Television Legends

Urban legends, myths, and stories about television.

Most of us have spent countless hours in front of television sets throughout our lives. We've seen and heard some outrageous things on (and about) television, but most of them can't compare to the outrageous things we think we've seen on television

Alfred Hitchcock Presents:
Green bullet An episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents was suppressed for being "too horrifying."

The Bachelor:
Red bullet The Bachelor's Alex Michel was pressured by the network to pick the underdog rather than the woman he wanted.
Red bullet The Bachelor's Aaron Buerge got three contestants from the show pregnant.

Red bullet Purple dinosaur children's host Barney had cocaine hidden in his tail or cussed out a child.

Red bullet The lyrics to the Batman TV theme song were produced by brass instruments, not human voices.

Red bullet A curse doomed the cast of Bewitched to early deaths.

Blue's Clues:
Red bullet "Steve" died of a heroin overdose and was replaced by a look-alike.

Bozo the Clown:
White bullet A youngster told Bozo to "cram it" after losing one of the show's contests.

Candid Camera:
Green bullet Passengers on an airliner diverted to Cuba thought the hijacking was a Candid Camera stunt due to the presence of Allen Funt, the show's host.

Captain Kangaroo:
Red bullet Frank Zappa was the son of the actor who played Mr. Greenjeans on Captain Kangaroo.*

Captain Pugwash:
Red bullet British TV cartoon characters had sexually suggestive double entendres for names.

Green bullet The Marlboro Man died of lung cancer.
Red bullet Little Mikey of LIFE cereal fame died from eating Pop Rocks and soda.*
Red bullet Subway pitchman Jared Fogle ("the weight-loss guy") died.
Red bullet A Mountain Dew commercial included footage of a fatal skydiving accident.
Red bullet The "Dell Dude" lost his job because of a drug bust.
Red bullet Taco Bell ended its famous ad campaign because the dog died.
Red bullet Kid in Frosties commercial committed suicide, was murdered by bullies, or died of cancer.

The Contender:
Green bullet An unsuccessful contestant on The Contender committed suicide after being bumped from the show.

Red bullet Randomly selected letters on TV game show spelled out the phrase W-A-N-K-M-E-O-F-F.

The Dick Cavett Show:
Green bullet A guest died during a taping of The Dick Cavett Show.*

Red bullet Dragnet's Sgt. Joe Friday character frequently implored female informants to provide "Just the facts, ma'am."

The Ellen DeGeneres Show:
Red bullet Leah Remini appeared on Ellen DeGeneres' show and learned during a phone prank that her husband was having an affair.

The Ed Sullivan Show:
Red bullet During the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, crime rates plummeted all over the U.S.

Family Matters:
Red bullet Jaleel White (Steve Urkel) committed suicide.

The French Chef:
Red bullet Cooking maven Julia Child dusted off a chicken she'd dropped on the floor and continued cooking it.

The Game of the Name:
White bullet Several TV series have included leading characters whose full names were never revealed.

Gilligan's Island:
Multi-colored bullet The full name of the title character in Gilligan's Island was 'Willy Gilligan.'

Red bullet Albert Einstein once guest-starred on Gunsmoke.
Red bullet John Wayne was offered the role of Matt Dillon.

Happy Days:
Red bullet After a 1977 episode of Happy Days aired, the American Library Association reported a nationwide 500% increase in library card applications from children.

I Love Lucy:
Yellow bullet Lucille Ball claimed radio transmissions picked up by her fillings led to the capture of Japanese spies.
Red bullet I Love Lucy co-star Vivian Vance was contractually obligated to remain at least 20 pounds overweight.

Joanie Loves Chachi:
Red bullet Joanie Loves Chachi was the highest-rated American program ever shown in Korea because "Chachi" is Korean for "penis."

Kenan & Kel:
Red bullet Kel Mitchell died in July 2006.

Red bullet A broadcast by Houston TV station KLEE was received by viewers in England three years after the station went off the air.

Knotts, Don:
Red bullet Don Knotts once served as a drill sergeant in the U.S. Marines.

Labor Day Telethon:
Red bullet Jerry Lewis keeps a significant portion of the funds raised during the annual MDA Labor Day Telethon.

Leave It to Beaver:
Multi-colored bullet The first toilet seen on American television appeared on Leave It to Beaver.
Red bullet Leave It to Beaver star Jerry Mathers was killed in Vietnam.

Life Is Worth Living:
Green bullet Bishop Fulton Sheen foretold the death of Stalin on his TV show.

The Little Rascals:
Red bullet Bill Cosby bought up the rights to The Little Rascals comedies to keep them off TV.

Love Boat:
Red bullet Congressman Fred Grandy had a page fired for insolence.

Mary Kay and Johnny:
Green bullet Mary Kay and Johnny was the first TV series to portray a husband and wife sharing a bed.

Red bullet The cast of M*A*S*H did not learn of Col. Blake's death until they were actually filming the scene in which it was announced.

Mister Ed:
Red bullet An outtake from Mister Ed captures the talking equine making a racist comment.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood:
Red bullet Children's show host Fred Rogers hid a violent past.
Yellow bullet Mr. Rogers' stolen car was returned after thieves realized it was his.
Green bullet Mr. Rogers said that his mother responded to scary news by telling him, "Look for the helpers."

The Monkees:
Red bullet Charles Manson auditioned for The Monkees.

The Newlywed Game:
Green bullet Contestant gave unintentionally hilarious answer to a question about "making whoopee."

White bullet The password is "deer." Celebrity gives his black partner the clue "doe." Contestant responds by guessing "knob."

Multi-colored bullet A 1997 episode of Pokemon triggered epileptic seizures in over 600 young viewers.

The Practice:
Green bullet A viewer received an insulting response after sending a complaint to ABC's web site about the TV program The Practice.*

Press Your Luck:
Green bullet A contestant won big by memorizing the sequence the lights on the prize board followed.

The Price is Right:
Red bullet Because his jailbird son complained about a lack of prison toiletries, Bob Barker of The Price is Right founded a company that supplies them.

Green bullet A QVC demonstrator fell from a ladder on live television.

Joan Rivers:
Green bullet Joan Rivers once gave out actress Victoria Principal's home phone number on her talk show.

Saturday Night Live:
Red bullet Saturday Night Live aired a 'Conspiracy Theory Rock!' segment once in 1998, after which it was banned by the network.

Scooby Doo:
Red bullet The five characters in Scooby Doo represent five Eastern colleges.

Sesame Street:
Red bullet Ernie is slated to die in a future episode of Sesame Street.
Red bullet Ernie and Bert are gay and will soon marry on Sesame Street.
Green bullet Sesame Street is adding to its cast a muppet who is HIV-positive.
Red bullet Sesame Street's Cookie Monster is being replaced by Veggie Monster.

The Soupy Sales Show:
Green bullet Soupy asked children to send him "green pieces of paper" from their parents' wallets.
Red bullet Soupy Sales sneaked smutty jokes onto his show.

Star Trek:
Green bullet The Star Trek theme has lyrics.
Multi-colored bullet The character of Ensign Chekov was added to Star Trek because of an editorial in Pravda.

Red bullet The actor who portrayed TV's Superman died because he believed he possessed his character's super powers and accidentally killed himself attempting to fly.

Three's Company:
Yellow bullet John Ritter's testicles were briefly visible in an episode of Three's Company.

The Tom Green Show:
Red bullet Tom Green's MTV show was cancelled after he attended a bar mitzvah dressed as Adolf Hitler.

Tonight Show:
Red bullet Johnny asked Zsa Zsa Gabor to "move that damn cat."
White bullet Wife of famous golfer blurts out on TV that she kisses her husband's balls for luck.
Green bullet Johnny Carson once delivered a humorous monologue about 'What Democracy Means to Me.'
Red bullet Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson all appeared on the Tonight Show on the same day.
Multi-colored bullet Johnny Carson caused a toilet paper shortage in 1973 after making a joke in his monologue.

Touched by an Angel:
Red bullet Atheist groups are petitioning Congress to have the program Touched by an Angel removed from the airwaves.*

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire:
Red bullet Game show contestant cannot correctly determine which is larger: an elephant or the moon.

Wild Kingdom:
Red bullet Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom host Marlin Perkins was once bitten by a rattlesnake on live TV.

The Wonder Years:
Red bullet Kevin's sidekick Paul was played by Marilyn Manson.*

You Bet Your Life:
Red bullet While interviewing the mother of a large number of children for the show You Bet Your Life, Groucho Marx made a risqué remark about his cigar.

The Young and the Restless:
Red bullet Actress Eileen Davidson of The Young and the Restless is a transsexual — she used to be a man.

Death Takes a Powder:
Green bullet An actor whose character had been killed during a live television production suddenly got up and walked off-stage.

Red bullet Television sets don't have a Channel 1 because that frequency had already been reserved for military use.

Green bullet The government will temporarily interrupt all television, radio, communications, and power in the U.S. on 9 November 2011.

Green bullet Episodes of some syndicated series are sped up to fit more commercials into their time slots

David Mikkelson founded in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.