Late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel is famous for his pranks. In fact, sometimes it seems like more viewers watch his prank videos on YouTube than watch his actual show. His ABC show is often the forgotten stepchild of late night talk shows, going head to head against NBC’s Tonight Show and The Late Show With David Letterman on CBS — or even Conan O’Brien’s show on the cable network TBS.
But no one pulls off a prank like Jimmy Kimmel. And this one, after the blockbuster success of Godzilla at the box office last weekend, is particularly — well, let’s just say it’s a little bit mean.
But — funny.
Now, as any film buff or anyone who watched Saturday morning TV as a kid knows, Godzilla has been around for 60 years. The giant lizard first appeared in the 1954 Japanese movie titled Gojira. (Pronounced go-JEE-ra.)
Less than a decade after Japan became the first and, so far, only country ever hit by a nuclear attack, the story of a mutant lizard stirred to life by atomic radiation, set loose to destroy everything and anyone in his path, resonated with the Japanese public.
The story hit a nerve in the United States, as well. American distributors bought the film, dubbed it into English and spliced in footage of popular American actor Raymond Burr, cleverly making it appear as if his character was part of the original story. They retitled the movie Godzilla, which rolled off American tongues somewhat better than Gojira.
The movie was a hit — and not just a big enough hit to spawn a sequel. Godzilla aka Gojira was a big enough hit to spawn 26 sequels — in Japan alone. There have also been four American-made Godzilla movies, including the 2014 version currently stomping the global box office.
But not everyone knows that history. In fact, as Jimmy Kimmel found out, some people believe that the original Godzilla was a true story. Here’s the question he put to some random people on the street:
“Considering Godzilla is based on the true story of the giant lizard attack on Tokyo that killed more than 100,000 people in 1954, do you think it is wrong that Hollywood glamorizes this event for entertainment?”
You won’t believe their answers. Watch this…
And here as a special bonus, is the original 1954 trailer for Godzilla.
By the way, if you are a subscriber to Hulu Plus, you can watch the whole 1954 Godzilla movie online by clicking this link.