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23 Fun Facts about Zooey Deschanel

Who’s that girl? It’s Zooey!

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This brown-haired, blue-eyed beauty just celebrated her 38th birthday and is loving life more than ever. About to wrap up the final season of her hit show, New Girl, Zooey Deschanel is no stranger to acting (it’s very firmly cemented in her bloodline, as a matter of fact). She is a gifted actress, singer, musician, and dancer…and is just as adorkable and nerdy as you think she is!

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Whether you know her as Jessica Day, Summer Finn, or that sarcastic girl from Elf, Zooey has done a lot in her career thus far. In celebration of her recent birthday, here are 23 Fun Facts about Zooey Deschanel!

23 Fun Facts about Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Claire Deschanel was named after Zooey Glass, the male protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s 1961 novella, Franny and Zooey.

Zooey’s father is an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Caleb Deschanel and her mother is the actress Mary Jo Deschanel, who starred in Twin Peaks. Her older sister, Emily Deschanel, also starred in Bones.

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She attended Crossroads prep school, along with fellow actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson.

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Don’t let Jessica Day fool you…She’s also a very talented tap dancer. She took lessons for 6 years.

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Her first acting role was as a model on the TV show, Veronica’s Closet, which also starred Kirstie Alley.

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She also attended Northwestern University for nine months before dropping out to become an actress.

But it wasn’t until Almost Famous that Zooey became, well, famous. She was cast alongside her pal, Kate Hudson, as Anita Miller, the protagonist’s rebellious older sister.

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Then Elf happened. After her part as a deadpan department store worker, Zooey was in hot demand. Everyone wanted her to play the sarcastic “best friend”, a typecast she didn’t feel she owned since she’d stay home from school all the time and didn’t have many friends growing up.

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Speaking of Elf, Zooey does all her own singing in the film.

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She’s also a very talented musician and can play a multitude of instruments, including piano, guitar, and ukulele. She is also in a band called She & Him alongside Mathew Ward.

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One of her favorite singers of all time is Ella Fitzgerald, which shows with her trademark raspy voice.

For her role as Jessica Day on New Girl, Zooey has received one Emmy and three Golden Globe nominations.

She also jokes that she’s “…the worst person to ever eat with…” because she’s allergic to eggs, dairy, and wheat gluten.

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She loves coffee, baking, and crafting…so basically my soul mate.

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She’s also very into nail art and often shares her painted digits on her Instagram account.

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Even though her counterpart, Jessica Day, loves to guzzle pink wine, Zooey doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs.

In May 2011, Zooey launched “HelloGiggles” an entertainment website that targets female audiences. She runs the blog alongside Sophia Rossi and Molly McAleer.

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She’s real-life BFF’s with her 500 Days of Summer co-star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The two play instruments together and are basically the cutest thing in the history of the universe.

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Zooey and Jake Johnson, her love interest in New Girl, also had to have as little human contact as possible during the first season of the show because their chemistry was too strong.

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She has a daughter with producer Jacob Pechenik named Elsie Otter.  STOP IT WITH YOUR CUTENESS, ZOOEY.

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For one of her more recent birthdays, Zooey hosted a birthday party at the American Girl store.

She knows This is Spinal Tap by heart.

She’s also a very competitive board game player.

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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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17 Fun Facts about Disney Pixar’s Coco

If you haven’t seen it by now, I highly suggest you find the time to check out Disney Pixar’s newest masterpiece, Coco. A story about life, love, death and everything in between, this heartwarming movie stars an all-Latino cast…and is absolutely STUNNING to see in theaters!

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Coco recently won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Movie (duh) and I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes home at least a couple Academy Awards as well. If you’ve already seen Coco or are interested in learning a little bit more about how this movie came to be, here are 17 fun facts that may surprise you!

17 Fun Facts about Disney Pixar’s Coco

Marigolds play a huge role in Dia de Los Muertos, helping to guide spirits home to their loved ones. Therefore, marigolds are the only living plants in The Land of the Dead.

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Dante’s breed is Xoloitzcuintli, which is the national dog of Mexico.

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When you see anyone playing the guitar in Coco, they are actually playing the correct notes. Animators studied videos of musicians to make the guitar playing as authentic as possible.

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There were 500 individual pieces of clothing created for background characters.

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The cleft that appears in Ernesto’s chin when he is alive also appears in his chin when he is dead. His bones are so pristine because he’s so well-remembered by family and friends.

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The director of Coco (Lee Unkrich) also directed Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and Toy Story 3.

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In totality, the film took 7 years to make.

To stay true to the story, Coco features an all-Latino cast, including Benjamin Bratt, Gael Garcia, Bernal, Edward James Olmos, and Gabriel Iglesias.

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Coco marks Anthony Gonzalez’s (Miguel) first film. He was also 12 (just like Miguel) when recording his lines and has previously made TV appearances on Criminal Minds and Beyond Borders.

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Unkrich’s son was actually responsible for creating the design on Ernesto de la Cruz’s guitar.

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In true Pixar form, there are several Easter eggs in this movie, including an appearance by the Pizza Planet truck, Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. piñatas, and a poster for The Incredibles.

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Just like his character, Anthony Gonzalez loves to sing. Every time he sang for the film, it reminded him of his grandpa, who passed away when Gonzalez was 6 years old.

Edward James Olmos accepted his part in the movie without even reading the script. The director pitched him the idea – that if you don’t tell the stories of your loved ones, they cease to exist – and Olmos signed on immediately.

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Coco opened in Mexico almost four weeks before it opened in the US. It quickly surpassed The Avengers (2012) as the country’s highest-grossing film.

The Land of the Dead is inspired by the Mexican city of Guanajuato, which is known for its colorful houses that almost looked stacked.

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The orchestra conductor for Ernesto’s musical show, “Sunrise Spectacular”, is a caricature of the film’s composer, Michael Giacchino.

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Despite the film’s predominately Latino cast, John Ratzenberger continues his streak of appearing in every one of the studio’s feature films. In Coco, Ratzenberger plays a ghost named Juan Ortodoncia. He is allowed to cross over to the land of the living because his dentist remembers 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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16 Fun Facts about J.K. Simmons

You may know him from Juno or Spiderman…you may also know him from his Oscar-winning performance in Whiplash or his portrayal of a Nazi skinhead in HBO’s Oz. Even if you’ve never seen him on screen, you surely know J.K. Simmon’s voice.  Countless commercials, TV shows, and video games have used his sultry words to narrate their messages.

On January 9th, J.K. Simmons will celebrate his 63rd birthday…and I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for him!

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Easily one of my favorite actors, Simmons got a very late start acting, landing his first movie role at the age of 40. Since then, he’s garnered hundreds of nominations, several awards, and a slew of roles that show what a versatile actor this man is…

In celebration of J.K. Simmons’ upcoming birthday, here are 16 Fun Facts about J.K. Simmons!

16 Fun Facts about J.K. Simmons

J.K. Simmons’ real name is Johnathan Kimble Simmons, Kimble being his mother’s maiden name. Simmons wanted to keep his original name, however most variations of his name were already registered at the actors’ unions when he was starting his career. He decided to go with J.K., noting that he chose the moniker “well before Ms. Rowling had her Potter books.”

Simmons graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in music. His studies included voice, composition, and conducting. The background served him well for his Oscar-winning role as Terence Fletcher in Whiplash.

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He can play every instrument in the orchestra, but none of them well.

Simmons also comes from a musical background…his father was a music educator and conductor.

Before he became an actor, Simmons worked for a company in Seattle that provided singing telegrams. He would get an address, grab a bunch of balloons, and show up to sing a telegram…in a tutu. He was one of several bearded or burly men who would sing (in falsetto) messages to people in tutus.

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Simmons grew up in Ohio, where he played football for several years. When his knees became a problem and forced him to stop playing, he became a hippie instead, “…listening to my Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and turning on, tuning in, and dropping out.”

Simmons made his film debut in the 1994 movie, The Ref, making him just under 40 when he scored his first role.

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Before switching to movies, Simmons was a man of the stage, performing in revivals of Peter Pan and Guys and Dolls. Once his children were born, he left theater permanently. However, now that his kids are heading off to college, he has hinted that he may return to the stage…FINGERS CROSSED!!

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Simmons has appeared in every one of Jason Reitman’s movies.

He has also voiced the Yellow M&M for more than 20 years.

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Simmons’ wife, Michelle Schumacher, was also on Oz (she was the woman supposed to marry Agamemnon Busmalis). They married in 1996 and have two children together.

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He has also appeared in five Best Picture Oscar-nominated films, including The Cider House Rules (1999), Juno (2007), Up in the Air (2009), True Grit (2010) and Whiplash (2014).

His role in Whiplash earned him 47 awards, including his first Oscar for Best Actor.

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He’s also one of three cast members to appear in every episode of HBO’s Oz.

Simmons was so impressed with the Juno script that he was ready to play any character just to be part of the cast. He even offered to play the teacher, who didn’t have any lines of dialogue in the film.

In 1999, Simmons played the manager of the Detroit Tigers baseball team in For the Love of the Game. Simmons was actually born in Detroit and is an avid fan of the Tigers.

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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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50 Fun Facts You Can Use to Impress Your Friends in 2018

The new year is upon us…cure that social anxiety and be ready to impress your friends at NYE with these fun and completely random facts that are sure to make you the talk of 2018!

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50 Fun Facts You Can Use to Impress Your Friends in 2018

  1. Since humans have not developed a need for wisdom teeth, appendixes, or even little toes, scientists believe that those items may be phased out as humans evolve.
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  2. The American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V handbook classifies caffeine withdrawal as a mental disorder.
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  3. The cotton candy machine was invented by a dentist.
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  4. Twelve percent of sleepers dream in black and white.
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  5. Zebra coats are actually black…their undercoat has white stripes.
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  6. The oldest star known to man is 13.8 billion years old. Its name is Methuselah.
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  7. There is no sound in space, but it does have a distinct smell: a bouquet of diesel fumes, gunpowder, and barbecue. The aroma is mostly produced by dying stars.
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  8. Baby carrots are a $1 billion business.
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  9. There is a committee in Iceland named Mannanafnanefnd. Its purpose is to prevent parents from giving their babies weird names.
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  10. Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift apart.
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  11. German chocolate cake isn’t German…it’s named for Sam German, an American baker.
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  12. The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn.
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  13. The best man’s original purpose was to serve as an accomplice in case the bride needed to be kidnapped from disapproving parents.
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  14. The first sales pitch for the Nerf Ball was, “Nerf: You can’t hurt babies or old people!”
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  15. For an aspirin to save your life during a heart attack, you need to chew it. Aspirin, which inhibits platelets that speed blood clots, works fastest if chewed.
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  16. Frankenstein is the name of the DOCTOR, not the MONSTER.
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  17. Most cars have an arrow on the fuel gauge that tells you what side of the car the gas tank is on.
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  18. The limits of the human body tend to follow a “Rule of 3”: 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter in extreme conditions, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.
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  19. Of all the words in the English language, the word “set” has the most definitions.
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  20. There is a city called Rome on every continent.
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  21. The elephant is the only mammal that can’t jump.
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  22. Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian and only had one testicle.
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  23. All Froot Loops taste the same, no matter what color they are.
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  24. The average person has more than 2 million sweat glands on the surface of their body.
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  25. Speaking of sweat, it’s actually odorless. It’s the bacteria on your body that causes the stink.
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  26. Norway sends a Christmas tree to Britain every year as a symbol of gratitude for their help preserving Norwegian liberty during WW II.
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  27. The voice actor who plays Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings) calls sick children who are in the hospital to chat with them as Winnie the Pooh.
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  28. There are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 ways to scramble a Rubik’s Cube.
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  29. Billy Joel never sells front-row seats…instead he gives them away for free to fans who can’t afford them.
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  30. Swedish blood donors receive a text whenever their blood is used to help someone.
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  31. There is a place in Costa Rica called Territorio De Zaguates (Land of the Strays) that is basically a huge, no-kill dog shelter. #HEAVEN
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  32. The creature that kills the most people every year isn’t snakes, sharks, or even other humans…it’s the mosquito.
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  33. There are more public libraries in the US than McDonald’s restaurants.
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  34. It’s illegal to own just one guinea pig in Switzerland because they get lonely.
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  35. Richard Nixon once smuggled a suitcase full of weed through the airport for Louis Armstrong.
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  36. Cows have “best friends” and they get stressed when they’re separated.
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  37. Miami is the only US city founded by a woman.
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  38. Cornflakes were invented to prevent masturbation.
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  39. Red Sour Patch Kids are the exact same candy as Swedish Fish, just with some sour sugar sprinkled on them.
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  40. The last wooly mammoth died after most of the major pyramids were built.
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  41. In a room of 23 people, there’s a 50% chance that two people have the same birthday.
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  42. 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
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  43. Banging your head against a wall burns 150 calories an hour.
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  44. The top six foods that make you fart are beans, corn, bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, and milk.
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  45. Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore were college roommates.
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  46. Honey is the only food that never expires. The same honey that was buried with the pharaohs in Egypt is still considered ‘edible’ by scientists.
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  47. You can fit all the planets of the solar system between Earth and its moon.
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  48. Pirates wore eye patches so one eye would always be acclimated to the darkness, allowing them to see in the darkness below decks in an instant.
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  49. It actually takes 142.18 licks to reach the center of a Tootsie pop.
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  50. At any one time, about 0.7% of the world’s population is drunk.
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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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2018 Reading Challenge

Is your resolution to read more in 2018? Well, allow me to help!

Here is your 2018 Reading Challenge, complete with fun activities to get you reading more. Broaden your reading horizons with new genres, new looks at old classics, and even going back to re-read some old favorites! If you complete everything on this list, you’ll have read 50 books by the end of 2018!  Happy reading!

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Download your own Reading Challenge worksheet!

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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15 Fun Facts About A Charlie Brown Christmas

Christmastime is here…

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Happiness and cheer….

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Fun for all that children call their favorite time of year…

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Throughout the month of December, we’ve been diving in to some of our favorite holiday movies with trivia, fun facts, and more…in case you’re late to the party, you can check out some of our posts here:

Today we’re gonna explore one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies, A Charlie Brown Christmas with 15 fun facts you might not know about this made-for-TV holiday special.

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Originally aired on CBS, A Charlie Brown Christmas got off to a rocky start…a small budget, a writer/creator who didn’t believe in the project and a skeptical network were not exactly the playing pieces the production team was looking for…however, the special became a fan favorite almost immediately and is now one of the most popular TV holiday specials in history, second only to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Starring several unknown child actors (many of whom did not get credit in the film) and backed by a score that’s come to be synonymous with Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas was the perfect disaster the Peanuts franchise needed…and, much like Charlie Brown’s little tree, just needed a little holiday love…

15 Fun Facts About A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas was the first animated Peanuts cartoon.

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CBS and Coca-Cola only gave producers a measly $76,000 to cover production costs of A Charlie Brown Christmas. They only had a 6 month lead time and no idea how to budget the money. Thankfully, they made it all back, though. Writer/creator Charles Schulz, animator Bill Melendez, and executive producer Lee Mendelson wound up earing about $5 million for the special through 2000.

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Much like The Flintstones, A Charlie Brown Christmas was going to have a laugh track. Schulz was so offended by the idea, he left the room and didn’t return for several minutes. When he did return, Mendelson got the hint and the laugh track was canned.

Snoopy’s voice is actually Melendez barking and chuffing into a microphone, then sped up to give the recording a more emotive quality.

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The soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas is about as “Christmas” as Santa himself; however, Schulz hated jazz and was not a fan of Vice Guaraldi’s arrangement.

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Because Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip was never meant to be animated – and because Melendez was unwilling to stray from Schulz’s distinctive character designs – it was a constant battle to animate Charlie Brown’s head. Its round shape made it difficult to depict Charlie’s head turning and, as was the case with most of the characters, his arms were too short to scratch his head.

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Snoopy, by contrast, was the show’s easiest figure to animate.

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When it came time to screen the special, CBS hated it. They thought it was slow and lacked energy. To add insult, someone misspelled Schulz in the credits, adding a “T” to his last name. Schulz himself thought the whole project was a disaster due to the crude animation.

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However, viewers loved it! A Charlie Brown Christmas pulled a 50 share on its first viewing, meaning half of all households with a TV turned on were watching it (this equated to about 15 million people in 1965.

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CBS might also be ashamed to know that A Charlie Brown Christmas is actually the second longest-running Christmas special in TV history after Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Take that, jerks.

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The special also inspired viewers to scrap the aluminum tree, which came out only 7 years prior, for small living trees just like Charlie Brown’s. About four years after the special aired, aluminum trees were phased out and are now collector’s items.

Charlie Brown GIF by Peanuts

Peter Robbins, the voice behind Charlie Brown, continued to voice the character until he was 13 years old. In November 2015, the 59-year-old Robbins pleaded guilty to making criminal threats against a mobile home park manager and a sheriff.  The actor claimed that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder led him to making the threats and he was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison. What a blockhead.

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Every child role was voiced by an actual child. Some of the child actors were so young at the time that they couldn’t even read the script.

A Charlie Brown Christmas also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program and a Peabody Award for excellence in programming.

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Though Schulz was not a fan of the animated classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas gave birth to several other Peanuts animated specials, including It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973), It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (1974), Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (1975), Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (1986), It’s Christmas Time Again, Charlie Brown (1992) and It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown (1995).

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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13 Fun Facts about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

It’s not Christmas without visiting the best Chicago family on screen: The Griswald’s.

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This comedy of errors is a classic in the Christmas movie lineup, and after having just marathoned all the Vacation movies, I have to say that Christmas Vacation is probably my favorite.

Since we’re getting closer and closer to Christmas, if you haven’t poured yourself a moose mug of eggnog and watched Christmas Vacation yet, it’s about damn time you did. To help get you in the mood, here are 13 Fun Facts about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!

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13 Fun Facts About National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Clark Griswald’s childhood home was the same house used to film the TV series, Bewitched…and it’s actually not a house at all. It’s part of the Warner Bros. back lot, located on what is known as Blondie Street. The rest of the neighborhood is located there, as well, including the home of Todd and Margo, which is where Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and his family lived in Lethal Weapon.

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The only other Christmas movie to come out in 1989 besides Christmas Vacation was Prancer. Johnny Galecki (Rusty Griswald) starred in both.

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Christmas Vacation had an unusually high budget for a comedy: $27 million (probably to pay for all those lights!). However the movie had no problem making its money back. Its final domestic gross was more than $71 million.

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Christmas Vacation, which was a sequel to National Lampoon’s Vacation, spurred its OWN sequel, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure. It was made for TV and finds cousin Eddie and his family stranded on an island in the South Pacific. Not surprisingly, it has a 12% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Eddie’s sweater/Dickie combo was actually a suggestion from Randy Quaid’s wife. You can buy your own Dickie, as well as your own set of Moose mugs and much more, right here: http://www.christmasvacationcollectibles.com/.

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Christmas Vacation was the final film for Mae Questel (Aunt Bethany), who started her career voicing Betty Boop in 1931.

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There were no rehearsals for the actors on Christmas Vacation. Chevy Chase’s tendency to ad-lib and improvise made such preparation useless.

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The Griswald’s neighbor, Todd, is played by Nicholas Guest, brother to actor/director Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, The Princess Bride, Spinal Tap).

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The famous insult scene where Chase rants on about his boss took a lot of planning. In order for the long-winded rant to go on without stopping, Chase had the crew place cue cards all over the set with various insults on them so he wouldn’t have to stop.

The production crew originally had a trained squirrel for the scene where it wreaks havoc on the house. Unfortunately, it died the day before the scene was shot. An untrained squirrel was used instead…adding to the chaos, of course.

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Chase still has the PJ’s he wore in the film. His daughter has said that he wore them all the time.

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Chase broke his pinky filming the scene in the front yard where he’s kicking and hitting the decorations. Like a pro, he didn’t break character, but he used the pain to continue through the scene.

When Clark Griswold is having a hard time getting the Christmas lights to work, he turns to his son, Rusty, who answers with a classic Chevy Chase gag – looking at an imaginary watch on his wrist and excusing himself.

Gotta Go Christmas Vacation GIF

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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