Film and television are so detached from the real world in so many ways that we often forget that they affect the lives of many people. This can obviously be for both the bad and the good, but it can be good to remind ourselves that these are real people doing a job sometimes, especially when it gives us a chance to take a look behind the curtain in a way that we rarely get to. Seriously, do you ever think about the sorts of things that must go on behind closed doors, away from the prying eyes of the audience? Think about it. It’s not as if people are going to talk about it because they’d lose their job for causing damage to either the show or the network. However, once the show is over, then it’s time to spill the beans.
We decided that it was about time you got to hear about some of these stories, so we threw together some of our favorite behind-the-scenes stories that you won’t believe. These range from the disgusting, the crass, and the sexual, but we can promise you now that this list is definitely NSFW, so bear that in mind while you start to take a look.
So, ready to learn about what happened during the filming of some of your favorite television shows? We can promise you that some of these will definitely come as surprises, while others will probably be exactly what you expected from those famous types.
15. Saved By The Bell Was Constantly Derailed By Screech
It’s no secret that some television shows have managed to age a lot better than others, but we think that everyone who worked on Saved By The Bell is quite aware of how badly their show has aged. Not only do the fashion sense of the characters and the graphic design of the titles sequence scream “out of touch!”, but even one of the actors has aged terribly, specifically Dustin Diamond who played Screech. However, many people who worked on the show might insist that age has done very little to Diamond and that he’s actually always been like this. The guy was the youngest actor on the set and made up for this, according to himself, by playing disgusting pranks on extras and trying to sleep with every single woman whom he came across. In the book that he wrote about his time with the show, he takes the time to insult pretty much everyone and spread slanderous lies about them as well. Seems like nothing has changed.
14. Star Trek: The Next Generation Could Get Pretty Smelly
Believe it or not, there are actually people in this world who have to spend a lot of time thinking about the practicality of set and costume design. Sure, it’s never crossed your mind, but it’s an important job that needs to be done. If nobody does, then you can end up with a little bit of a Star Trek: The Next Generation sort of problem. If you have no idea what we’re talking about — and you probably don’t — then you haven’t heard that the set of the TNG was famed for smelling absolutely terrible. Unbeknownst to the people working on the show, spandex apparently likes to suck up pretty much every single smell that the human body can create. Sadly, by the time that the spandex smell had crept into the nostrils of everyone on set, it was already too late, and the cast was stuck wearing their own fart smell around at work.
13. Patrick Stewart Still Got Pretty NSFW Though…
You would think that with every human on set smelling as bad as physically possible that pretty much any chance of an NSFW moment was ripped away from the cast immediately. We don’t know about you, but we’d find it hard to even joke about that sort of thing if all we could think about was how smelly every human being around us was, no matter how beautiful or revealing their costumes were. Well, it looks like Patrick Stewart is a lot more committed than we are because Wil Wheaton claims that Stewart liked to goof off quite a bit between scenes. Once, he actually asked the young man to perform oral sex on him, using his rank as Captain to hold some joke authority over the poor guy. We’re sure Wheaton took it as a joke, but still, the thought of doing that to somebody who smelt like an entire day of sweat doesn’t appeal to us.
12. The Women Of Friends Were Actually Sexually Scared Of Matt LeBlanc
So, we all know that starting a new job can be a pretty stressful experience, especially when your job entails you being filmed for national television. However, throw in the possibility that one of your co-workers may be somewhat aggressive, and you’ve got a recipe for a panic attack. Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox have admitted that before meeting Matt LeBlanc, they were very worried and paranoid about what he could be like. Having read the scripts, they’d seen what Joey was like and didn’t want to end up working with somebody similar who was somewhat of a lad who was sexually aggressive. Once they finally got to know him, however, they realized that their fears were unfounded, but we can imagine that the first couple days of filming were pretty tense, trying to figure out if they could trust this guy or whether he was just as disarming as the character he was playing.
11. The Mighty Morphin’ Homophobic Power Rangers
So, if you don’t know much about the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie and the show that quickly followed it, you’ll likely have no idea that the actor who played the US version of the original blue Power Ranger was a gay person. Obviously, this isn’t that big a deal these days, but back then, people were still pretty uncomfortable with the concept of homosexuality. Not only did the rest of the teen cast make fun of the guy for being gay, but the producers and other higher ups on the show would regularly use homophobic slurs when talking to him and referring to him. Yeah, we can’t really go into the sort of names we now want to call these people because it’s a family-friendly website, but if you’re a decent person, we think you can probably guess what sort of words we’re talking about right now.
10. The Thundercats Team Liked To Swear
We often forget while watching cartoons made for children that these things are put together by adults who have gone through their own childhoods and passed into the sort of crass and vulgar life that most of us lead. We’re protected from this aspect, though, as they wouldn’t want children to see their favorite characters spouting off swear words or talking about sex. However, there’s a leaked video online of outtakes from the show Thundercats, where voice actors fluff their lines while watching along with the show, usually ending in them swearing quite loudly. It’s only a minute long, but hearing the various characters say things beyond your childhood imagination can be quite jarring. If you ask us, these sorts of things should be protected extras on the DVD, just to give the parents something to watch when the kids have left the room or have been told to go to bed.
9. Captain Kangeroo Was A Major Flasher
We like to think that people who are allowed to work with children are vetted quite heavily to make sure that they haven’t got some weird past or practices that will come about during work. Don’t get us wrong; we’re talking about a time now passed, so we’re assuming — and hoping — that there are many more barriers placed between complete weirdos and children these days. However, they didn’t during the days of Captain Kangaroo, who used to try and put his colleagues off by flashing his penis as much as physically possible, sometimes dancing around while trying to keep something like a pencil wedged underneath his pants throughout the show. Sure, he never did this while actually in view of any children, but you’ve really got to ask yourself about why somebody in adulthood would do something like this while working on a show for children. There has to be something wrong with him.
8. The Little House On The Prairie Was Full Of Booze
When most people think of this show, their heads are probably filled with familial love not only because of the content provided by the characters but also because it was well known that the behind-the-scenes connections between many of the cast members were just as real. During the filming of the series, a young actress named “Melissa Gilbert” lost her father and turned to co-star Michael Landon to take on the role of her surrogate father. However, he was also sipping vodka from a coffee mug throughout the filming, leaving Gilbert with a pretty unhealthy attraction toward men who smelt of booze, something she’s admitted in her later life. It wasn’t only Landon who was heavily on booze either, as the crew working on set would reportedly get through at least a case of beer, sometimes going through three if they had to stick around for reshoots. They certainly were different times!
7. The ALF Set Was A Total Deathtrap
Speaking of different times in the world of television, a lot of the behind-the-scenes stories about the older shows concern how little health and safety protocol was followed. We’re not sure why, but it was just a generally held belief that if you worked in television or film more than two or three decades ago, you could be pretty sure that you would be sustaining pretty regular injuries. Some shows, such as ALF, took this even further. The creator insisted that there were fourteen separate puppeteers working on the set at once, all working through various trap doors. This meant that the entire cast was constantly walking across a living room-sized death trap, ones that they couldn’t always pay attention to, as their attention had to be on the other characters. Thankfully, and surprisingly, there were no major injuries throughout the filming of the show, if you can believe that.
6. The Price Is Right Had A Major Problem With Sexual Harassment
It’s no surprise that in a world that still seems to thrive on sexism that there are a lot of examples of sexism in showbiz. It’s a well-established fact that if you don’t look a certain way or act a certain way as a woman in showbiz, you can pretty much kiss your job goodbye, and if you don’t believe us, you can ask the numerous women who used to work on The Price Is Right. Many women have alleged that it was an accepted condition of their job that if the host Bob Barker wanted to sleep with you, he was going to sleep with you, or you could expect to be fired, with one woman being fired for “losing weight.” If that was true, it’d be a sickening reason to get rid of an employee. That being said, they didn’t really need to fire the women anyway, as they were forced to re-sign a contract every single week, thereby allowing the studio to throw them away whenever they wanted to.
5. Believe It Or Not, Growing Pains Was “Sexy”
Yeah, don’t worry that you’re misremembering the show. We can tell you right now that pretty much nothing was sexy about Growing Pains — unless you’re a puritanical Christian like Kirk Cameron. Seriously, this guy was against pretty much anything but fun while he worked on this show, which obviously led to some problems behind the scenes. As he was the face of the show and had become somewhat of a heartthrob, the studio was forced to give into many of Cameron’s demands, which included rewrites of scenes. One scene had Cameron’s character lay in bed with another character while they were acting in a play, which Cameron obviously objected to. However, the worst thing that Cameron did due to his supposed connection with the Lord was to have the actress playing his girlfriend fired from the show, as she had the audacity to appear on the cover of Playboy. Yeah, he really was a scumbag.
4. Martin Lawrence Got Way Too Grabby
Look, this is no excuse for the behavior we’re about to outline here, and it never is in any example, but are we so surprised that when we hand people so much success and money in one fell swoop that it turns them a bit funny? Martin Lawrence, while working on the show Martin, turned to drugs to deal with the stress of playing the lead role in a show that very quickly turned into an audience favorite. This also led to him physically threaten those working on the show with him, carrying a loaded firearm with him whenever he was on set and attempting to grope his leading lady, Tisha Campbell, in front of a live studio audience. Campbell then left the show once Lawrence started to threaten to kill his then-estranged wife. Generally speaking, if you’re offered fame and money, just try to get the money if you can.
3. Grace Under Fire Was A Chance For Brett Butler To Get Drunk
When you’re looking to cast a show, you might want to check whether or not the people that you get to work for you are struggling with some major personal problems. Brett Butler was an alcoholic who was also addicted to prescription painkillers, which made working with her on Grace Under Fire a total pain, to put it mildly. The show managed to go through a high number of producers, as Butler fought with all five of them throughout the series for creative control, a fight that wasn’t made any better by her drug dependency. During one rather lurid moment, she flashed the entire cast, including a child actor who quit not long after the incident, with her new boob job. Throw in a couple of public appearances on shows like Letterman, in which she claimed that the dying words of Walt Disney were less than complimentary about the Jewish faith, and you’ve got yourself a whole lot of problems crammed into a single woman. Unsurprisingly, the studio stopped the series midseason.
2. The A-Team Set Was About As Sexist As You’d Expect
This show, if you ask us, was probably made by a bunch of scientists trying to figure out exactly how they could make a show that was scientifically constructed to succeed with young boys. Is there a show on television that has ever epitomised an obsession with how strong and successful male outlaws are? If there is, we don’t know about it. However, this sort of mentality didn’t make the set a comfortable place for women. In fact, the four main characters generally treated the inclusion of women into “their” show as well as you’d treat the inclusion of urine on your ice cream. These guys didn’t want women on the show, and they let each and every one of the actresses know it, complaining that they slowed down the action. We’d like to think that things have gotten a lot better, but this could be a modern story, if you ask us.
1. Jim Henson Wasn’t As Family Friendly As You Think
Okay, so we don’t want to ruin too many childhoods here, but we really think that this story is worth telling because it adds a whole other awesome dimension to Jim Henson that we bet loads of people don’t know about. Henson once asked Frank Oz, one of the main voice actors on The Muppets, to duck into a room and allow Henson to photograph him nude with little to no explanation as to why he wanted to do this. Then, they left the room and didn’t speak about it for a while until Oz received a package from Henson around Christmas. Inside was a sculpture of Oz, one that captured every loving detail that Henson was known for in his work, but there was still something slightly off about it. The eyes were hollowed out. When Oz looked into the eyes, the naked photograph of him stared right back at him. Now that’s a great piece of genius from a fun and interesting creative mind.
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