7/24/2013


Check out how the bizarre 70s Spider-Man kid's show predicted the future we live in today.

Starting in 1974, the PBS children's TV show The Electric Company had a live-action skit called "Spidey Super Stories." Amazingly, a few of the skits came to life!

The show The Electric Company was already strange, bizarre and hilarious to my little kid mind. This was a show that had cooking tips for making "Grilled Dill Pickles with Chilled Vanilla Filling" and a talking plant that teaches phonics. Insane stuff, but we never thought they would ever come true!

Peter Parker's Spider-Sense warns him of danger but, in this show, it apparently allowed him to see what life would be like 30 years later. From Black Presidents, to hot dogs with flies, see how the "Spidey Super Stories" came to life.




#7. Vampire Bites Someone at the Movie Theater




In "A Night at the Movies" a couple go to a Spider-Man film and Count Dracula (Morgan Freeman) comes up behind her and tries to bite her. Who would have thought someone would try to bite someone on the neck in a movie theater? Spider-Man.


How did it come true?
The idea of someone biting a stranger in movie theater seems far-fetched, except it actually happened!

A teenager attending a showing of The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) said she'd like to be bitten by Edward. A guy sitting nearby heard her and started harassing her. After the film he came up behind her and bit her on the neck.  He didn't break the skin,  but was obviously acting out a Dracula fantasy.

The really creepy part is he was a 45-year-old dude biting a teenage girl. Creepy.



#6. School Principal Pranks Students
 

In "Spidey Meets the Prankster," a school gets a bunch of pretty funny pranks played on the students. The jokes included snakes springing from books and cakes made out of mud. Spider-Man discovers that the Principal (Jim Boyd) is getting back at the students for tricks they played on him.

A Principal playing pranks on students? Ridiculous.  Except...



How did it come true?
Principals are tasked with keeping law and order in schools. They punish those that break rules and play cruel jokes. Except for one Principal in a Minnesota high school named John Wollersheim! He tricked the captains of the school's sports teams into kissing their own parents.

At a High School prep rally, the students were blindfolded and told they were going to kiss someone special. It turns out it was their unblindfolded Moms.

One student unknowingly rolled around on the floor kissing his Mom, while another said his Mom had "luscious lips." Wollersheim, apologized for the prank. "This activity was intended to be fun, but some found it offensive," he wrote in a statement. "We apologize to anyone who was offended by this activity."

Yeah Wollersheim. Who could possibly be offended by being tricked into kissing their mother? Every son ever in the history of the universe.

Who would have thought a principal would resort to pranking students? Spider-Man did.



#5. Someone Hitting People with Hammers


In the skit, "Spidey Jumps the Thumper" a girl (Hattie Winston) doesn't get the gift she wants and, dressing like Napoleon Bonaparte, starts hitting people in the head with a hammer. Silly right?

Why would anyone outside of the circus hit people with a hammer?


How did it come true?
Earlier this year, Timothy Lamont Parker allegedly hit a guy in the back of the head with a hammer after an argument. In fact, the guy had been arrested before for hitting someone with a hammer for playing the harmonica. He's a serial hammer-head-hitter. What a weirdo right? The craziest part is yet to come.

It turns out people get hit in the head with hammers all the time. In fact, more people are killed with hammers than guns. According to FBI annual crime statistics, the number of murders committed annually with hammers and clubs far outnumbers the number of murders committed with a rifle. In 2011, there was 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs and only 323 murders committed with a rifle.

There are no numbers on people dressing like Napoleon Bonaparte, but I'm sure it's in the millions



#4
. Black President



In "Spidey Meets the Funny Bunny" Spider-Man has to stop a costumed criminal from ruining the White House egg hunt. The part of the President was played by a black woman: Melanie Henderson.

How did it come true?
This episode was one of the first African-Americans to play the role of a U.S. president on television. While the Civil rights movement was in full swing, it was literally only a dream that a black man would become president.

The first movie portrayal of a black American president was a dream by Sammy Davis Jr. in the 1933 film Rufus Jones for President. In 1972, the movie The Man starred James Earl Jones as President. But it wasn't until 2008 that President Barack Obama was elected the first Black President of the United States.

Even stranger? Costar Morgan Freeman would play a Black President in the 1998 science fiction film Deep Impact.


#3. Morgan Freeman Plays a Policeman



In the skit "Spidey Meets the Yeti" Morgan Freeman plays a policeman trying to catch a Yeti that's sitting on sodas and cakes.

Freeman was just a simple actor at the time. On The Electric Company he had several recurring characters like "Easy Reader," a hip Music Producer who loves reading, and "Vincent the Vegetable Vampire." Not exactly the kind of roles that lend themselves to authority, but Spider-Man's Spider sense must have been tingling.

Who would think he'd ever play someone important like a policeman in a major motion picture?



How did it come true?
Today, Morgan Freeman has played a policeman many times. He's played a policeman eight times. This is more often than any other role. Some of his most popular roles are as a policeman in the Alex Cross films, Eyewitness (1981) and Se7en (1995).

You may not have busted the Yeti, Morgan, but you busted Kevin Spacey.


#2. Hot Dog Vendors Selling Flies



In the skit "Dr. Fly" (Luis Avalos), a mutant sells hot dogs laced with a formula of fleas and flies. It's disgusting to think of a hot dog vendor selling food with fly parts.  Who would do such a thing?

How did it come true?
Back in 1974 that would be unthinkable, but things change. Spider-Man busted Dr. Fly back in the 70s, but nowadays the guy didn't break any laws. The FDA "Food Defect Action Levels", first published in 1995, allows hot dog vendors to sell food with insects and fly parts in them.

The handbook defines the acceptable amount of "foreign material" like dirt, hair, excreta, non-invasive insects and machinery mold in food. Amazingly, it's cool if we eat insects now.

For example, the sauerkraut on your hot dog can include up to 50 thrips - tiny insects with fringed wings - per 100 grams. The potato chips can have 6% or more pieces by weight containing "Plant tissue that is visibly decomposed, usually discolored with disagreeable odors and taste." In other words, moldy chips.

The FDA's Food Defect Action Level Handbook says there are plenty of "natural contamination" in food like hot dogs.  Yum!



#1. Criminal Puts Victims to Sleep


 
The skit "Spidey Nabs the Sandman" has a burglar named "The Sandman" (Luis Avalos) who knocks out his victims with "sleeping sand" before robbing them.

There's no such thing as "sleeping sand" and it's a crazy idea. But could it come true?

How did it come true?
While the original skit plays it for laughs, in real life it was terrifying. In 2010 a gang of thieves used sleeping gas to knock out their victims before breaking into their hotel rooms. On the French Riviera tourists often leave the windows open because of the heat. The gangs - possibly Russian or Romanian mafia - began using nitrous oxide inside the air-conditioning or under the door to put them to sleep. Then, wearing gas masks, they took their time stealing cash, jewelery, credit cards, cameras and laptops. When a child woke up during the robbery, the gang injected him with an anesthetic to put him back to sleep. The mother said it was the worst experience in her life.

In another example, Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, from the BBC makeover reality television show What Not to Wear, were sleeping in a villa in Cannes when they were knocked out with chloroform-soaked pads and robbed.

A French police officer said "Gassing victims seems to be a worrying trend that is sweeping Europe."

So, if you ever go to Europe, don't go to sleep. "The Sandman" might rob you blind.

Spider-Man, where are you coming from?
Spider-Man, nobody knows who you are!
Spider-Man, you've got that Spidey touch
Spider-Man, you are a web-slinging star!


What do you think? Did the "Spidey Super Stories" come to life? Do you remember the show?

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12 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tricked into kissing your mother! That's right, funny stuff. Not.
I watched the show when I was a kid and I always forget Morgan Freeman was on it.

DAVID WALSTON said...

I like how you made Spider-Man prophetic. Spider-Man was my favorite part of the show. I remember an episode with a Bookworm eating books and Spider-Man had to stop him. I had no idea that Morgan Freeman was on that show.

Pat Dilloway said...

Ew, I wish I hadn't read #2 right before lunch. Though in some countries they consider insects to be delicacies.

MPax said...

Freaky. My sister used to watch that show. PBS wasn't quite around when I was small.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I remember that show. The 45-year old biting the teenager is creepy. And what was he doing at the show? Real men don't go see Twilight movies.

Nicki Elson said...

That was Morgan Freeman? How...how did I never put that together until just now? That high school prank was so, SO wrong---can't believe the guy thought it would be a good idea. And it's kinda sick that the mom's went along with it. Almost more gross than flies in hot dogs...almost.

Maurice Mitchell said...

That was his first mistake L. Diane.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I can't imagine a more humiliating and disturbing experience Alex. Comedy!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Yeah Nicki. What is up with those Moms?!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Yeah David, and they were throwing books at a sock puppet! Classic. "The Wall" is the one I remember the most about a guy who dresses up like a wall and takes out a baseball player. Sadly, this has never really happened...yet.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Enjoy your thrips Pat! LOL

Electrical house Rochester NY said...

Good one.....thanks

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