Much like celebrities who have taken up odd jobs before they became the award-winning, popular A-listers that we know now, some TV shows and movies had rather crude beginnings, too. “Before they were famous” could work as a subtitle for this week’s installment!
Comedy Central’s adult cartoon series “South Park” was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. It made its TV debut in 1997 and has steadily gained widespread popularity for its potty-mouthed characters and satires. But about five years earlier, then-college students Parker and Stone created a four-minute short, “Jesus vs. Frosty.” A second short, “Jesus vs. Santa,” was also created in 1995. Collectively known as “The Spirit of Christmas”, both animated shorts starred characters that would eventually become the basis for “South Park”’s Stan, Kyle, Eric, and Kenny.
The Paul Thomas Anderson-helmed 1997 film “Boogie Nights” followed the story of porn star Eddie Addams aka Dirk Diggler, played by Mark Wahlberg, who was active during the so-called Golden Age of Porn. But this wasn’t the first time that Diggler was introduced to the viewing public. Nine years prior, Anderson created a 30-minute mockumentary called “The Dirk Diggler Story”, which showcased earlier versions of certain characters and scenes seen on “Boogie Nights.”
Before they became the successful, long-running animated TV series that we all know today, Matt Groening’s “The Simpsons” were initially featured as shorts in Fox’s “The Tracey Ullman Show”. Refusing the request of the show’s producer James Brooks to create an animated version for Groening’s “Life in Hell” comic strip series, Groening instead came up with “The Simpsons,” which later on featured in its very own TV series.
“The Evil Dead"
Sam Raimi’s 1981 horror flick “The Evil Dead” is among the most successful and popular horror films to have ever been released. It spawned a couple of sequels, video games, and comic books, as well as a reboot released just earlier this year. But in 1978, Raimi created a short film called “Within the Woods” in the hopes of getting investors to fund his full feature – you guessed it – “The Evil Dead.”
Jim Henson’s Muppets
Who doesn’t know about The Muppets? These cute, furry puppets made waves in the classic children’s show “Sesame Street,” which started airing in 1969, after all. But more than a decade before that, in 1955 to be exact, Kermit the Frog made his debut in Henson’s “Sam and Friends”. Kermit, as well as other muppets like Rowlf the Dog and Cookie Monster, also made appearances in IBM training videos in 1966!
All information in this article were sourced from Listverse, where this list was also based on.
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