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15 Surprising Facts About Splash

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Splash marked the beginning of Tom Hanks' ascension into movie superstardom, proof that Ron Howard was getting somewhere with his second career as a director, and the beginning of Touchstone Pictures, the Disney distribution label meant to release movies for people who weren't technically children. The fantasy rom-com starred Hanks as Allen Bauer, a man who falls for a woman (Daryl Hannah) who tries to hide the fact that she is a mermaid walking around New York City, and the mythical creature Allen came across as a child.

1. BRIAN GRAZER CAME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR SPLASH WHILE DRIVING DOWN THE PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY.

One fateful night, while driving down the PCH near Malibu in 1977, Brian Grazer—then 25 years old—thought about what it would be like to meet a mermaid and fall in love. For seven years, he was turned down by most Hollywood studios until he revised his pitch for Splash to be more of a love story between a man and a mermaid. Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, who penned Ron Howard’s Night Shift (1982), and Bruce Jay Friedman (Stir Crazy) were the credited screenwriters for Splash. The script was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

2. RON HOWARD TURNED DOWN BIG DIRECTORIAL ASSIGNMENTS TO DO IT.

Ron Howard said no to directing Mr. Mom (1983) and Footloose (1984) to stay attached to Splash.

3. GRAZER AND HOWARD RUSHED TO MAKE IT BEFORE A WARREN BEATTY-STARRING MERMAID MOVIE COULD BE MADE.

Not only was Beatty set to star, but Robert Towne (Chinatown) was brought in to rewrite the Mermaid script for a reported $500,000. A possible actors strike delayed progress, and eventually the project was declared dead.

4. JOHN TRAVOLTA, CHEVY CHASE, BILL MURRAY, AND DUDLEY MOORE TURNED DOWN PLAYING ALLEN.

It was Louisa Velis, Howard's longtime assistant, who suggested that Howard let Hanks audition. Steve Guttenberg also auditioned. He found out he didn't get the part at the same time he heard he was getting screen tested for Police Academy (1984). Michael Keaton remembered being offered the role of Allen's brother, Freddie—a part that eventually went to John Candy .

5. DIANE LANE TURNED DOWN PLAYING MADISON.

She said no to appear in Streets of Fire (1984) and The Cotton Club (1984).

6. JOHN CANDY WANTED TO PLAY DR. WALTER KORNBLUTH.

Howard convinced Candy to play Freddie instead. Howard hired Candy's SCTV co-star Eugene Levy for the mad scientist instead, based on Candy's suggestion.

7. DARYL HANNAH'S FIN WEIGHED 35 POUNDS.

It took technicians three hours per day to put the 35-pound rubber fin on Hannah, who had to remain still while it was being attached. "At lunch they'd yank me out on a crane and plop me on the deck," she told People. "I couldn't eat because I couldn't go to the bathroom. I just lay there shivering with barnacles in my hair, soaking wet."

8. HANKS HAD TROUBLE WITH THE WATER SCENES, PARTLY BECAUSE HE WAS A SMOKER.

"I grew up in awe of Jacques Cousteau and the American Sportsman shows on TV," he said. "Scuba was something I would maybe do on a dare after enough beers. But as a job I found the diving a real challenge."

9. THEY FILMED IN NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, AND THE BAHAMAS.

One month of filming took place in New York City, another month took place in Los Angeles, and two weeks of underwater shooting went down in the Bahamas.

10. IT WAS FILLED WITH HOWARD FAMILY CAMEOS.

Ron's father, Rance, was Mr. McCullough, the man very upset over cherries. Ron's brother, noted character actor Clint Howard, played a wedding guest. Ron's wife, Cheryl, and his assistant, Louisa Velis, were two of the people standing outside of the church during the wedding scene.

11. HANNAH GOT VERY UPSET OVER EATING THE LOBSTER SHELL.

The vegan actress broke down crying. "She could not swallow," Howard recalled. "So Brian Grazer and I rushed into the kitchen, scooped out the lobster meat, and replaced it with baked potato and hearts of palm. You can't tell it isn't lobster."

12. IT POPULARIZED THE NAME "MADISON."

In the United States, Madison went from the 216th most popular name for girls in 1990, to 29th in 1995, and 3rd by 2000. The joke in Splash back in 1984, as Hannah pointed out when talking about the phenomenon with Yahoo!, was that Madison was such a "silly name" (the mermaid named herself after Madison Avenue).

13. CANDY WAS MODEST ABOUT HIS WORK.

"It wasn't Willy Loman, or King Lear," Candy assessed. "People said 'Wow, you can really act.' Hell, I was just doing what I had been doing for years on SCTV."

14. THERE WAS A MADE-FOR-TV SEQUEL.

The Disney TV movie aired on ABC on May 1 and May 8, 1988. Splash, Too's lone cast member from the original was Dody Goodman, reprising her role as Mrs. Stimler. In the sequel, Allen (Todd Waring) and Madison (Amy Yasbeck) live on land to help Freddie (Donovan Scott) and Bauer Produce—and save a captive dolphin.

15. HANNAH COULDN'T KEEP THE TAIL.

"The costume, the tail, it was made out of a material that decomposed pretty soon after," Hannah explained.

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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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