TV and film’s biggest myths…

Are Disney films full of subtle references? Is Michael Grade responsible for cancelling Doctor Who? And did Wile E Coyote ever catch the Road Runner? investigates...

MYTH: Marilyn Manson was in The Wonder Years 


TRUTH: This is a popular one, but sadly the lover of jazzy contact lenses and heavy metal Marilyn Manson did not feature as Kevin’s geeky sidekick Paul Pfeiffer in 90s sitcom The Wonder Years. We can understand how the rumour may have started: the two do bear a resemblance if you swap Marilyn’s eyeliner with a pair of Jarvis Cocker style spectacles. Indeed, the actual actor Josh Saviano regularly bats off emails asking if he is Manson, to which he curtly replies, “No, of course not.” Not to say Manson hasn’t forayed into acting himself, but lets just say he much prefers David Lynch films to feel-good coming of age comedies.

MYTH: A munchkin can be seen hanging himself in the Wizard of Oz


TRUTH: There may not be an innocent, beloved family movie more plagued with bizarre rumours than the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. If it wasn’t enough that the film is often said to perfectly synchronise with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album, there is a far more morbid urban myth surrounding the musical. The old story goes that when you watch the Tin Woodsman sequence, one of the munchkins can be seen in a noose, seeming hanged, in the backdrop as Dorothy & co. walk down the yellow brick road. A quick Google search will give you several circled stills of the offending shot. The official line from the studio, however, is that it’s actually a bird of some description, and that no dwarf actors were on set at that particular time. This did not stop Trainspotting writer Irvine Welsh making a play out of the lives of the dwarf actors from the film, focusing on the fictional suicide of the munchkin. Well, whatever inspires you.