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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Entertainment
Barnum, the Musical — Word is that a new film about P.T. Barnum is in the works. It'll be a musical, titled "The Greatest Showman on Earth," starring Hugh Jackman as Barnum. Kathy Maher, curator of the P.T. Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, told the Hartford Courant that the film company contacted her four years ago when the project first started, but she hasn't heard anything from them since. She adds, "they said they would be on touch as soon as the project got on the grid... Hopefully they'll get the story right and not go for the mythology." Hmmm. What are the odds of that happening?
Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014.   Comments (1)

Musicals, plays, and movies based on hoaxes — Last night, Balloon Boy: The Musical had its opening-night performance at Monarch High School in Louisville, Colorado. The musical was written by Billy Reece, who's only 16. He told the LA Times that it's "a comedy that is neither for nor against the Heenes, but a commentary on a celebrity-obsessed society." Richard Heene, father of Balloon Boy, has not, to my knowledge, commented on the new musical. It got me thinking about how many other hoaxes have been made into musicals or plays. Here's the list of all the ones that I can think of (though I'm sure there must be more): Continue…
Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2014.   Comments (0)

The Burial of E.T.—a legend confirmed — It's long been rumored that there were millions of copies of an Atari video game, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, buried in the New Mexico desert. But the rumor seemed so bizarre that it was often dismissed as an urban legend. The story goes that back in the early 1980s Atari developed the game as a tie-in with Steven Spielberg's movie. But game designer Howard Warshaw was given only five and a half weeks to create it in time for Christmas, and as a result, the game turned out to be awful. Reviewers panned it, and consumers didn't buy it. Atari took a huge loss on the game, leading to a… Continue…
Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2014.   Comments (3)

Hurt Locker, the (fake) musical — The audience at the recent Broadway premiere of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" found playbills beneath their seats for a completely different production, "Hurt Locker: The Musical." However, there is no musical stage version of The Hurt Locker (nor any stage version of it at all). The fake musical was the creation of Hedwig's producers. The NY Daily News explains: "Hedwig" is being performed at the Belasco Theatre — and to maintain the illusion of a late-night one-off show by an East-German transgender pop-rocker — producers littered the floor with Playbills from a show that… Continue…
Posted: Sat Apr 26, 2014.   Comments (0)


Every day is Back to the Future Day! — A Tumblr blog titled "Today is the Day Marty McFly Went to the Future" posts a new photo every day, indicating that today is the day McFly arrives in the future, as indicated by the Delorean's onboard time monitor in Back to the Future Part II (1989). It's the latest take on the perennial return of Future Day (an ongoing internet prank in which people claim that the date of McFly's arrival is closer at hand than it really is). The actual date of McFly's arrival is October 21, 2015.
Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014.   Comments (0)

Elephants—Larger Than The Moon, and other Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Hoaxes — As Chris Tarrant departs from the UK version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, The Express takes the opportunity to review the history of the quiz show, including some of the hoaxes and frauds associated with it. For example, the show spawned an internet meme of screenshots of contestants getting absurdly simple questions wrong. Many of these are hoaxes, such as the most famous one which seems to show contestant Fiona Wheeler (not Kathy Evans as some email captions claim) deciding that…
Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2013.   Comments (0)

Tom Woottwell, Mock Strong Man — Tom Woottwell had an interesting career. He was a "mock strong man," performing to crowds during the late nineteenth century. From The Strand magazine, July 1897: The show indicated in the photo here reproduced was screamingly comic. First, as to the costume of the mock "strong man." he is dressed in dilapidated old tights, which are supposed to be strained almost to bursting point at the arms and calves, owing solely to the abnormal muscular development of those parts. The calves are…
Posted: Wed May 16, 2012.   Comments (0)

io9.com accuses The Fourth Kind of being an unsuccessful hoax — The new movie The Fourth Kind tries to blur reality in the same way that movies such as Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project have successfully done. But according to io9.com, The Fourth Kind doesn't manage to pull it off convincingly: Alien abduction flick The Fourth Kind bills itself as containing "actual footage" from case histories. But this footage is so poorly faked that it insults the audience's intelligence... The movie stumbled out of the gate by hanging most of its…
Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009.   Comments (4)

Jon & Kate Plus Fake — I've purposefully avoided watching "Jon & Kate Plus 8," and on a personal level I couldn't care less about what happens to Jon & Kate, but in recently filed divorce papers Kate Gosselin states that she and her husband have lived "separate and apart" for the last two years. [Link] This is interesting because, apparently, on last season's show they made a big deal out of renewing their wedding vows in Hawaii. Evidently the whole thing was staged. And so they become another footnote in…
Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009.   Comments (2)

Does Robert Pattinson paint on his abs? — Here's a question the world needs answered: Did Robert Pattinson (star of Twilight) have makeup artists use liquid body paint to make it appear as if he had six-pack abs for a scene in the forthcoming New Moon? Well, that's the rumor. Given that it was for a scene in a movie, I think it would be more surprising if makeup wasn't used. But for chiselled abs it's actually more important to be really skinny than to workout a lot. And the guy looks like he's genuinely skinny.
Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009.   Comments (5)

Fake Air France Footage — Posted by Peter in the forum: TV station airs Lost as Air France crash footage A BOLIVIAN television news channel has been left red-faced after falling for a hoax that saw it claim pictures from the hit TV show Lost were actually the last moment of Air France flight AF447 before it plunged into the ocean on June 1. Source This confirms my theory that should a suitably dramatic picture of a major event not exist, one will be created. It's because our culture craves visual images. And…
Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009.   Comments (1)

Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Bum Attack” Hoax — The highlight of Sunday night's MTV Movie Awards came when Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed up as Austrian fashion reporter Bruno, floated across the room on wires, but then somehow fell and landed face down in Eminem's lap (his butt in Eminem's face). Subsequently Eminem stormed out of the show. The award show's head comedy writer, Scott Aukerman, is now admitting it was not a spontaneous mishap. The entire scene was choreographed and rehearsed. In fact, Paris Hilton had reportedly been
Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009.   Comments (8)

Goldfinger Urban Legends — The authors of The Science of James Bond note that the movie Goldfinger has spawned two enduring urban legends: 1) That if you shoot out the window of a plane flying at 35,000 feet, the resulting depressurization will create enough force to suck a person through the hole. Not true! The authors say the airflow wouldn't even be enough to lift a person. 2) It is possible to suffocate by completely covering yourself in gold paint. Therefore, professional dancers who paint themselves know…
Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009.   Comments (8)

Megan Fox to play Wonder Woman? — The site wonder-who.com claims to reveal that Megan Fox will be starring in a new Wonder Woman movie. The site looks professionally made. Someone obviously put some effort into it. But according to JoBlo.com, Warner Brothers has issued a denial, insisting that no such movie is planned. So why did someone spend so much time creating the site? I have no idea. A really over-eager Megan Fox fan perhaps? Or maybe a studio was testing the response to the concept? Links: pfunn.com, io9.com.
Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2008.   Comments (7)

Ken Campbell and the Royal Dickens Company — Ken Campbell recently died at the age of 66. The Telegraph's obituary describes him as "an actor, writer and director of wilful eccentricity" who worked in experimental theater. However, he was perhaps best known for a hoax he pulled off in 1980, when he sent around letters announcing that the Royal Shakespeare Company was renaming itself the Royal Dickens Company. I couldn't find a good description of this hoax online (and, unfortunately, I've never gotten around to writing one up...…
Posted: Thu Sep 11, 2008.   Comments (6)

Britney Spears to play a killer lesbian stripper? — Back in January 2008 Variety published a rumor, citing unnamed sources, that Britney Spears had agreed to play a killer lesbian stripper in Quentin Tarantino's next movie, a remake of Russ Meyer's 1965 film Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. Seven months later, there's no indication this rumor is true. For instance, there's no listing of such a project on IMDB. Nevertheless, the rumor is circulating again. It was reported recently in The Telegraph and on popcrunch. It appears that the…
Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2008.   Comments (9)

The Knoxville Carjacking Party — According to internet rumor, Britney Spears is planning to star in a movie titled The Knoxville Carjacking Party, based on the brutal 2007 murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. Spears would play Channon Christian. The story is a hoax. More specifically, it's a case of satire mistaken as news, having apparently originated as a faux news report from "celebrity snitch, Clarence Star" on the site Ghetto Bragging Rights. Wayne Bledsoe, a columnist for Knoxnews.com, notes that…
Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008.   Comments (4)

Is Mad Money based on the Brassiere Brigade? — Happy New Years everyone! My apologies for the absence of posts for the past week. I was on vacation, visiting family on the east coast and in Arizona. One month ago I posted about a group of female criminals from the 1950s called the "Brassiere Brigade." They stole money from the counting room of a telephone company, where they worked, by smuggling rolls of quarters out in their bras. I only discovered the story of these women by accident when I came across a reference to them in an…
Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008.   Comments (14)

Quick Links: Dec. 19, 2007 — Survivor Tale of Woe A contestant on the TV show Survivor:China may have lied about losing her job as a janitor at an Elementary School. If I still watched Survivor I might care more about this, but I haven't seen it in years. Princeton Hoax Exposed A student at Princeton who was a member of an anti-sex club claimed he was beaten up by horny liberals who were enraged by his "brave stand against promiscuity." Turns out he beat himself up. Figures. Gold Pills Offered for sale at the New…
Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007.   Comments (16)

F-Word in Enchanted — The rumor going around online is that in one of the previews for the new Disney movie Enchanted, you can hear someone say "Get the f*ck outta here." The preview in question shows the Prince attacking a bus. The exclamation can be heard around 30 seconds into it, as the bus driver is walking out of the bus. The first time I listened to it, it definitely sounded like "Get the f*ck outta here." But when I listened to it again, it sounded more like "Get that bus outta here." Basically, it…
Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007.   Comments (16)

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