beetlejuice 2, nic cage superman, day the clown cried

Beetlejuice 2? Nic Cage as Superman? They almost happened.

It’s thrilling to wonder “what could have been” when we hear stories of great screenplays that were never shot, incredible musical collaborations that were almost recorded or TV pilots that sounded great on paper but never got the green light.

I sometimes daydream about what would have happened if John Lennon had got on the plane in 1975 and joined Paul McCartney for the recording of his Wings album “Venus and Mars.” Lennon had planned to join McCartney at the sessions in New Orleans for what would have been their first official reunion since the Beatles break-up in 1970, but was told not to go at the last minute by his wife, Yoko Ono.

I also wonder what if director Alejandro Jodorowsky (“El Topo”) had been able to make his epic version of “Dune” starring Mick Jagger, Orson Welles and Salvador Dali in the mid-’70s. That film looked so promising that the making of it became an award-winning documentary in 2013.

There was also a planned sequel to Beetlejuice where the ghost with the most goes to Hawaii.

Michael Jackson asked Prince to duet on his 1987 hit “Bad,” but His Royal Badness refused.


When it comes to TV pilots, a lot of folks couldn’t wait to see the Dwight Schrute-centered "Office" spinoff, “The Farm," that was never picked up by NBC. Or Judd Apatow's follow-up to “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared,” called "North Hollywood," that would have starred Jason Segel as a struggling actor who worked as Frankenstein at Universal Studios.

There are also a whole host of films that could have been a whole lot different. George Lucas was originally slated to direct Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 masterpiece, “Apocalypse Now.” Instead, he made a space movie called “Star Wars.”

TV writer Dan Chamberlain took to Twitter on Sunday and asked his followers about their favorite "pop culture white whale” meaning the "unreleased/unrealized stuff" they wished they could have experienced. He gave two examples, one "The Day the Clown Cried," an unreleased Jerry Lewis film about a clown during the Holocaust, and a Jay-Z “The Blueprint 3” track "Crispy Benjamins," which supposedly sampled Regina Spektor's "Chemo Limo."

The Lewis film, originally shot in 1972, is allegedly so bad that he donated an incomplete copy of the film to the Library of Congress in 2015 under the stipulation that it was not to be screened before June 2024.

Here are some of the best responses to the pop culture “white whales” people have been yearning to see and hear.

Some of the white whales mentioned seem so incredible that if they did materialize, it’d be hard for them to deliver on their promises. Sometimes it’s more fun to imagine what something would sound or look like than actually experiencing it in real life.

Comedian Harry Shearer claims to have seen a rough cut of the aforementioned Lewis film, “The Day the Clown Cried” and says that most of the time there’s no way these white whales can live up to their expectations. However, Lewis' film is the exception that proves the rule.

“With most of these kinds of things, you find that the anticipation, or the concept, is better than the thing itself. But seeing this film was really awe-inspiring, in that you are rarely in the presence of a perfect object. This was a perfect object,” Shearer said.

“This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is. ‘Oh, My God!’—that's all you can say,” he continued.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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