It's tempting to think that the inspiration for all the best bits of modern pop culture was beamed down from the heavens directly into the minds of genius artists because the universe felt that life just wouldn't have made sense otherwise. But the truth is, even great pieces of fiction can sometimes be the result of a series of bizarrely bad decisions and idiotic ideas, and nowhere has this been more evident than with the origins of iconic fictional characters. For example ...
#4. Marge Simpson Has Such Big Hair Because She Was Originally Meant to Be a Rabbit
With all the insanity that permeates every episode of The Simpsons, it seems childishly pedantic to criticize something as insignificant as the main characters' hairdos, which is why I'm going to do that right now. What the hell is up with all the weird hairdos in the Simpson family? It just makes no sense: Homer has a comb-over with only three strands of hair; Bart, Lisa, and Maggie can't even tell themselves where their skin ends and their hair begins; and, as for Marge -- my God, how can a person live her life with hair the size of King Kong's dick?
Though I suppose that comparison would depend on the individual Kong. No judgment. Just saying ...
But, according to the audio commentary for the episode "Selma's Choice," there is a perfectly rational explanation for Marge Simpson's iconic look. Apparently, all that hair was originally meant to conceal a pair of rabbit ears, and for all of you needy bastards who insist on fancy stuff like context: it actually turns out that this was all part of M. Night Groening's plan to reveal in the final episode of the series that Marge Simpson isn't human at all but, in fact, an anthropomorphic rabbit. (The funniest thing about that is Groening thinking that The Simpsons would actually end one day. Bless his heart.)
The whole idea actually goes back to Matt Groening's Life in Hell, a comic strip featuring a bunch of anthropomorphic rabbits and two gay guys wearing fez hats, because randomness equals comedy.
CUSTARD DILDO! See? Hilarious.
All right, all right; I actually do like Life in Hell and wish it had its own TV series, but where I merely wished, Groening acted by trying to sneak a character from the comic into The Simpsons. That's right: Marge wasn't supposed to be just a random cartoon rabbit. She was meant to be a character straight out of Life in Hell. But then he had time to think about it and decided that the idea was just too silly for a cartoon that, while admittedly out there at times, does generally strive for semi-realistic humor. He still gave Marge rabbit ears in The Simpsons Arcade Game, because, as mentioned before, randomness equals ORANGE PORCUPINE MITTENS!
Thankfully, that was the last time anyone would try to combine Marge Simpson and rabbits to create something truly disturbing ...
Seriously, whose idea was this?
#3. The Incredible Hulk Is Sometimes Called "David" Because "Bruce" Is "Too Gay"
Prejudice against gay people is never funny, but sometimes you come across homophobia that's so misguided and unrelated to anything in the real world that you just can't get angry at it. Instead, you want to grab its face, pull it closer to you, and ask what combination of booze and locked basements has made it this way, which naturally brings me to the 1978 TV series The Incredible Hulk. You know, the one where Hulk looked as if he was in a hair metal band.
The thing that I love most about this show is that it still manages to keep your attention while mainly focusing on Bill Bixby's character, Dr. David Banner, the man behind the Hulk. They really emphasize the loneliness that he feels as he isolates himself from society out of fear that his alter ego will hurt an innocent person. Now, try to guess which part of what I just wrote has anything to do with homophobia, then immediately give up because it was actually the offhand mention that Bixby's character is named David Banner.
Some of you might have already noticed that this is not Dr. Banner's first name, which has always been Bruce, or if you want to get technical, Robert Bruce.
Paramount Pictures/20th Century Fox
Boy, wouldn't that have been a different movie ...?
The point is that Dr. Banner has never been called David, unless you're talking about Hulk's father in the 2003 movie, which we're not, so why even bring it up, me? So ... why was the name changed for the TV show? Well, rumor has it that Kenneth Johnson, the show's creator, producer, writer, director, and probably janitor, didn't want to use the name Bruce because he thought that it sounded too stereotypically gay. As in, he apparently knew so many flaming gay guys named Bruce that he opted not to call his main character that out of fear that the audience would confuse his show for an episode of The Brady Bunch Hour or something. You know, Kenneth, that's awfully judgmental for a guy fucking named Johnson.
You'd think a man who knows comics wouldn't dare to say anything negative about a name shared by Batman, but he was probably too distracted by yet another chart-topping album from a certain flamboyantly gay rock star and his E Street Band. Though, admittedly, Johnson wasn't the only person to ever look at Hulk and have his thoughts jump straight to homosexuality from a springboard shaped like an erect penis. For example, in 1980, Marvel Comics did pretty much the exact same thing, the result of which was a horrifying comic about Bruce Banner almost getting man-raped in the YMCA showers.
Boy, wouldn't that have been a different movie ...?