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17 Scrumdiddlyumptious Fun Facts about Roald Dahl

I think it’s safe to say that almost every kid has, at one point or another, come across a Roald Dahl story…you just may not know it.

The brilliant writer behind such literary classics as Matilda, The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, James and the Giant Peach, and Fantastic Mr. Fox (as well as You Only Live Twice – yup, the James Bond movie), Dahl has given generations of readers life-changing stories that have stayed with us for years.

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Today is Dahl’s 102nd birthday and, to celebrate, here are 17 scrumdiddlyumptious fun facts you may not know about the man who gave us Willy Wonka, Matilda, The Enormous Crocodile and so many more!

17 Scrumdiddlyumptious Fun Facts about Roald Dahl

When Dahl was just three years old, his father died of pneumonia. Dahl was so heartbroken over his father’s death that he remained speechless for days afterword, eventually catching pneumonia himself and remained sick for about a month.

Dahl was a fighter pilot – and a spy – during WWII.

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While James and the Giant Peach was Dahl’s first novel aimed at children, his story The Gremlins was actually his first piece of writing for kids. The 1984 film of the same name is loosely inspired by Dahl’s story.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was inspired by Dahl’s time as a chocolate test-taster while he was a student at Repton. While boarding there, he and his classmates were guinea pigs for the chocolate company, Cadbury, tasting and giving feedback on new delicious creations.

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Originally Dahl wanted Spike Milligan or Peter Sellers to play the role of Wille Wonka in the 1971 film, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

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Dahl also contributed to the invention of the modern ventricular catheter and shunt valves used in neurosurgery.

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Dahl wrote the screenplay for the James Bond film, You Only Live Twice.

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Step aside, J.K. Rowling…in his lifetime, Dahl invented more than 250 new words and character names. You can see all of them in the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary, featuring almost 8,000 real and imaginary words used by the author in his many books and stories.

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Dahl had a ‘writing hut’ in the shed at the bottom of his garden. Many of his stories, such as Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, were penned there.

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In order to perfect his art, Dahl wrote for four hours every day, from 10 am to 12 pm, then from 4 pm to 6 pm.

All of his writing was done in an old book with pencil. He never learned to type.

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When Dahl was buried in 1990 a power drill, some chocolate bars and a few pencils were buried along with him.

Dahl was certainly a BFG, standing at about 6 foot 6 inches tall.

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In 1953, Dahl married American actress Patricia Neal. Their marriage lasted 30 years and they had five children together.

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When his eldest daughter, Olivia, was just seven years old, she passed away from the measles. The BFG is dedicated to her.

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Dahl was fluent in English, Norwegian and Swahili.

Dahl was also a writer of adult fiction. He published articles in Ladies Home Journal as well as Playboy, where his favorite topics included wife-swapping, promiscuity, suicide and adultery.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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17 Happy Little Facts about Bob Ross

If you were a kid in the 90s, chances are you saw a kind, gentle, big-haired man painting “happy little trees” on PBS when you got home from school. With his calming voice and constant flood of positivity, the entire world found calm and solstice with Bob Ross and his long-running program, The Joy of Painting.

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From winter landscapes to serene lakes and cabins in the woods, Bob Ross took us on more than 400 adventures through the magic of the paint brush. His happy little trees filled us with joy…and even his mistakes turned into “happy accidents”. This was no ordinary human.

Ross was only 52 when he lost his life to lymphoma. Though he’s not here painting anymore, you can still marathon The Joy of Painting on Netflix or YouTube.

In honor of this gifted artist and genuine human being, here are 17 Happy Little Facts about Bob Ross.

17 Happy Little Facts about Bob Ross

Not surprisingly, Ross was a life-long animal lover. He kept an alligator in his bathtub as a kid and an epileptic squirrel in his empty Jacuzzi.

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Before he became the gentle painter we all know and love, Ross spent 20 years in the US Air Force as a Master Sergeant.

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While he was stationed in Alaska in the Air Force, Ross would paint his happy little trees on the backs of gold pans. He’d sell them for $25 a piece…but now these little paintings could fetch as much as $7,500 at market.

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His signature perm was done as an economical choice so he wouldn’t have to spend money on haircuts. Though his style has become a part of his fame, he actually hated the hair cut.

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One of Ross’s students, Annette Kowalski, was the one who actually “discovered” him. After taking one of his five-day courses, she became enamored with is calming voice and positivity. She became his manager and helped him broker the deal for The Joy of Painting and his line of art supplies.

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The Joy of Painting ran on PBS from 1983 to 1994…and Ross did every episode for free. His company sold art supplies, tapes, classes and courses, which is how he made his money.

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How did he do all those shows for free? Well, he would easily tape an entire season in about two days. That freed him up to teach classes, where he made his real income.

Though the viewing audience loved him, Ross wasn’t as well received with his fellow painters. Several called his art “formulaic” and “non-expressive”…and several art stores would hide his supplies near the back of the store so as to “not offend” other artists.

Ross rarely painted people in his art. Kowalski has said that none of the cabins Ross painted on his show had chimneys because chimneys represent people, and he didn’t want any sign of a person in his paintings.

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Though The Joy of Painting was intended to be instructional, only 10% of viewers actually painted along with him.

Ross really did love trees. In 2014, a statistical breakdown of Ross’s work on The Joy of Painting found that 91% of his pictures included at least one tree…and if he painted one, there was a 93% chance he would give that little tree “a friend” (another tree).

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There were three paintings done of each picture shown on The Joy of Painting. One was done and completed before shooting and kept off camera so Ross had a reference, the other was done on screen, then the final third painting was done after filming for photography, which would be used in his how-to books.

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Ross never sold his paintings that he did on The Joy of Painting, but did donate them to PBS to auction or display.

In the early 90s, Ross was looking to branch out from art and had an idea for a kids show called Bob’s World, where he planned to go out into nature and teach kids about wildlife.

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Two Inch Brush, a site named after Ross’s brush of choice, is the official database that organizes all 403 paintings from The Joy of Painting.

Ross once did an entire painting in greyscale because a color-blind fan wrote in, saying he wouldn’t be able to paint along with him because he couldn’t see color. Ross wanted to show him that he could create something magical even if it’s just in black and white.

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Ross was only 52 when he passed away from lymphoma, but his reruns are on so frequently that Bob Ross Inc and PBS still get calls asking about him.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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25 Fun Facts about Jurassic Park

Any kid who grew up in the 90s will give you a different list of the best movies of that decade. Some will say Titanic, others will say GoodFellas or The Silence of the Lambs…some might even throw out Toy Story…but chances are Jurassic Park will be the movie mentioned on everyone’s list.

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With more money and awards than a T-Rex could eat in one sitting, Jurassic Park has joined the ranks of outstanding movies that never fail to entertain. It’s spurred 5 sequels, with a 6th due out in 2021, and won three Academy Awards for sound editing, mixing and visual effects. Numbers don’t lie, yo. THIS MOVIE IS DA BOMB.

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Based on Michael Crichton’s best-selling novel of the same name (which is awesome if you haven’t read it), Jurassic Park has become a bit of a cult classic, setting the bar for computer animation and animatronics, as well as inspiring handfuls of students to give up that business degree and focus on studying paleontology.

Jurassic Park recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate this monumental movie than with these 25 fun facts about Jurassic Park?!

So grab some snacks…

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get in some comfy clothes and – most importantly –

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25 Fun Facts about Jurassic Park

When director Steven Spielberg and Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton were working on a little TV screenplay (which would eventually become ER), Spielberg asked Crichton about his next writing project. Crichton told him about Jurassic Park and Spielberg was so excited about it that he approached Universal directly to buy the film rights. Spielberg was storyboarding scenes before the screenplay was even written.

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Spielberg’s other pet project, Schindler’s List, was also in the works at the time, and Universal wouldn’t let Schindler’s List continue without making Jurassic Park first…so Super Spielberg actually ended up releasing both movies in 1993. Quite the feat!

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To get a better idea of how dinosaurs moved, special effects crew members built raptor suits…and got into them.

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Richard Attenborough (John Hammond) is the brother of the voice of Planet Earth narrator, David Attenborough.

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For the most realistic and fact-forward portrayal of dinos, Spielberg had paleontologists serve as consultants on the film, giving feedback on movement, skin texture and teeth.

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The sound of the T Rex roar was reportedly a composite of tiger, alligator and baby elephant sounds.

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The “bark” of the velociraptors was made by using the sounds of mating tortoises. HOT.

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After Jurassic Park was released, researchers took a deeper dive into the sight and smell capabilities of the T Rex. Turns out the T Rex probably had excellent vision in addition to fabulous olfactory glands.

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Since both Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List were running pretty much at the same time, Spielberg had to quickly shift gears once JP wrapped so he could finish SL. He handed the post-production responsibilities over to his friend, George Lucas, who was given a “special thanks” credit in the final Jurassic Park film.

Due to the near constant rain, some of the robotic dinos would malfunction on set, causing them to “come to life”. The crew would be eating lunch and the massive T Rex would turn itself on, terrifying the crew.

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The T Rex robot was actually quite dangerous in real life. It weighed about 12,000 pounds and had to use flashing lights to announce when it was about to come on.

Perhaps the scariest scene in Jurassic Park was when the T Rex breaks through the glass in the roof of the car. The reaction from the kids is pretty genuine, as the glass was not supposed to break. Spielberg liked the shot so much that he kept it in the film.

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Ariana Richards (Lex) won her role in the film after her audition (a blood-curdling scream) woke a sleeping Kate Capshaw and sent her into a tizzy to see if her children were okay.

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In this scene in the control room, you can see Jaws playing on the computer:

Having Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) distract the T Rex with a light so Grant could save the kids in the car was totally Goldblum’s idea. What a hero!

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The helicopter scene where Grant ties two seatbelts together (two latches and no latch plate) foreshadows a later scene where the dinosaurs are suddenly able to breed, despite the fact that they were all originally female.

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In 2005, paleontologist Dr. Mary Schweitzer discovered red blood cells and soft tissue in the fossilized bones of a T Rex, meaning dinosaur cloning may someday become a reality.

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There are only 15 minutes of dinosaurs in the first Jurassic Park film.

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In its initial release, Jurassic Park earned $357 million domestically and $914 million worldwide. It held the record for highest grossing movie of all time until 1997, when it was beat out by Titanic.

The Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios cost about 2x more to make than the film did.

Michael Crichton has said that his views on science and genetic engineering are largely expressed by Ian Malcolm. Spielberg saw many parallels to himself in the character of John Hammond. Both Malcolm and Hammond wear black and white, respectively, throughout the film, to better showcase their opposing views.

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There’s no evidence to suggest that the screaming dilophosaurus was venomous…or had a frill to distract victims. Recent illustrations of the dinosaur have adopted those qualities thanks in part to Jurassic Park. Spielberg: 1. Science: 0.

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Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern began a romantic relationship after meeting on set. They actually got engaged after Jurassic Park, but split up about 2 years later. Love…UH…finds a way.

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Not surprisingly, the movie and the book generated so much interest in dinosaurs that the study of paleontology has had a record increase in students. Ross would be so happy!

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During filming and rehearsal, this is what the scary T Rex looked like:

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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35 Fun Facts about Mad Men

There are tons of shows I’ll happily binge watch over and over again: Breaking Bad, Pushing Daisies, New Girl, The Office, Parks and Rec, The Wonder Years, Dawson’s Creek…but few shows, or even movies for that matter, continue to amaze me and educate me every damn time I watch them.

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The first time I watched Mad Men, I was transfixed. It was filled with flawed, realistic characters, amazing costumes and set design, and brought to life some of the most popular ads of the 20th century. You couldn’t help but be in awe of the attention to detail and the dedication of the production team to make each episode as historically accurate as possible…not to mention all the pretty people!

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I mean, seriously…

I’m now on my second full binge of Mad Men and I really think I love it even more this time around. I have a better appreciation of office life, family politics, and growing up in a world resistant to change. I can relate to characters in a whole new way, and I can appreciate flaws in characters that I was quick to judge just 10 years ago.

After working on The Sopranos for several years, creator Matthew Weiner took a risk in bringing this era back to life, shedding light on the drinking, the smoking, the sexism, the violence, the racism, the genius, that made the 50s, 60s and 70s some of the most influential years of the century.

Not surprisingly, it took a whole lot of time, manpower and money to keep Mad Men on the air, but what resulted was one of the most well-received, highly-rated programs ever seen on TV. Throughout it’s run, Mad Men took home 7 American Film Institute Awards (Program of the Year for every year the show ran), 4 Critics’ Choice Awards, 8 Emmy Awards (and 52 Emmy nominations), 5 Golden Globe Awards (it won Best Drama TV Series 3 of those times), and so, so many more that it’s just impossible to name them all here. Needless to say, people loved this show.

Want to learn more about Don Draper, Peggy Olsen, Joan Harris, Roger Sterling and the rest of the crew? Check out these 35 fun facts about AMC’s Mad Men!

  • Curious what it was like to be a female copywriter in a 1960s ad agency? Check out Mad Women, inspired by a real-life Peggy Olsen story!
  • For more info about where the cast of Mad Men is now, check out this Where Are They Now post!

35 Fun Facts about Mad Men

Creator Matt Weiner dreamed up the idea for Mad Men while working as a writer on the Ted Danson sitcom, Becker. He wrote the pilot in 1999.

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Three years later, Weiner submitted the pilot to David Chase, creator of The Sopranos, as a writing sample. Chase loved it so much that he hired him to work on his show.

When Weiner was ready to make Mad Men a series, he thought HBO (home to The Sopranos) would be the perfect fit; however, HBO wanted Chase to direct, and Chase wanted to leave weekly TV…so ultimately HBO passed. The show eventually went to AMC.

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Parts of Don Draper are actually based on Draper Daniels, the legendary Chicago ad man who invented The Marlboro Man.

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The pilot was the only episode actually shot in New York. Though the show takes place in NYC, the rest of the show as shot in Los Angeles.

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The first and second episodes of the first season were shot nearly ONE YEAR APART. After the pilot was shot, Weiner took some time to explore whether or not the show was going in the direction he wanted.

John Slattery (Roger Sterling) was actually gunning for the lead role of Don Draper. When asked if he secretly hated Jon Hamm for getting the part, Slattery laughed and said, “…it was apparent from the beginning how annoyingly good he was in that role. I don’t think people appreciate how difficult it is to play something as subtle as he does.”

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January Jones (Betty Draper) was hoping for another part, too. She auditioned twice for the part of Peggy Olsen, but that role eventually went to Elisabeth Moss.

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The fictional Sterling Cooper ad agency made most of its money with its partnership with Lucky Strike. Throughout the duration of the show, Lucky Strike actually benefited from the involvement, nearly doubling its sales during the show’s run.

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Weiner tried hard to incorporate The Beatles into the show, but it came at a steep price. He had to pay $250,000 to license the rights to the song “Tomorrow Never Knows” for the “Lady Lazarus” episode…and it wasn’t even an authentic recording.

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Jessica Pare’s (Megan Draper) rendition of “Zou Bisou Bisou” eventually became the number one song on the Billboard’s World Digital chart.

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Joel Murray, who plays the booze-loving ad man Freddy Rumsen, is Bill Murray’s brother.

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Throughout the duration of Mad Men, there are a lot of cigarettes smoked…a LOT. However (and thankfully for everyone on set!), they are not real…they’re herbal cigarettes and taste disgusting, according to Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway).

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Sally’s friend Glen is played by Weiner’s son, Marten.

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Speaking of Sally, the actress who plays her, Kiernan Shipka, has supposedly never seen one episode of Mad Men.

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In a recent interview she said she’s gonna hold out until she’s 16 or 17, then binge them all on Netflix. How crazy would that be?!

You may not believe it, but 7 of the 9 writers on Mad Men are women. Take that, sexism!

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Can you imagine Mad Men without Jon Hamm? Or 30 Rock without Alec Baldwin? Well Hamm actually auditioned for the roll of Jack Donaghy, which eventually went to Baldwin. Hamm said there’s a tape of him somewhere talking about “three kinds of heat”.

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Mona Sterling, the ex-wife of Roger Sterling, is actually John Slattery’s wife IRL.

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Peggy left Sterling Cooper Draper Price to work as copy chief at another agency. She left for a $19,000 a year salary, which equates to about $131,000 today. Damn, girl!

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Each episode of Mad Men cost about $2.84 million to produce.

The storyline of Peggy and Pete’s baby pretty much disappears after Peggy gives birth…but Weiner has said in an interview that their baby, at first raised by Peggy’s sister, was eventually given up for adoption.

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Mad Men became the first basic-cable show to be nominated for Best Drama at the Emmy Awards in 2008.

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Don Draper tried to get The Rolling Stones to endorse Heinz beans; however, in 1967 it was actually The Who band who bathed in beans.

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Much of season 3 revolves around a commercial parody of “Bye Bye Birdie”. Birdie is also the nickname Don has for Betty. By the end of the season, he and Betty are divorced.

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Christina Hendricks at first auditioned for a much smaller role: the part of Don’s lover, Midge. I can’t even imagine Sterling Cooper without her!

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The father of Jared Harris (Lane Pryce) is Richard Harris – the man who played the original Dumbledore.

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Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell) is married to fellow actress, Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls). Bledel had a small role on Mad Men as well, playing Campbell’s crazy mistress.

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Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olsen) is a Scientologist.

Before making it big in Hollywood, Jon Hamm was Ellie Kemper’s (The Office, Bridesmaids) high school drama teacher.

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Robert Morse (Bert Cooper) won a Tony Award in 1961 for his role in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

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Costume designer Janie Bryant said that she always repeats one of Peggy’s costumes from the previous season during the next season’s premiere.

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Like his character Don Draper, Jon Hamm was not raised by his own parents. Hamm’s mom died of colon cancer when he was 10 and his father passed away 10 years after that.

Joan’s signature walk originated because of Hendricks’ struggle to actually move in her dress.

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Slattery was nervous that his famous black-face scene would end his career. Several of the writers of the show didn’t even want to be associated with it.

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Hamm was also careful not to make Draper a loveable drunk. He wanted viewers to see what alcohol could really do to a person.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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24 Fun Facts about Steve Carell

It’s a freaking scary world out there…but thankfully, we have Steve Carell.

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Best known for his role as Michael Scott in the US version of The Office, Carell is arguably one of America’s most versatile comics. He’s done it all – movies, TV, commercials, stage acting…he’s taken on hilarious roles, goofy roles, serious roles and scary roles. Not only is he talented, but he’s beloved by almost everyone who has the pleasure of working with him.

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Today is Carell’s 56th birthday, and whether you love him as the adorkable Michael Scott, the hilarious Brick Tamland or Andy the Virgin, or as one of his more serious characters in Dan in Real Life, Little Miss Sunshine, or Foxcatcher, there’s no denying Carell has got some awesome acting chops.

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To celebrate this genuine loveable man on his b-day, here are 24 fun facts about Steve Carell!

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24 Fun Facts about Steve Carell

Carell is the son of an electrical engineer (father) and a psychiatric nurse (mother).

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Carell was editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper.

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Carell’s original plan was to become a lawyer. He attended Ohio’s Denison University, where he received a history degree in 1984 before planning on to continue with law school.

While at Dennison college, Carell became a member of the country’s oldest collegiate improv troupe, Burpee’s Seedy Theatrical Company.

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Carell met his wife, Nancy Walls, while at the famed Second City in Chicago.

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Carell also applied for a role on SNL, but lost out to Will Ferrell.

The 1991 film, Curly Sue, was Carell’s film debut.

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But it was The Dana Carvey Show that helped advance Carell’s career. He worked in the writer’s room alongside Stephen Colbert, Louis CK, Robert Smigel, Bob Odenkirk, and Charlie Kaufman.

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Carell’s friendship with Colbert led directly to his breakout role on The Daily Show. He was on The Daily Show for more than 5 years.

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Like his foil, Michael Scott (The Office), Carell also loves hockey. His favorite position is goalkeeper and he even plays for a men’s league in Burbank, CA.

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Carell is maybe best known for his role as Michael Scott; however, producer Ricky Gervais was considering a whole handful of other actors before Carell even popped up. This list included Paul Giamatti, Hank Azaria, Bob Odenkirk, and Martin Short.

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But Carell would go on to win a Golden Globe for the role in 2006 and would come to rack up 12 other Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of Michael Scott. In totality, Carell has been nominated for more than 120 awards and has won only 33 of them.

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Both Carell and his wife own a general store in Marshfield, Massachusetts. Residents claim that Carell will occasionally stop in and help stock shelves.

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Carell’s wife has appeared alongside Steve in several of his projects, including The Office, The 40-Year Old Virgin, and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

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The famous chest-waxing scene in The 40-Year Old Virgin was real. He wanted his reactions to be as life-like as possible. What a pro!

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Carell’s role in Little Miss Sunshine (Uncle Frank) – and arguably one of my favorite role’s of his – was actually written for Bill Murray. The role almost went to Robin Williams before Carell was ultimately cast.

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Carell is also a talented fife player.

James Spader was actually gunning for the role of Brick Tamland in Anchorman…but producers thought he was too good for the role. Spader would go on to replace Carell in The Office after Carell left the show.

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For his role in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Carell actually learned a few magic tricks from David Copperfield. He had to sign a non-disclosure agreement swearing him to secrecy.

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Before Sean Penn starred as Harvey Milk in the biopic, Milk, Carell was cast to play Milk in the film, The Mayor of Castro Street. Carell’s film got scrapped after Penn’s film was released.

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Carell was awarded star number 2,570 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 6, 2016. Both Adam McKay and Will Ferrell accompanied him and helped unveil the star.

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Carell gave a commencement speech to the graduates of Princeton University, one of whom was his niece, in 2012.

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For his Oscar-nominated performance in Foxcatcher, Carell went full-method for the part, not interacting with his co-stars or crew on set. His fellow co-star, Mark Ruffalo, said he found Carell “terrifying” while filming.

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The director of Foxcatcher claimed that Carell’s character John du Pont was so unpredictable that he wanted to cast someone that no one would ever imagine playing that role.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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19 Fun Facts about Johnny Bravo

Man, I’m pretty!

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In the early 90’s, TBS founder Ted Turner wanted to build an animation empire. His production company purchased Hanna-Barbera (The Flintstones, Space Ghost, Scooby Doo) and launched Cartoon Network in 1992.

The network continued airing those nostalgic cartoons, but Turner was committed to creating unique, original content to get that younger generation hooked on animation.

On July 14, 1997, Cartoon Network debuted a show that would become a cornerstone of that move towards fresh, new content: Johnny Bravo.

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Now, let’s get one thing straight here. I LOVE Johnny Bravo. I love him so much that if you don’t like him, I might have to question our friendship 😉 (not really, but maybe…)

And it would seem that I’m not alone. As a matter of fact, most of the viewers of this classic cartoon are women…and they love it. I don’t know if it’s Johnny’s adorable charm, hilarious chauvinist yet loveable (?) attitude, or the fact that he loves his momma, but this man has a place in the hearts of women all over the world.

To celebrate the 21st anniversary of this narcissistic greaser with the killer pompadour, here are 19 fun facts about Johnny Bravo!

19 Fun Facts about Johnny Bravo

The fact that Johnny sounds just like Elvis is no coincidence. Creator Efram Giovanni Bravo (!) Partible wanted voice actor, Jeff Bennett, to create a mix of old and young Elvis for Johnny’s voice.

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Elvis wasn’t the only inspiration, though. James Dean, Danny Zuko (Grease), and Michael Jackson were also inspirations into how Johnny looked and moved.

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Speaking of Jeff Bennett, here’s what the voice of Johnny Bravo looks like…in all his forms! This guy’s got some talent!

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Naturally, the competition was tough for this role, but what allowed Bennett to get the part was his ability to do the karate chop sound effect with his mouth without skipping a beat!

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Three of Johnny Bravo’s biggest supporters at Cartoon Network were women. Ellen Cockrill, Janet Mazotti, and Julie Kane-Ritsch fought to keep this loveable chauvinist on air.

And they weren’t alone. When creators showed the first episode to viewers, every woman in the audience was applauding…just goes to show you he’s a total ladies’ man!

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Johnny Bravo was based on Partible’s senior thesis project, an animated short called Mess o’ Blues. The short featured an Elvis impersonator with jet black hair and a white jumpsuit. There has been no official release of the short, though some snippets of footage do exist.

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Much of the animation of Johnny Bravo was inspired by Al Hirshfeld illustrations. Hirshfeld, who was famous for his caricatures, inspired Bravo’s head and hair, specifically.

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Johnny Bravo was Partible’s first rendezvous into TV.

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The legendary Joe Barbera was a weekly visitor to the Bravo writer’s room.

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Johnny Bravo also helped launch the careers of Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) and Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents). MacFarlane was a writer and storyboard artist while Hartman was a writer and director.

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PS: Wanna know more about Family Guy? Check out this post on 32 Fun Facts about Family Guy!

There was talk of a Johnny Bravo movie, starring The Rock, in 2002. The Rock is apparently a huge fan of the cartoon and was completely on board until the project fell through.

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Johnny Bravo is one of five original Cartoon Network shows. He’s so much a part of Cartoon Network that he’s the mascot of Tooner Field.

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India loves Johnny Bravo. Like, LOVES him. So much so that his name was added to their dictionary. It is used to describe someone with a personality similar to Johnny Bravo himself.

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Farrah Fawcett, who also loved the show, made a guest appearance as Little Suzy’s cousin.

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We may not know how old Johnny is, but is birthday is February 14th. How appropriate!

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The name “Johnny Bravo” was inspired by an episode of The Brady Brunch, where Greg got signed on to be a rock star named Johnny Bravo.

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Johnny gets hit by something in every single episode of the series.

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There’s also a theory that Johnny Bravo predicted 9/11. In a scene aired on April 27, 2001, a film poster appears to show a burning tower emitting a smoke cloud with the words, “COMING SOON”. Four months later, the attack on the Twin Towers happened.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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28 Fun Facts about Louis Armstrong

From 1994 to 2007, I was a proud, well-trained, 100% bonified band nerd. I was in pep band, marching band, orchestra, concert band, and – my original love – jazz band. My instrument of choice was the trumpet and my goal in life was to play “Hail to the Chief” for the President of the United States.

The reasons behind this have been explained on my blog before (it involves Abraham Lincoln and Bug Hall and nothing related to today’s post), but in an effort to improve my skills and become worthy of playing for the Prez, I had to study the greats…

And as any self-respecting jazz trumpeter will tell you, there’s really no one better than Louis Armstrong.

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I grew up listening to Satchmo, even before I decided to dedicate my life to playing the trumpet. I loved his unique voice, his stylistic playing, and his overall joy for life. He is one half of one of my all-time favorite records, Ella & Louis Together, and stars in one of my all-time favorite movies, High Society (which also stars my one and only Frank Sinatra!).

Born August 4, 1901, Armstrong had a rough life, growing up in the deep south at a time that made life challenging for anyone of color. As luck would have it, a simple twist of fate set Armstrong’s life in motion, and he would go on to record some of the most influential jazz albums of all time.

He is often called “The Father of Jazz” and is even credited with inventing the popular ‘scat’ technique. He’s created jazz foundations, served as a jazz ambassador for the US, and developed a sound so unique that anyone could pretty much identify a song by ol’ Pops pretty much instantly.

Armstrong died of a heart attack in his sleep on July 6, 1971, a month before his 70th birthday. Even after his passing, Armstrong continues to influence the music community, receiving several honors, including induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, posthumously.

In celebration of the impact Armstrong has had on the music industry and on the lives of musicians all over the world, including mine, here are 28 fun facts about Louis Armstrong!

28 Fun Facts about Louis Armstrong

Armstrong was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father abandoned his family after Armstrong’s birth and his mother was a prostitute who frequently left Armstrong to his maternal grandmother.

While growing up, Armstrong did assorted jobs for the Karnofskys, a family of Lithuanian-Jewish immigrants. They gave him monetary compensation, a hot meal every night, and regular invitations to Shabbat dinners. They even gave him a $5 advance so he could buy his first horn. In honor of that family, Armstrong wore the Star of David around his neck throughout adulthood.

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After being arrested at the age of 11 for firing a gun into the air, Armstrong was sent to the Waifis’ Home for Boys, where he received his first cornet lesson.

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For nearly 10 years, Armstrong did not play in his hometown of New Orleans because it did not allow integrated bands. He returned in 1965 after the Civil Rights Act passed and “…triumphantly played with an integrated band in the city’s Jazz Museum.”

The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, established and funded by Armstrong in 1969, was devoted to providing education in the history of music and jazz.

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Armstrong was famously very quiet about race issues in the United States and refused to speak on the topic until he heard the news about the Arkansas National Guard refusing to let black students from entering Little Rock High School. He told the media, “The way they are treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell!”

Armstrong pronounced his name ‘Louis’, but adopted and answered to the nickname, ‘Louie’.

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Armstrong’s wide smile earned him the name “Satchelmouth” when he was a kid. This later became “Satchmo”, when a reporter mistook the name when he met Armstrong. Armstrong liked the revised nickname so much that he used it for an autobiography and had it engraved on some of his instruments.

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Armstrong was married 4 times throughout his life. Though he loved kids, he never produced children with any of his wives.

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Armstrong was one of the first celebrities to be arrested for drug possession. He made no secret of his fondness for marijuana, which he described as “…a thousand times better than whiskey.” He served 9 days in jail after being busted with the drug outside the Cotton Club in California.

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But that didn’t stop him from smoking a joint now and then. Armstrong said that smoking weed “…makes you forget all the bad things that happen to a Negro.” He continued using the drug for the rest of his life.

Before Armstrong married his fourth wife, Lucille, he made sure she could make his favorite food: rice and beans.

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He actually loved rice and beans so much that he signed his letters, “Red Beans and Ricely Yours”.

He loved performing so much that there were some years he appeared in more than 300 concerts.

One of Armstrong’s most well-known songs, “What a Wonderful World” didn’t even make a blimp in America until nearly 20 years after Armstrong died (thanks to its inclusion in the Good Morning, Vietnam soundtrack).

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Armstrong is also said to have invented ‘scat’, the art of making musical instrument noises with the human voice.

Armstrong’s personality won him fans of all races and religions, something rare for his time.

When he met the Pope Pius XII in 1949, the Pope asked him if he had children. Armstrong replied, “No, daddy, but we’re workin’ on it!”

Armstrong is quoted with saying, “Without jazz, there wouldn’t be any rock n’ roll.” For his early influence on the rock n’ roll genre, Armstrong was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Armstrong was deemed ‘America’s Jazz Ambassador’, traveling to Africa, the Middle East, and Europe on Goodwill missions arranged by the US State Department.

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Armstrong did not show his face at many race rallies or marches; however, he did donate money to the civil rights movement after the attack in Selma, Alabama.

During Armstrong’s lifetime, only one of his recordings ever reached the No. 1 Billboard spot in the US: his 1964 cover of “Hello, Dolly”, which pushed the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” from the top spot on the Hot 100 List.

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Armstrong also won the Male Vocal Performance Grammy Award for “Hello, Dolly”.

One year after Armstrong passed away, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Armstrong recorded more than 60 records, several of which have been named some of the most influential jazz records in history. He recorded them all in a span of 3 years.

The home Armstrong and his wife, Lucille, lived in for nearly 30 years is now a museum about the entertainer, called simply the Louis Armstrong House. It’s located in Queens, NY.

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When Armstrong died of a heart attack at the age of 69, an estimated 25,000 people attended his funeral.

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Among the honorary pallbearers were Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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