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    20 Very Random Pop Culture Facts You Might Not Know But Are Honestly Fascinating

    The origins of Hocus Pocus start with the Muppets.

    1. Despite having a ton of hit songs, "Dreams" is the only Fleetwood Mac song to go No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

    The single cover for "Dreams" with a photo of Fleetwood Mac on it surrounded with a yellow border.
    WMG

    Also, according to Stevie Nicks, she wrote the song in 10 minutes.

    2. Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" was the song that spent the longest amount of time at No. 1 during the 1980s.

    UMG

    It spent 10 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.

    3. Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark and cowrote The Empire Strikes Back, also wrote the original script for The Bodyguard in the '70s.

    Lucasfilm Ltd. / Courtesy Everett, Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

    The Bodyguard script was actually how Lawrence got on Steven Spielberg's radar, and then onto George Lucas'.

    4. The mid-'70s version of The Bodyguard was meant to be a movie featuring Steve McQueen as Frank "the bodyguard" and Diana Ross as the pop singer he is hired to protect.

    Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images, Hulton Archive / Getty Images

    Reportedly, that version never really took off because neither Steve or Diana would take second-billing in the movie.

    5. Despite the fact that she was starring on a hit TV show, Marla Gibbs — who played housekeeper Florence on The Jeffersons — kept her job with United Airlines for two years after the show started.

    A photo of the Jeffersons standing on either side of Florence who is holding an on strike sign
    CBS/ Courtesy Everett Collection

    Marla had been working for United Airlines for 11 years — doing phone reservations — prior to being cast on the show, and she convinced them to let her stay on part-time, working the evening shifts (after she had finished work on the show). And yes, people would sometimes recognize her over the phone.

    Also, if you're wondering, Marla reasoned working both in a 2015 Washington Post interview by saying, "Because in my world, a bird in the hand is worth 20 in the bush, so I wasn’t ready to give up the airline yet. Besides, I had unlimited passes."

    6. Alaska Thunderfuck's iconic "HIIIIIYEEEEE" wasn't created by her nor was she the first queen to say it on RuPaul's Drag Race; it was actually first said by Ongina on Season 1.

    World of Wonder/ Logo

    Alaska has been open about that, FTR.

    7. Will Smith doesn't like to watch the first few episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, because, according to him, he used to memorize the entire script, and because of that he would mouth other actor's lines during the scenes.

    Warner Bros. Television

    Also, we have a post just full of Fresh Prince facts.

    8. Madonna dressing in a big white fur coat and cowboy hat in the video for "Music" is one of her most iconic music video looks. But there is a reason why she was dressed like that and why the video was shot the way it was: she was pregnant with her son, Rocco, at the time.

    A screenshot of Madonna from the Music music video
    WMG/ youtube.com

    The video's director, Jonas Åkerlund, said he didn't think it was a problem that Madonna appear pregnant in the video, but she did. And if you look, you never see her with the coat off or even a very good full body shot.

    9. "Thank You for Being a Friend" wasn't The Golden Girls producers first choice for the theme song (I KNOW, I KNOW). They actually wanted to use Bette Midler's song "Friends," but the licensing fee was too expensive so they were forced to look for another song.

    A publicity photo of The Golden Girls
    Touchstone Television /Courtesy Everett Collection

    The theme song is actually a cover of a 1978 single by singer-songwriter Andy Gold. According to him, the song was a "just this little throwaway thing," and took him about an hour to write it.

    10. Early in the development of The Little Mermaid, both Joan Collins and Bea Arthur were approached to voice Ursula.

    Disney

    The film's writer-directors, Ron Clements and John Musker, envisioned Bea in the role and approached her agent, who rejected it after seeing the description of the character as having "Bea Arthur-type basso voice," and was angry that they would think of their client as a witch.

    Howard Ashman, who on top of writing the lyrics for the film was also a producer, was a fan of Dynasty and envisioned Ursula as a glamorous Alexis Carrington-type character. However, Joan was reportedly blocked from even auditioning by her boss Aaron Spelling, who thought that it would ruin her credibility as an actor to voice a cartoon character.

    11. Dynasty's Alexis Carrington is one of the most iconic characters in TV history, but Joan Collins wasn't who the producers had in mind for the role. They originally offered the role to Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren — who both turned it down.

    A publicity photo of Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington
    Aaron Spelling Prod. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

    Of course, the show became a hit after her character was introduced in the second season.

    12. There were three episodes of A Different World that didn't air during the show's original run.

    A publicity photo of the Season 6 cast of A Different World
    Carsey-Werner Co/ Courtesy Everett Collection

    During the middle of its final season, the show was put on hiatus because of low ratings, however, they continued filming the series. When NBC announced the show was canceled, they aired the finale. That left the series with seven episodes that hadn't aired. However, four of those episodes would air on NBC, while the additional three episodes — which included the episode where Tupac Shakur guest-starred in — would air when the show moved into syndication.

    13. Quentin Tarantino wrote the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction with Michael Madsen in mind (John Travolta was actually his second choice) and offered it to him, but Michael turned it down.

    Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic, Inc / Getty Images, Miramax/Courtesy Everett Collection

    FTR, Michael doesn't regret turning down the role.

    14. The first US reality show was the PBS series An American Family, which debuted in 1973.

    A promotional photo of the family from An American Family
    PBS / Courtesy Everett Collection

    The show was a hit for PBS, but there wouldn't be another reality show in the States until MTV's The Real World premiered in 1992.

    15. The first show shot in HD to air in the US was the 1990 BBC miniseries The Ginger Tree.

    A screenshot of the logo from The Ginger Tree
    BBC

    However, it did not air in HD; aside from there being no high-definition TVs, there was also no way to transmit HD content over the airwaves. The first transmission of a high-definition signal didn't happen until six years later, in 1996. And even that was only seen by a handful of people at a TV station.

    16. Cher's record label did NOT like the auto-tune part in "Believe" and wanted her to remove it.

    WMG

    When the label told her to remove it, Cher responded, "over my dead body." Also, the rough mix of the song is what became the final version of the song because Cher liked it the way that mix sounded and told the song's producer and cowriter that she would rip his throat off if he touched it.

    17. The Beatles were given honorary MTV Vanguard Awards —along with Richard Lester who directed their films A Hard Day's Night and Help! — at the very first VMAs in 1984, for "essentially inventing the music video."

    A photo of the Beatles in 1963
    Hulton Archive / Getty Images

    While David Bowie was honored with the very first official Video Vanguard Award at that same VMAs.

    18. Dolly Parton secretly coproduced Buffy the Vampire Slayer (as well as Angel).

    A publicity photo of Angel and Buffy hugging
    Getty Images/ Warner Bros.

    In 1986, Dolly cofounded Sandollar Entertainment with her friend and business partner Sandy Gallin. The company went on to produce Buffy and Angel. And, there might have been an Easter egg about that all along, as both Dolly and Buffy share the same birthday: Jan. 19.

    19. Hocus Pocus was originally a short story that the film's producer, David Kirschner, submitted to Muppet Magazine in the early '80s, which is based on a bedtime story he told his kids.

    Disney

    David was inspired to pursue making it into a film after getting a great response from the kids who read the magazine.

    20. And finally, there has been a virtual presidential debate before. In fact, it was 60 years ago — John F. Kennedy was in New York City, while Richard Nixon was in Los Angeles during the third debate.

    10/13/60: "Unlike the first two programs, however, the two candidates will not be sharing same platform. In New York...John F. Kennedy separated by 3,000 miles in a Los Angeles studio...Richard Nixon. Now joined for tonight's discussion by network of electronic facilities..."

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