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4 Pieces of Pop Culture That Inspired Unlikely Things

Sometimes research for one article leads to the creation of another. As I researched "5 Bizarre Inspirations Behind Famous Movie Scenes," I kept finding examples of that same idea outside of the world of film. Turns out you can be inspired to do things other than spend millions of dollars to make movies that Internet nerds will endlessly debate and fawn over for decades. You can be inspired by anything for whatever it is you're doing! What a world!

So here are examples of some unusual things that inspired famous works.

(For some inspiration of your own, watch Cracked's new mini-series Rom.Com.)

#4. "Rock Lobster" Got John Lennon Off His Ass and Back to Making Music

Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

After the birth of his son Sean, John Lennon did pretty much nothing other than raise his kid for a solid five years, only occasionally recording demos in his apartment. He learned to make bread. That was newsworthy, I guess. The guy just wanted to lead the beautiful, unglamorous life of a dad, as opposed to the one of a music legend. Can't blame him. When you've got Beatles money, screw it -- take a century off.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Or enjoy lifelong irrelevancy in style!

The Inspiration:

In 1979, an avant-garde new wave band from Atlanta called the B-52s released their debut single, "Rock Lobster," a song that, if it hasn't already, should be used as the inspiration for a SyFy Channel Original Movie about mutant lobsters that kill people during a 1960s beach party.

In 1980, John Lennon found himself in a club in Bermuda called Disco 40, which was split into two levels: disco upstairs, new wave downstairs. Lennon went downstairs. Later, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon said, "I suddenly heard 'Rock Lobster' by the B-52s for the first time. Do you know it? It sounds just like Yoko's music, so I said to myself, 'It's time to get out the old ax and wake the wife up!'"

Joan Athey/Peaceworks Now Productions
John Lennon strums wife while sitting beside ax.

Like a retired Rambo being called in for one last mission, "Rock Lobster" convinced John Lennon it was time to make music again. He and Ono traded off writing duties on what would eventually become the album Double Fantasy. Three weeks after its release, John Lennon was murdered. A year later, Double Fantasy won the Grammy for Album of the Year. John Lennon wouldn't have had that one last hurrah if not for one of the silliest songs ever written.

#3. An Eddie Murphy Movie Inspired the Creation of Wall Street Regulation

Paramount Pictures

For a long, long time, it was perfectly legal for a high-strung, coked-out Wall Street commodity trader to use "misappropriated government information" to gain an advantage in commodity futures trading. All that bullshit jargon means that insider trading used to be totally 100 percent A-OK when trading on the commodity market. And it wasn't even that long ago. That is, until ...

The Inspiration:

... someone in Washington finally watched the 1983 Eddie Murphy movie Trading Places and then created a regulatory law based on it. In the movie, a rich white guy (Dan Aykroyd) and a poor black guy (Eddie Murphy) unwittingly become test subjects in a social experiment conducted by evil Wall Street tycoons, the Duke brothers. The film's climax revolves around the Duke brothers trying to use "misappropriated government information" to corner the frozen concentrated orange juice market and make a ton of cash.

Paramount Pictures
Of course, we all remember the landmark Norbit Banishment to the Lower Regions of Walmart Movie Bins Act of 2007.

On March 3, 2010, Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, gave testimony to Congress in which he specifically singled out Trading Places as the source of inspiration for his recommendation to ban insider trading on commodity markets. In July of 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and buried within it is the "Eddie Murphy Rule," a law that bans insider trading on commodity markets. So when you see Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd on the beach at the end of the movie, understand that they didn't have to become cheating scumbags to defeat cheating scumbags. It was all perfectly legal, and that's terrifying.

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