We all have our favorite television shows. Some of us live and die by Seinfeld when it was on while some people watch shows like Game of Thrones religiously. Whatever it is that makes you love your favorite programs, there are a few people who can convince you otherwise. And even after they no longer air, you find yourself watching reruns or streaming your favorites to relive those moments that made you laugh, cry, or gasp with emotion.
But, how much do you really know about your favorite shows? If you’re a maniac (and we mean that in the most complimentary of ways) for your favorite entertainment, then probably a lot. But, if you’re a casual fan like most of the audience, you might be shocked to find out some of the wacky secrets or behind-the-scenes moments that made some of these shows both popular and strange.
Some of the things that happened while these shows were being produced were actually kind of messed up. Your favorite actors were not always good people. The directors’ and producers’ actions will tell you what the talents had to put up with or you’ll be shocked to find out that the stars of the show frankly hated each other.
We’ve compiled a list of 15 of the most messed-up and zany moments behind some of the most popular television shows in history. Share and comment. There are plenty more where these came from, and if this list becomes popular enough, we might be able to produce 15 more.
15. Evan Peters Flashed The Cast Of American Horror Story
Evan Peters has been an up-and-coming face in television and film over the past five years or so, but it’s not his face that his co-stars on American Horror Story “Asylum” were upset that they saw.
Once while shooting, Peters accidentally flashed Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson. He was covering his privates with a sock, and it was meant to stay underneath the hospital gown that he had on. He figured that would be enough to ensure that he didn’t provide anyone with a show they weren’t prepared for. But when he bent over, the sock didn’t quite do the trick. The two actresses got an eyeful on the first day of shooting. And trying to make him feel less uncomfortable about the whole thing, Paulson kissed Peters on the cheek. Which cheek, you ask? We don’t know.
14. No Mustaches Allowed
There was a time that if you worked with, for, or at Fox, you weren’t allowed to have a mustache. For some reason, that was a Gail Berman rule that applied to all men in comedies. They were outlawed, as were hats and fluffy shirts. That made things tricky for David Cross whose character in Arrested Development was partially known for his mustache.
Not willing to give up without a fight, he had to plea to the studio for the right to keep it and be the exception to the “no mustache policy.” The policy is no longer in place and Cross wound up being one of the funniest parts of the show, so everything worked out as it should. Luckily, Netflix doesn’t enforce a “no mustache policy” because Cross is back and so is his facial hair.
13. Bob’s Burgers
The show we all know as Bob’s Burgers now is not what it was originally intended to be. It was originally scripted and pitched by Loren Bouchard as “a family of cannibals” who own and operate a restaurant. Fox almost greenlit the show anyway, but the cannibalism part had them hesitating. Eventually, they decided not to move forward unless that part of the premise was dropped. You will see a little bit of a nod to the idea in the pilot.
This was probably the biggest change, although moving Tina’s character from the eldest brother to the eldest sister was also a pretty big swap.The show kept the voice actor, Dan Mintz, to voice Tina’s role; he just had to voice it a little differently. Could you imagine what the show would have been if Tina was a boy and the family ate other people?
12. A Perfect Alibi
The show Curb Your Enthusiasm actually saved a man from going to prison for life. Apparently, Juan Catalan was arrested and sentenced on the charge of murder, spending five months in jail before he spent nearly five months when he was shown on a footage of an episode of the show that was being filmed at a Los Angeles Dodgers game.
It wound up that Catalan had the perfect alibi that came just a bit too late. For his troubles, he was awarded $320,000 in a police misconduct lawsuit. He was later completely cleared of the murder charge and undoubtedly, Larry David wound up with some fantastic material for an idea for a show. Talk about a good time and the right time to be a Dodgers fan.
11. Big Mouth Franco
If you ever wanted to know just how fickle Hollywood can be, consider that Paul Feig and Judd Apatow almost didn’t hire James Franco because they thought that his mouth was too big. Yes, they actually thought Franco had too large a mouth for his face to be a star.
They did hire him and placed him in the role of the small-town boy who was more like a sidekick. But when the women in Feig and Apatow’s office started swooning over Franco, the guys realized that maybe they’d missed something. Fortunately, they chose him because today, Franco is a huge star and has a great relationship with the entire group of actors who are known for being in Apatow’s films. Franco might have a big mouth but he’s using it to cash in big time.
10. Man Slave Perry
There were all sorts of goofy antics behind the scenes on the show Friends. In one unique instance, Matthew Perry ended up as Courteney Cox‘s “man slave” because he lost a bet about which movie Anthony Michael Hall had delivered a famous line from. The choices were Mad Science or The Breakfast Club, and Cox wound up getting right.
Cox went on the Jay Leno Show and told the world about the bet. After the story, she rang a bell which signaled her man-slave Perry to come out and bring her a box of tissues. The rib was apparently all in good fun but also speculated to have lasted over the course of a few months. For those who think that men are really just slaves to their wives’ every command, consider that Cox and Perry were married on the show, so it’s not like that type of relationship is too far from reality.
9. Doggy Dander
Star of the show How I Met Your Mother, Josh Radnor, is known to have a severe allergy of dog dander. The allergy is so bad that it made filming scenes with Robin’s dogs extremely difficult. Whenever he was going to have a film a portion of the show with the dogs, he had to carry extra Kleenex with him wherever he went. There was specifically a scene with a Dalmatian that got Radnor reacting so feverishly, the paramedics showed up. That’s when they knew for sure that the dogs had to be written out of the show.
There are other nuggets from the show as well, such as that Barney is the real inventor of the “Bro Code,” the clock in Marshall and Ted’s apartment is always set to 4:20, and Neil Patrick Harris made almost twice what every other actor on the show made per episode.
8. Chairman Fired For Making Hugely Profitable Decision
After the show Lost was approved, the pilot was filmed and wound up being so expensive that the Chairman of ABC was relieved of his duties for greenlighting it. The pilot was budgeted at $12 million and Disney was not happy about it at all (most pilots are at most $4 million). At that point, there wasn’t even a script written.
Speaking of the pilot, the original character of Jack was supposed to be played by Michael Keaton and killed off in the show. ABC was not happy about killing the main hero, so they told the producers to can the idea, and Keaton backed out of the role because he didn’t want to commit to a full schedule on television.
7. Quite The Nickname
The character Red from the show Orange is the New Black has an entire backstory about her nickname, and it isn’t necessarily because of the color of her hair. The theories range from her Russian background and connection to communism, or some called it paying homage to Morgan Freeman‘s character in The Shawshank Redemption. It might also be her hair.
Backstories like this are not at all common in television shows. And in some cases, they are intentionally left out so that fans of the show can run away with their own theories. With shows like Orange is the New Black having the cult following that they do, it makes sense that people would question where the nickname came from even if the writers only ever thought to give her red hair.
6. Americans Do Know How To Vote
It’s a sad day when you realize that more people vote on reality television shows than vote on who it is they want to be the next President of the United States. Well, that’s what happened when Americans turned out in more droves to cast votes for American Idol‘s Taylor Hicks than they voted for presidential candidate Ronald Reagan in 1984. Granted, in 1984, there were no smartphones, no social media, and no American Idol.
Still, there were almost 10 million more votes cast for Hicks than when Reagan won. If they allowed people to vote more than once for a President, do you think it would help increase voter turnout? It seems to work for American Idol, which is making a comeback to network television.
5. Scary Daddy Syndrome
Seinfeld was known as being one of the funniest shows ever made. But, there was an oh so funny moment that ruined a major potential character and changed the direction of Elaine’s character forever. Elaine was supposed to have a father on the show who showed up in more than one episode. But the actor, Lawrence Tierney, was such a loose cannon and so scary to the rest of the cast that he was immediately written off the show.
He, at one point, stole a butcher knife from the set, and when producers tried to talk to him about it, he made the Psycho stabbing gestures toward Jerry Seinfeld, and that was pretty much the end for him.
4. Bunny Ears?
Okay, this one is quite out of left field and almost too weird to believe. Marge Simpson was originally supposed to have bunny ears. Yes, underneath the now world-famous blue hairdo, she was supposed to have a pair of bunny ears that she would be hiding from everyone. Thank goodness the other writers immediately shot the idea down. It would have completely changed everything we know about Marge.
The Simpsons is, however, full of all sorts of little trinkets that the other writers allowed. Mr. Burns is actually a distant relative of Homer, the characters were colored yellow to ensure that channel flippers stopped, and one of Cletus’ kids name is Crystal Meth. Speaking of hair, Bart’s hair never has any more or less than nine points in it.
3. You Killed Kenny!
The character Kenny in South Park is based on someone who Trey Parker, one of the writers, actually attended school with when he was younger. The nonfictional Kenny Trey Parker was always wearing an orange parka that made it impossible to understand what he was saying. Since the real-life Kenny often missed school, other students joked that Kenny had died. When he showed up again at school the next day, Kenny wasn’t dead. That was until the next time he missed. It became a running joke.
Ironically, the character, Kenny, affected one more than one real-life person. A child in Canada was being teased at school because his classmates would refer to him as Kenny from the show. The child himself hated it when Kenny died, and the mother asked Parker and Stone to change the name. They tossed her request.
2. Fake Survivors
Television shows will do odd things in an effort to make their shows look more beautiful. The show Survivor was no exception to that. Producers used fake “survivor” body doubles in overhead aerial shots and recreated the contestants with fake survivors to give the audience something more pleasing to the eye.
Other elements of the way the show was shot have changed over time. Jeff Probst got rid of the “gong” that was sounded before each tribal council because it was corny. He also ditched the shell that was passed around and signified that someone had the floor to speak. Beaches have been used multiple times in different shows and sometimes the settings are only a few miles from highly-populated areas. The show would never let you see that though.
1. Will Smith, The Bad Actor
Will Smith considered himself such a bad actor when he first started on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that he used to memorize everybody else’s lines and would mumble them under his breath while his fellow actors were trying to act out their scenes. He says he’s seen the footage back and can’t believe that he was so insecure and so bad.
To prove that it wasn’t just a one-time insecurity, Smith was also not sure about what would happen if he had another character name, so he talked the producers into letting him keep his real name for the show. That way, no one would even think to call him by his character name when he was not on set. He wanted to be always known as Will Smith and nothing else.
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