertainment, a production company that Dolly cofounded with her friend and business partner Sandy Gallin (on the right), in 1986.
In fact, Sandollar had produced the original movie it was based on, so they owned the rights to it. Gail Berman, who was the then-president and CEO of Sandollar Television, always thought it would be a great TV series. Since Joss Whedon wrote the script to the film, Sandollar was contractually obligated to offer him the opportunity to helm the series. According to Berman, she and Whedon were on the same page about Buffy, with eventually Dolly and Sandy (as heads of the production company) getting involved to help make the series happen.
Berman went on to be an executive producer on Buffy, as well as its spinoff Angel, and left Sandollar shortly thereafter to focus on the shows. After leaving, Berman had lunch with Dolly, where she complained that men at the company had not given her her fair share of the Buffy royalties. Dolly then handed her a check to cover what she was owed.
Fat Joe’s “What’s Luv?” is a 2000s classic, and it’s hard to think of anyone else singing on the track other than Ashanti. But, according to Fat Joe, his label boss, Irv Gotti, wanted to replace her with Jennifer Lopez so they could market the song to the Latino market.
Ashanti originally sang the vocals on the demo for the song, and Fat Joe thought she sounded “amazing” on it, and he knew there was no reason to replace her with J.Lo.
Also, Ashanti never knew this, she didn’t find out until 18 years after the release of the song, when she was a guest on Fat Joe’s Instagram Live show, D’ Ussé Friday, in May 2020:
Ashanti being on “What’s Luv?” also helped her achieve a record. In 2002, she became the first artist since the Beatles to have their first three Billboard Hot 100 singles chart within the top 10 at the same time.
ER was one of the most popular TV shows of the 1990s. However, it was originally intended to be a movie. The show’s creator Michael Crichton was even working on a script for it for Steven Spielberg (the two had known each other for decades).
However, as the two were about to began to talk about ER, Crichton brought up what his next not-yet-published novel would be about: a story about dinosaurs being brought back to life using DNA called Jurassic Park. Spielberg loved the story and that’s all they ended up talking about for the next few hours.
Spielberg had Universal buy the film rights as soon as they were available in May 1990 — six months before the book was published. And it was a smart move, because they got them just before James Cameron could. According to Cameron, they beat him to it “by a few hours.” Cameron also said his version of Jurassic Park would have been a darker R-rated movie.
And what about the ER script? Well, it sat around Spielberg’s offices for a while and was eventually discovered by Tony Thomopoulos, the president of Steven’s Amblin Television division, who thought it would make a good pilot for a TV show.
No Doubt’s iconic cover of Talk Talk’s 1984 single “It’s My Life” was a result of the band being on a break and needing a new song for their greatest hits album.
At the time, the band was on hiatus as Gwen Stefani was working on her debut solo album, so there wasn’t really time to get together and write an entire new song for their greatest hits album, Singles 1992–2003. But No Doubt found a work-around and decided that, for the first time, they would do a cover song and release it as a single.
Also, the music video for it was set in the 1930s ’cause Stefani had just played Jean Harlow in The Aviator, and that inspired the setting for the video’s director, David LaChapelle.
The Phoenix Lights is thought to be the most witnessed UFO sighting ever. Thousands of people in Arizona and Nevada reported seeing the two separate incidents that make up the Phoenix Lights.
It happened on March 13, 1997, at around 8 p.m.; people began reporting seeing a very large V-shaped object (with three lights on the bottom of each side and one in the front) flying very slowly and silently over the towns of Prescott and Dewey, Arizona. A couple of hours later, at around 10 p.m., a series of red and orange lights appeared to hover above Phoenix.
Like I said earlier, this was witnessed by thousands of people, including Kurt Russell — who was actually an unnamed pilot that reported what he was seeing to the airport. Russell happened to be flying his plane with his son, Oliver, when they came across the lights. He went on to say that he and Oliver never spoke about it, and he never really thought about it until a few years later when his wife, Goldie Hawn, was watching a TV show that was doing a piece on the Phoenix Lights, and that’s when it all came back to him:
Eventually, the US Air Force came forward to say that they were responsible for the incident, admitting that lights were leftover high-intensity flares dropped during a training exercise. Although, lots of people who witnessed the Phoenix Lights are skeptical of that explanation to this day.
The iconic boulder-rolling scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark is an homage to a very similar thing that happened in the 1954 Scrooge McDuck comic “The Seven Cities of Cibola.” In the comic, Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, and Louie travel to a lost city, where they find an emerald idol. However, noticing it is booby-trapped, they decide not to take it. What they don’t realize is that they have been followed by the Beagle Boys, who decide to steal the idol, which sets off a giant boulder that chases after them.
George Lucas — who came up with Indiana Jones — was a big fan of the Scrooge McDuck comics (which were created by Carl Barks) growing up and told Edward Summer, a writer who put together a book of Barks’ Scrooge comics, that the boulder scene in Raiders was a “conscious homage” to “The Seven Cities of Cibola.”
In a sort of full-circle moment, the Raiders logo would go on to inspire the DuckTales one (which of course is a classic cartoon series about Scrooge McDuck’s adventures):
Although the format was popular, people were slow to adapt. DVD sales did not surpass VHS sales until the end of 2001 — which was still surprising, considering that at the time more people owned VCR players than DVD players.
Even though Batman Returns was well received by critics and a hit at the box office, Burton was asked to step down by Warner Bros. from making a third Batman movie after parents complained about Batman Returns being too dark and him refusing to make the next film lighter.
Warner Bros. also passed on making a Catwoman spinoff film that would’ve had Pfeiffer reprising the role. The film also would have been directed by Burton and written by the same writer who wrote Batman Returns.
Joel Schumacher was brought on by Warner Bros. to helm the Batman franchise. And while it was reported that Michael Keaton didn’t want to return to the role because Tim Burton was no longer involved, that wasn’t exactly the case. In an interview with In the Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast earlier this year, Keaton said that he did talk to Schumacher about a third film, but that the two clashed over the direction of the character. Schumacher wanted a more comics-style story, while Keaton wanted to continue to tell the Batman story he created with Burton.
With Keaton gone, Schumacher recast Val Kilmer in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, as well as Chris O’Donnell in the role of Dick Grayson/Robin. Originally, Marlon Wayans had signed onto play Robin in what would’ve been Burton’s third Batman film.
However, Wayans gets residuals for Batman Forever, even though he does NOT appear in the movie. Per a clause in his contract, he was guaranteed to be paid his salary plus residuals, even if he was recast.
And lastly, Madonna’s performance of “Like a Virgin” at the very first VMAs in 1984 is considered one of, if not the most, iconic performance in the show’s history — I mean, so much so that they recreated it with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in 2004.
However, the performance wasn’t exactly planned to go like it did. Early in the performance, Madonna —when she comes out of the cake — loses a shoe and then decides to toss the other one to make it seem like she did it on purpose. She then started seductively rolling around the floor in an effort to put them back on (which she does). So the whole risqué performance was really just improvised so she could put her shoes back on!
Madonna wasn’t a well-known singer at the time, and the performance was considered so crude that many industry people thought her career was over because of it. But the exact opposite happened — the performance actually helped her become a household name.