It's easy to think every piece of great art or unforgettable pop-culture is the result of effortless genius and precise intentionality. It separates the gods who create from us lay-people who like to eat cheese and can barely decide what to watch on Netflix. Take Spock's "Live Long and Prosper" hand signal. Yeah, it seems a little trivial, it's not 'Starry Night' or 'Hey Jude' or anything, but it's an icon that's lasted in the popular culture for 50 years and stands only second to"May the Force be with you" as the most recognizable totem of the sci-fi genre. Only a genius could've come up with that, right? Not really. Gene Roddenberry and company wanted the Vulcan salute to be the peace sign until Lenoard Nimoy took a stand for what was right and was like, "hey, this is dumb. I know this is coming from the dude wearing pointy ears right now, but can I just try this other thing so I don't look like the stupidest person on television?"
And thank god Nimoy did that, because otherwise everyone would've thought 'Star Trek' was cheesy crap, or at least cheesier than it already was considered. So sometimes genius isn't in the intention as much as it is being able to realize a mistake, correct it and pray to god your new solution isn't as dull as the idea that preceded it. And pop culture is so littered with examples like these, there's a lone Native American man shedding a single tear over it. That much litter.
So Jack O'Brien is joined on the podcast this week by Cracked's Teresa Lee and Alex Schmidt to talk about the behind the scenes mistakes and last-minute casting changes that made some movies and video games better. They also talk about some ghastly original versions of famous scripts that thankfully never saw the light of day. You don't want to know what the original description of Han Solo was (hint: it included the words "green" and "gills").
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