When you're recording live sometimes things just pop into your head, and you don't want to disrupt the flow of the show by looking it up online. Or we say weird stuff that never gets explained. So in the interest of truth, justice, and the American Way, we're going to do these blog posts and fact-check ourselves.
Episode 33 - Benji The Hunted
Charlie Rich presented John Denver with a Country Music Award, ripped up the envelope, declared country music dead, and ran off stage?
HALF-TRUE - ok, so my dad exaggerated a little, but there was a really bizzare incident at the 1975 CMA's. Charlie Rich give an awkward speech making everyone uncomfortable before pulling out a lighter and BURNING the envelope while announcing John Denveras the winner. At the time, a lot of people (including my dad, I guess) interpreted this as some kind of insult to John Denver with Rich protesting crossover between country & pop. Rich was actually blacklisted from future CMA ceremonies. Charlie Rich's son maintains that his dad and John Denver were actually friends, and that he meant no offense, blaming his dad's strange behavior on a mixture of painkillers and booze. Judge for yourself in this video!
No animals were killed or harmed during the making of this film?
TRUE - Despite some really strange trivia on IMDB, the American Humane Society monitored the animal action on set and certified that no animals were harmed. Benji the Hunted is the first Benji movie to show that in the credits--not because the others weren't safe--just because they were made before the certification program became widespread. Not only is that IMDB trivia totally false, there was actually only one bear used in filming, and his name was Bart. Get it together, IMDB!
Was there a famous viral video of a kid being picked up by a bird?
TRUE - Ok Justin, you were right! In 2012, long before "fake news" was even a thing, some animation students duped the American public (but not Tyler & Eliz!) with a video showing an eagle picking up a baby.
Was Benji's trainer Frank Inn also the trainer "A Dog's Purpose?"
FALSE - Famed Benji trainer Frank Inn passed away in 2002, long before the "A Dog's Purpose" went into production. A video leaked from the set appeared to show a dog being pushed into water against his will. The video caused a big viral scandal and pretty much tanked the film when it hit the box office. Yet later the Humane Society announced there had been no misconduct. The Benji connection here is that Mark Forbes, the trainer involved in the controversy was also the head trainer for the Benji (2018) Netflix reboot. Sequel Rights would like to apologize on behalf of Tyler for besmirching Frank Inn's good name.
Did Siskel and Ebert get into a big fight over Benji the Hunted?
TRUE - Yes! This is consistently mentioned as only of their top spats in the history of "At the Movies." See their review below. Man I LOVED watching that show when I was a kid! (What a nerd.)
That's all the facts for now! --eliz