13 Happy Facts About Daria

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YouTube

Daria—a Beavis and Butt-head spin-off—starred Daria Morgendorffer as the reincarnation of Dorothy Parker, a teenager placed back into the world in cartoon form and forced to endure life with her family and a high school which, for the most part, did not catch on to the fact that she was making fun of them with her acerbic wit. The series ran for five seasons on MTV beginning in 1997. Here are some facts about the show even Sick, Sad World doesn’t know.

1. DARIA WAS NAMED AFTER A CLASSMATE OF MIKE JUDGE’S.

Mike Judge (creator of Beavis and Butt-head) knew a Daria in school; he called her “Diarrhea.” The character was created in response to an MTV directive. It was decided by the Beavis braintrust that the Daria character should be a mixture of Janeane Garofalo and Roseanne's Darlene Conner. “Morgendorffer” was the maiden name of an MTV writer’s mother.

2. SHE WAS DRAWN TO RESEMBLE A REAL GIRL, TOO.

For Daria's look, Judge referenced Darlene Conner again. After others tried and failed to come up with a design Judge liked, John Garrett Andrews sketched the first drawing of who audiences would come to know as the future protagonist, on a paper plate left over from a lunch meeting. "It was a version somewhat inspired by my girlfriend senior year of high school, a smart but shy teenager with a sarcastic wit named Lindy Regan," admitted Andrews.

3. MIKE JUDGE WASN’T INVOLVED WITH DARIA.

Judge was busy working on King of the Hill and Beavis and Butt-head Do America when MTV asked for his blessing to create a spin-off for Daria. Judge told Andrews, “It’s okay with me as long as I don't have to do anything." Years later, Judge told The A.V. Club he “wasn't crazy about some of the people they hired,” and accused the network of “trying to show that they could do something without me. A normal network would never do that kind of stuff, unless you were a real a**hole to them. I feel like Beavis and Butt-head helped a lot of these people's careers, then they do this series without even consulting me on it. But I heard the show is pretty good. I think Glenn Eichler was a good choice to write on it. I've honestly never seen more than two or three minutes of it.”

4. THE THEME SONG WAS BY A BAND WHOSE ONLY ALBUM WAS RELEASED TWO YEARS BEFORE DARIA PREMIERED.

Daria co-creator Susie Lewis Lynn found a copy of Splendora's 1995 album, In the Grass, on her desk and asked the band to produce some demos. Out of the four demos, Lynn chose “You’re Standing On My Neck” to serve as Daria's theme song.

5. THE ORIGINAL PILOT WAS FIVE MINUTES LONG.

“Sealed With a Kick” was a pencil test to see what the show could be, for both the staff and for the network. The school was “Modern Day High,” and in very un-Daria-like fashion, Daria smiles not once, but twice (once when she gets the idea to trick school jock Kevin, then again when she's following through with the plan).

6. IT TOOK 35 ARTISTS TO MAKE EACH EPISODE.

The animation work was done in Korea. It took 10 months to produce each half-hour episode.

7. THE WRITERS GOT SOME OF THEIR TEENAGE LINGO FROM MAGAZINES.

Daria writer Neena Beeber told The New York Times that while it was easy for writers in their thirties to relate to the psychology of a disaffected 16-year-old girl, they sometimes pilfered language from sources they wouldn't normally pay attention to. "In the episode I just wrote ["The Lost Girls”], we used the word 'jiggy,'" Beeber said. "And this sounds pathetically white-bread and thirtysomething, but I think I found it on the editorial page of Jane magazine and thought: 'Huh. Why not use that, whatever that is?'"

8. A LOT OF THE CHARACTERS WROTE BLOG POSTS ON THE SHOW’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

Staff writer Anne Bernstein wrote most of the website material, which co-creator Glenn Eichler then edited. They were all considered canon for the show, including the reveals of Tiffany and Stacy’s last names (Blum-Deckler and Rowe, respectively). Posts included Daria’s “Net Nodule of Negativity,” Brittany’s cheerleading tips, Jane’s artwork gallery, and Quinn’s poetry.

9. THE VOICE OF DARIA WAS ALSO THE VOICE OF MTV’S DAILY UPCOMING SHOWS CALENDAR

Tracy Grandstaff, who voiced Daria, was also a cast member in the unaired pilot for The Real World, and a writer for MTV’s On-Air Promo department and later The Tom Green Show.

10. TOM WAS ADDED BECAUSE IT WASN’T BELIEVABLE FOR DARIA NOT TO HAVE A BOYFRIEND.

It also gave the writers new storylines to explore after three seasons of the show.

11. THE END OF THE SERIES FINALE WASN’T CANON.

The screen captures at the conclusion of the TV movie Is It College Yet? (2002) showed the main characters in scenes from the future, which included Daria and Jane becoming talk show hosts. "They were just for fun,” Eichler said. Back in 1997, Eichler joked to The Washington Post that Daria's future profession would be “a story editor of a cable show.”

12. A MYSTIK SPIRAL SPIN-OFF ALMOST HAPPENED.

A script was commissioned and written by Eichler. Then MTV closed its animation department, and the project was dropped. The script of the pilot was a feature on 2011's DVD box set. In what would have been the first episode, the band moves from Lawndale to Mirage, a “cool town” resembling Seattle, Austin, or the East Village, and tries their luck there.

13. THERE WAS TALK OF A REVIVAL.

When Beavis and Butt-head made its comeback in 2011, Van Toffler—the then-head of Viacom, MTV's parent company—told reporters that he was in discussions with the creators of Daria about bringing the show back. There have been no updates since.

Wednesday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Computer Monitors, Plant-Based Protein Powder, and Blu-ray Sets

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Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 2. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

10 Perfect Gifts for The Pop Culture Connoisseur in Your Life

Funko/Pinsantiy/Lil Cinephile/Amazon
Funko/Pinsantiy/Lil Cinephile/Amazon

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Over the past year, most everyone has been marinating in all kinds of pop culture. More than any other era, this moment in time has revealed how much we as a society should value our creators and artists. From cinematic comfort food to walks down nostalgia lane, the holiday season is a perfect time to celebrate the pop culture moments and icons that have kept us happy, engaged, and awed.

Here are 10 perfect gifts the pop culture connoisseur in your life is sure to love.

1. A is for Auteur; $30

Lil Cinephile/Amazon

The same team that put out the delightful, surprisingly adaptable Cinephile card game ($18) last year is out with a new book perfect for the cineastes in your life who love Agnès Varda. This alphabet book goes from A (Paul Thomas Anderson) to Z (Fred Zinnemann) and celebrates the unique elements of more than two dozen filmmakers’ careers. It’s a tongue-in-cheek delight, and if you don’t actually want your child to know about Quentin Tarantino just yet, it makes a gorgeous addition to any adult’s coffee table.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Schitt’s Creek Funkos; 4 for $77

Funko/Amazon

Eww, David! This set is ideal for fans of the Rose family who’d love Moira, Johnny, David, and Alexis peering down on them as they work or sleep or fold in the cheese. If you’re going the extra mile, grab the Amish David edition with hoodie, sunglasses, and rake. Individual figures run from $9-$30, and they all pair perfectly with a banana rosé.

Buy Them: Amazon

3. The Bruce Lee Criterion Collection; $68

Criterion Collection/Amazon

This is a stunning collection showcasing the best of the best of a true master alongside Criterion’s usual insightful commentary. Enter the Dragon has never been released as part of a collection before, and it stands as the crown jewel among The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, The Way of the Dragon, and the infamous Game of Death—all digitally restored in either 2K or 4K. The collection also features documentaries about Lee; an interview with his widow, Linda Lee Caldwell; and a conversation about the “Bruceploitation” subgenre that blossomed following Lee's untimely death.

Buy It: Amazon

4. NES Cartridge Coasters; $11

Paladone Products Ltd./Amazon

For the entertainer happy to have guests place their IPAs on SM3. These stylish coasters will protect your tables from coffee rings, wine stains, and barrels thrown by kidnapping apes. Plus, you won’t have to blow into these if they’re not loading correctly.

Buy Them: Amazon

5. Van Buren Boys Tee; $16

Underground Printing/Amazon

Deep into its eighth season, Seinfeld was still making iconic, quote-worthy moments. With this pre-shrunk, 100 percent cotton T, your favorite fan of the show about nothing can celebrate the comical street gang named for the 8th president (and the first president hailing from New York). It’s a handsome, comfortable shirt that comes in four colors and goes great with a Lorenzo’s pizza.

Buy It: Amazon

6. This Television History Puzzle; $49

White Mountain Puzzle/Amazon

This pop collage of more than 250 stars and scenes from TV’s past is a 1000-piece puzzle from acclaimed artist James Mellett. It’s probably the only image in existence where Kunta Kinte is between Superman, Gumby, and Norm and Cliff from Cheers. A gorgeous walk down memory lane, it’s also a healthy challenge that, at 24x30, would make a fine wall hanging if you don’t want to toss it back into the box.

Buy It: Amazon

7. Pictures at a Revolution; $17

Penguin Books/Amazon

Entertainment Weekly veteran Mark Harris is one of the most respected film historians of this generation, and this book, which goes deep on five pivotal films, is a must-have for serious cinephiles. Exploring Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, Look Who’s Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night, and the surprise box office bomb Doctor Doolittle, Harris explores how 1967 marked a tectonic shift in American cultural preferences. Pair it with Five Came Back for bonus gifting points (and a book you can watch together on Netflix).

Buy It: Amazon

8. The Art of Mondo; $44

Insight Editions/Amazon

This is high on the list of gifts you’ll end up keeping for yourself. This sublime book boasts 356 pages of gorgeous prints from everyone’s favorite films. Cult, classics, blockbusters, and buried gems, the Austin-based Mondo is world-renowned for limited release posters from the best artists on the planet. One sheets typically sell for hundreds of dollars, so this book is the cheapest way to get them all. For your friend, of course. Right?

Buy It: Amazon

9. A Princess Bride Enamel Pin; $10

Pinsanity/Amazon

I do not think this pin means what you think it means. This playful piece features Vizzini’s shouting face above a stately “Inconceivable!” banner. It’s made of quality metal with vibrant enamel colors, and buying it should also send you down a rabbit hole looking for dozens of other pop culture pins.

Buy It: Amazon

10. Marvel’s Greatest Comics; $23

DK/Amazon

Someone in your life is bound to want three pounds of Marvel comics. This definitive tome showcases 100 issues that changed the world and built a powerhouse pop culture company, from Marvel #1 in 1939 to Avengers #6 in 2018. The eye-popping artwork is accompanied by smart commentary from industry trailblazers and experts, which makes it as informative as it is entertaining. Just remember to say “Pow!” when you gift it.

Buy Them: Amazon

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