Wednesday, June 12, 2013


"Why Is The Cherry On Top?" Answering All the Questions from Mary Kate & Ashley's Theme Song

Q: Who stole the great Hope Diamond?

A: The first time, it was Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a 17th-century diamond merchant. Legend has him traveling to India and stealing a 112-carat blue diamond from the eye of a statue of the Hindu goddess Sita. Later, after selling off the diamond, Tavernier is said to have been killed by wild dogs in Russia, a story that inaugurated the Hope Diamond's famous curse.

The jewel was stolen a second time, as part of the French crown jewels, which were taken from Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI as the two royals attempted to flee the French Revolution in 1791.

Would you steal the Hope Diamond if you could? Like if you were alone in a museum with no security and it was hanging out very casually on a pedestal? You can buy a cubic zirconia replica of the Hope Diamond for like $175, but there’s nothing like the real thing, which is 1.1 billion years old.

Q: What killed the dinosaurs?

A: The dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago after enjoying 150 million years of unfettered VIP access to Earth and all her bounty. Scientists have long attributed dinosaur extinction to a massive asteroid strike whose impact crater, six miles wide, can still be seen in the Yucatan Peninsula – but recent evidence suggests that the asteroid may just have been the final straw in a long period of wild volcano-induced climate change.

This would be a good question to ask the Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started A Conversation With At A Party.

Q: Who makes the finest pizza?

A: If you’re drunk, who doesn’t? I don’t know. I like pizza a lot and indiscriminately. There’s that saying about pizza and sex, right—but I think bad pizza is a much safer bet than bad sex, am I alone in this?

Q: What's in your brother's dresser drawers?

A: According to my 19-year-old brother, who investigated his now-vacant room in our parents’ house: "Socks, boxers, a bunch of mail, old Cub Scout awards, beer bottles, and a paper-mache demon mask that I made in middle school."

Q: What is the Loch Ness Monster?

A: The Loch Ness monster is the mythical beast of Loch Ness, a lake in the Scottish highlands. Though Nessie’s presence was first reported in the 7th century by an Irish monk named Saint Columba, sightings grew more frequent in the early 20th century, when a road was built along the lake. After a dozen serious investigations in which Nessie was hunted by sonar, hydrophone and submersible, the scientific community concluded that the Loch Ness monster was, much like certain other things we fascinate ourselves with, nothing more than a series of hoaxes, misidentifications, and wishful thinking.

Q: Why is the cherry on top?

A: In 1893, an Ithaca drugstore owner named Chester Platt made a special dish of ice cream for a local reverend named John Scott. Platt topped Scott’s vanilla ice cream with cherry syrup and a candied cherry, and soon afterwards, the Platt & Colt's drugstore began advertising "Cherry Sunday" in the local newspaper.

Is there a porn star named Cherry Sunday? Does she have a film series called "Cherry On Top"?

Q: Where is Amelia Earhart?

 A: After the pioneer pilot disappeared in July 1937, several theories arose concerning Earhart's fate – that she was spying for the FDR administration in Japan, that she’d been executed by Japanese troops on one of the Mariana Islands, and that she was alive in New Jersey under the alias Irene Bolam.  However, 80 years later, it is most likely that none of these rumors were true, and that what remains of Amelia Earhart lies 17,000 feet under the ocean's surface in the waters surrounding Howland Island.

Q: Who put the bop in the bop-shoobop-shoobop?

A: The Platters, a group that worked in the era just before rock-and-roll and put an impressive 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1967.

Q: Are tomatoes a veggie or a fruit?

A: A tomato is technically a fruit because it is the "ovary" of a flowering plant, but it contains much less sugar than other fruits, so it is not commonly eaten alongside other fruits in, say, an "ovary" breakfast salad.

Q: Who is in that Barney suit?

A: From 1991-2001, it was a man named David Joyner. Before playing Barney, Joyner had worked as a motivational speaker, a software analyst for Texas Instruments, and a “live mannequin,” but never as a costume character actor. He caught the eye of a Dallas-based casting agent who snagged him the part of a drug dealer on America’s Most Wanted, but then they caught the actual drug dealer and cancelled Joyner’s scenes.

The agent suggested that Joyner take on a children’s character named Barney, and she sent him a package of VHS tapes, which made Joyner “fall asleep. Every single time…. I could not get through one video… Barney’s barely moving, he’s waddling, and the voice is like [slow-motion voice] ‘Whoo-hoo-hoo, hello boys and girls.’”

Then, that night, Barney appeared in Joyner’s dream, passing out and prompting Joyner to give the stuffed dinosaur mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The actor woke up confused and drove to his audition. On his way, he saw a Southwest Airlines billboard that said “Breathe Life Into Your Vacation.” Joyner realized that he had to do the same with Barney, and he did, to great acclaim.

“Being very spiritual as I am,” he told an interviewer at Under the Gun Review, “I would always pray before I got into the costume and I would ask God to allow His spirit to flow through me, through the costume.”

More than a decade after Joyner stepped out of the suit, he has “a storage full of stuff… a bunch of plush little Barneys… most of the scripts, locked away.” He remembers as his greatest criticism the time that “the Ku Klux Klan found out that the guy who played Barney was African American.”

60 Comments / Post A Comment


Re the Hope Diamond question: Yes, I would. It is literally only the possibility of getting caught that stops me from doing a WHOLE lot of shit that I shouldn't do. Sometimes I worry about that, and then other times I'm like, "well, but if I don't do it, the end result is the same, soooo...?"

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@iceberg Also, in regard to the Hope Diamond, everyone who steals it ends up dying horrific deaths due to the curse, so I would not try to steal that one.


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose For real! Of all the things to steal, don't take the Hope Diamond! It can only end poorly for you.

irma la douce

Oh sweet Jesus I feel like this was written just for me. Once upon a time sister and I both had matching trenchcoats and pretended to have our own detective agency. #weirdos

Also I love the absence of autotune here. D'aww little kid singing voices!

A. Louise

Still choking back laughter from "ovary" breakfast salad. PERFECTION.


LOL so funny so cute@a


"The cherry's on the bottom."

"Oh, right. I'm going to buy a sundae where I can't even be sure there's a cherry until I'm done eating it."


Hahaha wow I remember this from babysitting the adorable little girl across the street from my parents' house. She would put on a little trenchcoat and sing along to the theme song. It was her very favorite show after Wishbone.


@Scandyhoovian omg wishbone. wishbone piece next week


@j-i-a YES YES YES.


@Scandyhoovian I got a Wishbone question right (obviously) in bar trivia last week and spent the remainder of said bar trivia singing the song and how oh my god I just wanted to be Sam when I was younger. I was not the most popular person at bar trivia that night.


This is perfect. Educational and nostalgic all rolled into one, like a lovely written joint...or burrito(?).

I spent much of my formative years obsessed with the Olsen twins, since they are my age and I wanted their lives. I am pretty sure I took photos of them to my hairdresser for her to copy from ages 10 to 16.


@olivebee Man, now I just want to have a discussion about MK&A movies, but I fear I'm alone in my [unfortunate] encyclopedic knowledge of everything from Double, Double, Toil & Trouble to When in Rome.

Citizen Christy

@olivebee Not completely alone. I think I've seen every episode of Two of a Kind twice.


@olivebee I think my favorite movie of theirs is still It Takes Two!


@Citizen Christy I...may have looked for Two of a Kind of Netflix several months ago.

@lora.bee That's a classic! That food fight scene is burned in my memory forever.

Jolly Farton

@olivebee Watched Passport to Paris about a hundred times over here. Preetty much memorized the entire movie - and I barely spoke English back then, being a 10-year-old fresh in America.

Citizen Christy

@Jolly Farton Oh my goodness, I love this. Did it help you learn anything, language- or life-wise?

Jolly Farton

@Citizen Christy Haha now I only seem to remember the beginning parts, sadly! "E-coli and F-coli!" is the first thing that comes to mind.

I watched it over and over again just because it had a magnetic pull on my young self, but I probably did think it would help me in learning English/about American "culture" - however misguided that might have been. Misguided because (1) it's a movie; (2) I thought knowing all about Mary-Kate and Ashley would give me some kind of "street cred" in school, be a sure ticket to making friends, and pave the road to my perfect American preteen-hood as depicted in the movie, IDK I was 10 - but when I got to school it turned out the kids were already too cool for MK&A, or maybe they never were concerned with them to begin with, ah the story of my life; and (3) it made me think kids in America have spinning nail polish stand things in their lit-up lockers.

None of this stopped me from being enamored with all things MK&A until at least 2004. I regret nothing.


@olivebee Oh God, I watched the shit out of It Takes Two when I was a kid. Talk about embarrassing.

Jolly Farton

@Jolly Farton I just watched it again, a little (merely glanced at it, really - ahem) and they are a lot more spoiled in this movie than I remember! Like, stop sending back plates after plates of perfectly fine food just because you think they're gross. And stop jumping on the bed!

Maybe back then I just figured that's how American kids are? That, and I didn't understand 80% of what they're saying. (That, and I am officially an Old.)

ETA: Omg they just ran off with boys who are practically strangers in a foreign city omg YOU ARE 13



If anyone is an Amazon Prime member and cares to get nostalgic, Passport to Paris and other MK&A movies are free to watch. (Suggested to me because I am watching an Ashley Tisdale movie... it seems that I am still intellectually 13 years old)


Barney?! BARNEY.


@frigwiggin My sister was a weester in the prime Barney years. It was TORTURE.


@frigwiggin I didn't know Barney was even still a thing, but my two-year-old nephew is OBSESSSSSSED with him. That was not a nostalgia trip I wanted to go on. (Although, honestly, seeing a two-year-old be completely obsessed with anything is pretty adorable. I just try and focus on his enthusiasm rather than the show, though I still end up singing the theme song and, like, "The Ants Go Marching Two by Two" for hours afterwards.)


"Nessie is a gentle creature. We're trying to stay away from terms like 'monster'."


Also, "If by 'like the Loch Ness Monster,' you mean 'totally exists and is awesome,' then, yeah, it's like the Loch Ness Monster."

Citizen Christy

@meetapossum Marshall is always going to be my favorite HIMYM character, and I think the fascination with urban myths is tied for my favorite Marshall quirk with singing what he's doing.


@Citizen Christy Marshall is one of my favorite comic characters on any TV show ever. He's up there with, like, Sally Rogers and Radar O'Reilly.


@Citizen Christy He's the best! "Trick question. Marshall's never been to the Pacific Northwest because he's afraid of Sasquatch." "I'm not afraid, I just think we should all be on alert."


@Citizen Christy His rave-out about being too huge for New York City is one of my favorite moments in a TV comedy like, ever, and i am QUITE a conni..con... I have watched a lot of sit-coms.

Oh, squiggles

If left alone in a museum with no security, I won't steal anything, but I will touch EVERYTHING

Judith Slutler

@Absurd Bird YES


@Absurd Bird Noooooo I have nightmares about people touching things in museums. Look with your eyes, not with your hands!


@Absurd Bird I touched a puffin at the St. Louis zoo directly behind a security guard's back and it was the best thing of my life

Oh, squiggles

@Amphora Okay, to be honest I probably won't touch the delicate things that would dissolve under my skin oils, but I'm def touching the Hope diamond. Probably trying it on too.



Oh, squiggles

@[sic] Aren't you glad I'm a compulsive hand-washer!


I'm thinking about worst pizza/worst sex and I would DEFINITELY take the pizza.


@OhMarie At least you wouldn't have to run into the pizza later and be compelled to talk to it.


Gah! I know they were super cute little kids but I don't think I ever realized until just now how non-emotive those girls are.


@Mandalas I watched it on mute and it was just basically dead eyes throughout. How did they get jobs?


@iceberg Right? Not just jobs but a set-for-life empire!!


@Mandalas - Exactly what I came down here to say! Were they really terrible actors who were nonetheless propped up by the fame that they got as babies (before they depended on their acting merit, but simply depended on their nice faces and twins-ness to get around child labor problems on Full House shooting days?), OR were they actually decent actresses who were so overworked that by the 10th take they hated themselves and totally gave up?


I know Nessie's not real. I know. It's impossible, right? Yet...


I would be all about starting a conversation with that girl at a party. Teach me things all human beings TIA


I just came down to say that dudes, the story of Marie and Louis fleeing Paris is BONKERS and sad and the nadir of Rich-Guy Self Delusion.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

JIA: this is relevant.



@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose hahahahaha omg you have no idea how many times i have watched this video i love it so much


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose That little boy wants to be an actor way too much. His eyes are mesmerizing in their intensity.


These tags are delightful. "Black Barney and the KKK"? I think I've finally got a name for my band!


Oh man. We watched the "You're Invited to Mary Kate and Ashley's" party videos more than the mystery ones. Classic tunes such as "I want pizza! P-I-Z-Z-A!" and "Meet you at the mall, I can hardly wait!" and "Ice cream bayyybe no ifs ands buts or may-yay-yay-bes" still get sung by my sisters and me at (in)appropriate times.


@pennylaner Have you seen the slo-mo Pizza video?


@meetapossum Oh god yes I remember that! I think my brother posted it on my Facebook wall, surely as some sort of revenge for all the MK&A playing in our house constantly throughout his boyhood.


Q: What killed the dinosaurs?
A: Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, darling.


@iceberg I've actually been alone in a room with the Hope Diamond. Okay, me, the Hope Diamond, and a Smithsonian security guard. It was nice to be able to look at it without having to crane over someone else.


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