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19 Weird Facts From Classic TV History

If you take a microscope to your favorite classic TV program you’ll start discovering all sorts of captivating details and trivia that your average fan is never going to pick up on. From nifty little easter eggs, eerily familiar set designs, production flubs, and obscure historical references, there are a ton of fun facts that you can uncover if you know what you’re looking for and how to find them.

The process of unearthing these uncanny tidbits can be somewhat tiring, to say the least. The most die-hard fans might spend hours combing through each frame of their favorite shows just to find one or two interesting bits of intel. If you don’t have time to painstakingly dig through IMDB, Wikipedia, and go through each and every scene of your favorites series from yesteryear, then you can let us do the investigative work for you.

We’re going to show you some of the most obscure bits of classic TV trivia that you’ve ever seen. After you finish watching this video, you’re likely to never look at some of these beloved shows the same way again So, buckle up and get ready for a journey into the fantastic and curious hidden world of classic television.

Andy Griffith’s Upside Down Maps

Wait, we thought that Mayberry was a sleepy little utopian town in North Carolina! What on earth is a map of Idaho doing behind his desk? And why the heck is it upside down? You’d think that the town sheriff would be able to read a map, right?

In earlier episodes, you can clearly spot another inverted map at the police department that Barney and Andy call their workplace as well. That upside-down map shows the relationship of Nevada to the State of California.

What does it all mean? What would Aunt Bee think? Is Opie’s knowledge of geography going to be permanently stunted? These are the questions that we may never know the real answers to,

The Brady Families Back Door Is Missing Something

Ever see someone accidentally run into a glass sliding door? Well, apparently that classic error in judgment never happened on the set of the Brady Bunch, because the blended family’s back sliding glass door is missing one crucial element that makes a glass door practical – namely glass!

The producers removed the pane of glass from the door to prevent light from reflecting off its surface during filming. So every time that Alice slides open the door to tell the children that supper is ready, she’s really putting in more effort than she really needs to.

The Charlie’s Angels – Frank Sinatra Connection

Ever wonder where the iconic female crime-busting trio got their nifty name? Aaron Spelling, the series producer had an office in a building that had previously been used by none other than Frank Sinatra.

Behind the desk, proudly displayed on the wall was a beautiful painting of three angel women. Kate Jackson, who played Sabrina Duncan, was paying a visit to Spelling one afternoon when she saw the painting and suggested that the heroic trifecta of lovely ladies be called angels. Initially, they were going to call them Harry’s Angels but there was already a show on the air at the time called Harry O, so to avoid confusion, they went with Charlie’s instead.

Gilligan’s Island Paid Their Respects To John F. Kennedy

During the final day of production of the Gilligan Islands pilot which was filmed in November of 1963, the news broke that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Texas. The news shocked and rattled the nation and flags all across the country were lowered to half-mast to pay their respects to the late and great leader of the free world.

In the opening credits, you can see a tiny little reminder of this tragic bit of American history. As the Minnow drifts out of the harbor en route for its ill-fated 3-hour-tour, you can see a flag in the background at half-mast.

Lost In Space’s Insanely Expensive Costume

Danger Danger Will Robinson!

Robert Kinoshita designed the Robby the Robot and Tobor costumes for the series that served as popular culture symbol of sorts back in the day. His piece de resistance however was the robot B-9.

The expensive article of space-age wardrobe cost $70,000 to produce which equates to about $450.000 in today’s bucks.

Bob May, who had previously worked as a body double for Red Buttons was scouted by Irwin Allen the lead director for Lost in Space and told him that if he could fit into the costume then he could have the role. Allen managed to fit into the plastic suit but just barely. Initially, he would have to operate the lights on the robot suit by pushing a button with his head, but later on, that button was relocated to the hand.

The Love Boat Ticket Prices Were Insane!

Back in the late 1970s and early 80s, love was in the air.

If you wanted to set sail with the cast and crew you could have – that is if your bank account was flush enough to afford the astronomical ticket price. Travelers wishing to get a chance to take a voyage on the Pacific Princess would have to shell out $3,500 to $8,000 clams if they wanted to ride with Captain Stubing, Gopher, Julie and Dr. Bricker.

My Three Son’s Family Home Was A Barn In Gene Autry Musical

If you thought that that California abode looked familiar then you were right on the money. The domicile was originally featured in the Gene Autry film Melody Ranch which premiered in 1940. The farmhouse facade was originally a barn but was given a suburban makeover in the 1950s. The set can be found on the Republic Pictures backlot – which also is home to Gilligan’s Lagoon.

If you’re loving this video so far, make sure you give us a like and subscribe to our channel and make sure you stick around for the rest of the video to find out the mind-boggling diet that Bamboo Harvestor, the equine actor behind Mr. Ed, consumed each day during filming of the classic series that bears his name.

The Odd Couple And Penny Marshall’s Real-Life Family

Gary Marshall was the executive producer of The Odd Couple and gave the part of Myrna to his sister Penny who stuck with the role for 4 years. In her final appearance on the series in an episode entitled “The Rain In Spain”, she gets married to her boyfriend Sheldn who was played by her husband Rob Reiner. The same episode guest-starred some of her real-life family members including her brother Garry and her sister Ronny who respectively played Werner and Verna Turner.

William Talman Of Perry Mason Was Fired For Violating The Terms Of His Contract

He played Hamilton Burger, a hotshot LA district Attorney on the classic courtroom procedural drama. He was briefly fired for violating the terms of the moral clause in his contract when he was arrested following a raid of a party that he had attended. He was accused of engaging in lewd activities, but he was eventually acquitted of all charges and was allowed to rejoin the cast.

The Out Of Time Rifle In The Rifleman

The Western series was supposedly set in the late 1870s and 1880s but one prop, in particular, was wildly out of place. Rancher Lucas McCain’s rifle was a Winchester from 1892. The anachronistic prop was equipped with a large ring lever which allowed left-handed actor Chuck Conner’s to cock the weapon by spinning it with one hand – a technique that is aptly called spin-cocking.

NBC Thought That Spock Looked Devilish

The Vulcan people should certainly call foul because the network thought that Spock – played by the late, great Leonard Nimoy – looked too satanic to be on the show. Network brass approached series creator Gene Roddenberry and asked him to nix the pointy-eared character because they feared that conservative viewers might find him to be too offensive to their religious sensibilities. Of course, Roddenberry flatly refused and Spock became one of the most popular characters from the trailblazing science-fiction series.

The One Actor To Appear In Every Season Of The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone saw many actors and actresses come and go throughout its 5 season tenure on the TV screen, but only one actor can make the claim that they appeared in every season. Actor Robert McCord showed up in 67 episodes of the groundbreaking anthology series – although most of those appearances were as an extra.

The Wife Of George Wendt Played His Wife On Cheers

George Wendt AKA Norm on the workplace comedy Cheers got a chance to work with his actual wife during the show’s production. Bernadette Birkett played Vera, his wife, who showed up in a half dozen or so episodes but only in voice only. She only makes an appearance on-screen one time throughout the series in the third season episode ‘Fairy Tales Can Come True’ where she can be seen wearing a mask as the character Tinkerbell.

WKRP In Cincinnati’s Herb Tarlek And The Suit Made From VW Seat Covers

Herb consistently wears god-awfully tacky suits throughout the shows 4 seasons. But somewhere out there is a VW that’s missing all of its seat covers because one of those garish suits was actually made from the plaid fabric.

The Addam’s Family Was Ahead Of Their Time

They were certainly the only house on the block with a disembodied hand as a resident and as far as TV is concerned they were the first family to be seen with their own PC – years before Bruce Wayne got his Bat-computer installed in the Bat-Cave. The Addams were the proud owners of a UNIVAC computer – an obsolete piece of tech that was invented in 1951.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Profile Origins

The image would live on to become an iconic symbol of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour – a popular anthology series that ran from 1962 to 1965. The very minimal side-profile sketch was first doodled up for a Christmas card years prior.

Irwin Allen’s Birthday And 1968’s Land Of The Giants

When the spaceship called Spin-drift gets caught in an electrical storm and gets plummeted through space and time only to crash-land on June 12, 1983, in the land of the giants, that date actually held some special significance to Allen, the shows creator. because It was indeed his birthday.

Mr. Ed’s Special Diet

Bamboo Harvester, the hooved actor behind Mr. Ed reportedly ate 20 pounds of hay and drank a gallon of sweet tea to wash it all down. Rumor has it, peanut butter was also part of his diet as the sticky substance would cause him to flap his lips helping create the illusion of him talking although other reports cite the use of a string used for the same effect. Perhaps it was a little bit of both.

We could go on for days revealing all the secrets of your favorite classic television shows, but we’ll have to save the rest for another video – which by the way if you’ve enjoyed this one and want to see more then you should give us a like, subscribe to our channel and tap the bell icon to turn on notifications to keep up with all of our latest content.

Also, let us know in the comments section whether you’d like to learn more fascinating facts about classic TV shows or beloved old-school movies.

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