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Where Aren't They Now? 13 Overlooked Deaths of 2009

#6.
September 21: The Voice of Wilbur the Pig

Who:

Henry Gibson, also known as "oh yeah, that guy!" was an actor and songwriter who was in pretty much everything--from The Blues Brothers to Magnolia to the voice of Wilbur in the 1973 version of Charlotte's Web.

Oh god, Wilbur's dead?

That's like finding out the guy who voiced Mickey Mouse di- oh, right. There you go, folks. 2009: The year that murdered childhood.

How:

Cancer, a week before his 74th birthday.

The Legacy:

He was, truly, "Some pig!"

That seems somehow less respectful than we meant it.

#5.
September 22: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Who:

Lucy O'Donnell Vodden, the inspiration for the Beatle's Song, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," was a classmate of John Lennon's son Julian in 1966. Julian supposedly drew a picture of her flying in the sky, surrounded by diamonds, and there was absolutely no further subtext.

How:

Lupus.

The Legacy:

Following Lennon's example, many modern artists now look to the darling antics of children for their inspiration. For example, Afroman's song "Because I Got High" is understood to be about his young nephew's prohibitive vertigo. Placebo's "Special K" was written after Brian Moloko's niece's love for cereal. And Cypress Hill even composed a song in the same vein, called "Hits from the Bong" about how much B-Real's daughter loves playing her bongo drums.

#4.
October 13: Johnny Fontane

Who:

Al Martino: singer, actor, purveyor of horse heads.

He was a popular crooner from the 50s to the 70s, but we mostly remember him as Johnny Fontane--the Frank Sinatra-esque character from The Godfather.

How:

Natural causes.

The Legacy:

The Godfather did more harm to Italian stereotypes than anyone else we can think of. Except for maybe...

#3.
October 14: "Captain" Lou Albano a.k.a. Super Mario

Who:

Lou Albano was a professional wrestler. His successful career in that field led to attention from Hollywood, cameos in four Cyndi Lauper videos and eventually the starring role as Super Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Thereby permanently scarring children all across the world, who didn't have a mental picture of Mario as a giant, filthy, bearded psychopath who beats people with chairs on the other channels.

How:

Natural causes.

The Legacy:

For better or worse, to us he will always be an Italian plumber with a penchant for stomping non-threatening animals to death. God rest your soul, good sir, and may there be no turtles in Heaven; only fields of Fire Flowers as far as the eye can see.

#2.
October 22: No More Lunch with Soupy

Who:

Soupy Sales comedian and host of the children's show Lunch with Soupy Sales.

Sales is literally the only reason that a pie to the face is now a comedy cliche. Throughout his career, he claims to have been hit with over 20,000 pies. Take that, starving children of the world!

How:

Cancer.

The Legacy:

The introduction of the idea that it is OK to hit a person in the face with foodstuffs for laughs. For modern day jokes that would be impossible without Sales ground-breaking work, see Paula Dean; Ham hock.

#1.
November 5: Pop Culture John Wilkes Booth

Who:

Evan Chandler, also known as the father of the first child to accuse Michael Jackson of molestation.

So he was some kind of hero, right? He took down the biggest figure in pop culture for sexual perversion, so surely this was all for the positive. Except for the rumor that immediately after Evan's death his son, Jordan Chandler, came clean and admitted that none of it ever happened.

How:

Apparent suicide.

The Legacy:

So what if that was true? Without Chandler's accusations, Michael Jackson's life could have unfolded completely differently. He may have wound up just being the weird looking King of Pop, and a good deal of the shame and stigma that surrounds his name would be non-existent. We're not necessarily dismissing the validity of the other cases that later came up against Jackson, but Chandler was the one who first put the idea out there (and Jackson would frequently go on record afterward protesting that subsequent charges were only brought against him because people saw that he would settle after Chandler's case).


"THESE CLAIMS ARE OUTRAGEOUS!"

So it's possible that it's only because of Evan Chandler that today every hack makes a knee-jerk child molestation joke whenever they hear syllables that even remotely resemble "Michael Jackson."




Lisa-Skye Ioannidis is an Australian writer and comedian. Her next show, Supermanchild, will be at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

Do you have something funny to say about a random topic? You could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow. Go here and find out how to create a Topic Page.

And check out some people whose cojognes are larger than life (and death), in 7 People Who Cheated Death (Then Kicked It In The Balls). Or find out about some folks who probably wish they had died, in 6 People Who Faked Their Own Death (For Ridiculous Reasons).

And stop by our Top Picks (Updated 12.29.2009) to see the Cracked intern deaths we overlooked right until now (when we discovered the source of that weird smell).

And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get dick jokes sent straight to your news feed.

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