Daily Trivia – 1/24/11

Question: What hit song by Heart was co-written by Elton John’s lyricist Bernie Taupin?

Last Question: On Dallas, Who shot J.R.?
A. Bobby Ewing
B. Kristin Shepard
C. Cliff Barnes
D. Maggie Simpson

Answer: B. Kristin Shepard

On March 21, 1980, the season-ending cliffhanger was born. In the final scene of the 1979–1980 season of Dallas, J. R. Ewing, played by Larry Hagman, was shot by an unknown individual.

Viewers had to wait all summer to see if J.R. would survive, and to find out who shot him. “Who Shot J.R.?” became THE catchphrase over the summer of 1980. The cliffhanger became more dramatic when viewers had to wait an additional two months to find out the answer to the famous question, as a strike by the Screen Actors’ Guild in July of 1980 caused the production of most new network shows to be delayed by eight weeks.

When the revealing episode, “Who Done It?”, was finally aired on November 21, 1980, it was the highest rated television episode in US history at the time. The person who pulled the trigger was Kristin Shepard (played by Mary Crosby). Kristin was J.R.’s scheming sister-in-law and mistress, who shot him in a fit of anger. J.R. didn’t press charges, as Kristin claimed she was pregnant with his child as a result of their affair.

Ever since this famous Dallas “event”, almost every television show now ends its season on a cliffhanger. One of my personal favorites was The Simpsons “Who Shot Mr. Burns?”, which was an homage to the Dallas episode. It turns out that the evil Mr. Burns was shot by the baby, Maggie Simpson, when the gun went off while he was struggling to steal a lollipop from her. Mr. Burns demanded that Maggie be arrested for the crime, but Chief Wiggum said that any jury in the world cannot convict a baby for any reasons whatsoever (with the possible exception of Texas). Marge said that the shooting must have been an accident. However, a final shot of Maggie’s shifting eyes and sucking her pacifier sounding like gunshots could suggest otherwise.

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