World’s Strangest

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John Wilkes Booth Dressed as Marc Antony

A year before he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth (left) played Marc Antony in a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. His brother Junius (right) played Caesar and his other brother Edwin (center), played the traitor Brutus. This production on November 25, 1864 was the only time all three acting brothers starred together in [...]

Why Do People Tell Actors to "Break a Leg"?

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website. The term “break a leg” is unique to actors. Actors often tell each other to “break a leg” and the term is also commonly used by non-actors, who wish the sentiment on actual actors. It means, of course, [...]

The Missing Links: Why America Smells (Or Thinks It Does)

The Grinch, Voldemort and Michael Jackson’s Zombie No this isn’t the beginning of a “…walk into a bar…” joke. These are just 3 of the entries in the list of the 16 best special effects makeup creations. (But if anyone can come up with a really good punchline for a joke about those 3 walking into a [...]

Theodore Roosevelt’s Life-Saving Speech

John Flammang Schrank is not as well-known a name as Lee Harvey Oswald or John Wilkes Booth or even John Hinkley, Jr. That’s because the president he shot was already out of office and running again on a third-party ticket in 1912. And Theodore Roosevelt survived being shot in the chest. In fact, you are [...]

Morbid Road Trip: The Scattered Artifacts of Lincoln’s Assassination

Almost every item even remotely connected to Lincoln’s assassination, death, and funeral later found its way into some special collection. Many wound up in the hands of museums, historical societies, or the government, and are available for public viewing. Many more in private collections occasionally get loaned out for display. If I ever convince my [...]

Months Before Lincoln Was Shot and Killed, He Was Almost Shot and Killed

Albert de Bruijn / Shutterstock.com We all know what happened to President Abraham Lincoln the night he went to watch Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater. But what you may not know is that he came perilously close to being assassinated eight months before John Wilkes Booth fired those fatal shots. Abe and the Lincoln fam had [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Ways Shakespeare Changed Everything

The basic thesis of Stephen Marche’s How Shakespeare Changed Everything becomes obvious very early on (as in, it is expressed in the title). According to this fun, lyrically written and well-researched book, here are just ten of the many ways that Shakespeare changed everything: 1. He gave us a lot of new words Just say some [...]

Celebrity Tattoos

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website. Tattoos. Nowadays, we see them everywhere we look. Movie stars, athletes, singers, and even (albeit rarely) the occasional politician proudly sports his or her special “tats.” In 1862, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), the son of [...]

10 Non–Rock Stars Who Died at the Tragically Young Age of 27

© Laurence Baker/Corbis On Saturday, Amy Winehouse passed away and became the latest member of Club 27—an exclusive club you don’t want to be in. Club 27 is headlined by musicians Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Brian Jones, who all died of a drug overdose, suicide, or accident at that young age. [...]

How Teddy Roosevelt Ended up With Abe Lincoln’s Hair

John Hay, Lincoln’s private secretary and assistant, was as devastated as the rest of the nation when his friend was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in 1865. He wanted a memento to remember Lincoln by and paid $100 for six strands of hair removed from the President’s head during his autopsy. He later had one [...]