CLOSE
Original image
Getty Images

The Time George Takei Worked With Godzilla

Original image
Getty Images

The teaser trailer for Legendary Pictures’ highly-anticipated Godzilla reboot leaked last month and has since been disappearing and reappearing all over the web. While it looks like the big guy’s going to have a few new monsters to fight in his latest romp, let’s take a moment to remember one of Godzilla’s most surprising co-stars: George Takei.

Long before reaching stardom as Mr. Sulu of the U.S.S. Enterprise and again as a pun-loving facebook celebrity, Takei got his start working on the English dubs of Japanese creature features. It all began when Takei’s father, Takekuma (to whom he dedicated a moving tribute you can read here), spotted an ad for Japanese voice-actors and encouraged his then college-age son to try out, saying “You’re a real ham. You could do this.”

Takei was cast in Rodan (1957), a film about two colossal prehistoric pterosaurs which wreak havoc upon the city of Fukuoka. Lending his distinctive baritone to its American voice-over, Rodan became the young actor’s first paid acting job and it wasn’t long before he found himself working with a more infamous giant.  

Gigantis the Fire Monster (1959), an American edit of Godzilla Raids Again, marked the radioactive reptile’s second film appearance (the name was changed because U.S. producers wanted their audiences to think they were seeing an entirely new beast as opposed to a sequel).Takei served as the movie’s narrator and human protagonist.

In any language-dubbing process, much is bound to get lost in the translation and, as Takei notes in this clip around the 6:22 mark, this project was no exception:

“In Gigantis,” he recalls, “there was one word that we had tremendous difficulty getting the meaning of and finding an English word that fit the lip movement. The Japanese word was ‘bakayaro,’ which means ‘stupid fool.’” After struggling to find something that would match, the director finally came up with the line “banana oil,” which you can hear Takei deliver in the movie’s final version.

Despite this challenge, Takei’s fondly cited the experience as “great fun” and went on to voice a host of animated projects outside of his accomplished live-action career. 

Original image
Kevork Djansezian, Stringer, Getty Images
arrow
Pop Culture
LeVar Burton Is Legally Allowed to Say His Reading Rainbow Catchphrase
Original image
Kevork Djansezian, Stringer, Getty Images

It’s hard to imagine the original Reading Rainbow without LeVar Burton, but in August, the New York public broadcasting network WNED made it very clear who owned the rights to the program. By saying his old catchphrase from his hosting days, “but you don’t have to take my word for it” on his current podcast, WNED claimed Burton was infringing on their intellectual property. Now, Vulture reports that the case has been settled and Burton is now allowed to drop the phrase when and wherever he pleases.

The news came out in an recent interview with the actor and TV personality. “All settled, but you don’t have to take my word for it,” he told Vulture. “It’s all good. It’s all good. I can say it.”

The conflict dates back to 2014, when Burton launched a Kickstarter campaign to revive the show without WNED’s consent. Prior to that, the network and Burton’s digital reading company RRKidz had made a licensing deal where they agreed to split the profits down the middle if a new show was ever produced. Burton’s unauthorized crowdfunding undid those negotiations, and tensions between the two parties have been high ever since. The situation came to a head when Burton started using his famous catchphrase on his LeVar Burton Reads podcast, which centers around him reading short fiction in the same vein as his Reading Rainbow role. By doing this, WNED alleged he was aiming to “control and reap the benefits of Reading Rainbow's substantial goodwill.”

Though he’s no longer a collaborator with WNED, Burton can at least continue to say “but you don’t have to take my word for it” without fearing legal retribution. WNED is meanwhile "working on the next chapter of Reading Rainbow" without their original star, and Burton tells Vulture he looks “forward to seeing what they do with the brand next."

[h/t Vulture]

Original image
By Napoleon Sarony - Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
arrow
literature
25 of Oscar Wilde's Wittiest Quotes
Original image
By Napoleon Sarony - Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

On October 16, 1854, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland. He would go on to become one of the world's most prolific writers, dabbling in everything from plays and poetry to essays and fiction. Whatever the medium, his wit shone through.

1. ON GOD

"I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability."

2. ON THE WORLD AS A STAGE

"The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast."

3. ON FORGIVENESS

"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."

4. ON GOOD VERSUS BAD

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."

5. ON GETTING ADVICE

"The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself."

6. ON HAPPINESS

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."

7. ON CYNICISM

"What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

8. ON SINCERITY

"A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."

9. ON MONEY

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."

10. ON LIFE'S GREATEST TRAGEDIES

"There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it."

11. ON HARD WORK

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes."

12. ON LIVING WITHIN ONE'S MEANS

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

13. ON TRUE FRIENDS

"True friends stab you in the front."

14. ON MOTHERS

"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his."

15. ON FASHION

"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months."

16. ON BEING TALKED ABOUT

"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

17. ON GENIUS

"Genius is born—not paid."

18. ON MORALITY

"Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike."

19. ON RELATIONSHIPS

"How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?"

20. ON THE DEFINITION OF A "GENTLEMAN"

"A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally."

21. ON BOREDOM

"My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s."

22. ON AGING

"The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything."

23. ON MEN AND WOMEN

"I like men who have a future and women who have a past."

24. ON POETRY

"There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope."

25. ON WIT

"Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit."

And one bonus quote about Oscar Wilde! Dorothy Parker said it best in a 1927 issue of Life:

If, with the literate, I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all assume that Oscar said it.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios