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View Full Version : Q about Ripley's Believe it or Not


Runs With Scissors
12-21-2005, 11:41 PM
Was it that EVERYthing they addressed was true...

...or some was fake, you had to...believe it or not?

Exapno Mapcase
12-22-2005, 12:28 AM
Ripley's has been a comic strip, a tv series, a series of books, several museums and probably more in every possible medium, so I don't know if there is any one answer to this.

The original comic strip that started it all off had a bit of everything. Some things were real. The rest? Well, let's say that Robert Ripley was an old-fashioned showman. He printed every urban legend, every good story, every exaggeration, every newspaper piece he never tried to authenticate. His claims sometimes had a technical truth, or a partial truth, or a way of being stated that made them true but not meaningful. You always had "or not" as an option and that gives a lot of leeway.

It was entertainment. Don't pick up the rock and examine what's underneath.

lissener
12-22-2005, 01:48 AM
That's why it was called "Believe It . . . Or Not!" That was his hidden disclaimer.

Johnny L.A.
12-22-2005, 09:15 AM
My dad told me that when he was young he read something in Ripley's Believe It Or Not strip that was so unbelievable that he wrote to Ripley to get the straight dope. He received a postcard with a question mark on it, and the reply 'Believe it... Or Not!'

Skywatcher
12-22-2005, 01:24 PM
I like the MAD Magazine version--called "Believe It or Don't!"--penned by (IIRC) Ernie Kovacs.

RealityChuck
12-22-2005, 02:06 PM
There was also Ripley's competitor, "Strange as it Seems" by John Hix.

Zeldar
12-22-2005, 02:09 PM
I like the MAD Magazine version--called "Believe It or Don't!"--penned by (IIRC) Ernie Kovacs.

Truly! My favorite MAD memories are of that column. A favorite was:

In 39 BC Hannibalius Maximus led and army of 37 against a horde of thousands. He was soundly defeated.

(I took liberties here, not attempting a verbatim quote.)

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
12-22-2005, 02:11 PM
I wish I had my old "Ripley's" compilations (published by Pocket Books in the 1970s). One of the factoids from Volume 1 was that "If a cannonball were heated to the temperature of the sun, the pressure of the light would knock down anyone within 50 miles."

There were lots more goodies like that.

Zeldar
12-22-2005, 02:14 PM
Another Kovacs goody:

Although the moon is not as large as the earth, it is farther away.

Skywatcher
12-22-2005, 02:15 PM
I wish I had my old "Ripley's" compilations (published by Pocket Books in the 1970s). One of the factoids from Volume 1 was that "If a cannonball were heated to the temperature of the sun, the pressure of the light would knock down anyone within 50 miles."

There were lots more goodies like that.I have a compilation from the '50s (IIRC) around somewhere.

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