#2. A World-Famous Drag Queen Inspired Ursula from The Little Mermaid
Soon after Harris Glenn Milstead became a fixture of the 1960s Maryland counterculture scene thanks to the massive parties he hosted while dressed in drag, he met film director John Waters. Waters nicknamed Milstead "Divine" and gave Divine starring roles in a bunch of his movies -- all of which were part of Waters' mission to make "the trashiest motion pictures in cinema history."
How trashy? Well, in Pink Flamingos -- a movie about two trashy families trying to out-trash each other -- Divine sells babies on the black market (not for real), sells heroin in an elementary school (not for real), has incestuous sex with her brother (the sex was real, but the incest wasn't) while crushing a live chicken (very real), and eats a chunk of dog shit just before the end credits rolled (totally 100 percent real; that link is a bit NSFW, by the way). It was a gross-out avant-garde comedic porno that turned Divine into an icon of the underground.
Divine singing a song, probably about how gross dog poop is.
When Disney animators were in the character design phase of The Little Mermaid, they took one look at the chicken-crushing, dog shit-munching drag queen that was Divine and said, "Let's put her in a Disney movie. You know, for kids." And, BAM! She was born:
I think that's where she sings the "I Just Licked a Whale Turd" song, right?
#1. The Millennium Falcon Was a Half-Eaten Burger
The Millennium Falcon: You know what it is, you know what it looks like, and you know it wipes its ass with parsecs. Here's something you might not know about Han Solo's iconic space hooptie: It almost looked like the ship we find Princess Leia in at the start of the original Star Wars movie.
When legendary Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie was first designing the Millennium Falcon, all the different sketches were variations on the same theme -- a long, Freudian tube with stuff jutting out of it.
"We're going to need a LOT more docking scenes."
One of those sketches could have been the Millennium Falcon of today if not for a '70s sci-fi TV show called Space: 1999, which featured a similar-looking ship called the Eagle Transporter. George Lucas told McQuarrie to redesign the whole thing, presumably under the threat that if he didn't like it, he would replace it with a silly cartoon rabbit once technology caught up to his insanity.
They used the Falcon sketches as the basis for Leia's transporter at the start of the movie, but they still didn't have a Millennium Falcon. That all changed when Lucas ate the most important hamburger in the history of science fiction. According to the book Famous Spaceships of Fact and Fantasy, McQuarrie saw Lucas going to town on that burger like it was a dark harbinger of the neck flab to come, and he saw an olive skewered by a toothpick sticking out of the bun. Boom -- add some spacy, sci-fi shit jutting out of it, and you've got the Millennium Falcon we love today.
"Vrrooooom! Whoosh! PEW, PEW, PEW, PEW! Vroooom!"
Had Lucas been a vegetarian, the Millennium Falcon would have looked like kale with a side of quinoa.
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