American Oddities – WIF Fun Facts

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Facts About


That Make

No Sense

to Foreigners

America. It’s one of the biggest countries on Earth, both in terms of population and sheer size. It’s the planet dominating superpower; the heaviest hitter where culture is concerned; a place known by nearly every single human on the planet… and, to all but the 4-5% of humanity who live there, it makes absolutely no gosh darn sense.

 See, despite its cultural clout, America still seems deeply weird to foreigners. And we don’t just mean people who come from repressive kingdoms and tin-pot dictatorships. Europeans, people from Southeast Asia, Australians and Brits all find yuge chunks of life in the good ol’ US-of-A beyond comprehension. If you were born stateside, the following might not seem super crazy to you. But trust us, every single foreigner is reading this with their jaw dangling open and their eyeballs popping out.

10. US Toddlers Shoot One Person a Week

Americans sure love guns. The US has the highest rate of gun-ownership on planet Earth, and the least-restrictive gun laws (only Switzerland comes close). That’s all thanks to the 2nd Amendment, which has been the subject of near-constant debate since being written.

But it’s not the sheer number of guns in America that really astounds foreigners. It’s the crazy things that leads to. Things like US toddlers shooting one person a week.

There’s literally no other country on Earth you could write that sentence about. Even countries that are swimming in guns, like Serbia, Norway, and Switzerland, don’t have toddlers blowing one another away. To be fair, they have tiny populations, but, to be even fairer, c’mon buddy. US toddlers have shot on average one person a week (including themselves) for the past two years. Even war zones don’t have numbers like that.

More bizarre still, America keeps on arming its toddlers. In 2016, Iowa made it legal for babies to handle loaded guns. That’s right. The guys in the Hawkeye State elected to arm the very babies that are trying to shoot them. How’s that for hubris?

9. Bestiality is Still Legal in 9 US States (but premarital sex is outlawed)

Despite this being 2017, plenty of US States still have sex laws on the books that are… unenlightened, to say the least. And by that, we mean they were seemingly written by two guys named Festus and Bubba while necking with their pet hog Clancy.

Incredible as it may seem, there are nearly ten US States where it is still legal to have sexual intercourse with animals. We say ‘nearly’ ten, because one’s the District of Columbia (not a state, kids!). The other nine are Hawaii, Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. In addition, plenty of states still only consider bestiality a misdemeanor.

This would be odd enough if the US was a spectacularly licentious place, but it’s not. In addition to allowing you to marry your best-est sow, four states still outlaw either premarital or extramarital sex, or co-habiting with your partner prior to marriage. While the laws are effectively never enforced, the fact they’re still on the statute books attests to America’s unique mix of religious piety and deep-seated desire to mimic the guys from Deliverance.

8. The Highest Paid Public Employee in 39 States is a Sports Coach

Go to any other country in the Western world – Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, wherever – and the highest-paid public employee will be someone working in a selfless capacity. They’ll be the guys and gals running universities, or public hospitals, or the local council. America, though, laughs in the face of such devotion to the public good. Instead of rewarding headmasters or doctors or teachers, the highest public pay package in 39 states goes to sports coaches. Specifically, guys coaching football or men’s basketball.

We’re not talking comparatively small sums, either. The salaries involved would be enviable in the private sector. University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, for example, rakes in over $7 million, plus bonuses, likely making him one of the highest-paid public employees not living in a corrupt dictatorship. For those from outside the states, this seems less extravagant, and more like an absolute inability to get priorities right.

Only Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New York, Nevada, New Hampshire, Vermont and both Dakotas refuse to award their highest public pay packet to a football or men’s basketball coach. Interestingly, both Hawaii and Vermont, as you’ll remember from a second ago, still technically allow bestiality. We’re really not sure what to make of that.

7. Over Half of All Americans Don’t Hold a Valid Passport

In 2014, polling company YouGov revealed only 8% of Britons had never left their country of birth to travel abroad. While this is maybe not all that super-impressive (Britain is tiny and France is close), it puts the US to shame. The same poll found only 50% of Americans would admit to ever having left the country. That’s nearly 160 million people who have never been to Canada or Mexico, let alone Europe or Asia.

For people who were born in Europe, that’s almost like saying you’ve never seen a glass of water. The idea of not going abroad from time to time is alien. In places like Germany, over 90% of the population hold a valid passport, and you better believe they use it.

But that’s Europe, we hear you cry, it’s a small continent with, like, a bazillion countries. Well, first, we’re pretty sure you’re exaggerating there, bud. Secondly, look at Australia, a country nearly as big as the US, and more cut-off from the rest of the world. According to official data, one third of the population goes abroad every single year. That compares to 50% of Americans over their entire lifetimes. Clearly, the US is a travel-averse country.

6. 30% of Americans Prefer Saving Money to Vital Medical Treatment

Compared to other developed nations, healthcare in the US is expensive. You can blame that on too much Obamacare, or not enough of it, but the fact remains that public systems, private systems, and public-private systems elsewhere in the world all deliver better service at lower cost. This alone can seem staggering to foreigners. Then there’s the American attitude to health. Faced with a serious illness or injury, around 30 percent of Americans would rather walk it off than pay for treatment.

 This… simply doesn’t happen elsewhere. Norway has the second most-expensive healthcare in the world, and pretty much no-one there avoids necessary treatment. Japan has an insurance-based, private system with payments often covered by employers, just like the US, and people don’t skip out on medical care. To find other people choosing money over hospitalization, you have to leave the developed world behind and start poking around in poorer countries where wages are low and healthcare unaffordable.

We’re not trying to rag on American healthcare here. America has some of the best doctors and hospitals going. But the idea that you’d choose money over health (or that you’d have to choose)? To non-Americans, that’s insane.

5. 7 States Have Custody Rights for Rapists

OK, let’s turn to some really, really dark stuff now. There exists a certain subsection of guys who like to rape women. Occasionally, this results in their victims getting pregnant. Depending on where they live and their religious convictions, the women may then decide to carry the baby to term. Now, here’s where it gets creepy. In around 7 states, it’s perfectly legal for the rapist-father to sue for custody of his newborn child.

Imagine that for a second. You’ve been violently assaulted, gone through the hell of guilt and self-recrimination, been courageous enough to bring the resulting baby into the world… and now you’re forced to watch as the D-bag who hurt you decides he wants to be a father to your son/daughter. Well, if you live in Alabama, Mississippi, Maryland, New Mexico, North Dakota, Wyoming or Minnesota, that can totally happen.

In addition, there are 20 more states where it might be legal. In Indiana, for example, you can only block the rapist from seeking custody if you remember to do so within 3 months of your baby being born. This is some seriously dark stuff, and we guarantee that if you mention it to anyone from elsewhere in the developed world, their jaws will drop so low they hit the ground. Sure, some Middle East states may have even-worse laws, but that’s not really a benchmark to aspire to.

4. America Has More Self-Identified Patriots than Anywhere Else on Earth

In July 2016, Gallup released the results of their yearly patriotism poll. They found 52% of Americans call themselves “extremely patriotic”, the lowest level in polling history. The news triggered a slew of introspective articles by American writers, wondering what had gone wrong. For those reading elsewhere in the world, it felt like stepping through the looking glass. 52% is such a good score it leaves other countries eating the USA’s dust.

Such levels of patriotism simply don’t exist in the rest of the developed world. In a similar survey by YouGov, only 13% of Brits thought their country was “the best in the world.” That was the highest score in the EU. Germany and France got only 5% each. The second and third highest-ranking countries globally, India and Australia, scored 34% and 36%. But the US? The US busted through the 40% mark, with an additional 32% claiming America was at the very least “better than most other countries.”

For the majority of foreigners, the idea of showing US-levels of patriotism is simply alien. You will never see a flag in every yard in any other country on Earth. But that’s the US public for you: optimistic to a tee. Even if they’re unhappy with their current government, folks still believe that the idea of America itself is worth believing in.

3. Americans are More Likely to Get Bitten by Other Americans than Rats

The stereotype is that Americans likes three things: football, fast food, and violence (often all at once). It’s true that America’s murder rate is crazy-high. It’s also true that the national sport is getting drunk and starting bar-fights. But surely it’s not as bad as all that?

Well, we hate to break it to you, but this arresting statistic says otherwise. If you live in America, you are more likely to be bitten by another American than you are by a rat.

To be clear, this isn’t because US rats are particularly docile or rare on the ground. Cities like New York are completely infested, and people get bitten all the freakin’ time. There are over 40,000 rat bites recorded in America each year. The only trouble is, there are at least 45,000 human bites recorded right alongside them.

Again, this is a freaky fact for Americans, too. But, also again, it’s just something that doesn’t happen in most other countries. Sure, drunks in Britain like to hit each other, and Italian soccer hooligans are violent as heck, but biting enough people to outstrip rats? It’s something we can’t imagine happening anywhere else.

2. Americans Take ‘Fast Food’ Extremely Literally

The US is the birthplace of fast food. It’s the nation that brought the world the drive-thru, perfected the snack, and coined the phrase “lunch is for wimps.” Foreigners know all this intellectually. But confront them with a statistic like the following, and it’ll still blow their minds. Americans, you see, are the 3rd fastest eaters on Earth. On an average day, Americans spend only 74 minutes eating, nearly the lowest in the world.

That’s only slightly over 20 minutes each for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and far less if you include time put aside for eating snacks. If you live in the USA, this probably doesn’t seem so weird to you (the working lunch is an American specialty), but if you live elsewhere… man, you’re probably wondering how the heck they do it. In France, the average eating time is 135 minutes a day. In Turkey, it’s 162 minutes. Even in Japan, where people work far longer hours than in the US, they still manage to put aside 117 minutes a day for chow. The only other countries to spend as little time eating are Canada (72 minutes) and Mexico (under 70 minutes).

This is probably to do with both the American hard work ethic and fast food culture, which prioritizes productivity over relaxation. The same can be seen in a related statistic on cooking times. Nowhere else on Earth do people spend as little time cooking each day as in America.

1. Government Departments Have Official Advice for Reporting Elvis Sightings

One of the things foreigners know about the US is that it’s full of wackos seeing wacko things. There’s a reason The X-Files was so popular 20 years ago. But it’s one thing to hear about guys filming shaky footage of Bigfoot on their cell phone. It’s another entirely to hear that actual US government departments have official advice for reporting Elvis sightings.

Here, for example, is a link to the Federal government’s official website for copyright. Hover your mouse over the link. See that it ends .gov? It’s impossible for anyone not representing a government entity to register a .gov address. This site is legit. It’s part of the Federal government, and paid for by taxpayers’ money. And it includes official advice on how to copyright your sighting of Elvis.

 This isn’t a joke section put up by some lighthearted bureaucrat indulging a whim. It’s completely, mind-bogglingly serious. Which means the government was getting deluged with enough requests about Elvis sightings that they went to the trouble to post official advice about it. OK, say it with me now, altogether: only in America.

American Oddities


– WIF Fun Facts

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 32

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 32

…“Who says we’re not working for ourselves, isn’t that right, Bing Crosby…

“Do you know who you’ve kidnapped?” a shrewd Fanny asks.

The two men in the front seat seem not to care who she is.

“Some wacky redhead?” guesses number one thug. “Are you packin’ heat.?”

“Maybe and My name is Mary Pickford.”

“Eating at a White Castle, right… And we’re movie stars too,” cracks brute number two.

Obviously the men, who have taken Fanny, are just following orders. Maybe she can play them.

“I know the name of your boss.”

“Who says we’re not working for ourselves, isn’t that right, Bing Crosby?”

“That’s right, Gene Kelly,” says the driver.

“You guys are Hi-larious,” she answers back.

“Who are we working for Miss Pickford, I mean Miss Caraway?” they taunt.

They’ve got the wrong girl, but Fanny strings them along, needing to make her response count, while trying to recall a name she picked up on three hours ago at Tolentine, “Vincent, yes you are associates of Mr. Vincent.”

Izzula3 – DeviantArt

They look at each with vacated expressions.

“Cat got your tongue?”

Again there is stunned silence.

“My people are coming for me.”

“Do we look worried Miss Caraway?”

She shows them her Visitors badge, stuck to her sweater. It reads “Renwick”.

“This ain’t the Caraway broad, stupid!”

The black Cadillac pulls up to the first telephone booth they see. “Bing” drops in a single dime, confirming that it is indeed a local call. His demonstrative actions indicate frustration. He returns to the passenger side telling his mate, “O’Malley’s Garage on Western,” turning to their snatch, “tell us what you did with the bag, whoever you are.”

“You guys don’t have a clue, do you?” She can play dumb too.

“The briefcase you took from the convent, Red, where is it?”

She holds out her empty and bound hands.

“Stop the car.”

Better listen to him Bing. You and Mr. Kelly are in way over your heads. The coppers will be looking for you.”

“Get out, now! You ain’t worth the trouble.”

Fanny is unceremoniously kicked to the curb

Crosby blares at Kelly, “We grabbed the wrong dame!

Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon

page 31

Hear it Here – WIF Iconic TV Music

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10 Iconic TV

Music Performances


On that musical note

On November 28, 1967, the Number 1 song in the United States was “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees, a made-for-television rock band with its own zany television show.

Certainly a Number 1 song is a big deal, and television gave us much iconic music and many iconic musical performances.  Here 10 such instances are listed, some famous, some less famous.  Share with us some of your favorites.

Behind the camera

10. Rhythm Heritage, “Theme from S.W.A.T.,” 1976.

Upon reaching Number 1 on the U.S. music charts in February of 1976, the “Theme from S.W.A.T.” became the first television theme song to hit that lofty height.  Three months later it was followed by the theme song from the television show Welcome Back Kotter.  Other television theme songs to have hit Number one include the theme song from Miami Vice in 1985 and “How do you Talk to an Angel” sung by Jamie Walters in 1992 from the series The HeightsCracked History trivia:  The “Miama Vice Theme” was the last instrumental to hit Number 1 until  “The Harlem Shake” in 2013.

9. The Doors, “Light My Fire,” 1967.

Ordered by host Ed Sullivan to change the line “Girl we couldn’t get much higher” to something less offensive, such as “Girl we couldn’t get much better,” The Doors initially agreed but once live, Jim Morrison defiantly sang the original lyrics.  An enraged representative said The Doors would never be allowed to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show ever again, but they reportedly did not care as they already had their moment on the national stage.

8. Petula Clark and Harry Belafonte, “On the Path to Glory,” 1968.

While hosting a television special for NBC, Clark sang her own composition “On the Path to Glory” as a duet with Harry Belafonte.  During the performance she held the black Caribbean singer’s arm.  At that time in America, it was taboo for a white woman to have such close contact with a black man, and the show’s sponsor, the car maker Chrysler, insisted the song be re-taped.  Clark refused, and the show was aired with the original arm-holding rendition of the anti-war song, thus crossing a line and reaching a milestone in the history of civil rights in the U.S..

7. Sinead O’Connor, “Fight the real enemy!” 1992.

While performing Bob Marley’s song “War” a capella on Saturday Night Live, the bald songstress tore up a photograph of Pope John Paul as she looked into the camera and boldly sang the word “evil.”  She then urged others to “Fight the real enemy” as she threw the pieces at the camera.   The shocked live audience remained silent, and NBC received thousands of phone calls denouncing the performance.  A week later, musical guest Madonna also appeared on SNL and parodied O’Connor by doing the same to a photo of Joey Buttafuoco.  Numerous parodies ensued, and some celebrities showed their disapproval by tearing up photos of O’Connor.

6. Roseanne Barr, National Anthem, 1990.

Continuing in the tradition established by Jose Felciano (see below) of adding one’s own touch to the National Anthem, Barr shocked and disgusted America by deliberately singing it off key in a parody-like performance and grabbing her crotch and spitting (supposedly emulating baseball players known for “adjusting” their nether regions and for chewing tobacco) during a nationally televised baseball game between the Padres and the Reds.  Even President George H.W. Bush publicly expressed his disdain for her rendition.  Barr said she was trying to bring “humor” to her performance.  Well, what did they expect?  She is a comedienne!

5. Jose Feliciano, National Anthem at the Opening Game of the 1968 World Series

This blind Puerto Rican singer shocked and angered much of the country by singing a very different, jazzed up version of “The Star Spangled Banner” during the opening ceremonies of the 1968 World Series in Detroit.  A recording of his rendition of the National Anthem reached Number 50 on the Hot 100.  His was the first of the “interpretive” versions of the song sung at the beginning of U.S. sporting events, and people have been complaining about the non-standard versions ever since.  Feliciano later expressed his pride at having begun the trend of “personalizing” the National Anthem.

4. The Beatles, The Ed Sullivan Show, 1964.

Having arrived in the United States with tremendous hoopla only 2 days earlier, the Beatles were watched on The Ed Sullivan Show by over 73 million Americans, and just like that, the British had reconquered America.  With Beatlemania, the floodgates for what became known as “The British Invasion” were opened, and fortunately for Americans, that meant an almost endless supply of good rock and roll music to be enjoyed for years and years to come.

3. Early Elvis TV Appearances, 1956.

After his first appearance on The Milton Berle Show on April 3, Elvis was back for an encore performance on June 5, this time to a wider audience and singing Hound Dog while incorporating slow, suggestive gyrations that shocked and outraged the prudes of the nation.  Presley then continued his run of blockbuster television appearances with a performance on The Steve Allen Show on July 1 when he sangHound Dog to a bored looking Basset Hound.  Ed Sullivan, the host of the most popular show on television at the time, had vehemently decried Elvis as unfit for television.  When, however, Elvis’ appearance on the Steve Allen Show beat The Ed Sullivan Show in the ratings, Sullivan relented and contracted Elvis for 3 guest appearances on his own show The first performance, which took place on September 9, 1956, was watched by a then record 60 million people, over 82% of the U.S. television audience.

2. The Buggles, “Video Killed the Radio Star,” 1981.

This song by The Buggles is the  answer to the often asked trivia question “What was the first music video played on MTV?”  More than just interesting trivia, “Video Killed the Radio Star”  was Number 1 in the UK in 1979  and reached Number 6 in the US in 1980 and remains popular to this very day.  The TV cable station VH1 named it Number 40 in its list of Top 100 One Hit Wonders.

1. Elvis Presley, Aloha From Hawaii, 1973.

Broadcast around the world over satellite, Elvis’ Aloha From Hawaii was watched live by a billion people all over the globe.  The show cost a record $2.5 million to produce and was worth every penny.  Elvis had gotten into good physical and singing shape for the performance which was the first of its kind to be aired live via satellite.  Singing both his old hits and covers of popular classics, this was the King at his best, a truly memorable experience.  Even the soundtrack album was a huge hit, and became the last album by Elvis to reach Number 1.

You Heard it Here

– WIF Iconic TV Music

Nearby Timeline of Music

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Cracked History


Nearby Timeline of Music

A Cracked History Timeline of Music

Striking a Tone…..

This article presents a timeline of music history.

Fret by fret, key by key…

On January 1, 1773, the first use of the all familiar hymn, “Amazing Grace“, was performed at a church service in England.

On March 31, 1923, the first U.S. dance marathon ended in New York City but began a strange fad with sometimes fatal consequences!

On March 21, 1952, disc jockey Alan Freed (inventor of the term “rock and roll”) and record store owner Leo Mintz staged the first rock concert in Cleveland, Ohio!

On June 5, 1956, the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, introduced what would become his top selling hit, Hound Dog, on The Milton Berle Show, an early television favorite.

On October 27, 1960, American soul singer Ben E. King co-wrote and recorded “Stand by Me”.

On January 29, 1967, the “hippie” counter-culture scene melded with Hare Krishna at the Mantra-Rock Dance in San Francisco, later referred to as “the ultimate high.”

On March 25, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono came up with a unique way to celebrate their honeymoon, by inviting friends and reporters to spend the day in their hotel bedroom each day for a week!

On January 2, 1979, the murder trial of punk rock legend Sid Vicious began.

On December 8, 1980, John Lennon, the former Beatle and one of the most famous musicians of the 1960’s and 1970’s was mercilessly gunned down, shot in the back on a New York sidewalk, thus joining the ranks of peace lovers who were not allowed to be left in peace, men such as Abraham Lincoln, “Mahatma” Gandhi, Martin L. King jr., and Robert F. Kennedy.

On January 23, 1986, the world of music finally saw the beginning of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with its first inductees!

On October 1, 1993, twelve-year old Polly Hannah Klaas (January 3, 1981 – October 1, 1993) was murdered under horrifying circumstances erroneously starting the rumor that Nirvana’s “Polly” was inspired by the event.

On March 11, 1995Chrono Trigger was released in Japan.  Chrono Trigger is regarded as one of the finest RPG videogames of all time.  If you have never played it, just YouTube the soundtrack, because part of it was composed in someone’s dream.

On February 1, 2004, at Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, Texas, cracked history was made when a “wardrobe malfunction” caused Janet Jackson to briefly expose her breast on live national television!

On June 16, 2012, Forgotten Books published The English Madrigal Composers.  The book concerns a style of music popularized during The Renaissance Era in Europe, a new age for invention and discovery. It was an age of rebirth and re-education in the arts, and science.

Nearby Timeline of Music

Disrespecting Dogs – Elvis Presley

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"Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“I take this trip personally, Sherman My Boy. A man named Elvis Presley sang a slightly insensitive song about my lineage.”


June 5, 1956: Elvis Presley Introduces “Hound Dog” On TV (The Milton Berle Show)

Elvis Presley Introduces “Hound Dog” On TV

An Elvis quickie….

On June 5, 1956, the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, introduced what would become his top selling hit, Hound Dog, on The Milton Berle Show, an early television favorite.

Separating the dog from the bun…..

Elvis’s performance included exaggerated gyrations that drove the girls in the audience wild, and enraged parents and prudes across the country.

By this time Elvis had a number 1 hit with Heartbreak Hotel and was touring, continuing to draw animosity from the conservative media and prompting the Catholic Church (La Crosse, Wisconsin diocese) to contact J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI about Elvis being a threat to American security!

When Elvis appeared on The Steve Allen Show for his next television performance of the classic song, he performed it wearing a tuxedo and singing to a Basset Hound (real live one) wearing a top hat.

The doleful dog just lay there quietly while Elvis sang, a truly hilarious moment in television history.  Elvis later said the thought that performance was “the most ridiculous of my career.”

Actually, proving that you cannot go wrong by associating with a hound dog, the song sold 10 million records for Elvis and is ranked #19 by Rolling Stone among the greatest songs of all time.  Elvis took this tune to the top of the US PopR&B, and Country charts, all at the same time.  For 11 weeks Hound Dog ruled the pop charts, a record that lasted until 1992.

How much did the bored looking Basset Hound on the Steve Allen Show have to do with the song’s and Elvis’s success?  It is hard to say, but we believe probably a lot.  Hound dogs, like our lovable Hush Puppies, are pack animals and take to people as part of their pack.

“Loyal as a hound dog” is a saying with some reason behind it.  Basset hounds and Bloodhounds have the keenest noses of all the dogs, Greyhounds are the fastest dog, and Dachshunds are the bravest critter on the face of the earth (just ask one).  Beagles are used to detect bombs and illegal substances, keeping us safe, and Snoopy, a Beagle, is probably the most famous dog in history.

Various sources name different songs as Elvis Presley’s greatest hit, so do you think it was Hound Dog or some other classic?  Let us know which ones you think should be considered his greatest hit.

Disrespecting Dogs – Elvis Presley

10 Goofy-ass Names

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Top Ten5


 10 Goofy-ass Names

To this day, parents around the world insist on burdening their children will Goofy-ass names.

And if by chance you were given a “normal” name, you can change it to something bizarre all by yourself.


10. Elton John.

A name he made up for himself, Elton was born Reginald Dwight. Known for a time as The King, successor to Elvis Presley on top of the music world. As with many of the others on this list, the mention of his first name unmistakably leads you to him.

9. Oprah Winfrey.

A name so distinct hundreds of millions (at least) world wide know exactly who she is just by her first name. Possibly the only African-American billionaire, Oprah is known as The Queen of All Media and is capable of delivering a million votes just by her endorsement.

8. Whoopi Goldberg.

Of course entertainers change their name to something more, well, entertaining, but we thinkWhoopi is more entertaining than most. She was born Caryn Johnson.

7. Suri Cruise.

The daughter of movie stars Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, I would bet you did not know many Suri’sbefore she surfaced.

6. Stanley Dunham.

Not at all a cracked name until you consider this is the name of President Obama’s mother. (Yes, we mentioned it on a different list on May 1st.) If her parents were so stuck on the name, Stanely, why did they not just give it to her as a middle name?

5. Keanu Reeves.

The actor that played Neo in The Matrix and starred in classics like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventureand Speed, did not make up this name for a Hollywood career. Born in Lebanon, raised in Toronto, and boasting a rich ethnic background that includes European, Asian and Hawaiian ancestry. With a background like that, Reeves deserved a name out of the ordinary.

4. Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway.

It is hard to stand out in the NBA with such a rich variety of cracked names, but we think Anferneetakes the top prize. For that matter, how many men are known as Penny? (Sorry Lebron, Kobe, Shaquille and Metta World Peace, Mr. Hardaway wins this one.)

3. Elvis Presley.

Given a name so distinctive that the King of Rock and Roll could go through life known only by his first name, Elvis’s parents were ahead of the times back in 1935 when they named little Elvis. Besides, what else rhymes with pelvis?

2. Kal-el Cage.

Actor Nicholas Cage dived into DC Comics for this one, the birth name of Superman back on planet Krypton.

1. Moon Unit and Dweezil Zappa.

The children of the late great Frank Zappa, their parents obviously did not want them confused with other kids when they were growing up. They were not confused with anyone else.

10 Goofy-ass Names


brought to you by Gwenny

Rock ‘n Roll ***Stars***

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A Brief History

On January 23, 1986, the world of music finally saw the beginning of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famewith its first inductees!

Digging Deeper

Digging deeper, we find these inductees are largely responsible for the widespread acceptance of rock and roll as a mainstream musical genre.

The first class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a great one indeed, and included Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown, Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Little Richard, and Fats Domino.

Inductees voted in for their early influences on rock and roll were Jimmy Rodgers, Jimmy Yancey, and Robert Johnson, with Alan Freed and Sam Phillips entered with the inaugural class as non-performers.

As Alan Freed had coined the phrase “rock and roll” and was instrumental in its propagation, as well as organizing The Moondog Coronation Ball, the first rock and roll big time concert in Cleveland, Ohio, it was not surprising when in 1986 the Hall of Fame Foundation chose Cleveland to be the site of the actual museum housing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  It did not hurt that a USA Todaynational poll had chosen Cleveland as well.

The first several induction ceremonies (which take place every year) were held in New York City as the building in Cleveland was not ready to open until 1995.  Since then, inductions have taken place in Cleveland, New York, and Los Angeles.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located downtown Cleveland very near the Great Lakes Science Center as well as the major league baseball, football and basketball stadiums. Other nearby attractions include the USS Cod submarine from World War II and the SS William H. Mather, a retired great lakes cargo ship/museum, as well as the Gateway and Galleria shopping areas.

Around Labor Day, an air show and grand prix auto race are also held at Burke Lakefront Airport.

Along with performers and other contributors to rock and roll, 600 songs are enshrined as having been particularly influential (The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll), too many to list here!  Seven floors of exhibits and performances by inductees are just part of the multi-faceted agenda of the Hall.

The best way to learn more about the people and events in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is to go there, spend the day, AND ROCK ON!

Rock ‘n Roll ***Stars***