Hoax Museum Blog: Entertainment

No Pretty In Pink Sequel — There's a rumor going around that a sequel to the '80s movie Pretty In Pink will come out next year, starring all the original cast: Molly Ringwald, John Cryer, and Andrew McCarthy. It will supposedly revisit the characters from the original movie twenty years later, to find out where they are now. I know the rumor must have spread pretty far because I heard it from my wife last week, and she thinks she heard it on the radio, or somewhere like that. However, the rumor is just a hoax. There is no sequel. The source of the rumor was an April Fool's Day hoax perpetrated by ComingSoon.net. From there it got picked up by the British press, who failed to realize that it was a joke, despite some obvious clues (such as the sources for the story leading to pages that said 'April Fools Day'). The No True Bill blog has the full details.

Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005.   Comments (15)

Book Millionaire — Want to be a best-selling author making millions of dollars? Then sign up to be on Book Millionaire and your dreams could become reality!

Here's your chance to finally become America's next Best Selling Author and Reality Show TV Celebrity!  We are scouting for the next group of candidates for America's hottest new reality show. Act now. Picture yourself featured on national television sharing your story, writing, book-to-be or book with millions of people showing you have what it takes to be America's next Best Selling Author and Book Millionaire.

John Ordover brought this to my attention, noting that it looks like a scam, and I have to agree with him. On Book Millionaire's website they claim to be producing a new reality show, but nowhere can I find what studio or network they're working with, or where they're getting their funding from. Plus, they don't even require contestants to be published authors. You only have to have an idea for a book. But how can you become a bestselling author without a book? Maybe they'll help you sell your idea to get a huge advance. Could happen, so it's not impossible that it's legitimate. And maybe they don't list any partners because they haven't sold the idea to any networks yet. I don't know. But right now it looks kind of shady.
Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2005.   Comments (16)

Star Wars Fans Line Up… Outside Wrong Theater — Diehard Star Wars fans have already begun lining up outside Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood for the opening of Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith. The problem is, Star Wars won't be playing at the Chinese Theater. It'll be playing a few blocks away at the ArcLight. But the fans are waiting at the Chinese anyway. Why? Because they suspect the studios are lying when they say it won't play at the Chinese, and also they get more publicity by waiting in line on Hollywood Blvd.
Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005.   Comments (29)

Mickey’s Gala Premiere — In September 1939 the fledgling BBC television service was shut down because of the start of World War II. According to legend, transmission was ended in the middle of a broadcast of a Disney cartoon called "Mickey's Gala Premiere." When transmission resumed six years later an announcer came on the air and said, "Well now, where were we?" The Disney cartoon then began to play from the exact spot in which it had left off all those years ago. Is this story true? Almost, but not quite. According to imdb.com, "Mickey's Gala Premiere" was the last thing shown on the BBC in 1939 and the first thing it aired when it started back up in 1946. However the cartoon was restarted from the beginning. Not from where it had left off in 1939.

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2005.   Comments (7)

Easy Millionaire Question — I'm a pretty loyal 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' viewer. It usually comes on after I'm done with dinner and I'm too lazy to get up, so I just sit there watching it. I've seen some viewers get some very easy questions wrong on the show, but I'd find it hard to believe that anyone would really need help on this question. I'm guessing that either the question has been changed in this screenshot, or answer B has been altered to make it the obvious choice.
Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2005.   Comments (42)

The John Rhys-Davies Internet Rumor Experiment — image Rubber Chicken has posted an interesting account of their experiment in spreading rumors and misinformation via their internet. What they wanted to do was plant one seed of misinformation, and see how far it would spread. As it turned out, it spread quite far.

Their seed of misinformation was this: they made up a rumor that actor John Rhys-Davies, of Sliders fame, was going to provide the voice for General Grievous, the new CGI villain in Star Wars Episode III. They emailed this rumor to Ain't It Cool News, where it was promptly posted as a hot new piece of movie gossip. They then sat back and watched the rumor spread, which it quickly did. Other movie sites quickly picked up the news, and newspapers such as The Guardian even reported it: "Later reports listed IGN and The Guardian - yes, the god damned Guardian - as sources, which effectively meant the news progressively got more reliable. Barely 48 hours after the original announcement, many were already discussing Rhys-Davies' role as if it were confirmed."
Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2005.   Comments (9)

Was Deep Throat The Most Profitable Movie Ever Made? — A recent documentary about the legendary '70s porn film Deep Throat includes the assertion that the movie was the most profitable film ever made. Why? Because it cost around $25,000 to make, and grossed over $600 million. Michael Hiltzik, writing for the LA Times, has been busy debunking that claim, first in an article that appeared February 24, and again in a follow-up article on March 10. He uses the technical term 'baloney' to describe the claim. He points out that a) the movie was financed by the mob, so any financial figures about it are suspect; and b) to have made that much "it would have had to sell tickets to enough customers to populate the entire United States one and a half times over" (given 1970s ticket prices). It would also have had to sell far more tickets than Star Wars ever sold. The makers of the Deep Throat documentary responded to Hiltzik, defending their claim (actually they end up claiming Deep Throat could have made far more than $600 million), but their defense reveals that they're basically pulling numbers out of thin air.
Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2005.   Comments (25)

Nobody Wants Your Film — Nobody Wants Your Film appears to be a site dedicated to promoting an independent film that's been unable to find a distributor. The site encourages people to register at the site (and tell their friends to register) so that the creator of the film can convince "investors & money men that this thing is really happening" and "that they'd better jump on board before it's too late". The weird thing is that the film has some pretty well-known actors in it (Steve Buscemi, for instance), so you wouldn't think that it would be that hard to get it distributed. However, the film itself is about "the making of an independent feature that nobody wants, at least that's what money man Alan Smithee thinks." So this independent film that can't find a distributor is about an independent film that can't find a distributor. Which suggests that the site is a viral hoax marketing campaign that plays upon the premise of the movie. Or maybe they really can't find a distributor. I don't know. Either way, I've allowed myself to be sucked into their publicity campaign.
Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005.   Comments (9)

Cast of Survivor Are Just Actors — Here's some truly shocking news. The most recent castoff from Survivor claims that "one-third of the castaways are actually professional models who are appearing on the show after being cast through their agencies." I'm devestated. How could they do such a thing? Although I stopped watching Survivor two years ago because it got too boring, I still regarded it as a single shining beacon of truth and honesty in this otherwise corrupt world. Now I have nothing left to believe in.
Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2005.   Comments (25)

Rock ‘n’ Roll Urban Legends — The Guardian offers their selection of the 10 greatest rock 'n' roll myths ever. Top of the list is the one about Mama Cass choking to death on a ham sandwich. It was also news to me to find out that Michael Jackson doesn't own the Elephant Man skeleton. I always thought he did.
Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005.   Comments (9)

Allegra Cole — image I just got an email from Bob Pagani (aka Cranky Media Guy) pointing out that one of the female characters in Will Smith's new movie Hitch is named Allegra Cole. This sounds as if it's a homage to Allegra Coleman, who was a hoax movie star created by Esquire back in 1996. Not having seen Hitch yet, I have no idea why its creator would have wanted to include this allusion to a hoax from the 1990s. Is the Allegra Cole character fake or artificial in some way? Looking at my page about Allegra Coleman, I also noticed an eerie similarity between her and the girl from the Dusty ads. Just a coincidence, or does this have some kind of deeper meaning?
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005.   Comments (45)

Abel Raises Caine — Back when I was writing The Museum of Hoaxes (the book) I exchanged a few emails with Jenny Abel, daughter of professional hoaxer Alan Abel. During the course of our correspondence she mentioned that she was making a movie about her father. Now I see that she's completed the movie, titled Abel Raises Caine. It can be seen at the Slamdance Film Festival in LA next week. Phil Reisman describes it in this way (his article also tells about some of Abel's more famous hoaxes):

It's an entertaining and at moments a laugh-out-loud film about growing up in a creative, dysfunctional family in the vein of "Capturing the Friedmans" and "Crumb," but minus the sinister elements that made those documentaries especially creepy. Using archival footage of now defunct talk shows, press conferences and long-forgotten news broadcasts, Jenny Abel attempts to explain her antic father, who has never held a 9-to-5 job and it would appear has never had much of an attachment to the truth. About anything.

The only Abel hoax I describe on this website is his most famous one, the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals. But I included many more of his hoaxes in my book. I've been meaning to describe more of his hoaxes on this site for ages. Just never got around to it.
Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005.   Comments (2)

Secret Ingredient Scam — I spent my Sunday night watching FoodTV's new show, Iron Chef America. I've long been a fan of the original Japanese Iron Chef, but I quite liked Food TV's adaptation of it. However, I was upset to read in this NY Times article that the 'secret ingredient' presented to the chefs at the beginning of the competition isn't that secret after all:

Both teams are readier for the challenge than most viewers realize. They have come to Kitchen Stadium knowing that they will be cooking with one of two ingredients, striped bass or buffalo, a choice negotiated in advance with the network.

Hmm. Instead of calling it the 'Secret Ingredient' perhaps they should call it the 'Previously Negotiated and Agreed Upon Ingredient'.
Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2005.   Comments (23)

Toilet Paper Rejected By Beatles — image Up for sale on eBay is a roll of toilet paper rejected by the Beatles. It supposedly once occupied the toilet in the E.M.I. Abbey Road Studios in 1962 when the Beatles were recording there, but it was removed because the Beatles found it to be too hard and shiny. Plus, it had E.M.I. printed on it, which the Fab Four thought to be a bit strange. Bidding has already reached over £5,000. If you're a Beatles fan it would be a pretty cool souvenir, but my question is how anyone can be sure that this is the actual roll removed from the bathroom? What if it's just an old roll of E.M.I. toilet paper?
Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005.   Comments (8)

Aural Policing — According to an article in the Economist, quoted here by the Washington Monthly blog, a British grocery store chain has been successfully deterring rowdy youths from hanging around their stores by playing classical music. Mozart and Pavarotti appear to be especially potent at warding off juvenile delinquents. The same technique has been working in underground stations. Something about this strikes me as a bit odd. Why would it work? Just because the kids don't like having to listen to classical music? Could it really be that easy? Perhaps it is.
Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2005.   Comments (26)

Rent A Midget — image What's the one thing sure to liven up any party? How about a midget? That's not the answer that would have occurred to me, but it's the premise behind Rent A Midget, a California company that rents out midgets (or little people) to 'hang out at parties'. Based on their website, this company looks real enough, though the only way to be certain would be to go ahead and try to rent a midget through them. The midget entertainment options range from "Midget Strip Shows, to Christmas Cookie Servers or Office Pranks." As shocking and slightly cruel as the idea sounds, I suppose it's no different than what circuses have been doing for centuries (i.e. using midgets as entertainers).
Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005.   Comments (97)

867-5309 — There's a well known urban legend about the phone number 867-5309. Supposedly phone companies no longer issue this number to customers because of the popularity of that Tommy Tutone song from the '80s, "Jenny (867-5309)", about a guy trying to call a girl named Jenny whose number he sees on a wall. Dan Wiki (not sure if that's really his last name) set out to prove this urban legend wrong. How? By dialing every 867-5309 in the country. He got a list of all the area codes and set to work. The results are posted on his site. He lists in bold the numbers for which someone claiming to be Jenny actually answered. I couldn't resist calling some of the numbers for myself. All my results were identical to his.
Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2005.   Comments (20)

Imagine John Lennon Singing Pro-War Songs in Heaven — image Ever wondered how John Lennon is getting along in Heaven? According to 'internationally known' psychic Linda Polley he's doing very well. She's been channeling his spirit and reporting on what's going on with him. You can read all the latest news on the John Lennon and George Harrison's Official Website from the Afterlife. The biggest surprise is that John has "officially divorced his former partner Yoko Ono Lennon for her support of homosexuality" and decided to marry a dancer named Mary Marie Francesca. Oh, and John has also penned many news songs, which he shares with the people back on earth via Linda Polley. Most of the songs are about his new pro-war views and his strong support for the Bush administration's policies in Iraq. For instance, one recent work is titled Hussein's Butt Song (it's all about how we kicked Hussein's butt), and there's also the catchy Vote for Allawi! To be honest, I'm not sure whether or not any of this is meant to be taken seriously (I kind of suspect it is). But one thing I do find oddly incongruous. Linda Polley claims that all the songs have been composed by John Lennon, and yet she simultaneously makes a point of claiming copyright, warning that "None of the lyrics or the audio files may be copied without the precise consent of Speaker Linda Polley." But if John Lennon wrote the songs, why does she own the copyright?
Posted: Mon Dec 27, 2004.   Comments (36)

10 Best Film Urban Legends — Filmthreat.com has a list of the "10 BEST URBAN LEGENDS IN FILM HISTORY". It's an interesting list, but I think they've chosen an odd choice for number one: the 'urban legend' about President Woodrow Wilson allegedly remarking that the ultra-racist film Birth of a Nation was like "history written with lightning" and "all terribly true." I've heard these comments attributed to Wilson many times. In fact, I can remember sitting in quite a few classes and listening to the lecturer make this exact claim. The remarks also appear in numerous history books. To be honest, until I read filmthreat's list I wasn't aware that there was any controversy about their truthfulness. Personally, I think Filmthreat may be cutting Wilson too much slack. While they point out that there's no definite evidence that he said these comments, there is anecdotal evidence that he did say them. When this is combined with Wilson's well-known views about race (he was the president who chose to resegregate the federal government after it was desegregated following the Civil War), it doesn't seem that unlikely that he might have said words to this effect, even if it wasn't those exact words.
Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2004.   Comments (5)

Hometown Tales — Here's a TV show I'd be interested in seeing: Hometown Tales. It's all about various hoaxy/folklore-type things that happen in communities throughout America. The show also has a blog. Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to ever see the program because it's only on public access channels in New Jersey. Well, if they ever make it to the San Diego area I could definitely find some hoaxy things to share with them, such as the landing spot on Mt. Palomar where George Adamski first made contact with the Venusian Scoutcraft (I think I'm one of the few people ever to check it out... It's now a baseball field). Or the Monster of Deadman's Hole.
Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004.   Comments (1)

Page 4 of 8 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 >  Last ›