Let's face it: Wikipedia is a goldmine of weirdness. Today I return to the well to bring you more of my favorite bizarro Wikipedia lists. Prepare yourself for wackiness, people!
1. List of Fictional Ducks
Deadly Duck is the eponymous character of the Atari 2600 video game Deadly Duck (1982). The 2600 retrogame Duck Attack! (2010) features a mallard named Bruce, and additionally a grey variant named Mandy, a gold variant named Pat, a blue variant named Groucho, and a ruddy variant named Clarice.
But my absolute favorite fictional quacker is John D. Roderduck, "an antagonist duck from Donald Duck's Duck universe." I'm convinced that musician John Roderick is a distant cousin of this fictional duck.
2. List of People Who Have Been Pied
This one is self-explanatory, though the tagline at the top curtly notes: "This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness." The list includes columns for "Victim" and "Perpetrator," among others. Among the (allegedly) pied:
Willie Brown - San Francisco Mayor - "During speech" - by the Biotic Baking Brigade
William F. Buckley, Jr. - Conservative political commentator - "Unknown event" - by Aron Kay
King Carl XVI Gustaf - King of Sweden - "During a visit to Varberg" - by a "16-year old boy"
Bill Gates - Founder of Microsoft - "Meeting of the European Union" - by Noël Godin (who allegedly then said, "My work is done here.")
3. List of Premature Obituaries
People for whom reports of their death were exaggerated. Including:
Mark Twain (twice)
Abe Vigoda (actor): In 1982, People magazine referred to him as 'the late Abe Vigoda'. He then posed for a photograph showing him sitting up in a coffin, holding the magazine in question. Vigoda claims that during the 1980s the widespread belief that he was dead cost him work. Erroneous reports of Vigoda's death have become something of a running joke, such as in television sketches.
Neil Young: was mistakenly reported dead on August 25, 2012 on NBCNews.com. A headline reported "Astronaut Neil Young, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82". In fact, Neil Armstrong had died. NBC said they corrected the error after seven minutes. Some believe it was the result of confusing Armstrong with fellow astronaut John Young, who is still alive.
4. List of Fictional Drinking Establishments
25 watering holes that are only in our dreams, including:
Moe's Tavern (The Simpsons)
Mos Eisley Cantina (Star Wars)
Rick's Café Américain (Casablanca)
5. List of Sports
I bet you didn't know that these are actual sports:
Danish Longball (equipment includes "optional safety pads")
6. List of TV Spin-Offs
This list begins with a surprisingly detailed discussion of the difference between a spin-off, a crossover, and a remake. Here are a few notable spin-offs along with their parent series:
Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Checking In, Archie Bunker's Place, Gloria, 704 Hauser - All in the Family (that's one prolific show!)
Pinky and the Brain - Animaniacs
Frasier - Cheers (which also spawned The Tortellis, which lasted just thirteen episodes)
The Facts of Life - Diff'rent Strokes
Empty Nest - Golden Girls
It's an extremely long list of fascinating spin-offs. The number of shows spawned by Popstars is insane.
7. List of Films Considered the Worst
These are awful, at least according to critics. Best of the worst:
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)
Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2008)
The summary of Manos: The Hands of Fate begins: "A low-budget horror film made by an El Paso insurance and fertilizer salesman Hal P. Warren, the plot concerns a vacationing family that is kidnapped by a polygamous cult of pagans." But it gets way better worse!
8. List of Sesame Street Muppets
Learn the history behind some of your favorite Muppets! Including this poor professor, who was canceled for being overly boring:
Professor Hastings - Frank Oz - A bespectacled and old Fat Blue Anything Muppet professor with white hair who gives comically confused lectures, losing track of the subject and falling into short naps. Kermit often acts as his assistant, keeping him awake and reminding the absent-minded professor of the topic of his lecture. He was removed from the show because he was too dull.
9. List of Fictional Universes in Film and TV
Hey everybody, let's visit my favorite fictional universe, the Fringe universe. No, no, the other Fringe universe. Wait, are the parallel universes considered just one universe? I'm confused now. See also:
Tommy Westphall Universe - A Hypothetical Universe that encompasses St. Elsewhere and numerous other television shows (primarily those produced by US network NBC) which are directly or indirectly connected through fictional crossovers and spin-offs.
Whoniverse - Main setting of Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sarah Jane and other spin-offs of the Doctor Who series.
10. Planets in Science Fiction
Who could forget these sci-fi planets?
Erna - A seismically active planet with psychically malleable quasi-sentient natural forces called the Fae in Celia S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy.
K-PAX - A utopian planet in the novel and film of the same name, which is quite possibly the delusional invention of a madman who claims to be from the planet.
Tralfamadore - A planet populated by the phlegmatic Tralfamadorians in the works of Kurt Vonnegut.
Zarkon - Home planet of Philo, TV-station engineer in the film UHF.
11. List of Cryptids
Cryptids are animals presumed to exist, but their "existence has often been derived from anecdotal or other evidence, considered insufficient by mainstream science." Here are a few to haunt your dreams, along with Wikipedia's brief notes:
Devil Monkey - Unconfirmed, only one carcass has ever been found - Baboon-like body with kangaroo-like legs; very aggressive
Flatwoods Monster - Unconfirmed - Spade-headed extraterrestrial
Hellhound (aka Barghest, Black Shuck, Dip, Gwyllgi, Gytrash) - Unconfirmed - Large, black, spectral hound with red eyes
Kelpie - Unconfirmed - Carnivorous [and aquatic] equine