Useless Facts [Part 16]

  • Seinfeld debuted as The Seinfeld Chronicles and was not expected to do well. After that first episode aired, the first order from NBC was a whopping four episodes.
  • Kramer originally wore clothes from the 1960s to give the impression that he couldn’t afford new ones, not to make him look retro. Then, in the mid-90’s, retro clothing from the 60s and 70s became popular.
  • George’s clothes were intentionally tailored one size too small to make him look geeky.
  • Danny DeVito was considered for the role of George.
  • The real life Soup Nazi of Seinfeld fame–Al Yeganeh–was so mad at Jerry Seinfeld that he refused to accept Jerry’s apology when he went to the International Soup Kitchen to personally make amends.
  • The M*A*S*H theme song is called “Suicide Is Painless.” The lyrics were written by Mike Altman, the fourteen-year-old son of Robert Altman, the movie’s director.
  • Actor Gary Burghoff has a deformed hand, so his character Radar O’Reilly’s left hand was always either in his pocket or behind something. Occasionally a glimpse of his misshapen fingers could be seen.
  • The outdoor set of M*A*S*H, near Malibu, California, was destroyed by a brush fire at the end of the 1982 production season, so the show writers wrote the fire into the script.
  • Anson Williams, who played teenager Potsie on Happy Days, was twenty-five in 1974, his first year on the show. When the show went off the air nine years later, the youthful Potsie was still played by the thirty-four-year-old actor.
  • Jumping the shark” refers to the moment when a TV show has run out of new ideas and resorts to absurd storylines. The expression comes from a crazy 1977 episode of Happy Days, where Fonzi dons swim trunks with his leather jacket and does a water ski jump over a penned-in shark.
  • During the first season and a half of Happy Days, Richie had an older brother Chuck. He was dropped from the show with no explanation. “Chuck Cunningham Syndrome” is now the expression for a character that mysteriously disappears from a TV show.
  • The characters on The Simpsons are named for members of creator Matt Groening’s family. His parents are Homer and Marge, his sister’s names are Lisa and Maggie. The name Bart is an anagram for “brat.”
  • The actors who do the voices on The Simpsons are paid $400,000 per episode.

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