Five Pilot Episodes of Popular TV Shows

"Family Guy" pilot

We all have to start somewhere, right? Prior to becoming your favorite way to waste a half-hour, a pilot episode must pave the way for a television show to make it on air. Over time, these relics become forgotten – and in some cases, remain practically unseen. Here are five interesting pilots of shows that have become household names.

The Flintstones

This short cartoon, clocking in at just over a minute and a half, introduced “The Flagstones” as they were originally called. Created in 1959 (a year before The Flintstones debuted on TV), the plot of this demo reel would eventually be incorporated into the episode “The Swimming Pool.”

You may recognize the voice of Wilma, as it is portrayed here by Jean Vander Pyl, who would continue as Wilma in the series. However, in this short, Betty is voiced by the legendary June Foray (known for her work as Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Cindy Lou Who, Magica De Spell, and a million other characters), while Fred and Barney are voiced by Daws Butler (Yogi Bear, Snagglepuss, and Huckleberry Hound).

The show eventually featured Alan Reed as Fred, Bea Benaderet as Betty, and Mel Blanc as Barney — though Daws Butler would step in to play Barney for five episodes in season two while Blanc recuperated from a car accident.


When the first episode of Seinfeld aired on July 5, 1989, it was known as The Seinfeld Chronicles. The pilot episode, written by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, was well-received by critics — but it was reviled by test audiences, and the network decided to pass. However, thanks to the tenacity of NBC executive Rick Ludwin (who put up some of his own money just to get the deal done), a four-episode first season was ordered — the smallest episode order in history.

More than 25 years later, Seinfeld continues to make history, as Hulu has paid a record $160 million licensing deal to air every episode of the show.

South Park

A large portion of the South Park pilot, “Cartman Gets an Anal Probe,” would air as the first episode (with the same title) on Comedy Central. However, there are some differences here.

First, the original pilot shows the Cartman family with a father and a sister present, rather than just Cartman and his mom. The school nurse — sans conjoined fetus — makes her debut, as does the “6th Grade Leader” kid. Most interestingly, Cartman’s reason for farting fire is explained.

While the entire unaired pilot was created with handmade cutouts, the edited first episode contains some scenes created with computer animation. This was done to fill in the gaps due to the deleted scenes.

Family Guy

The original test pilot of Family Guy may look crudely drawn, but it served its purpose in exhibiting the show’s style of humor, as well as most of its primary characters. In addition to the entire Griffin clan, Quagmire, Cleveland, Mike Tucker, and Diane Simmons are among those who appear. The plot of this short closely resembles that of the first episode, “Death Has a Shadow.”

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

With a camcorder and less than $200, creators Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, and Rob McElhenney filmed the pilot episode of what was originally titled “It’s Always Sunny on TV,” a show about three struggling actors in Hollywood. Once the show was picked up by FX, its location was changed from LA to Philadelphia, McElhenney’s hometown.

The plot of the pilot episode would later become the basis of the plot of the show’s fourth episode, “Charlie Has Cancer.”

Click here for Top 10 Most Annoying Cartoon Characters of All Time

Ben E. King, Singer of “Stand By Me” and Member of The Drifters, Has Died at Age 76

Ben E. King, best known for his 1961 song “Stand By Me,” has died at the age of 76. He passed away on Thursday, April 30, 2015. The cause of death has not been announced.

Fellow musician Gary US Bonds wrote on Facebook that King was “one of the sweetest, gentlest and gifted souls that I have had the privilege of knowing and calling my friend for more than 50 years.”

King started his career in the late 1950s with The Drifters, singing on hits including “There Goes My Baby” and “Save The Last Dance For Me.”  After going solo, he hit the US top five with “Stand By Me” in 1961. The song returned to the charts in the 1980s following its use in the film of the same name.

(via BBC)

10 Bizarre Images From Camden Yards: Orioles-White Sox Game in Baltimore With No Fans

Orioles - White Sox at Camden Yards, April 29, 2015

On April 29, 2015, the first-ever game in the nearly 150-year history of Major League Baseball was played in an empty stadium. Due to safety concerns surrounding the protests in Baltimore, the public was not admitted to Orioles Park at Camden Yards for the match between the Chicago White Sox at the O’s. The previous record low attendance for an MLB game was six attendees, for a game that took place in 1882 between clubs in Troy, New York and Worcester, Massachusetts.

Surprisingly, amid the chaos in Baltimore, Orioles COO John Angelos offered an insightful and sobering take on the protests:

“The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.”

Here are 10 images from the early innings of the game. For more reading, check out articles on Think Progress, Mother Jones, and The Atlantic.

Orioles - White Sox April 29, 2015 at Camden Yards - no fans in attendance

Orioles - White Sox April 29, 2015 at Camden Yards - no fans in attendance

Orioles - White Sox April 29, 2015 at Camden Yards - no fans in attendance

Orioles - White Sox April 29, 2015 at Camden Yards - no fans in attendance

Orioles - White Sox April 29, 2015 at Camden Yards - no fans in attendance

Orioles - White Sox April 29, 2015 at Camden Yards - no fans in attendance

Orioles - White Sox April 29, 2015 at Camden Yards - no fans in attendance

Orioles - White Sox April 29, 2015 at Camden Yards - no fans in attendance

Orioles - White Sox April 29, 2015 at Camden Yards - no fans in attendance

Orioles - White Sox April 29, 2015 at Camden Yards - no fans in attendance

Final Score: Orioles 8, White Sox 2

Watch: All Three “Daily Show” Appearances of New Host Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah and Jon Stewart, "The Daily Show"
By now, you’ve likely heard the news: Trevor Noah has been tabbed to replace Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show.” However, you may not have caught Noah on the show just yet — despite the fact he has been a correspondent since late 2014, he has made only three appearances to date.

They were good ones though. If you missed Noah on “The Daily Show,” watch below. Then, if you’re feeling nostalgic, watch Jon Stewart appear on “The Daily Show” when it was still hosted by Craig Kilborn.

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Click here to watch Craig Kilborn interview Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” before Stewart became host

10 Bands We Are Bummed We Missed at SXSW 2015

words by Cassie Purtlebaugh and Chad Elder

Chad Elder and Cassie Purtlebaugh covered a huge amount of bands at SXSW 2015 for VerbicideMagazine.com. But still, even after catching no less than 40 bands over a week’s time, the duo left Austin regretting the missed opportunity to take in a few more performances.

You’ve seen who they captured on film — now check out who they missed.


1. Tove Lo

Tove Lo | photo courtesy The Windish Agency

I’ve been playing her album for eternity now. We made the hike to the West Side of Austin, but the Rolling Stone Showcase wasn’t an official SXSW party. Therefore, they had the luxury of being a bit fascist about their no-camera policy. LISTEN

2. Snow Tha Product

Snow Tha Product | photo courtesy Atlantic Records

I’m a longtime fan of this female Hispanic rapper from the Bay Area, but have never seen her. Since the venue was running late in starting the show, we left for 30 minutes to catch another act. I deeply regret this, because upon return we were barred entrance. Part of me died as I heard her spit mad flow from outside the performance space. LISTEN

3. James Davis

James Davis

I stumbled across sibling trio James Davis while scanning the SXSW list — I loved the song “Co-Pilot.” I tried to make it to the Spotify House for their performance, but wasn’t able to pull it off. Luckily for me, James Davis is based out of LA, so I’ll make it up to myself. LISTEN

4. SZA


A laid back artist I’ve been listening to a lot lately — again, I was gunning for her early set at the Spotify House, but couldn’t make it. LISTEN

5. Rae Sremmurd

Rae Sremmurd

My desire to see this hip-hop duo was based largely on curiosity and the current hype surrounding them. But every time they played, I encountered a long trek and longer lines — there was simply not enough incentive to weather the challenges, but I’m still bummed. LISTEN


1. Ho99o9

Ho99o9 | photo courtesy Biz3

Ho99o9 seemed to be on our list of bands to see every day, something always kept it from happening. Also, misinterpreting the schedule and showing up for a Ho99o9 show on the wrong day at the wrong time didn’t help. My bad. LISTEN

2. Torres


Torres was on my to-see list, and I really enjoyed the published photos I saw of her, so I feel I missed out. LISTEN

3. Wild Party

Wild Party

Sometimes bands lose out because I have recently seen them, and am so stoked on their next tour that I expect to see them again very soon. LISTEN

4. Dear Boy

Dear Boy | photo courtesy of the band's Facebook page

I am sorry, Dear Boy and Buzz Bands LA. Instead of getting the address for the 2015 Buzz Bands LA Showcase, Google showed me the address for the 2012 Showcase. We were at the wrong address at the right time, miles from where Dear Boy was actually playing. LISTEN

5. Kim and the Created

Kim and the Created | photo courtesy of the band's Bandcamp page

Super energy I could have used at 1 a.m. some night. LISTEN

Top 10 Female Vocalists at SXSW 2015

words by Chad Elder and Cassie Purtlebaugh | photos by Chad Elder

It’s no secret that Chad Elder loves female vocalists — and during our week at SXSW 2015, we caught a lot of amazing women singers. Here are our top 10. –Cassie Purtlebaugh

1. Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice

Wolf Alice | photo by Chad Elder

“I walked into this show with no prior knowledge and expected absolutely nothing…and I enjoyed every moment of it.” -Cassie

Click here to see more photos of Wolf Alice at SXSW 2015

2. Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett | photo by Chad Elder

“Great energy and a great smile while the whole crowd got drenched. I have wanted to see her for awhile.” -Chad

Click here to see more photos of Courtney Barnett at SXSW 2015

3. Alex Winston

Alex Winston | photo by Chad Elder

“‘Oh, no big deal I’m just super sick but you can’t tell when I sing. P.S. I’m classically trained'” -Cassie

Click here to see more photos of Alex Winston at SXSW 2015

4. Ryn Weaver

Ryn Weaver | photo by Chad Elder

“Pop with enough rockin’ and attitude.” -Chad

Click here to see more photos of Ryn Weaver at SXSW 2015

5. Zella Day

Zella Day | photo by Chad Elder

“Despite playing one of the most awkward setups I’ve ever seen in my life, she was fantastic.” -Cassie

Click here to see more photos of Zella Day at SXSW 2015

6. Elliphant

Elliphant | photo by Chad Elder

“Her raspy voice, eclectic attire, and infectious energy on top of the fact that I already love her songs? Sold.” -Cassie

Click here to see more photos of Elliphant at SXSW 2015

7. Chelsea Tyler of Kaneholler

Kaneholler | photo by Chad Elder

“Love the soul!” -Chad

Click here to see more photos of Kaneholler at SXSW 2015


SOAK | photo by Chad Elder

“This was a special guest that caught me off-guard. I had heard about her in the past and was thankful to have witnessed her sweet voice and lyrics.” -Cassie

Click here to see more photos of SOAK at SXSW 2015

9. Marina & the Diamonds

Marina and the Diamonds | photo by Chad Elder

“One hour late for a 12:30 a.m. show while standing in the mud and rain, better be fantastic…and she was.” -Chad

Click here to see more photos of Marina & the Diamonds at SXSW 2015

10. Leanne Macomber of Young Ejecta

Young Ejecta | photo by Chad Elder

“The show I was at when my camera took a shower…she might be higher on the list if I hand’t been so distraught.” -Chad

Click here to see more photos of Young Ejecta at SXSW 2015

The Rebel Spell Frontman “Todd Serious” Jenkins Dies in Climbing Accident

The Rebel Spell, photo courtesy G7 Welcoming Committee

Sadly,  Todd Jenkins (aka “Todd Serious”), vocalist of The Rebel Spell, died on March 7, 2015 in a climbing accident. The surviving members of the East Vancouver band made a post on Facebook and on their official website on March 9th:

It is our deepest regret to inform you all that on Saturday, March 7th, we lost our good friend and lead singer Todd Serious, also known as Todd Jenkins, in a tragic rock climbing accident. Todd influenced our lives in a way that is beyond comprehension. This is completely sudden and unexpected and we’re still processing what has happened. We’re taking a few days to figure it all out. This is pretty heavy for all of us, and a lot of people are still finding out so if you’re letting others know, please be respectful.

Further details are not yet known.

Netflix to Reboot “Inspector Gadget” and “Danger Mouse”

Inspector Gadget

Disney has announced that it is rebooting “Duck Tales” and Netflix recently announced a new Pee-wee Herman movie. Next up on the wave of ’80s nostalgia? Not one, but two offerings from Netflix: “Inspector Gadget” and “Danger Mouse” reboots.

“Inspector Gadget” is set to launch in March, with 26 episodes of the reboot in all, produced by DHX Media. The show will premiere first in the US, followed by other markets, including Latin America, the UK, Ireland, and France.

“Danger Mouse,” set to become available in Spring 2016, will follow the super-spy rodent and his adventuresalongside his hamster pal Penfold. Stephen Fry will provide the voice for Colonel K.

(via Digital Trends)

New “DuckTales” Cartoon Coming in 2017


According to an official Disney statement, a new “DuckTales” cartoon is coming in 2017, and it will feature the same cast of characters from the original late ’80s cartoon series:

The new series will star the same beloved characters as the old: Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Launchpad McQuack, Donald Duck, Duckworth, Gyro Gearloose, Flintheart Glomgold, Magica DeSpell, Poe, Ma Beagle, the Beagle Boys, Mrs. Beakley, and Webbigail Vanderquack.

 The original “DuckTales” series, inspired by comics artist Carl Barks, ran from 1987 through 1990.

(via Kotaku)

New Pee-wee Herman Movie, “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” to Premiere On Netflix

Pee-wee's Big Holiday on Netflix

After plenty of speculation, an official announcement has finally been made regarding the release of a new Pee-wee Herman movie.  Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, starring Paul Reubens as the titular character, will be produced by Reubens and Judd Apatow, and will be the feature film directorial debut of John Lee. The script was co-written by Reubens and  Paul Rust (“Comedy Bang! Bang!,” “Arrested Development”).

According to peewee.com, in Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday in an epic story of friendship and destiny.

This will be the third Pee-wee Herman movie, following Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) and Big Top Pee-wee (1988). Production begins in March 2015.

Pee-wee's Big Holiday on Netflix

Song Premiere: Carolinabound “Chaos”


Carolinabound is led by Chris Smith, a singer-songwriter based in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Chris performs more than 100 shows a year both as a solo artist, and under the moniker Carolinabound, where he’s joined by bassist Jeremy Blake.

Carolinabound began recording their first EP, Smoking Gun, in November of 2014. The album is a collection of songs based on love, loss, and life experience seen through the eyes of a man that claims his number one influence is the Blue Ridge Mountains. The EP features the quartet of Chris Smith on guitar and vocals, Jeremy Blake on bass, Leo Grassl of Motel Rodeo on pedal steel, and Halli Anderson of River Whyless on violin.

Smoking Gun, produced by Seven Moths Records founder Michael O’Shea, is set to be released on March 10, 2015. Below, listen to the track “Chaos,” premiering today at VerbicideMagazine.com.

House of Thee Unholy Returns to Seattle for Another Run, March 11 – 15, 2015

House of Thee Unholy 2014 | photo by Heather Schofner

You may recall seeing Heather Schofner’s lovely photos from last year’s run of House of Thee Unholy — it was a celebration of the psychedelic ’70s starring burlesque sensations Miss Indigo Blue, Waxie Moon, Lily Verlaine, The Luminous Pariah, Paris Original, Trojan Original, The One and Only Inga, Mimi Me, and more. They’re putting the sexy, loud, Zeppelin-drenched show on again March 11 – 15, 2015 at The Triple Door in Seattle (same venue as last time — there isn’t a bad seat in the house, and the food and drinks are great).

If you really want to go but don’t have the funds check out PaulaNowEvents on Facebook — they’re giving away tickets on the tab of the page marked “GIVEAWAY!”

Jon Stewart Leaving “The Daily Show” in 2015

Jon Stewart

First we lost “The Colbert Report” and now this: Jon Stewart has announced that he is leaving “The Daily Show.”  Stewart made the announcement on Tuesday’s episode, and his departure was confirmed by the channel, which said in a statement, “Jon will remain at the helm of ‘The Daily Show’ until later this year.”

Stewart has hosted the show since 1999, when he replaced original host Craig Kilborn, who sat at the helm from 1996 through 1998. You can click here to see Stewart’s first two appearances as a guest on “The Daily Show,” first in 1996 and against in 1998.