Imagine Darth Vader snarling "Luke, I'm your father." Or picture Captain Kirk saying "Beam me up, Scotty." Some pop culture moments are so iconic that they've been burned into our nerd brains forever. Except that neither of those things ever happened. Sure, the stuff we remember is pretty close, but for whatever reason, we twisted the real stuff up, and rephrased and reworked it in our brains until we hear the wrong lines being delivered. And there's more ...
5 Jerry Seinfeld Never Started A Joke With "What's The Deal With ___?"
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Do a Seinfeld impression. Did you start it with "What's the deal with ___?" Of course you did. That's his whole bit. Seinfeld coined the line early in his standup career as a means to ridicule life's banality, which he then parlayed into a comedy series, which he then parlayed into more money than God's accountant (c'mon, you know that guy is skimming).
But no, in his nearly 40 years of standup, Seinfeld has never started a joke with "What's the deal with ___?" So why can you picture it so clearly? There's good reason for the confusion. Seinfeld did say those words, but as a parody of bad observational comedy. He first uttered the infamous phrase on Saturday Night Live in 1992. In the sketch, Seinfeld hosts a game show, and contestants are asked to explain "the deal with" various comedy cliches, such as airline food, 7-11 employees, and Gilligan's Island:
Maybe people missed the "parody of hacky comedians" aspect with Rob Schneider and Adam Sandler onstage.
The sketch was meant to lampoon the dozens of pastel-blazer-clad hacks who began lurking around comedy clubs in the wake of Seinfeld's success. Seinfeld also used the phrase as a self-referential bit on his sitcom, like when his character purposefully tanked his set with jokes like "What's the deal with cancer?" The problem was that the parody worked too well -- we all crossed it up in our minds, and now only remember Seinfeld as the kind of hack he mocked. He is his own worst enemy. We assume he cries himself to sleep about that every night on his giant bed made out of exotic cars and unicorn feathers.
4 The Comedian Sinbad Never Played A Genie
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Sinbad is best remembered for his breakout appearance on Star Search, those commercials where he played a sassy latex condom, and of course, that classic movie where he played a genie. You can picture him now: poofy genie pants, too-small unbuttoned vest, like some kind of weird little ... wish ... hat? Or wait, was it a TV show? Was there, like, a black I Dream Of Jeannie at some point? That's a very good question -- one that has been asked many times, from Reddit to Yahoo Answers.
But no, Sinbad never actually granted anyone's wish.
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Except for when he seemingly disappeared in the early 2000s.
There was only one terrible actor who played a black genie in the '90s: Shaquille O'Neal, star of Kazaam. Some think we're simply confusing Sinbad with Shaq, which is honestly ... not that forgivable at all. Shaq is an actual giant; Sinbad is merely a giant of comedy.
When asked about his nonexistent genie role during a Reddit AMA, Sinbad answered: "It was SHAQ SHAQ SHAQ. But we all look alike." Except one of them is literally twice the man of the other. That can't be all there is to this, right?
Which is exactly what people said five minutes into Kazaam.
Maybe not: The fictional Sinbad the sailor did interact with the occasional genie. Combine that with the comedian's often-cringeworthy attire, which could only be explained by him being a magical creature who has never seen a real shirt before, and maybe we all made the logical assumption that this black man clearly grants wishes.