Reddit user noticed recently that the exact same black-and-white newspaper prop has turned up in dozens of commercials, movies, and TV shows — including such diverse programs as Married With Children , Modern Family , Everybody Hates Chris , and Desperate Housewives . His compilation of screenshots has been going around the Internet, but without an accompanying explanation for why this particular paper keeps getting recycled.
Brow Beat has learned that the prop comes from a small newspaper prop company called the Earl Hays Press in Sun Valley, Calif. Started in 1915, Earl Hays is one of the oldest newspaper prop companies, and the paper in question was first printed in the 1960s (note the top-hat ad on the lower left), then offered as a “period paper,” better suited for Mad Men (where it has not appeared) than Scrubs (where it has). The screenshots don’t actually reveal the same prop — just various printings of the same file. The front is blank and can be customized, but the inside and back page are always identical. In fact, in No Country for Old Men , when Tommy Lee Jones is reading a paper at a diner, the section in his hands is the same as the one sitting on the table, suggesting that the prop master bought two copies to make the paper look fuller, but made the mistake of leaving the stock spread facing up.
Production companies use prop newspapers instead of real ones because getting clearance from an actual publication is usually more work than it’s worth in potential fees and bureaucracy. (There are exceptions. When Tony Soprano picked up his paper each morning, it was always the Newark Star Ledger .) Rather than battle the legal department at the New York Times for that perfunctory breakfast shot, prop masters buy a stack of Earl Hays fake papers, which cost just $15 each. Sometimes if they have some left over they’ll recycle them for another job.
In case you’re curious about the headlines, here are a couple. Above the photo of the young woman with long, thick, dark hair: “She’s 3rd Brightest But Hard ‘Gal’ To See.” On the opposite page above what turns out to be a warehouse burning: “Compromised Housing Bill Sent to President for OK.”
I can understand why they use the same prop, but what I don’t understand is why they always stop reading the paper on that page, or why they always take long enough pause on that page for people to notice.
Yesterday, at 15:26 a bomb went off i Oslo, the capitol of my country Norway. This came as a shock to us, we’ve never had any dealings with terror, and we expected the worst.
Two hours later, as people were being rushed to hospital from glass falling on them and other injuries, reports came in of a shooting at a youth summer camp at Utøya, an hour away from Oslo.
Using the bomb in Oslo as a distraction, a man named Anders Behring Breivik dressed up as a police officer, had at least three kinds of guns on him, and started shooting kids down. He pretended to be there to talk to the kids about the explotion in Oslo, he pretended to help them, and then he started killing them.
As time went on, parents got texts from their kids on the island, the kids were writing things like “There is a policeman shooting us!” and “dont’ call me, we’re hiding. Use only text messages.”
The whole country started to panick. What’s happening? Is this a terrorist attack from some other country? Why are kids being attacked at a summer camp? It was horrible.
Today my whole country is devastated, as the numbers of dead from the bombing and the shooting is rising. At least 84 young people, from the age of 14 til 20, are dead. And 7 from the bombing.
May you go to hell, Anders.
Two-legged lamb saved from the chop
Tender-hearted sheep farmer Cui Jinxiu has saved this extraordinary lamb from the chop after he was born with just two legs.
Sheepish Cui, 38, says she would normally have killed the youngster at birth, but was so impressed by his struggle to survive she began to hand-rear him.
‘He was so determined to live he pulled himself up onto his own two feet and started drinking his mother’s milk. I couldn’t let him die,’ said Cui at her farm in Shangdong province, eastern China.
“Tiny African nation outraged as government bans farting.
Government officials in Malawi have caused a stink after controversially tabling a law to ban farting.
In order to promote “public decency” the tiny African nation is straining to outlaw the passing of wind in public.”
Police inspector in charge of 999 calls for anti-social behaviour is arrested… for anti-social behaviour.
7 years old British Boy almost buys fighter jet worth $113,515
A 7 years old British boy went shopping on eBay and almost bought a real life Harrier fighter jet for $113,515 from Britain-based Jet Art Aviation. However the deal was cancelled after his father rang and apologised to the seller.
It’s nuts but I love you: One squirrel’s bizarre obsession with a garden statue of a dog
A squirrel’s fascination with a statue of a dog has brought hours of light entertainment to a Russian suburb.
The frisky rodent looked confused as to why the dog wasn’t moving and cannot seem to get its head around the fact that it is an ornament and not real.
The picture was taken by a photographer in the garden of his house just outside of Moscow.
Thieves in Malaysia steal $1.5 million worth of condoms
TOKYO — A Japanese rubber company says that nearly 85,000 boxes of its condoms have been stolen in Malaysia.
Sagami Rubber Industries Co., one of Japan’s biggest condom makers, said Thursday that the boxes were en route from the factory to a port, where they were supposed to be shipped to Japan.
The company described the Jan. 26 theft as “unfortunate” and said it was the first time such a thing had happened.
The boxes contained some 725,000 individual condoms, collectively worth 121 million yen ($1.48 million).
Malaysian police are investigating the theft.