Small TV Coincidences

I saw a weird little coincidence yesterday morning- I had the Today Show on background. There was a new commercial for (I think) a Buick SUV in which the driver and all three of her passengers were the same person. The tagline was something like “the vehicle for all of you”.

Then it cuts back to the Today Show where they immediately play a clip of Alanis Morrisette’s ‘Ironic’, in which 4 Morrisettes are driving around in what looks like a mid-70s Thunderbird (I think they were celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of ‘Jagged Little Pill’). Huh. Weird. What are the odds.

I’ve seen similar coincidences where I watch 2 different TV shows back-to-back and they have the exact same plot element. Say, something like, for example: ‘the killer wasn’t the main suspect, it was their identical twin!’ Though that may be more due to a paucity of plot ideas in the TV world than pure coincidence.

-Back in October 1975, John Belushi did a US Army recruiting ad on SNL. As soon as it ended, the guy in New York responsible for switching to a commercial ran a real US Army ad without missing a beat.

I was watching that night. The effect was hilarious, but I think the poor shlub in NYC got fired.

There was reportedly a dark one on TV back in the 1978. The miniseries Holocaust was running on CBS, and on one affiliate some Nazi said something about a place “smelling of Jews”, which was immediately followed by a commercial for a room deodorizer.

I didn’t see the series or the commercial in question, but I read about it shortly afterwards, so I don’t think this an Urban Legend. It would have been funny, except for the grim subject matter.

Does this count?

I was watching a scifi show where one of the characters was drinking from a cup with a built in straw. I was drinking from that exact same cup I bought from Walmart.

Sure, real world / TV crossover coincidences count!

I’ve noticed a thing that happens to me all the time where I’m multi-tasking, reading something on my computer or tablet, with the TV on in the background, and someone on TV says a word the exact same time that I happen to be reading the word. And a highly specific word too, not something like ‘the’ or ‘and’. One example I can think of, though it’s radio, not TV, but same concept-- I was driving while listening to NPR and I glanced at a big sign with an arrow that said ‘Library’ the exact moment someone said ‘library’ on the radio. It’s kind of eerie when it happens.

This happens to me all the time, since I work at home with the TV on in the background. It’s eerie.

This reminds me. I was sitting in traffic when I notice a van drive by that was painted up like the Scooby Doo Mystery van. At the same time one of the host on the radio says: “Ruh ro! blah blah…” (Something to do with politics)

A few years back, I was watching the AMI channel with my daughter. They were running a bunch of promos honoring famous Canadians. When they got to Leslie Nielsen, my daughter asked “Is he still alive?” I did a quick Internet check and told her he was.

The next day, he was dead.


Oh my God, you killed Leslie! You bastard!!

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to! :sob:

I believe commercials are scheduled in advance so that advertisers may be properly billed.

Don’t feel bad. I could compile an exhaustive list of minor characters I’ve killed. Not like Michael Jackson-types who are prominent at the time of death. Obscure ones: one day, apropos nothing, I’m wondering if the the same actor who played the cheap salesman on Gomer Pyle also played one of the Monroe Brothers on Green Acres.

Within hours, Sid Melton is in the Wikipedia obituaries.

They are indeed. Whoever was responsible for that sequence (the guy who scheduled it or the one who pushed the button), I’m pretty sure he was reprimanded. There was obviously a failure to communicate somewhere along the line.

There was another,similar instance in the early days of SNL when the technician thought a sketch had ended and hit the “Commercial” button prematurely. Lorne Michaels had a shit fit when that happened.

I’ve worked in both radio and television. I think if someone had been paying attention, the order of the commercials could have been juggled slightly, enough so that the two “Army” ads weren’t presented back-to-back. It was, after all, a live show.

Two back-to-back commercials during an episode of Star Trek:TNG in the 90s:

A feminine hygiene ad which had the tagline “Why douche?”
A Bud Dry ad with the tagline “Why ask why?”

We were all amused.

At the radio station where I worked in the '90s, we cut most of the commercials ourselves. I remember one instance where two of the DJs (a man and a woman) did some silly scenario, and then an advert for “Santino” instant coffee in which she invited him up to her apartment “for a cup of coffee” after a hot date. (Shades of George Costanza!)

The next night, the two ads were aired back-to-back on the show I co-hosted. The DJ and I were laughing uncontrollably when we went back on the air. I think the station lost the Santino account, because we never heard from them again.

I have a recollection of back in the early 70’s two variety shows that showed back-to-back (Sonny & Cher, Carol Burnett?) had the exact same song as the big musical number.

A few years ago, I watched the episode of Columbo in which Matthew Rhys murders a guy by hanging him and then leaves a suicide note on his computer.

Two hours later, I watched the episode of The Americans in which Matthew Rhys murders a guy by hanging him and then leaves a suicide note on his computer.

For some reason, I had an intense feeling of deja vu.

Well, Matthew Rhys clearly has an M.O.

RE: Rhys— Just heard him on Conan O’Brien’s podcast, and he was a very funny, engaging guest. Also, didn’t realize he’s Welsh, since he always plays Americans (or Russians posing as Americans).

I wonder how long it would have taken the FBI to nail the Jenningses if Columbo had been on the case instead of Stan.

I saw an odd scavenger hunt years ago, and one of the items to find was a page from TV Guide that showed the same actor on two different channels at the same time. That stuck in my head, and I still sometimes notice when it happens (although I’m using the on-screen program guide rather than TV Guide).

One of my favorites was a couple years ago when there were two movies, on two different channels, with Lotte Lenya. The first role, and maybe the only role, that most Americans associate with her is Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love. But at that coincidental moment, neither of the movies I noticed was FRWL.