Category: Trivia

“Star Trek: The Animated Series” Trivia

I’m a fan of the original Star Trek series that ran on NBC from September 8, 1966, to June 3, 1969.  79 episodes aired before it was cancelled.  Dedicated fans of Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and the rest of the crew made Star Trek so popular in syndication that Star Trek: The Animated Series was created in 1973.  The animated series ran for 22 episodes over two seasons.   

The fine folks at MeTV have posted 12 Fascinating Facts about Star Trek: The Animated Series.  Before you click over for the full story, here are my thoughts on three of my favorite facts…

Leonard Nimoy demanded that Nichelle Nichols and George Takei were cast.  (The budget for Star Trek: The  Animated Series, like most cartoon series of this era wasn’t huge. There wasn’t enough in the budget to bring back Walter Koenig who played Chekov.  Some members of the cast had to provide the voices for multiple characters.  Hats off to Leonard Nimoy for taking a stand to keep Nichols and Takei on board. – Craig)

It was the first Star Trek series to win an Emmy award. (This is surprising since most folks would figure that the original series would have won at least one Emmy along the way. – Craig)

Filmation originally wanted the series to be about adolescent Starfleet cadets. (I’m really glad that this idea didn’t win out.  Star Trek: The Animated Series provided more proof that the original series was still popular with fans and helped pave the way for the big budget Star Trek feature films with the original cast returning. – Craig)

The Top 10 All-Time Most Memorable Movie Songs (and One That Should Have Made the List)!

Jonathan Blaauw at Listverse recently posted his choices for the Top 10 Memorable Movie Songs.  His list is a good one.  I was happy to see that Eye of the Tiger by Survivor for Rocky III came in at the number one spot.  Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees for Saturday Night Fever came in at #9.  I would have put Stayin’ Alive in the top spot, but who am I to quibble.  The songs in Blaauw’s Top Ten were all excellent choices.

If I was making the list however, I would have found a place for Queen’s Who Wants to Live Forever from the movie  Highlander.  I think that Who Wants to Live Forever is not only a cool song, but perfectly fit the film.  There are many other songs that I also might have picked for my top ten but watch the video below and tell me if you don’t agree, Who Wants to Live Forever is one of the great movie songs of all time.

The Bee Gees’ Record-Breaking Trivia!

Me-TV posted There’s no jive talkin’ in these 12 fascinating facts about the Bee Gees. As an unabashed Bee Gees fan, I’m happy to see it.

Unfortunately I don’t think enough people give the Bee Gees enough credit for their impact on music and culture.  Although they were making and releasing great music in the 60s, they peaked in the 70s and then continued to write and produce hits well after.  I was (and am) a Bee Gees fan.  I still love their music — it brings back great memories and makes me smile.  Before you click over, here are my three favorite facts from the Me-TV post…

  • They released eight songs in 1978 that reached number one.  (Their #1 hits were “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever” and “Too Much Heaven.” They wrote and produced the hits “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water” and “Shadow Dancing,” for their little brother, Andy Gibb.  That year they also are credited for Frankie Valli’s “Grease” and Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You.” – Craig)
  • In 1978, they accounted for 2% of the entire record industry.  (Please see above! If the Bee Gees had done nothing else before or after 1978, their success in that one year would have put them in the record books.- Craig)
  • After the public lost interest in the Bee Gees, the Gibbs quietly wrote and produced massive hits for other artists.  (Hits that they wrote for other artists include: Barbara Streisand’s “Woman in Love“, “Islands in the Stream” for Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers, “Emotion” for Samantha Sang, “Chain Reaction” for Diana Ross, ‘If I Can’t Have You‘ for Yvonne Elliman and many more. – Craig)

The Rambo Franchise’s 5 Best Characters (& 5 Best Action Sequences) – & 1 Scene that Should Have Made the List!

Ben Sherlock at ScreenRant posted The Rambo Franchise’s 5 Best Characters (& 5 Best Action Sequences).  His list is a good one. Before you click over let me show you a clip of an action scene that I think should have been included in Sherlock’s list.  It is the scene with the river pirates from Rambo.

I love how the tension builds as Rambo and crew move past the pirates’ dock. Just when it looks like they may have escaped trouble, you hear the pirates’ boat start up. Then they are hit with an intensely bright spotlight and machine gun fire churns the water around them.  As Rambo tries to negotiate with the pirate leader, Rambo’s eyes move to each of the pirates to see what weapons they possess and their level of danger.  Rambo is already determining the order that he will have to take them out should it come to that… and it does.

Be aware before watching the video it contains some profanity and violence.

The Dichotomy Philosophy Quiz

I recently took a Dichotomy Philosophy quiz and my results are posted above.  You can see an easier to read version by clicking on the photo.  

  • My rating for Spiritualism (69.2%) was over twice as much as Materialism (30.8%), and while that is not a big surprise, my guess is that the leaning towards Spiritualism has increased with my age.  I think that’s probably a pretty natural progression.

  • Altruism (79.5%) vs Egoism (20.5%) – I was almost exactly four times higher on Altruism over Egoism.  I’m sure that has also increased as I’ve gotten older.  “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”  – Spock

  • Idealism (54.7%) vs Pragmatism (45.3%) resulted in my second closest ratings.  This doesn’t surprise me.  I’m a believer in doing things for the right reason and I am also pretty pragmatic.

  • Hedonism (27.7%) vs Asceticism (72.3%) – This one is perhaps the most surprising.  I see nothing wrong with doing things that are pleasurable, legal and don’t hurt others.  Perhaps the scores are due to the fact that I am a big believer that to just go after instant gratification can lead to problems.  I have put off owning things or spending money now so that I can insure a better future.  The cool thing is since I did that in the past, the future is now.  ; )

  • Nihilism (30.8%) vs Moralism (69.2) – This one would create some interesting debates.  We know that meaning and morality can have different perspectives depending on the culture or situation.  But from my perspective there are certain things that we as a society should all agree on.

  • Rationalism (49.1%) vs Romanticism (50.9%) – These two had the closest scores.  Truthfully, I surprised that Rationalism (intellect and logic) didn’t score higher.  Again, it probably would have with a younger me.  I definitely don’t discount Romanticism (passions and the heart), and they definitely influence decisions and make life better.

  • Skepticism (22.9%) vs Absolutism (77.1%) – were the scores that surprised me most.  I’ve always been pretty skeptical and have wanted to see evidence.  Again, as I’ve gotten older, I think I am more willing to take things at face value.  

I really wish I had taken this test when I was fresh out of college and then again after my sons were out of high school to compare with the scores I have now.  It would be interesting to see which of my perspectives had changed.

Source: Mr. Centaur.

Winston Churchill – The Things I Just Learned

I don’t know as much about Winston Churchill as I’d like.  Sure, I know he was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II, but aside from a few quotes and broad strokes about his life, I don’t know much else.  That’s why I found Carla Delgado’s 7 Fascinating Facts About Winston Churchill at Mental Floss very interesting.  Before you click over, here are my three favorites and my thoughts on each.

THE ABBREVIATION “OMG” WAS FIRST USED IN A LETTER TO WINSTON CHURCHILL.  I don’t know why I find this piece of trivia so appealing.  I guess because it is so random.  I wonder what possessed John Fisher to use the abbreviation. How did Churchill know what the letters stood for? (Context, I guess.) And why did it take so many decades for the abbreviation to catch on?  OMG – so many questions.

WINSTON CHURCHILL LIVED WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS.  Churchill suffered from “long periods of despair and lethargy” which some have diagnosed as bi-polar disorder.  I’m surprised at the high percentage of “great” people from history who had to overcome things that cripple others.  I guess that is part of what makes them great.

WINSTON CHURCHILL WAS AN HONORARY AMERICAN.  I didn’t know that Churchill’s mother was American and that he was granted honorary citizenship.  I like that fact a lot.  We can always use more good Americans.  ; )

Marlon Brando in “Rambo III” – The Offer was Made!

Here’s something you don’t see everyday.  It’s a letter that along with a copy of the Rambo III script sent to Marlon Brando from Mario Kassar back in 1987 in an effort to get Brando to play Russian Colonel Zaysen! 

While it would have been interesting to see Sly playing against Brando, I think it would have created a much different film. 

The letter and script sent to Brando is currently for sale with an asking price of $1,500.00 from CFMemorabilia

Sybil Danning / Paul Gulacy / Bill Black and Me

The Black Diamond comics shown above each feature a cover drawn by Paul Gulacy.  A fan of the series and actress Sybil Danning recently posted the covers on Twitter with this response…

I responded to his Tweet with, “Funny story – I was Bill Black’s connection for both Paul Gulacy & Sybil Danning!”

I thought I had told that story here before but a search of the site indicates I didn’t… until now.  Let me take you back to 1980…

It’s about 10 at night and I’m watching tv.  The phone rings and I answer.  The voice on the other end asks to speak to “Mr. ZAB-blow.”  Dead giveaway that he doesn’t know me since he mispronounces my name. (For the record it sounds like ZAY-BLOW.)  I think he’s a nervy sales guy and am ready to hang up when he says, he got my name from a Bill Black publication that listed me as an editor.  The guy wants to get in touch with Bill Black.

Little does this guy know, my editing amounted to either putting Bill in touch with artists or copies of convention sketches.  My biggest contribution in this area was that I introduced Bill to Paul Gulacy.  Paul was my favorite artist, we talked fairly regularly and I had commissioned a few pieces from Paul.  Bill wanted to get Paul to do some art for him.

Ah, but back to the Sybil Danning phone call.

The guy says that he couldn’t find any phone number for Bill, but he was able to locate mine.  I tell the guy, that I can’t give out Bill’s number but would be glad to take a message for him.  The guy proceeds to tell me he is Sybil Danning’s manager.  He asks if I know who she is.  I do.  He says that they want to do a comic with Sybil as the main character.  They want Bill to publish it.  I take his number and tell the guy I’ll pass Bill the info.  We hang up and I go back to watching whatever I was watching.

I’m pretty sure it was the next day that I reached out to Bill to let him know that I had received a call from a guy saying he was Sybil Danning’s manager and they wanted to do a comic with him.  If you know Bill, you know how enthusiastic he gets.  Bill begins rapid fire asking questions, “When did he call – do I have his number – why didn’t I call him last night to tell him – etc.”  I explain to Bill it was late, I don’t know if the guy is on the level, etc.

Needless to say, Bill was able to contact Danning’s manager and the rest is history.

“The Godfather, Part III” Trivia!

I imagine that most folks reading this would agree that The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II are two excellent films.  I wonder how many of us would agree that The Godfather, Part III, while not on the same level as I or II is still a good film? 

Todd Gilchrist at Mental Floss presents 20 Facts About The Godfather Part III.  Before you click over, here are my thoughts on three from Gilchrist’s list and one that didn’t make the cut.

ROBERT DUVALL WAS WRITTEN OUT OF THE GODFATHER PART III DUE TO A SALARY DISPUTE.  It was a mistake to not bring Duvall back.  Then they replaced him with George Hamilton as a new character.  It felt wrong and didn’t help the film.

ANDY GARCIA HAD A LOT OF A-LIST COMPETITION FOR HIS ROLE IN THE GODFATHER PART III.  Some of the actors in the running included Alec Baldwin, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Val Kilmer, Charlie Sheen, and Billy Zane.  I thought Garcia did an excellent job in the role. From those listed my second choice would have been Alec Baldwin.

THE GODFATHER PART III FEATURED MANY FAMILIAR FACES BOTH IN FRONT OF AND BEHIND THE CAMERA.  This helped strengthen the film… and only made Duvall’s absence felt that much more.

A Godfather III fact that didn’t make the list is that at one point when it didn’t look like Francis Ford Coppola was going to return there were discussions of getting Sylvester Stallone to direct and star along with John Travolta.  While that would have been very interesting, critics would have been all over it with negativity… and we’d have never gotten Coppola’s return.

For Gilchrist’s complete list and his thoughts on each, click over.

“Creature from the Black Lagoon” Trivia

One of my favorite horror movies is Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Nicholas Furnal at recently posted 10 Things Everyone Missed In Creature From The Black Lagoon.  I’m proud to report that I only missed one, but it is a doozy.  Before you click over, I’ll tell you the one I missed plus two others that are favorties.

Telephone Pole In The Amazon.  I’ve watched Creature from the Black Lagoon dozens and dozens of times (once as recently as last week).  I never noticed the telephone pole.  Of course I am usually watching in the 1.37:1 screen ratio.  Well, now I have an excuse for another viewing.

No Visible Air Bubbles.  I applaud that director Jack Arnold made sure that no air bubbles were present for the Creature’s underwater scenes.  It made the monster all that more realistic.  Hats off to Ricou Browning for being able to hold his breath underwater during several minutes of filming!

Two Separate Creature Suits.  It would have been easier and cheaper to just create one suit, but the folks behind the movie made two (one for land and one for underwater) that varied in flexibility and color.  It’s attention to details like these that make Creature from the Black Lagoon a classic.

Click over to check out the other trivia items and see if any are new to you!

Joe Dator’s Rediscovering “Columbo”

Over the last year I’ve posted about my wife’s and my renewed interest and love for Columbo starring Peter Falk.  Because the series is so popular it appears on several networks daily which makes recording episodes easy. My wife and I have been working our way through every episode.  Joe Dator is doing the same thing.

Joe Dator is an accomplished cartoonist whose work can regularly be found in The New Yorker, often be found in Mad Magazine and Esquire and believe it or not, at his personal website.  Joe was a winner of The National Cartoonists Society’s 2018 Silver Reuben Award.

I tell you all of this as a way of introduction into Joe Dator’s Rediscovering “Columbo” in 2020.  The cartoon strip first appeared in The New Yorker last October, but can be seen in full at Joe’s website.  I agree with everything Joe says about the joys of watching Columbo.  The one thing I would add is that while Columbo’s first name is never spoken it does appear to eagle-eyed viewers when Columbo shares his ID in a few episodes.

Happy New Year and a Look Back at 2020!

2021 is almost here.  2020 has been quite a year… and not all in a good way.  I thought before I wish you a Happy New Year (and go in to watch the official dropping of the ball to signify 2021 is indeed here) I’d take a brief look back at 2020.

When the 202o started, I was excited.  I was scheduled to retire after nearly 36 years as an educator.  I had a great career as a teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal.  I served as a soccer, football and basketball coach.  I was fortunate to work at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  I worked as an administrator on the construction of two new schools (the AP of one and the Principal of the other).  I had decided that my last day with students at the end of the 2020 school year would be my last day of work.  I thought it would be cool to have my last day with students be my last working day.  Unfortunately that was not to be.

Because of the COVID pandemic we went to virtual school after Spring Break.  Students and teachers worked from home for the remainder of the school year.  My AP and I continued to work from school and home (splitting the week so one of us was always at school).  I retired at the end of May.  My wife and I had talked of having a big retirement party (she had retired in December).  We would invite family and friends for an evening of fun.  Thanks to COVID, that idea was shelved.

My plan after retirement was to travel with my wife (short trips around the country).  I also planned to attend several comic conventions with my best bud, John Beatty.  Yep, The pandemic put an end to both.

Since the start of the pandemic my wife and I have stayed at home except for take out meals when not eating at home and our only travelling was the two miles to my oldest son’s house to visit him, his wife and our grandson.  Since the pandemic started I’ve known more than a few people who contacted the disease.  Some had to be hospitalized and two died.  I’ll be so glad to get the vaccine and for things to get back to “normal”.

Being home so much gave me the opportunity to watch a lot of movies.  I normally see about 200 a year (mostly streaming).  This year I saw 453.  Yep, over two times as many.  I also read more novels.  I usually average about 20 – 25 a year.  This year I read 34.  I would have saw more movies and read more books except I was laid up with my medical emergency in September/October.

As you’re probably aware, I had to go to the emergency room in September.  Ultimately, I had surgery and they discovered my gallbladder had ruptured and gangrene set in.  I was in the hospital for six days and the doc said had they not operated when they did I probably would have died.  Talk about an eye-opener!

As we head in to 2021, I look forward to getting the COVID vaccine.  I probably won’t be able to get mine until the 3rd or 4th wave.  I’ll be thankful whenever it becomes available.  I hope things will begin to return to normal in the summer.  Maybe my wife and I will be able to do a few trips.  Who knows, maybe John and I will have a convention or two to attend.

The StalloneZone turns 25 in 2021!  Hard to believe.  I plan to do more with the site and work on ways to interact with fans more.  I also hope to start doing video reviews on this site, as well as livestream sessions with creators and fans (here and at the SZ).  We have an active forum and I’d love to interact on livestream with those folks and others — we could have some lively discussions!

I hope that 2020 has had some highlights for each of you.  I want to thank you for visiting my site (and the StalloneZone) and appreciate the e-mail and comments you leave me.

Enough rambling.  Time to get ready for the ball drop.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

“Blade” Trivia

Rob Hunter at Film School Rejects presents 32 Things We Learned from the ‘Blade‘ Commentary.  As always, before you click over, here are my three favorites and thoughts on each…

“I’ve found that American action films rely more on spectacle,” says Snipes, “but action films from other countries don’t do it that way.” He adds that international action is often embedded into “the emotional state and intent of the character.” (Snipes is right.  Too many of our movies these days rely on big special effects.  I prefer a movie that focuses on, as Snipes said, “the emotional state and intent of the character.” – Craig)

A deleted conversation from the script explained how Blade’s sword originally belonged to Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) who himself was part of a long line of vampire hunters. (It was smart to drop that.  The “long line of vampire hunters” bit is just too cliche. – Craig)

Norrington wanted Kristofferson for the role as he was “the cool grandfather, grungy type of fighting, jolly type of a guy.” Goyer actually wrote the character, though, with Samuel Fuller in mind.  (I’m not a big fan of Blade but loved Blade II.  With that said, Kristofferson was a great addition to the movie and one of the things I liked best about it. – Craig)

“Pulp Fiction” Trivia

Pulp Fiction is arguably Quentin Tarantino’s best film.  I’ve been thinking it’s about time for another viewing of it.  Paul Schrodt’s 12 Things to Look for While Watching Pulp Fiction makes me want to watch it even more.  Before you click over to Schrodt’s piece, here are three of my favorites and my thoughts on each.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON’S FAVORITE BIBLE VERSE DOESN’T EXIST.  (I was surprised when I first learned that Tarantino basically made up Jackson’s biblical quote.  Jackson really sold it for that scene and I wonder how many people believe the quote is right from the bible. – Craig)

JACK RABBIT SLIM’S IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS. (I remember when there was talk of Jack Rabbit Slim’s being turned into a real chain of joints.  I was excited about the idea and thought it would work.  I know I would have patronized them.  Sadly the venture never became reality. – Craig)

NO ONE FULLY UNDERSTANDS PULP FICTION’S “GIMP” SEQUENCE.  (I vividly remember seeing this scene for the first time and just being blown away.  What the – ?  Did we cross over into another film?  Another dimension?  I’ve come to like the unexpected, unexplainable aspect of it.  Sometimes things happen that don’t make sense, that we couldn’t have predicted and that can have terrible consequences.  – Craig)

Source: Mental Floss.

Samuel L. Jackson Trivia!

Samuel L. Jackson is an actor that always makes a movie better.  Michele Debczak posted 10 Fascinating Facts About Samuel L. Jackson at Mental Floss.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorites with my thoughts on each…

SAMUEL L. JACKSON WAS AN USHER AT MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S FUNERAL. (This surprised me because I didn’t think Jackson would have been old enough to be an usher at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral. – Craig)

SAMUEL L. JACKSON WAS A STAND-IN ON THE COSBY SHOW. (Oh, from such humble beginnings… – Craig)

SAMUEL L. JACKSON IS THE HIGHEST GROSSING ACTOR OF ALL TIME. (This also surprised me.  I would have guessed Tom Cruise, Stallone, Schwarzenegger or the Rock would have been ahead of SLJ. – Craig)