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11 TV Characters That Made Cameos on Other Shows

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Throwing a fictional universe's characters together into one film (here's looking at you, The Avengers and Man of Steel: Superman Vs. Batman!) is a popular new trend in movies, but TV crossovers have been happening for decades. Here are 11 TV crossovers in animated and live-action television. 

1. Jay Sherman (The Critic) on The Simpsons

In 1995, The Simpsons aired an episode called “A Star Is Burns,” which featured Jay Sherman from the then-new animated TV series The Critic. In the episode, Springfield puts on a film festival and calls Jay Sherman to be one of its jurors.

While both shows were on Fox, The Simpsons was more popular, and the network used its popularity to try to boost The Critic’s dwindling ratings. Simpsons creator Matt Groening was so upset with Fox and The Critic’s executive producer James L. Brooks—who is also an executive producer for The Simpsons—about the crossover that he took his name off the episode. While the crossover didn’t hurt The Simpsons’ reputation, The Critic didn’t find new viewers, so it was canceled a few months after the episode aired.

2. Steve Urkel (Family Matters) on Full House

In the early '90s, the television character Steve Urkel from ABC's Family Matters turned into a pop culture phenomenon—the character spawned a breakfast cereal, a pull-string doll, and other merchandise. Urkel also appeared on other television shows—including Step by Step, Meego (on CBS), and, most notably, Full House.

In a season four episode of Full House called "Stephanie Gets Framed," the Tanner household was turned upside-down when Urkel paid his cousin Julie a visit—and helped Stephanie deal with her unease about wearing new glasses.

3. Cosmo Kramer (Seinfeld) on Mad About You

In the first season of Mad About You, Paul and Jamie write a living will after they both become obsessed with death. Jamie learns that Paul still owns his old bachelor pad, which he has been subletting to Kramer from Seinfeld. Paul ends up giving his old apartment to Kramer and we figure out why Kramer never pays rent.

4. Belcher Family (Bob’s Burgers) on Archer

Although the characters Bob Belcher from Bob’s Burgers and Sterling Archer from Archer have very little in common—one is a hardworking family man, while the other is an sex-obsessed superspy—they are both voiced by actor H. Jon Benjamin.

Archer creator Adam Reed is a big fan of Bob’s Burgers, so when the season four premiere of Archer involved the titular character having amnesia, Reed saw the perfect opportunity to do a crossover. In the episode, Archer has the false identity “Bob” and is working at a hamburger restaurant with a new family. The Belcher family was drawn in the Archer style of animation, and H. Jon Benjamin gave Archer Bob Belcher's voice.

5. Abed (Community) on Cougar Town

One of Community character Abed’s favorite TV shows is the comedy Cougar Town. In season two of Community, Abed tells Jeff Winger that the producers of Cougar Town invited him on a set visit of their TV show. He accepts and in Cougar Town’s second season finale, you can see Abed in the background trying to act natural as a background extra.

6. Travis and Laurie (Cougar Town) on Community

During Community’s second season finale, Travis and Laurie can be seen celebrating when Greendale Community College wins the paintball competition with rival school City College.

7. Fresh Prince (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) on Blossom

In the season two Blossom episode “I’m with the Band," Blossom and Six go on a band trip and stay, unsupervised, in a hotel room. Six learns that the Fresh Prince is staying in the same hotel, so they both try to find him. They almost give up—and then, Blossom randomly meets the Fresh Prince in a hotel elevator. As proof of their meeting, the Fresh Prince gives Blossom his funky, fresh hat.

8. Ally McBeal Meets The Practice

Ally McBeal and The Practice were two David E. Kelly TV shows about lawyers from Boston that premiered in 1997. Ally McBeal was a comedy on Fox and The Practice was a drama on ABC.

The crossover, which happened on April 27, 1998, started with the Ally McBeal episode “The Inmates,” aired first. It featured an axe murder that proved to be too much for the law firm of Cage, Fish, and Associates to handle—so they asked for help from a more experienced group of lawyers, The Practice's Robert Donnell and Associates.

Immediately after Ally McBeal aired on Fox, the story continued on The Practice on ABC with the episode “Axe Murderer.” The crossover continued a few weeks later in Ally McBeal’s season finale episode, “These Days Are Gone.”

9. Caroline (Caroline In The City) on Friends

During the height of NBC’s Must-See TV Thursday night programming, the peacock network sometimes used gimmicks to generate more viewership for the weaker portions of the four TV sitcom block. In 1994, NBC introduced “Blackout Thursday,” where three of the four sitcoms experienced a citywide blackout. The following year, on November 2, 1995, NBC introduced “Star-Crossed Thursday,” where characters from each Must-See TV sitcom would appear in a different show.

In the episode, “The One with the Baby on the Bus,” Chandler and Joey are babysitting Ross’s newborn son Ben, while Caroline Duffy mistakes them for a gay couple when Chandler and Joey try to hit on her.

10. Ross (Friends) on The Single Guy

Also a part of Star-Crossed Thursday was The Single Guy episode “Neighbors,” in which Jonathan meets Janeane’s friend Ross at a dinner party. Jonathan and Ross hit it off and the pair later goes to the theater to watch Leonard Nimoy in Hamlet. Both think the other man is gay.

11. Chandler (Friends) on Caroline in the City

The final part of Star-Crossed Thursday was the episode “Caroline and the Folks." Chandler hits on Annie in a video store, as he tries to impress her with his knowledge of art-house films.
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Which other crossovers do you remember?

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8 of the Weirdest Gallup Polls
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Born in Jefferson, Iowa on November 18, 1901, George Gallup studied journalism and psychology, focusing on how to measure readers’ interest in newspaper and magazine content. In 1935, he founded the American Institute of Public Opinion to scientifically measure public opinions on topics such as government spending, criminal justice, and presidential candidates. Although he died in 1984, The Gallup Poll continues his legacy of trying to determine and report the will of the people in an unbiased, independent way. To celebrate his day of birth, we compiled a list of some of the weirdest, funniest Gallup polls over the years.

1. THREE IN FOUR AMERICANS BELIEVE IN THE PARANORMAL (2005)

According to this Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans have at least one paranormal belief. Specifically, 41 percent believe in extrasensory perception (ESP), 37 percent believe in haunted houses, and 21 percent believe in witches. What about channeling spirits, you might ask? Only 9 percent of Americans believe that it’s possible to channel a spirit so that it takes temporary control of one's body. Interestingly, believing in paranormal phenomena was relatively similar across people of different genders, races, ages, and education levels.

2. ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS THINK THE SUN REVOLVES AROUND THE EARTH (1999)

In this poll, Gallup tried to determine the popularity of heliocentric versus geocentric views. While 79 percent of Americans correctly stated that the Earth revolves around the sun, 18 percent think the sun revolves around the Earth. Three percent chose to remain indifferent, saying they had no opinion either way.

3. 22 PERCENT OF AMERICANS ARE HESITANT TO SUPPORT A MORMON (2011)

Gallup first measured anti-Mormon sentiment back in 1967, and it was still an issue in 2011, a year before Mormon Mitt Romney ran for president. Approximately 22 percent of Americans said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate, even if that candidate belonged to their preferred political party. Strangely, Americans’ bias against Mormons has remained stable since the 1960s, despite decreasing bias against African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and women.

4. MISSISSIPPIANS GO TO CHURCH THE MOST; VERMONTERS THE LEAST (2010)

This 2010 poll amusingly confirms the stereotype that southerners are more religious than the rest of the country. Although 42 percent of all Americans attend church regularly (which Gallup defines as weekly or almost weekly), there are large variations based on geography. For example, 63 percent of people in Mississippi attend church regularly, followed by 58 percent in Alabama and 56 percent in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Utah. Rounding out the lowest levels of church attendance, on the other hand, were Vermont, where 23 percent of residents attend church regularly, New Hampshire, at 26 percent, and Maine at 27 percent.

5. ONE IN FOUR AMERICANS DON’T KNOW WHICH COUNTRY AMERICA GAINED INDEPENDENCE FROM (1999)

Although 76 percent of Americans knew that the United States gained independence from Great Britain as a result of the Revolutionary War, 24 percent weren’t so sure. Two percent thought the correct answer was France, 3 percent said a different country (such as Mexico, China, or Russia), and 19 percent had no opinion. Certain groups of people who consider themselves patriotic, including men, older people, and white people (according to Gallup polls), were more likely to know that America gained its independence from Great Britain.

6. ONE THIRD OF AMERICANS BELIEVE IN GHOSTS (2000)

This Halloween-themed Gallup poll asked Americans about their habits and behavior on the last day of October. Predictably, two-thirds of Americans reported that someone in their house planned to give candy to trick-or-treaters and more than three-quarters of parents with kids reported that their kids would wear a costume. More surprisingly, 31 percent of American adults claimed to believe in ghosts, an increase from 1978, when only 11 percent of American adults admitted to a belief in ghosts.

7. 5 PERCENT OF WORKING MILLENNIALS THRIVE IN ALL FIVE ELEMENTS OF WELL-BEING (2016)

This recent Gallup poll is funny in a sad way, as it sheds light on the tragicomic life of a millennial. In this poll, well-being is defined as having purpose, social support, manageable finances, a strong community, and good physical health. Sadly, only 5 percent of working millennials—defined as people born between 1980 and 1996—were thriving in these five indicators of well-being. To counter this lack of well-being, Gallup’s report recommends that managers promote work-life balance and improve their communication with millennial employees.

8. THE WORLD IS BECOMING SLIGHTLY MORE NEGATIVE (2014)

If you seem to feel more stress, sadness, anxiety, and pain than ever before, Gallup has the proof that it’s not all in your head. According to the company’s worldwide negative experience index, negative feelings such as stress, sadness, and anger have increased since 2007. Unsurprisingly, people living in war-torn, dangerous parts of the word—Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, and Sierra Leone—reported the highest levels of negative emotions.

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11 Times Mickey Mouse Was Banned
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Despite being one of the world’s most recognizable and beloved characters, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Mickey Mouse, who turns 89 years old today. A number of countries—and even U.S. states—have banned the cartoon rodent at one time or another for reasons both big and small.

1. In 1930, Ohio banned a cartoon called “The Shindig” because Clarabelle Cow was shown reading Three Weeks by Elinor Glyn, the premier romance novelist of the time. Check it out (1:05) and let us know if you’re scandalized:

2. With movies on 10-foot screen being a relatively new thing in Romania in 1935, the government decided to ban Mickey Mouse, concerned that children would be terrified of a monstrous rodent.

3. In 1929, a German censor banned a Mickey Mouse short called “The Barnyard Battle.” The reason? An army of cats wearing pickelhauben, the pointed helmets worn by German military in the 19th and 20th centuries: "The wearing of German military helmets by an army of cats which oppose a militia of mice is offensive to national dignity. Permission to exhibit this production in Germany is refused.”

4. The German dislike for Mickey Mouse continued into the mid-'30s, with one German newspaper wondering why such a small and dirty animal would be idolized by children across the world: "Mickey Mouse is the most miserable ideal ever revealed ... Healthy emotions tell every independent young man and every honorable youth that the dirty and filth-covered vermin, the greatest bacteria carrier in the animal kingdom, cannot be the ideal type of animal.” Mickey was originally banned from Nazi Germany, but eventually the mouse's popularity won out.

5. In 2014, Iran's Organization for Supporting Manufacturers and Consumers announced a ban on school supplies and stationery products featuring “demoralizing images,” including that of Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Sleeping Beauty, and characters from Toy Story.

6. In 1954, East Germany banned Mickey Mouse comics, claiming that Mickey was an “anti-Red rebel.”

7. In 1937, a Mickey Mouse adventure was so similar to real events in Yugoslavia that the comic strip was banned. State police say the comic strip depicted a “Puritan-like revolt” that was a danger to the “Boy King,” Peter II of Yugoslavia, who was just 14 at the time. A journalist who wrote about the ban was consequently escorted out of the country.

8. Though Mussolini banned many cartoons and American influences from Italy in 1938, Mickey Mouse flew under the radar. It’s been said that Mussolini’s children were such Mickey Mouse fans that they were able to convince him to keep the rodent around.

9. Mickey and his friends were banned from the 1988 Seoul Olympics in a roundabout way. As they do with many major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, Disney had contacted American favorites to win in each event to ask them to say the famous “I’m going to Disneyland!” line if they won. When American swimmer Matt Biondi won the 100-meter freestyle, he dutifully complied with the request. After a complaint from the East Germans, the tape was pulled and given to the International Olympic Committee.

10. In 1993, Mickey was banned from a place he shouldn't have been in the first place: Seattle liquor stores. As a wonderful opening sentence from the Associated Press explained, "Mickey Mouse, the Easter Bunny and teddy bears have no business selling booze, the Washington State Liquor Control Board has decided." A handful of stores had painted Mickey and other characters as part of a promotion. A Disney VP said Mickey was "a nondrinker."

11. Let's end with another strike against The Shindig (see #1) and Clarabelle’s bulging udder. Less than a year after the Shindig ban, the Motion Picture Producers and Directors of America announced that they had received a massive number of complaints about the engorged cow udders in various Mickey Mouse cartoons.

From then on, according to a 1931 article in Time magazine, “Cows in Mickey Mouse ... pictures in the future will have small or invisible udders quite unlike the gargantuan organ whose antics of late have shocked some and convulsed others. In a recent picture the udder, besides flying violently to left and right or stretching far out behind when the cow was in motion, heaved with its panting with the cow stood still.”

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