How Superman Defeated the Ku Klux Klan

In the 1940s, The Adventures of Superman was a radio sensation. Kids across the country huddled around their sets as the Man of Steel leapt off the page and over the airwaves. Although Superman had been fighting crime in print since 1938, the weekly audio episodes fleshed out his storyline even further. It was on the radio that Superman first faced kryptonite, met Daily Planet reporter Jimmy Olsen, and became associated with "truth, justice, and the American way." So, it's no wonder that when a young writer and activist named Stetson Kennedy decided to expose the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, he looked to a certain superhero for inspiration.

In the post-World War II era, the Klan experienced a huge resurgence. Its membership was skyrocketing, and its political influence was increasing, so Kennedy went undercover to infiltrate the group. By regularly attending meetings, he became privy to the organization's secrets. But when he took the information to local authorities, they had little interest in using it. The Klan had become so powerful and intimidating that police were hesitant to build a case against them.

Struggling to make use of his findings, Kennedy approached the writers of the Superman radio serial. It was perfect timing. With the war over and the Nazis no longer a threat, the producers were looking for a new villain for Superman to fight. The KKK was a great fit for the role.

In a 16-episode series titled "Clan of the Fiery Cross," the writers pitted the Man of Steel against the men in white hoods.

As the storyline progressed, the shows exposed many of the KKK's most guarded secrets. By revealing everything from code words to rituals, the program completely stripped the Klan of its mystique. Within two weeks of the broadcast, KKK recruitment was down to zero. And by 1948, people were showing up to Klan rallies just to mock them.

This story originally appeared in a 2008 issue of mental_floss magazine.

Fan Notices Hilarious Connection Between Joaquin Phoenix's Joker and Superbad's McLovin

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

There seems to be exactly one funny thing about Todd Phillips's latest film, Joker.

As reported by Geek.com, someone on Twitter by the name of @minalopezavina brilliantly pointed out that Arthur Fleck from Joker and McLovin from Superbad are pretty much in the same costume.

This meme is a nice moment of comic relief in an otherwise very serious movie. In fact, Joker is so dark that the United States Army had issued warnings about possible shootings at theaters playing the film.Β The warnings coincided with criticisms that the film might be too violent, with fears that the villain-led storyline would result in copycat events in real life.

Both Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix have weighed in on the controversy, with the director explaining to The Wrap, "It wasn’t, β€˜We want to glorify this behavior.’ It was literally like β€˜Let’s make a real movie with a real budget and we’ll call it f**king Joker’. That’s what it was.”

All we can say is the amount of chatter behind Joker certainly led to both packed theaters, and endless memes online.

[h/t Geek.com]

Robert Downey Jr. Doesn't Seem Bothered by Martin Scorsese's Marvel Comments

As movie fans, filmmakers, and actors alike are divided after Martin Scorsese dissed the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr. is seemingly just trying to keep the peace.

It all began earlier this month when Scorsese admitted to Empire that he can't get through a Marvel movie. "I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema," the acclaimed director said. "Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks."

Now, according to ComicBook.com, Robert Downey Jr. just appeared on The Howard Stern Show, where he was asked about Scorsese's comments. It seemed like Stern really wanted the 54-year-old actor to get angry because he kept pressing him on the subject, asking, "What did he mean by that, that it's not cinema?"

"I appreciate his opinion because I think it's like anything. We need all of the different perspectives so we can come to center and move on," Downey stated, but Stern wasn't happy with that answer.

Stern went as far as to ask, "Was he jealous of the success?"

But Downey simply replied, "Of course not! He's Martin Scorsese!"

With his mature response, Downey clearly recognizes the vast differences between a Marvel movie and a Scorsese film. So, as Downey suggests, maybe it's best that people just appreciate the Oscar-winning director's opinion and move on.

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