If you were young in the 1990s, you might remember a children’s movie starring actor and comedian Sinbad. In the movie — titled Shazaam — Sinbad played a genie who befriended a child. It was a typical children’s movie, with lessons learned and a happily ever after. Internet message boards are filled with stories from numerous people who have fond memories of watching Shazaam. There’s just one problem — the movie doesn’t exist.
There is no footage to be found anywhere, on any format. Sinbad himself has spoken out more than once, explaining that he never played a genie in any children’s movie. It has no listing on IMDb. The movie simply never happened. It’s called the Mandela Effect, when large groups of people remember the same false memory. The generally accepted theory is that people who think they saw Shazaam actually saw the movie Kazaam — which was released in 1996 and starred basketball player Shaquille O’Neal as the titular genie. However, many refuse to accept the evidence and insist they have seen Shazaam.
Well, yesterday was April Fools’ Day, and Sinbad teamed up with CollegeHumor to create fake footage from Shazaam. Claiming they found an old VHS tape behind a former Blockbuster Video, they released the one bit of footage they could salvage, as according to their claim the rest was apparently recorded over.
The footage was filmed to look like it actually came off a VHS tape, everything from fake damage to the perfect colorization. It starts with a little boy and girl — probably brother and sister — rocking some 90s fashions with a jean jacket and floral pants on her and a bowl cut on him. While looking for some mementos of their mother, who seems to have died, they uncover a lamp. And out of that lamp comes Shazaam, frightening the children until they realize he knew their mother.
As a bit of a wink, the footage is filled with references to other examples of The Mandela Effect which have caused numerous debates on the internet. Among those are a Monopoly game, a Curious George book, a Berenstain Bears book, and flashes a commercial for Froot Loops and footage of the cartoon Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? all of which have people questioning everything from spelling to the color of a coat to the anatomy of an illustrated monkey.
Whether this footage is taken for an April Fools’ Day joke, or used as “proof” that Shazaam actually does exist out there somewhere remains to be seen. Either way, well played Sinbad.
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