Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde set the course of 20th century classical music by keeping the audience in suspense for four hours with a single unresolved chord.
An episode of the 1970s television series The Goodies killed a man. He died laughing.
Disney animation has been parodied for more than half a century, including the classics Bambi Meets Godzilla, Mickey Mouse in Vietnam, and an Italian satire of Fantasia in which alien life evolves from a soda bottle.
The Muhammad Ali vs. Rocky Marciano boxing match was screened in theatres across Europe and North America in 1970. In American theatres, Marciano won. In European theatres, Ali did.
Alice Guy-Blaché was the first female film director, the creator of the first film to feature an all-African-American cast, and the co-founder of the largest pre-Hollywood film studio in the United States.
Warner Bros. was founded by four brothers: Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack. Jack was the evil one.
Tonight millions of people in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway will watch an obscure British comedy routine from 1963. Dinner for One has inexplicably become perhaps the most repeated TV broadcast in history.
In 1966 a New York TV station played a 17-second loop of a blazing fireplace accompanied by Christmas music. It was, and is, a huge success.
Earl Muntz was an American businessperson who made a fortune chopping unnecessary bits out of TV sets. He may have also coined the term “TV” and certainly named his daughter “Tee Vee” too.
One Sunday in 1987, two Chicago TV broadcasts were hijacked by someone with a Max Headroom mask, a voice modulator, and an odd sense of humour. He was never caught.
When Taiwanese baseball player Chin-Lung Hu hit a single in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks he fulfilled a promise made in a comedy sketch seventy-one years before.
Emerson Romero was a deaf Cuban-American silent film star who lost his job when sound came to cinema – so he invented closed captioning.
The classic horror film Nosferatu was nearly lost forever because of Bram Stoker’s widow.
The hymn Amazing Grace was set to its current tune more than fifty years after it was written. Because it was written in common metre, it can also be sung to Mack the Knife, Sympathy for the Devil, the Pokemon theme, and the Gilligan’s Island theme.
Chinese wuxia (and derivative Western) fiction describes the touch of death, a single blow that can kill an opponent. Surprisingly, this is actually possible.
What do George Spelvin, Walter Plinge, David Agnew, and Alan Smithee have in common? None of them exist.