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The Late Movies: People Who've Been Pied

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Whether being done out of charity, to enhance a slapstick comedy routine or to promote a particular political ideology, seeing someone get slammed in the face with a pie is pretty darn hilarious. Here's a roundup of some notable folks getting a face full of cream.

Anita Bryant

A popular singer in the 1950s and '60s, Bryant was a vocal gay rights opponent. In 1977, She became one of the first persons to be publicly pied as a political act while speaking out against homosexuality in Iowa. After being hit, Bryant joked, "At least it's a fruit pie. She immediately began to pray for forgiveness for the attackers but soon burst into tears. Bryant's husband later retaliated by throwing a pie at the protester who had hit his wife.

Bill Gates

On February 4, 1998, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates got a pie in the face while walking to meet with Flemish Minister and President Van den Brande in Brussels.

Ann Coulter

While speaking at the University of Arizona, super-conservative political commentator Ann Coulter got pied. Sort of. Two guys who called themselves "Al Pieda" unsuccessfully lobbed baked goods at Coulter, missing her completely.

Drew Carey and The Price is Right models

In less than five minutes, five people get pies in the face during the Showcase Showdown on an episode of The Price Is Right. Weirdly, the contestant doesn't seem to notice. Too bad her super-focus doesn't pay off in the end.

Gail Shea

On January 25, 2010, Canadian politician Gail Shea was pied by PETA activist Emily McCoy while giving a speech at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters. PETA claimed the attack was part of a broader campaign aimed at Canada's support of seal hunting.

Josh Elliott

ESPN sports journalist Josh Elliott received a pie in the face from NFL analyst Mark Schlereth last October. Elliott first joined ESPN in 2004 as a commentator on Around the Horn and Jim Rome Is Burning, as well as serving as guest co-host for Cold Pizza on ESPN2.

Ronald McDonald

PETA strikes again in this clip, featuring the fast-food mascot.

Most of the Cast of Blazing Saddles

Though this is obviously scripted, I just love this clip from the epic Mel Brooks film. Do you have a favorite pie-in-face moment from film or televsion? Tell us in the comments.


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25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
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According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

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How Urban Legends Like 'The Licked Hand' Are Born
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If you compare the scary stories you heard as a kid with those of your friends—even those who grew up across the country from you—you’ll probably hear some familiar tales. Maybe you tried to summon Bloody Mary by chanting her name in front of the mirror three times in a dark bathroom. Maybe you learned never to wonder what’s under a woman’s neck ribbon. Maybe you heard the one about the girl who feels her dog lick her hand in the middle of the night, only to wake up to find him hanging dead from the shower nozzle, the words “humans can lick too” written on the wall in the dog’s blood.

These ubiquitous, spooky folk tales exist everywhere, and a lot of them take surprisingly similar forms. How does a single story like the one often called “Humans Can Lick Too” or "The Licked Hand" make its way into every slumber party in America? Thrillist recently investigated the question with a few experts, finding that most of these stories have very deep roots.

In the case of The Licked Hand, its origins go back more than a century. In the 1990s, Snopes found that a similar motif dates back to an Englishman’s diary entry from 1871. In it, the diary keeper, Dearman Birchall, retold a story he heard at a party of a man whose wife woke him up in the middle of the night, urging him to go investigate what sounded like burglars in their home. He told his wife that it was only the dog, reaching out his hand. He felt the dog lick his hand … but in the morning, all his valuables were gone: He had clearly been robbed.

A similar theme shows up in the short story “The Diary of Mr. Poynter,” published in 1919 by M.R. James. In it, a character dozes off in an armchair, and thinks that he is petting his dog. It turns out, it’s some kind of hairy human figure that he flees from. The story seems to have evolved from there into its presently popular form, picking up steam in the 1960s. As with any folk tale, its exact form changes depending on the teller: sometimes the main character is an old lady, other times it’s a young girl.

You’ll probably hear these stories in the context of happening to a “friend of a friend,” making you more likely to believe the tale. It practically happened to someone you know! Kind of! The setting, too, is probably somewhere nearby. It might be in your neighborhood, or down by the local railroad tracks.

Thrillist spoke to Dr. Joseph Stubbersfield, a researcher in the UK who studies urban legends, who says the kind of stories that spread widely contain both social information and emotional resonance. Meaning they contain a message—you never know who’s lurking in your house—and are evocative.

If something is super scary or gross, you want to share it. Stories tend to warn against something: A study of English-language urban legends circulating online found that most warned listeners about the hazards of life (poisonous plants, dangerous animals, dangerous humans) rather than any kind of opportunities. We like to warn each other of the dangers that could be lurking around every corner, which makes sense considering our proven propensity to focus on and learn from negative information. And yes, that means telling each other to watch out for who’s licking our hands in the middle of the night.

Just something to keep in mind as you eagerly await Jezebel’s annual scary story contest.

[h/t Thrillist]


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