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Artificially Sweetened: The Story of Canned Laughter

The following article is from the bookUncle John’s Bathroom Reader Tunes Into TV. What if the studio audience isn’t laughing at what’s supposed to be funny? What if there isn’t a studio audience at all? There’s always “sweetening” -tweaking a program’s audio wth a laugh track or some other canned response. This is the story [...]

11 TV Theme Songs That Secretly Have Lyrics

Chances are, you’ve been humming these classic TV theme songs for years. Now you can get their lyrics stuck in your head, too. 1. We mentioned last week that Andy Griffith recorded a version of “The Fishing Hole” – AKA the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show – that was replaced by the all-whistling version. [...]

R.I.P. Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith, who most Americans know as Sheriff Andy Taylor from the long-running series The Andy Griffith Show, died this morning at his home in Roanoke, North Carolina. Mr. Griffith was already a star, with rave reviews on Broadway in “No Time for Sergeants” and in Elia Kazan’s film “A Face in the Crowd,” when “The [...]

Andy Griffith Sings the Lyrics to The Andy Griffith Show Theme Song

Well, I’ll be. Before producers of The Andy Griffith Show decided that whistling set the tone for the show, Sheriff Taylor himself recorded a version of the song with lyrics. That’s not him whistling, by the way – that was composer Earle H. Hagen. Here’s Andy singing “The Fishing Hole.” Rest in Peace, Andy.

15 Dad Facts for Father’s Day

A few years ago, we asked some of our favorite mental_floss writers to send us their favorite dad-related facts and stories for our newsletter. Here are 15 you can use around the grill today. 1. Halsey Taylor invented the drinking fountain as a tribute to his father, who succumbed to typhoid fever after drinking from a [...]

What Do I Love Lucy & Star Trek Have In Common?

Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday is this Saturday and while I’m sure many of you are fans of the I Love Lucy show, many of our geek readers should also have an appreciation for the iconic red head for her pivotal role in helping to launch the Star Trek series. Here’s how it all came to [...]

Statues from Movies and TV

Detroit mayor Dave Bing reached out to citizens of the internet for suggestions for how to invigorate his city. One of the suggestions that came in yesterday was that Detroit should erect a statue of Robocop, from the 1987 film Robocop, which was set in Detroit. The mayor seemed to dismiss the idea out of [...]

The Mayberry/Star Trek Connection

Star Trek and The Andy Griffith Show were sometimes filmed on the same lot. Specifically, the episodes “Miri” and “City on the Edge of Forever” used the lot that was also used to represent the town of Mayberry. You can view more pictures of this connection at the link. Link via reddit | Image: Paramount

The Late Movies: The Andy Griffith Show

Sunday is the 50th anniversary of the premiere of The Andy Griffith Show. There’s no better time to relive some of the classic moments in the show, with some parodies and remixes thrown in as well. Find out more in the post Remembering the People of Mayberry. Now enjoy the Late Movies! The Preamble to the [...]

Remembering the People of Mayberry

The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS) premiered on television on October 3rd, 1960. That means Sunday will mark the show’s 50th anniversary! There are events scheduled all over the country (and on TV) to celebrate this milestone. In the series’ eight-year run, we got to know the residents of Mayberry as if they were our own [...]