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12 Outrageous Facts About Twisted Sister

Music Box Films
Music Box Films

Shock rockers Twisted Sister will forever be known for Dee Snider's confrontational personality, their outrageous costumes, and the chart-topping anthems "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock." The band's multi-platinum 1984 album, Stay Hungry, made them one of the biggest rock sensations of the 1980s, which was vindication after the group had duked it out in the clubs for more than a decade prior. They were a true example of the power of perseverance. The "overnight success" of Snider, original member/guitarist Jay Jay French, guitarist Eddie Ojeda, bassist Mark Mendoza, and the late drummer AJ Pero took longer than most people knew.

Director Andrew Horn recently unleashed a documentary profile of the glam agitators called We Are Twisted F**king Sister, which chronicles the band's slow rise. They began life in December 1972 as a New Jersey-based cover band called Silver Star featuring French, developed with the acquisition of songwriting frontman Snider and guitarist Ojeda in 1976, and landed the subsequent, long-awaited record deal in 1982 after the Snider lineup performed more than 2000 shows together.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Snider’s arrival and the band’s current farewell tour, we spoke with Jay Jay French, who shared some wild and shocking facts about the pink-powered rock quintet.

1. A MURDER ALMOST TOOK PLACE BACKSTAGE.

During the original incarnation of the band, they were playing a gig in Adams, Massachusetts in December 1974 when a drunken roadie told singer Michael "Valentine" O'Neill that he felt disrespected by bass player Kenny Neill. Also inebriated, the frontman went looking for the bassist but found their drummer, Mell "Starr" Anderson, who told him to shut up. Heated words were exchanged, and Valentine—who had brought a rifle along so that he could go hunting in western Massachusetts—grabbed the weapon after the drummer said, "Michael, what are you gonna do? Kill me?"

"It was at that moment when I walked into the room and saw him standing with the gun aimed at Mel," guitarist Jay Jay French tells mental_floss. "I said to myself, 'Oh my God, he's going to kill him. He's really going to kill him.' Listen, to Michael's credit and to the credit of everybody, he obviously didn't do anything. He threw the gun down, then they started fighting. Michael was so drunk he could've pulled the trigger and it could've been a disaster. And he did not. Then the roadie who instigated the affair screamed, 'I broke up Twisted Sister!' And ran out of the club and started running back to New Jersey barefoot. It was freezing cold. He was obviously drunk and high. We piled into our cars and caught up to him two miles down the road and brought him back."

2. FANS DEMOLISHED FOUR CLUBS AT THE BAND'S REQUEST.

Twisted Sister played on the last night that Hammerheads, a rock club on Long Island, was going to be open. As French recalls: "The club owner said, 'By the way, we're closing tonight. I hate the landlord, and I don't really care what you tell people. Tell them to smash up the club.' It only further enhanced the band's crazy reputation, right?"

At the gig either Dee or Jay Jay (or both) told the crowd that it was the last night and to take everything. "People went to the bathrooms and took the stalls and the fire alarms," says French. "I thought that they would take little pieces of the wall. I didn't think they were going to actually remove the structural foundation of the building." They even brought down the false ceiling and caused the plumbing to burst and leak. The crew waded through the water to retrieve the band's gear.

Word spread about the unrehearsed demolition, and later three other New York and New Jersey club owners asked them to do the same at the 2001 Odyssey (where John Travolta's famous dance in Saturday Night Fever was filmed), the Soap Factory, and Emmett's Inn. At 2001, weapons were confiscated from fans who went through metal detectors. Wallpaper at the Soap Factory was torn off the walls, which were pure sheetrock—some of which came down, too. "But in no case did a club owner come to us and state any kind of disappointment that the room was destroyed any more than he wanted it to be, which I think is funny," says French.

3. A MEMBER WAS THREATENED WITH VIOLENCE OVER A BUSINESS DISPUTE.

According to French, after Twisted Sister recorded their self-released single "Under The Blade," the owner of Electric Lady Studios became angry because part of their production deal with producer Eddie Kramer included the clause that if the band got a deal, they had to pay four times the studio rate. Even though the band used the single as a promotional item, the studio owner bought a copy at a Sam Goody store in the spring of 1982, so he demanded $24,000 and reportedly threatened French with bodily harm if he didn't pay up.

"I was threatened directly by the owner," French states. "Then my manager, Mark Puma, and I called some club owner guys who he knew knew the right kind of people to call. Phone calls were made, conversations were had, which I was not privy to, but I was told that $10,000 would clear it. We were told that, out of respect, we should pay this. Out of respect? You mean out of desire to not have my knees broken? Okay. So we did."

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4. THE BAND HUNG AN EFFIGY OF BARRY WHITE ONSTAGE.

Twisted Sister and their fans loathed disco. At one point in the late '70s, frequent onstage chants of "Disco Sucks" were echoed by the audience while the group often displayed "Disco Sucks" banners onstage. But then they decided to take things to the next level by hanging an effigy of singer Barry White onstage and beating it to show their disdain for his music. They were very naive because they did not consider the wider racial implications of their actions. When one club owner in particular shared his positive views on lynching, the band was appalled.

"That scared us and taught us a lesson," says French. "We were bored to death in the bars and looking for things to do, things to say, and things to make people react. We fell prey to the mentality of crowd manipulations. After [the club owner] said that to us, not only did we stop doing it, but we also never played that room again. We didn't want to be associated with a guy like that."

5. AS A TEENAGER, JAY JAY FRENCH DROVE HIS NEIGHBORS CRAZY.

After buying his first big amp stack in 1969, French opened his windows and cranked his guitar loud and proud. Soon a neighbor was banging on his door. When she confronted him, she said she could hear him on 88th and Columbus. "I said, 'You live four blocks away? And you heard my guitar? Okay.'" he recalls. "And I slammed the door on her."

At another time, French took his amp and guitar to the roof and blasted all across the West Side of Manhattan while doing windmills. After trying to gesture to him to turn it down, and getting a middle finger in return, a neighbor in a penthouse two blocks away called the cops, who came up to the roof. "They basically said, 'Put the guitar down, and step away from the guitar,'" French recalls with amusement. "The guitar was reverberating all over the buildings. It was pretty funny."

6. SOMEONE ONCE SET THEIR TRUCK ON FIRE.

After renting trucks for a long time, Twisted Sister finally bought one, but they only had it for one day. They were playing their favorite club, Speaks, on Long Island in early 1978 when, mid-set, someone yelled, "Your truck's on fire!" They opened the door behind the stage to see their vehicle completely engulfed in flames. French recalls it was so hot that it was melting the adjacent truck belonging to another band. Luckily it did not explode and no one was hurt.

Two years later, he received a revelation about that night. The ex-wife of the son of a rival club owner walked up to him while he was playing Pac-Man at a bar in Westchester. "She said, 'I know about your truck being destroyed,'" French explains. "'You know your truck that was set on fire on Long Island a couple of years ago? That was my husband who did that. His dad told him to go do it.'"

French acknowledges that it was hearsay and speculation, but "it kind of made sense" given that this was the son of the racist club owner who liked their Barry White stunt. "It makes total sense now that it was done on purpose because the band stopped playing the venue [and cost them revenue]. The loop was closed, but I can't prove it."

7. THE HEAD OF THEIR RECORD LABEL HATED THEM. AT LEAST AT FIRST.

Twisted Sister were never critical darlings. Nor did the major labels like them. The list of reasons why record labels would not sign them included everything from the color of their pants to "been done before," but "there was never any acknowledgment that the band was super popular," says French.

When Atlantic Records' then-president Doug Morris found out that Phil Carson, the label's London-based senior vice president, had signed Twisted Sister during Christmas week of 1982, he was incensed. A&R man Jason Flom had been championing them for years to no avail. But after the band's second album (and Atlantic debut) You Can't Stop Rock 'n Roll sold 100,000 copies in 1983 with no label support, just constant touring, Morris called French into his office.

"He apologized to me," French says. The guitarist says that the label chief revealed to him that Warner Music and American Express owned MTV at that point. "He said, 'You make the right record and the right video and I'll make you the biggest band in the world.' I didn't buy it at all. What signaled that he wasn't full of it was that he hired [producer] Tom Werman, the hottest guy in town [for Stay Hungry]. He put his money where his mouth is."

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8. EVEN AS A LARGE CLUB DRAW, THE BAND LIVED NEAR THE POVERTY LEVEL FOR MANY YEARS.

Even though at the height of their pre-fame club popularity Twisted Sister could draw anywhere from 2000 to 3500 people to a gig, the group did not live large like other local stars. They put all their money back into the band. "I think our best year was $12,000 each in the bars because all the money went to the show, the equipment, demos, and the crew," French explains. "So we lived on near-poverty level wages the whole time because we understood that you had to put the money back in. With other bands, some guys bought houses and cars, we didn't. We took the least amount of money you could take to get by, and all the rest was invested. While we were definitely able to earn good money to keep the business going, that was never the key."

9. DESPITE ALL THE CRAZINESS AROUND THEM, THE BAND WAS SOBER.

A majority of Twisted Sister's members do not drink and none do drugs, and nobody ever drank to excess. They were laser focused on their music and achieving success. "We lost a lot of ex-members who did party and found it a very inhospitable place to work," French admits. "We were not a hospitable band if you partied. We were so straight that if you were f**ked up, you were out of the band."

The guitarist recalls that when the band held drinking contests onstage (to the point that some contestants got sick) in the late '70s, he had no idea how much booze he had been handing out. At one point, "The bartender said, 'I think you've handed out enough to kill somebody,'" he recalls. "I didn't know how much was enough to trash somebody. I had no idea."

10. DEE SNIDER WAS ARRESTED FOR OBSCENITY IN 1984.

The group was playing a show in Amarillo, Texas. They were a bar band that originally played to college-aged audiences, but with their platinum success in the summer of 1984 graduated to playing amphitheaters and arenas. Their poppy hit songs of that year belied the darker nature of their other material.

"Before I realized it, there was a large body of elementary school kids who were coming down with their parents to see that fun band," Snider told me for a Goldmine magazine interview in 1999. "I was still doing the same show that we were doing in biker bars in 1979." At one point, he cursed out a fan who was starting trouble. "This mother’s jaw hit the floor, and then she went and pressed charges."

Snider was arrested after the show, but the charges were dropped. "We, at the time, thought it was not a good thing to make a big issue out of it," the singer said. "In retrospect, I think we should have. The ACLU wanted to step in. Basically we just paid the minimal fine and the charges were dropped. It was disorderly conduct and abusive language, or something like that, whatever that means."

11. THE BAND CREATED A ZOMBIE VIDEO THAT WAS BANNED.

The group became a multiplatinum success in 1984 through two humorous videos starring Animal House actor Mark Metcalf ("We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock"), and the debut single for their fourth studio album, 1985's Come Out And Play, was their cover of The Shangri-Las' tune "Leader Of The Pack," another upbeat and commercial track. While the album quickly achieved gold status with 500,000 copies sold, the band began losing momentum in late 1985/early 1986, so they did an about-face with the next video clip for the '50s-sounding single "Be Chrool To Your Scuel," a song that featured Alice Cooper, Brian Setzer, Billy Joel, and Clarence Clemons.

For the video, the band unleashed a tale of a teacher who daydreams that he and his fellow educators turn into Twisted Sister and preside over a school full of zombies.  The clip—which featured fellow shock rocker Cooper, comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, gory makeup guru Tom Savini, and reportedly a young Luke Perry (if you can spot him beneath his undead look)—was gruesomely funny but too graphic for MTV. The cable network subsequently banned it, which is unfortunate because it could have re-established Twisted Sister as an edgy band and less of a novelty at the time. True fans, however, knew the real deal.

12. FRENCH IS A BUSINESS COLUMNIST AND MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER.

For the last year, French has been penning a business column for Inc., in which he often relates anecdotes about his crazy 40-plus years in Twisted Sister as prime examples of what to do—and what not to do—in business. He also does business motivational speaking and keynote addresses. He usually asks his audiences how many have graduated college and how many have business degrees.

Then: "How many of you find it ironic that you take advice from a drug addict, misogynistic, wife beating, former heavy metal rock 'n roll star and high school dropout?" he jokes. "And they all start laughing. I say, 'You guys missed a party, and I'm telling you about business.' It's ironic, but it's what makes it interesting and funny because I've been successful for 40 years. Nothing replaces that, and if you can articulate your experiences, then you have a narrative."

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25 Fascinating Facts About Breaking Bad
Ben Leuner/AMC
Ben Leuner/AMC

On January 10, 2008, Breaking Bad made its debut. Though it didn’t premiere to over-the-top ratings, over the course of five seasons, it morphed into a television phenomenon—thanks in large part to word of mouth and the increasing popularity of binge-watching. At its most basic level, it’s the story of a soft-spoken chemistry teacher who, after being diagnosed with lung cancer, risks everything he has worked for to make sure his family will be taken care of in the event of his death. But, like all great TV shows, the story is really not that simple. And it evolves over time, with each season somehow—and miraculously—managing to top the one before it.

Regularly cited as one of the greatest television series of all time (Rolling Stone ranked it number three on its list of the 100 best shows, right in between Mad Men and The Wire), here are 25 things you might not have known about Breaking Bad, in honor of its 10th anniversary.

1. LOTS OF NETWORKS PASSED ON IT, INCLUDING HBO.

In 2016, it was announced that Vince Gilligan is working on a limited series about Jim Jones for HBO. But the “It’s not TV” network wasn’t always so hot on Gilligan. In a 2011 interview, Gilligan shared that he pitched Breaking Bad to HBO, and that it was “the worst meeting I’ve ever had.”

"The trouble with Hollywood—movies and TV—is people will leave you dangling on the end of a meat hook for days or weeks or months on end,” Gilligan said. “That happened at HBO. Like the worst meeting I ever had … The woman we [were] pitching to could not have been less interested—not even in my story, but about whether I actually lived or died.”

HBO wasn’t the only network that ultimately said no to Walter White: Showtime, TNT, and FX all passed on Breaking Bad, too, for various reasons.

2. THE NETWORK REALLY WANTED MATTHEW BRODERICK TO STAR.

It’s impossible to imagine Breaking Bad with anyone other than Bryan Cranston in the lead role, but he wasn’t as well known when the series kicked off, and AMC wanted a star. They were particularly interested in casting either Matthew Broderick or John Cusack in the lead.

"We all still had the image of Bryan shaving his body in Malcolm in the Middle,” a former AMC executive told The Hollywood Reporter about their initial reluctance to cast Cranston. “We were like, 'Really? Isn't there anybody else?’” But Gilligan had worked with Cranston before, on an episode of The X-Files, and knew he had the chops to navigate the quirks of the part. The network brass watched the episode, and agreed.

"We needed somebody who could be dramatic and scary yet have an underlying humanity so when he dies, you felt sorry for him,” Gilligan said. “Bryan nailed it."

3. JESSE PINKMAN WASN’T SUPPOSED TO LIVE PAST SEASON ONE.

Aaron Paul in 'Breaking Bad'
Doug Hyun/AMC

While Breaking Bad ultimately ended up being largely about the tumultuous partnership between Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, Jesse wasn’t originally intended to be a major character. While it’s often stated that he was supposed to be killed off in episode nine, and that it was the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike that saved him, Gilligan set the record straight in 2013, saying it became clear much earlier than that that Jesse’s character—and his relationship to Walter—was integral to moving the show forward.

“The writers’ strike, in a sense, didn’t save him, because I knew by episode two—we all did, all of us, our wonderful directors and our wonderful producers,” Gilligan said. “Everybody knew just how good [Aaron Paul is], and a pleasure to work with, and it became pretty clear early on that that would be a huge, colossal mistake to kill off Jesse.”

When asked during a Reddit AMA about how he would have felt if Jesse had been killed off in season one, Paul posited that, “My career would be over. And I would be a sobbing mess watching week to week on Breaking Bad.”

4. THE WRITERS STRIKE DID CHANGE THE STORY ARC FOR SEASON ONE, WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE A GOOD THING.

The Writers Strike did end up shortening the show’s first season, which forced Gilligan to cut two episodes that would have seen Walter’s transformation into Heisenberg happen much more quickly—and violently. Gilligan was glad it worked out the way it did.

“We had plotted out all our episodes before the show ever went on the air, and we didn't know how well the show would be received,” Gilligan told Creative Screenwriting. “Not knowing how the public would take to it, you tend to want to be a little more sensational. You want to really keep the show exciting and interesting and keep 'em watching. All of that to say that those last two episodes, because of that, would have been really big episodes, and would have taken the characters into a hugely different realm than that they were already in, and it would have been a hard thing to come back from, coming into season two.”

“We're not just doing those two episodes coming into season two,” he added. “We threw those out completely and we're starting somewhere else. We're building more slowly than we otherwise would have built. I think that's really good, because I know we've all had our favorite shows that were really interesting up to a certain point, but maybe they just go too far, and then there's no going back from it. To me, the trick is to do as little as possible with the characters, and yet keep them as interesting as possible. It's a real balancing act.”

5. THE DEA HELPED OUT, AND EVEN TAUGHT BRYAN CRANSTON AND AARON PAUL HOW TO COOK METH.

Because of the subject matter, the show’s creators thought it was only right to inform the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) what they were making—and welcome their help. “We informed them—with all due respect and consideration—that we’re doing this show, and ‘Would you like to be a part of it in a consultancy in order to make sure that we get it right?’” Cranston told High Times. “They had the choice to say, ‘We don’t want anything to do with it.’ But they saw that it might be in their best interest to make sure that we do it correctly. So DEA chemists came onboard as consultants and taught Aaron Paul and me how to make crystal meth.”

6. THE SCIENCE IS SOUND, BUT NOT PERFECT. AND THAT WAS INTENTIONAL.

Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston on the set of 'Breaking Bad'
Doug Hyun/AMC

Dr. Donna Nelson, a chemistry professor at the University of Oklahoma, began serving as a science advisor on the show midway through the first season, and was tasked with making sure the show got its science right—or, at least as “right” as is safe.

“I don’t think there’s any popular show that gets it 100 percent right, but that’s not the goal,” Nelson told Mental Floss in 2013. “The goal is not to be a science education show; the goal is to be a popular show. And so there’s always going to be some creative license taken, because they want to make the show interesting.”

Of course—particularly with a show about drug-making—you don’t want to give viewers a primer on how to start their own meth empires. “In the case of Walter White, his trademark is the blue meth,” Nelson said. “In reality, it wouldn’t be blue; it would be colorless. But this isn’t a science education show. It’s a fantasy. And Vince Gilligan did a fantastic job of getting most of the science right. And I am just thrilled with that. I think Vince Gilligan is a genius, and you can quote me on that!”

7. THAT ICONIC BLUE METH IS ROCK CANDY.

Whenever you see Walter and Jesse’s signature blue meth, what you’re actually seeing is blue rock candy. More specifically: blue rock candy from The Candy Lady, a boutique candy store in Albuquerque. (They have a whole line of Breaking Bad-inspired treats, which they sell under The Bad Candy Lady line.)

8. GUS FRING’S ROLE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MUCH SMALLER.

Initially, Giancarlo Esposito wasn’t interested in taking on the role of Gus Fring, which was a much smaller part in the beginning. “I had not seen Breaking Bad, but my manager at the time told me it was his favorite show,” Esposito told TIME. “My wife said I should I try it, but it was a guest spot and I’ve done a lot of guest spots. I wanted to develop a character. But I did one episode and then I agreed to do two more with the caveat that I wanted to be part of a filmmaking family.”

When Gilligan offered him another seven episodes for season three, Esposito countered that he wanted a bigger role. “There was some negotiating and I ended up doing 12,” Esposito said. “I wanted to create a character who became intrinsic to the show. And at some point, I realized that I had slid into the Breaking Bad family. Vince told me that I changed the game and raised the bar for the show. And I’m proud of that, but I could only do that because of the depth of the writing and due to the chemistry between Bryan Cranston and myself. And their writing inspired me to think, to create someone who was polite, threatening and poignant.”

9. GIANCARLO ESPOSITO CHANNELED HIS INNER EDWARD JAMES OLMOS.

Giancarlo Esposito in 'Breaking Bad'
Ursula Coyote/AMC

In the mid-1980s, Giancarlo Esposito made a few guest appearances on Miami Vice. The experience clearly had an effect on him, as he used Edward James Olmos’s character from that series, Lieutenant Martin Castillo, as a model for Gus Fring.

“Eddie did very little and he was very convincing,” Esposito told the Toronto Sun. “I also thought he was a bit flat, but he did very, very little in playing [Castillo] and I thought it was really effective. Juxtaposed to Philip Michael [Thomas] and Don [Johnson], who were at times a bit full of themselves but were doing a little bit of acting, Eddie was just doing his job. And I wanted Gus to be in that mode."

10. GILLIGAN GOT SOME HELP FROM THE WALKING DEAD CREW FOR FRING’S FINAL EPISODE.

Fring’s final sendoff is one of the most memorable visual images from the entire series—and they were able to enlist the help of some true gore experts. “Indeed we did have great help from the prosthetic effects folks at The Walking Dead,” Gilligan told The New York Times. “And I want to give a shout-out to Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger, and KNB EFX, those two gentlemen and their company, because their shop did that effect. And then that was augmented by the visual effects work of a guy named Bill Powloski and his crew, who digitally married a three-dimensional sculpture that KNB EFX created with the reality of the film scene. So you can actually see into and through Gus’s head in that final reveal. It’s a combination of great makeup and great visual effects. And it took months to do."

11. YES, AARON PAUL DOES SAY “BITCH” A LOT—BUT PROBABLY NOT AS MUCH AS YOU THINK.

While any Jesse Pinkman impression ends with a “bitch,” by one calculation, Paul uses the word a total of 54 times throughout the series. Which, considering there are 62 episodes, seems a little on the low side.

12. PAUL RELEASED A “YO, BITCH” APP.

Aaron Paul in 'Breaking Bad'
AMC

Even if that above number seems underwhelming, Pinkman’s favorite add-on became so synonymous with Paul that, in 2014, the actor released an app called Yo, Bitch.

13. WALTER’S BOSS AT THE CAR WASH IS A CHEMIST IN REAL LIFE.

Marius Stan, who played Bogdan, Walter’s boss at the car wash, wasn’t a familiar face to many of the show’s viewers. That’s because the series was his (and his eyebrows’) acting debut. In real life, rather coincidentally, he has a PhD in chemistry and, according to a Reddit AMA, is a “Senior Computational Energy Scientist at Argonne National Lab—which is one of the national laboratories under the U.S. Dept. of Energy—and a Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago, the Computation Institute."

14. WALTER WHITE’S ALTER EGO IS A NOD TO A REAL PERSON.

Walter White’s drug kingpin alter ego, Heisenberg, is a nod to Werner Heisenberg, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who developed the principle of uncertainty.

15. HEISENBERG’S SIGNATURE HAT WAS A MATTER A PRACTICALITY. 

Bryan Cranston in 'Breaking Bad'
Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Heisenberg’s porkpie hat came to identify Walter White’s dark side, but it originated from a very practical place. “Bryan kept asking me, after he shaved his head, ‘Can I have a hat?’ because his head was cold,” Kathleen Detoro, the show’s costume designer, explained. “So I would ask Vince and he kept saying no; Jesse wore the hats. Finally, Vince said, ‘I think there’s a place …’ It was Bryan asking for a hat, me asking Vince, and then Vince figuring out where in the story it makes sense: It’s when he really becomes Heisenberg.” (If you want to buy your own Heisenberg hat, it was made by Goorin.)

16. THE WHITES’ HOUSE HAS BECOME A TOURIST ATTRACTION—AND LOTS OF PIZZA HAS BEEN THROWN ON THE ROOF.

Though Walter White and his family live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, the home that you see in exterior shots is actually located at 3828 Piermont Drive NE, a private home in Albuquerque that has become a pretty major tourist attraction. Many fans, caught up in the excitement of seeing the home where Walter White managed to hurl the world’s largest pizza onto the roof in one swift move, have attempted to recreate that scene—leaving the home’s owner with a regular mess.

In 2015, Gilligan appealed to the show’s fan base to refrain from throwing pizza onto the home’s roof. “There is nothing original, or funny, or cool about throwing a pizza on this lady’s roof,” Gilligan said. “It’s been done before—you’re not the first.”

“And if I catch you doing it, I will hunt you down,” added Jonathan Banks, in true Mike Ehrmantraut fashion.

17. CRANSTON MANAGED TO GET THAT PIZZA THROW IN ONE TAKE.

Speaking of that infamous pizza scene: It really was Cranston who threw it, and he managed to do it in one take. Gilligan called it a “one-in-a-million shot.”

18. TUCO GAVE JESSE A CONCUSSION.

A fight scene between Jesse and Tuco (Raymond Cruz) turned serious when Cruz ended up accidentally knocking Paul unconscious. “Yeah, Raymond Cruz who played Tuco gave me a concussion during the episode ‘Grilled,’ where Tuco takes Walt and Jesse to his shack in the middle of nowhere where we meet the famous Uncle Tio,” Paul said in a Reddit AMA. “Tuco takes Jesse and he throws him through the screen door outside, and if you watch it back you'll notice that my head gets caught inside the wooden screen door and it flips me around and lands me on my stomach and the door splinters into a million pieces. Raymond just thought I was acting so he continued and kicked me in the side and picked me up over his shoulder and threw me against the house, but in reality I was pretty much unconscious ... I kept pleading to him, saying ‘stop.’ The next thing I know I guess I blacked out and I woke up to a flashlight in our eyes and it was our medic. And then I hopped up acting like nothing wrong, but it appeared like I was drunk, and I kept saying, ‘Let's finish the scene’ but then my eye started swelling shut so they took me to the hospital. Just another fun day on the set of Breaking Bad!”

19. JANE’S DEATH WAS THE HARDEST SCENE FOR PAUL TO SHOOT.

When asked about the hardest scene to shoot during a Reddit AMA, Paul said that it was Jane’s death. “I honestly think the hardest scene for me to do was when Jesse woke up and found Jane lying next to him dead,” Paul said. “Looking at Jane through Jesse's eyes that day was very hard and emotional for all of us. When that day was over, I couldn't be happier that it was over because I really, truly felt I was living those tortured moments with Jesse.”

The scene was hard on Cranston, too, who reportedly spent 15 minutes crying after filming was complete.

20. MIKE’S DEATH WAS HARD FOR EVERYONE.

Jonathan Banks in 'Breaking Bad'
Frank Ockenfels/AMC

When asked about filming his final scene, Jonathan Banks shared that, “The crew on the set that day all wore black armbands all day long. There are a lot of friends on that crew. It was an emotional day to say the least on set—a lot of tears. Tough day, brother.”

21. JESSE’S TEETH STILL BOTHER GILLIGAN.

When asked about whether he had any regrets about the show or any of its storylines, Gilligan admitted to one: "One thing that sort of troubled me, looking back over the entirety of the show: Jesse's teeth were a little too perfect. There were all the beatings he took, and, of course, he was using meth, which is brutal on your teeth. He'd probably have terrible teeth in real life."

22. WARREN BUFFET RESPECTS WALTER WHITE’S BUSINESS ACUMEN.

Warren Buffet was a fan of the series, and even showed up to its fifth season premiere. On the red carpet, he expressed admiration of Walter White’s entrepreneurship, calling him "a great businessman," and saying that, "he’s my guy if I ever have to go toe-to-toe with anyone."

23. THERE ARE 62 EPISODES IN TOTAL—A NUMBER THAT HAS A SPECIAL MEANING. 

The cast of 'Breaking Bad'
Frank Ockenfels/AMC

Over the course of five seasons, Breaking Bad produced a total of 62 episodes—which is no arbitrary number. The 62nd element on the periodic table is Samarium, which is used to treat a range of cancers, including lung cancer.

24. THE FINAL DEATH TOLL IS PRETTY IMPRESSIVE.

Though you may have underestimated the number of times Jesse uttered “bitch,” you might be surprised by how many people were killed throughout the show’s entire run: 270. (BuzzFeed created a thorough breakdown of some of the most memorable ones.)

25. IN 2016, A METH COOK NAMED WALTER WHITE WAS WANTED BY THE AUTHORITIES.

In 2016, a 55-year-old man named Walter White rose to the top of Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s most wanted list for manufacturing and selling meth. Though White wasn’t a teacher, there have been other real-life stories that mirrored Walter White’s descent into the criminal underworld: In 2012, a chemistry teacher named William Duncan was arrested for selling meth; in 2011, Irina Kristy, a 74-year-old math professor, was arrested for running a meth lab.

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7 Things You Might Not Know About Audrey Hepburn
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Though she’ll always be known as the little-black-dress-wearing big-screen incarnation of Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, there’s probably a lot you don’t know about Audrey Hepburn, who passed away in Switzerland on January 20, 1993.

1. HER FIRST ROLE WAS IN AN EDUCATIONAL FILM.

Though 1948’s Dutch in Seven Lessons is classified as a “documentary” on IMDb, it’s really more of an educational travel film, in which Hepburn appears as an airline attendant. If you don’t speak Dutch, it might not make a whole lot of sense to you, but you can watch it above anyway.

2. GREGORY PECK WAS AFRAID SHE’D MAKE HIM LOOK LIKE A JERK.

Hepburn was an unknown actress when she was handed the starring role of Princess Ann opposite Gregory Peck in 1953’s Roman Holiday. As such, Peck was going to be the only star listed, with Hepburn relegated to a smaller font and an “introducing” credit. But Peck insisted, “You've got to change that because she'll be a big star and I'll look like a big jerk.” Hepburn ended up winning her first and only Oscar for the role (Peck wasn’t even nominated).

3. SHE’S AN EGOT.

In 1954, the same year she won the Oscar for Roman Holiday, Hepburn accepted a Tony Award for her title role in Ondine on Broadway. Hepburn is one of only 12 EGOTs, meaning that she has won all of the four major creative awards: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Unfortunately, the honor came to Hepburn posthumously; her 1994 Grammy for the children’s album Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales and her 1993 Emmy for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn were both awarded following her passing in early 1993.

4. TRUMAN CAPOTE HATED HER AS HOLLY GOLIGHTLY.

Blake Edwards’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s may be one of the most iconic films in Hollywood history, but it’s a miracle that the film ever got made at all. Particularly if you listened to Truman Capote, who wrote the novella upon which it was based, and saw only one actress in the lead: Marilyn Monroe. When asked what he thought was wrong with the film, which downplayed the more tawdry aspects of the fact that Ms. Golightly makes her living as a call girl (Hepburn had told the producers, “I can’t play a hooker”), Capote replied, “Oh, God, just everything. It was the most miscast film I’ve ever seen. It made me want to throw up.”

5. HOLLY GOLIGHTLY’S LITTLE BLACK DRESS SOLD FOR NEARLY $1 MILLION.

Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'
Keystone Features, Getty Images

In 2006, Christie’s auctioned off the iconic Givenchy-designed little black dress that Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s for a whopping $923,187 (pre-auction numbers estimated that it would go for between $98,800 and $138,320). It was a record-setting amount at the time, until Marilyn Monroe’s white “subway dress” from The Seven Year Itch sold for $5.6 million in 2006.

6. SHE SANG “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” TO JFK IN 1963.

One year after Marilyn Monroe’s sultry birthday serenade to John F. Kennedy in 1962, Hepburn paid a musical tribute to the President at a private party in 1963, on what would be his final birthday.

7. THERE’S A RARE TULIP NAMED AFTER HER.

Photo of Audrey Hepburn
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

In 1990, a rare white tulip hybrid was named after the actress and humanitarian, and dedicated to her at her family’s former estate in Holland.

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