Requested by @danielle! We research hundreds of stories to find the ones that are great enough to actually make it to air. Here's a handful that were in the running.
  1. The invention of gum
    Remember Santa Anna, the general who killed everyone at the Alamo? When he was exiled from Mexico he found his way to Staten Island and was looking for a roommate. He ended up living with an entrepreneur named Thomas Adams, and they tried to turn chicle sap (which he could get from home) into rubber. All their attempts failed, but when Santa Anna was allowed back and left for Mexico, Adams took the sap. After seeing the popularity of chewing wax, added flavor and invented modern chewing gum.
  2. The Twist
    Everyone knows that chubby Checker wrote The Twist. Nope. It was originally written and performed by a guy named Hank Ballard. Dick Clark loved the song but thought that Ballard was too sexual and racy for TV. Clark's wife co-owned a small record company at the time and discovered Chubby singing at a local market as he bagged groceries. They bought the rights to The Twist, and Chubby performed it on American Bandstand on his way to exploiting that one song his whole career.
  3. Carl Magee
    Magee was a journalist who bought a local newspaper from corrupt politicians, then went after them and uncovered the Teapot Dome scandal, the largest government corruption scandal in American history before watergate. He then went on to invent the parking meter!
  4. HH Holmes
    During the World's Fair in Chicago, HH Holmes built an entire hotel to lure and kill people. The basement was an elaborate series of murder devices and tools for body disposal. The guy was a real deal psycho and the story is unfortunately way too dark to ever be funny for us.
  5. Wiley Post
    This crazy, uneducated, one-eyed roughneck was the first man to fly around the world by himself. He also invented the pressurized suit and discovered the jet stream. It didn't end well, though, when he crashed his plane flying around with Will Rogers. His Wikipedia page is worth a stroll at the very least.
  6. The Kidnapping of Charley Ross
    Charlie and his brother were four and five years old when they were kidnapped from in front of their house by two idiotic, career criminals in Philadelphia in 1874. The kids were never found so it's too dark for our show, but the criminals are hilarious idiots. The scene in the Big Lebowski where they throw the suitcase full of money, was taken from this story. After this incident became national news, it became a big deal for parents to warn their kids to never take candy from strangers.