The Story Behind This Recurring Newspaper Prop In Movies & Sitcoms

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The Story Behind This Recurring Newspaper Prop In Movies & Sitcoms

The Story Behind This Recurring Newspaper Prop In Movies & Sitcoms
The Story Behind This Recurring Newspaper Prop In Movies & Sitcoms. Al Bundy and Jay Pritchett reading the same newspaper almost 30 years apart.




Movie and sitcom buffs will certainly get a real kick out of the incredible story that lies behind this recurring newspaper prop that appears in so many TV episodes and films, it’s almost impossible to count them all.

This recurring newspaper prop in movies and sitcoms was first noticed by people who saw the amazing Ed O’Neill reading the same newspaper in ‘Married with Children’ and in ‘Modern Family’, which were filmed almost 30 years apart.

Hollywood Easter Egg hunters in movies, TV shows and sitcoms will be pretty disappointed that they weren’t the first fans to discover this inside gag, but nevertheless, they will start looking for it everywhere from now on.

No Country For Old Men

The Story Behind This Recurring Newspaper Prop In Movies & Sitcoms
The Story Behind This Recurring Newspaper Prop In Movies & Sitcoms

Desperate Housewives – Season 2, Episode 13

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A Murder Of Crows

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Lucky Louie – Season 1, Episode 6

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Angel – Season 3, Episode 4

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Modern Family – Season 1, Episode 16

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Everybody Hates Chris – Season 2, Episode 5

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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Power Rangers Zeo

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Scrubs – Season 2, Episode 13

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And there’s a lot more where that came from.

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This recurring newspaper prop in movies and sitcoms is a film prop used by all producers when they want to show an actor reading a newspaper. Okay, so why don’t they use different newspapers you ask? The answer is actually pretty simple and also fascinating at the same time.

Most movie and sitcom production companies use prop newspapers in their scenes because it is way simpler to do so than to get clearance and approval from every newspaper you would like to use in your shots. Not even mentioning potential fees that may come along by using an actual newspaper, there is also a lot of paper work to be done for that, so producers prefer using a standard prop fake newspaper. All the time!

Prop masters buy a large stack of Earl Hays newspapers, which cost just $15 each, making everything in the prop industry a whole lot easier.

So, who creates this fake recurring newspaper prop that pops-up in almost every movie and sitcom?

The story behind the recurring newspaper prop in movies and sitcoms starts with the Earl Hays Press Company, in Sun Vallery, California. The company was founded in 1915 and it’s one of the oldest newspaper prop companies in the world.

The recurring newspaper we keep seeing in almost every movie and sitcom was first printed in the 1960’s, and was offered back then as a ‘period paper’, suited for the printing style of the decade. However, we keep seeing the same old newspaper layout even in modern films and sitcoms, making it one of the most famous props in film history.

What is written on the recurring newspaper prop?

You can easily notice a photo of a young dark-haired woman, and the title above says: “She’s 3rd Brightest But Hard ‘Gal’ To See.” Looking on the other page above what could be a burning warehouse, we can spot: “Compromised Housing Bill Sent to President for OK.”

Movie buffs, Easter Egg hunters and TV fanatics, let’s share the story and gather a whole collection of actors reading the same newspaper throughout the decade. Wouldn’t that be interesting?