Previous “Oral Histories” posts

They Didn’t Know How Big It Would Be 

I need to track down that house in Woburn with $1500 worth of skeletons.

Back in 2020, I noted the arrival of Home Depot’s 12-foot-tall skeletons. Their popularity has only grown since then, and I have indeed managed to see one in person. It was exactly as great and ridiculous as I thought it would be. Now, Vice has an excellent oral history of how Skelly came to be.

An Oral History of the Double Dare Obstacle Course 

Following a day dedicated to stuffing oneself to the point of nausea, why not get sick all over again reading about the Double Dare obstacle course of yore?

The Oral History of the “Wayne’s World” “Bohemian Rhapsody” Scene 

In 1976, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” topped out at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. But in 1992, it made a shocking return and rose all the way to #2, thanks to a little film called “Wayne’s World”. Hear all about it from the minds behind the mild miracle.

Previously in oral histories of pop culture: An Abridged Oral History of Jerry’s Girlfriends on Seinfeld, Pile of Poo Is the Anti-Like, and So Money

An Abridged Oral History of Jerry’s Girlfriends on Seinfeld 

The folks at GQ have tracked down 14 different actresses who guest-starred on “Seinfeld”, playing a girlfriend to Jerry. It’s full of gems, like:

Kristin Davis: I’d done theater, I’d done TV, but I’d never done a sitcom where you have a live audience while you’re being filmed. So when we shot a few things without the audience, I was nervous, but I was holding it together relatively well. Then came the day when the audience comes in, and I said, “Jerry, I’m so nervous!” So when they’re about to call action, Jerry just says to me, “Don’t be nervous. There’re just 37 million people watching.” [laughs] Then between every take, he’d whisper, “37 million people!”


Teri Hatcher: When we were shooting my exit, Larry had me try quite a few different lines. I believe “They’re real, and they’re spectacular” was a line he wrote on the spot during shooting.

If you’re a Seinfeld fan, don’t miss this one.

Pile of Poo Is the Anti-Like

Oh, yeah, like this site was going to miss a history of the poop emoji? Come on!

Fast Company’s look at the origins of emoji in America is a great read. It’s particularly amusing to realize that despite Google’s role in bringing emoji to the US, their own browser Chrome still doesn’t properly display them on Mac OS X or Windows.

Perhaps the most interesting idea, however, is how the pile of poo can solve a problem in modern society. If you’re at all familiar with Facebook, you know about its culture of Likes. However, one has only the option to “Like” a post, or do nothing. There is no “Dislike” option, which can be problematic in the case of bad news. When a friend loses a job, for instance, you may wish to succinctly express sympathy and solidarity. A “Like” is clearly all wrong for this. But now, there is a solution:

You can do all kinds of funny things with [pile of poo] and use it with skill, but I guess the most common use is probably “that’s unfortunate, and I would like to punctuate my comment with a reiteration that I am displeased at what has just been expressed.” It’s the anti-like.

Yes, the good old pile of poo emoji (💩) is the perfect response, the perfect way to say “Dislike!” with just a single character. So let it be known, the pile of poo emoji is the anti-like. As with Autocorrupt before it, I urge you to pass it on.

So Money 

Grantland has a great oral history of ’90s comedy “Swingers”. Even if you haven’t seen the movie in years, or never saw it, the telling of how it was made is worth a read.