Popcorn is a buttery, tasty treat. You can find it everywhere, from circuses to sports games. But it’s probably best known for its starring role as a movie theater snack! So why do we eat popcorn at the movies anyway? Why not pizza or peanuts or potato chips? 

Join Joy and co-host Rose as they dive into the delicious history of this beloved snack and learn how for a long time, movie theater owners refused to let people eat popcorn in their fancy buildings. Plus, they’ll meet a very famous popcorn influencer and try their luck with a sweet new First Things First featuring Slurpees, Milk Duds and Sour Patch Kids! 


Check out pictures of the first steam-powered portable popcorn poppers and the super snazzy movie palaces of the 1920s.

Audio Transcript

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[MUSIC PLAYING] JOY DOLO: Hi, Ya, friends. I'm Joy Dolo, and I'm here to introduce you to a revolutionary new product. It's light as a feather, puffy as a cloud, and salty as your pet elephant when you forget his birthday. I said, I'm sorry, Hermie. As I was saying, now, introducing popcorn.


ROSE DUPONT: Hey, Joy. Whoa, what is all this?

JOY DOLO: Hello, Rose. And welcome to the show. Don't be intimidated by the blinding stage lights and live studio, audience.


ROSE DUPONT: Joy, those are flashlights taped to the ceiling, and that's an audience of stuffed animals.

JOY DOLO: It's so good you're here because today and today, only I'm introducing the world to a fantastic, bombastic, enthusiastic new product called popcorn.

ROSE DUPONT: I'm pretty sure the world knows about popcorn already.

JOY DOLO: Right, you are, Rose. But does the world know all its other uses? Simply crumble it up in your hands and it becomes a terrific face scrub. Buttery soft, salty skin in seconds. And if a little falls in your mouth while you're scrubbing, great. Or drop a trail of kernels behind you as you're hiking in the forest. you'll never get lost again.

ROSE DUPONT: Birds would definitely eat that popcorn trail.

JOY DOLO: Or use it to cushion your priceless knickknacks and shipping boxes. Who needs bubble wrap when you've got crispy, crunchy popcorn? I call it Crunchwrap. No, Crunchwrap Supreme.

ROSE DUPONT: OK, that name is definitely taken. But that's actually a pretty good idea.

JOY DOLO: You bet it is. And the best part, popcorn is 100% belly degradable.

ROSE DUPONT: You mean, biodegradable? Like it breaks down in nature?

JOY DOLO: No, belly-degradable. It breaks down in your belly. Now, that's a product that's good for the planet. [APPLAUSE]

ROSE DUPONT: Joy, how long has this popcorn been in the shipping box?

JOY DOLO: At least six months, maybe 10. Who's keeping track?

Get your popcorn today for the low price of $39.99, plus, shipping and handling. Terms and conditions may apply. Act now. Operators are standing by.


Popcorn it can literally do anything.


Welcome to Forever Ago from APM Studios. I'm Joy Dolo.

ROSE DUPONT: And I'm Rose.

JOY DOLO: And today we're talking about popcorn.

ROSE DUPONT: Where did you get that air horn?

JOY DOLO: This? It's my pop horn. I use it for special popcorn related announcements. So how do you feel about popcorn, Rose?

ROSE DUPONT: I really like it. It makes for, like, a really good, like, snack, like during lunch, like after school.

JOY DOLO: You usually like to eat after school?


JOY DOLO: Do you ever eat it like other times, like at home or?

ROSE DUPONT: Sometimes on the weekends. Like, my brother, he has sports a lot on the weekends, so I eat it while I'm at his games and stuff.

JOY DOLO: Oh, that's fun. Do you have a favorite, like, kind of flavor?

ROSE DUPONT: I really like Kettle Corn.

JOY DOLO: That's good. How would you describe kettle corn for someone that's never had it before?

ROSE DUPONT: I would say it kind of has a really faint caramelly taste.

JOY DOLO: Yeah. Yeah, I really like kettle corn, too. Do you ever get popcorn at the movies?

ROSE DUPONT: I love popcorn at the movies. Like the butter popcorn.

JOY DOLO: Yeah. Do you get the popcorn that they just add the butter or do you do extra, extra, extra butter?

ROSE DUPONT: I like to add the extra butter.

JOY DOLO: I do that too. I think butter is like one of the main facets. Like, how do you have popcorn without butter?


JOY DOLO: Sometimes what I do, speaking of kettle corn, I used to put like kettle corn popcorn and I'd mix it with regular butter popcorn, and then you'd get kind of like a mix of, like, sweet and salty.

ROSE DUPONT: Yeah what we used to get was like, we would get like, the tins and they would have half, like, cheddar cheese popcorn and half caramel popcorn, and like a little bit of like, kettle corn. It was delicious.

JOY DOLO: Can I tell you, that's like a family memory. Like my dad would come home with, like, a big giant Christmas tin, and it'd have the little cardboard triangle thing in the middle. And we used to take it out and shake it up.

ROSE DUPONT: Oh, my gosh.

JOY DOLO: Rose, we have so much in common.


JOY DOLO: Popcorn is such a salty, buttery, delicious treat. In the US, we eat around 14 billion quarts of popcorn every year.

ROSE DUPONT: That's enough to fill 5,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

JOY DOLO: You can find it in lots of places, from fairs and circuses to sport games. But one of our favorite places to eat popcorn-- the movies.

ROSE DUPONT: It's true. Movie theaters and popcorn go together like peanut butter and jelly.

JOY DOLO: Yeah, they're so closely linked in our minds that it's kind of strange to walk into a movie theater and not smell buttery popcorn.

ROSE DUPONT: But why do we eat popcorn at the movies anyway? Why not peanuts or pizza, or potato chips?

JOY DOLO: I know all of you listening are curious about this too.

THEO: My name is Theo, and my question is, when did popcorn become a movie food?

JOY DOLO: Rose, I'm sorry, but I just can't talk about popcorn without wanting popcorn. And this studio is just so popcorn-less.

ROSE DUPONT: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

JOY DOLO: To the movies.


ROSE DUPONT: OK, is it just me, or is this movie theater line, like, really, really long? I can't even see the front.

JOY DOLO: Oh, yikes, I forgot. It's opening weekend for that new action movie, Snakes on a Train. It's about these snakes that take control of a train and drive to the zoo and free all the other snakes there.

ROSE DUPONT: All cute. Snakes helping snakes.

JOY DOLO: Well, this will give us plenty of time to talk about popcorn.

ROSE DUPONT: To really understand why we eat this crunchy treat at the movies, we have to go back to popcorn's early days.

JOY DOLO: People have been eating popcorn for thousands of years. We know this because archaeologists in New Mexico found ancient popcorn that's at least 5,000 years old.

ROSE DUPONT: At first, people tried all different ways to pop it. Sometimes, they put corn kernels in jars of hot sand.

JOY DOLO: Or threw the kernels directly onto a fire's hot coals and then pulled the popcorn out with tongs. But this early popcorn was sometimes burned or smoky tasting.

ROSE DUPONT: Then in 1837, an inventor in New Hampshire dreamed up a solution.

JOY DOLO: He built a metal basket that you filled with corn kernels. It had a long handle so you could hold it over the fire without burning yourself.

ROSE DUPONT: This device is called a Popper, for obvious reasons.

JOY DOLO: The first ones weren't perfect, but they led the way to newer and better poppers.

ROSE DUPONT: And it was just the spark needed to kick off America's love of popcorn.

JOY DOLO: Around the 1840s, most people lived on farms without running water or electricity. Railroads were still being built in the US, and Edgar Allen Poe had just published his famous poem, The Raven.

ROSE DUPONT: And as new and improved poppers hit the market, popcorn fever took America by storm. People came up with new recipes and started popcorn companies.

JOY DOLO: There was even popcorn poetry. One writer described the popping kernels as the prettiest fairy dance in the world. Another wrote about two sweethearts making popcorn together.

SUBJECT 1: Let's see, how about that once by the fireplace, happy love is born, and forgotten is the world outside amid thoughts of popping corn. That's good. That's good.

ROSE DUPONT: Plus, people hosted popcorn parties. Kids would pop corn in the fireplace and play games like popcorn eating races.

JOY DOLO: Not long after, in 1885, something came along that would change the fate of popcorn forever.

ROSE DUPONT: Cheddar cheese flavored powder?

JOY DOLO: Close, but no. I meant the invention of the popcorn cart. By the 1890s, new portable steam powered poppers meant that sellers could pop on the go. Suddenly, they could sell popcorn at fairs, parks, and stadiums.

SUBJECT 2: Popcorn, popcorn over here. Don't even bother seeing a ballgame without a battery salty bag of popcorn.

JOY DOLO: I just cannot resist that mouthwatering aroma wafting on the breeze. I'll take five bags. No, make that 10. On second thought, just pour it directly into my mouth.

ROSE DUPONT: But even though it was becoming more and more popular, there was still one place you wouldn't find popcorn-- the movies.

JOY DOLO: Gasp, the horror. But yeah, movie theater owners wanted nothing to do with popcorn. You see, around this time, movie theaters were a brand new thing. The first one opened in 1896 in New Orleans.

ROSE DUPONT: And as more movie theaters popped up, they started getting fancy. They were called movie palaces, and they had thick carpets, big, heavy drapes and lots of carved wood.

JOY DOLO: These theaters were made to attract rich, high-paying customers. And theater owners did not like the idea of people bringing popcorn into their new buildings.

SUBJECT 3: Can you imagine it? Popcorn inside our theaters?

JOY DOLO: They'll grind the kernels into the plush, beautiful carpet or drop them in the cracks of the seats, a waking nightmare.

SUBJECT 3: Don't even get me started on the noise. Hundreds of mouse crunching at the same time? Whoa How's anyone supposed to enjoy a film with all that racket?

JOY DOLO: Don't worry. I'm sure this whole popcorn thing is just a fad.

ROSE DUPONT: Theater owners were determined to keep popcorn out, but something was coming that would convince them to change their minds.

JOY DOLO: Ooh, love a cliffhanger. OK, I really thought we'd be eating popcorn by now. I swear, this movie lines getting longer.


SUBJECT 4: Wow, that popcorn was definitely worth the wait. So hot and buttery. Too bad, I couldn't finish this king-size extra jumbo bucket during the movie. Oh, well, I guess I'll just toss it.


CREW: What are you doing? Y'all stop.

SUBJECT 2: Hurry up, people. We need our popcorn. I yearn for the Kern.

ROSE DUPONT: Joy, I don't think your popcorn is helping.

JOY DOLO: You're right. How about we distract ourselves with a game and play?

CREW: First things first.

JOY DOLO: It's the game where we guess the order things came in history. Today's items are three movie treats-- slurpees, those frozen slushy drinks, milk duds, the chocolate covered caramels, and Sour Patch Kids. All right, Rose, what do you think came first, which came second, and which came most recently in history?

ROSE DUPONT: I think that Milk Duds came first because they were, like, really original.

JOY DOLO: Yeah, they seem like they've been around forever.

ROSE DUPONT: Yeah. And then I think maybe slurpees. They seem like-- kind of like ice cream, they seem new, but, like, they might not be that very new.


ROSE DUPONT: And then I think Sour Patch Kids at last.

JOY DOLO: That just seems like it was made in a--


JOY DOLO: Like, in a factory with chemicals. Do you like any of those kinds of treats?

ROSE DUPONT: I like Sour Patch Kids a lot, and I really like slurpees. Milk Duds, I'll eat them and they're good, but they wouldn't be like my first choice for, like, candy at the movies.

JOY DOLO: Yeah, I think duds was right with the marketing, huh ?


JOY DOLO: I have to say, I really like Sour Patch Kids too. And I have to tell you this, so what I do is I eat the Sour Patch kids, and then I don't chew it. I just put it in my mouth, and then I drink water. And I take all the sour off. And then I chew it like a gummy bear. It's weird.


JOY DOLO: It's my weird thing. You don't do that, do you?


JOY DOLO: OK, that's cool. Whatever. No, it's cool. It's fine. I don't do it either.

ROSE DUPONT: Joy, what's your favorite, like, Slurpee combination?

JOY DOLO: Oh, that's such a good question. I really love a blue raspberry, and I like the blue and red combo, so it makes, like, a purple.


JOY DOLO: Have you ever done that before?

ROSE DUPONT: I have, but I really like the coke and the cherry.

JOY DOLO: Oh, yeah.

ROSE DUPONT: That's my favorite combo.

JOY DOLO: That sounds really good. I feel like after this, we should go get some Slurpees.

ROSE DUPONT: We should.

JOY DOLO: OK, we got a little Slurpee sidetracked, but your final order was Milk Duds first, Slurpee second, and Sour Patch Kids last. We'll hear the answers to first things first at the end of the show after the credits.

ROSE DUPONT: So stick around.

JOY DOLO: We've been talking all about one of our favorite snacks, popcorn. But there are so many other great snacks out there, plus some that haven't even been invented yet. We asked you, our Forever Ago listeners, to send in ideas for what the snacks of the future will look like. And you had some delicious responses.

SHRI: My name is Shri, and my idea for the snack of the future would be a bag of nuggets with a microphone on it. So when you spoke into the microphone, it would taste like the food you just spoke into the microphone. So if I said, BLT sandwich with extra cheese, that's what the Nuggets would taste like.

ELEANOR: Hi, I'm Eleanor, and I think the snack of the future is like popcorn that pops by itself. And when you like, just think of a flavor for it, it becomes the flavor. Like, if you wanted, like, bubblegum flavored popcorn, it could, like, be bubblegum flavor.

ANYA: Hi, my name is Anya. And I think the snack of the future would be mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce flavored gummy bears, because gummy bears are very yummy, and I like their texture, but I really also like mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce.

VERA: I'm Vera. My snack of the future would be pretzels, but the salt changes color.

JOY DOLO: Thanks to Shri, Eleanor, Anya, and Vera for sending in those yummy ideas. I think my snack of the future would be a giant cookie that you could wear. So I have a thing with sweets and wearing them because I have a major sweet tooth, and I think wearing a cookie Cape that you can just take a bite out of, like when you're out and about, I think that would be my snack of the future. That's a great idea. Nobody take it. Rose, what would your idea be.

ROSE DUPONT: I think mine would be like some kind of, like, floating snack that, like, followed you around, so you didn't have to, like, use your hands. Like the floating Cheetos. So you don't have to get all the cheeto dust or talkie dust all over your hands.

JOY DOLO: That is ingenious. I'm going to vote for yours. I'm going to take my cookie shape back.

ROSE DUPONT: Thank you.

JOY DOLO: That's a great idea. We'll be back in a bit with more on the delicious history of movie popcorn.

ROSE DUPONT: And keep listening.

SUBJECT 5: Brains On Universe is a family of podcasts for kids and their adults. And since you're a fan of Forever Ago, we know you'll love the other shows in our universe. Come on, let's explore.

ANNOUNCER: And three Brains On Universe. Oh. so many podcasts. Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Forever Ago. Picking up signal.

CREW: Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba. Brains On

ANNOUNCER: Brains On, a science podcast.

JOY DOLO: About 100 bolts of lightning strike the Earth's surface every second.

ROSE DUPONT: But there are all different types of lightning. You can have lightning bolts between clouds, from the ground up to a cloud, even lightning that looks like glowing balls.

ANNOUNCER: Lightning bolts. Zorp, where did the signal go? Must find Brains On pod.

SUBJECT 5: Search for Brains On wherever you listen to podcasts.


JOY DOLO: You're listening to Forever Ago. I'm Joy.

ROSE DUPONT: And I'm Rose. Today, we're talking about why we eat popcorn at the movies. While Joy and I are at the movies, well, in line at the movies.

JOY DOLO: Hey, it looks like the line's finally starting to move. We'll be there in no time.

SUBJECT 4: We've taken one step forward in the past 10 minutes. Wait, are you Joy Dolo, inventor of the crunchwrap supreme, the most revolutionary popcorn packing material on the market?

JOY DOLO: Oh, my gosh. You saw my infomercial?

SUBJECT 4: Saw it? Your infomercial changed my life. I decided to quit my measly job working as a highly paid corporate lawyer and become a pop star.

ROSE DUPONT: Well, an actual pop star? What albums have you released?

SUBJECT 4: No, no. A pop star. I'm an influencer who makes videos all day about popcorn, and also happens to be a star-- pop star. Don't steal that. It's trademarked.

JOY DOLO: Glad we ran into you because we're talking all about popcorn. We just heard how new inventions made it much easier to make popcorn in the mid to late 1800s. And people started selling it in lots of places-- circuses, fairs, and even sports games.

ROSE DUPONT: But there was one place that you wouldn't find popcorn in the early 1900s-- the movies. That's because movie theater owners thought it would be too messy and noisy.

SUBJECT 4: They should have just watched my video, one weird hack to keep popcorn off your theater floors. You just shove your entire face in the popcorn bucket and eat your way out. Hands-free snacking and clean floors.

ROSE DUPONT: What I wouldn't give to shove my face in a popcorn bucket right now.

JOY DOLO: Hang on. I think I have some leftover popcorn in my pocket. Oh, never mind. It's just a bunch of gold and diamonds and other useless junk.

ROSE DUPONT: So theater owners said no way to popcorn at first. But by the late 1920s, something happened that would make them change their minds.

JOY DOLO: The 1920s. Women in the US had recently gotten the right to vote, and people were really into jazz music.

ROSE DUPONT: Movies were getting really popular too. By 1930, around 80 million tickets were being sold every week.

JOY DOLO: Which was pretty incredible, considering there were only about 123 million people living in the US back then. It was like if you had 10 friends and seven of them were seeing a movie every week. So things were great for theaters, but then came the Great Depression.

SUBJECT 4: I know all about that. It happened to me last week when I realized my favorite brand of popcorn was being discontinued. It was rough.

ROSE DUPONT: Well, actually, the Great Depression was a period in the 1930s when the US economy crashed, businesses closed, and lots of workers lost their jobs. So people didn't have a lot of money.

JOY DOLO: But even though times were hard, people still needed entertainment, so they went to the movies. For about $0.25 a ticket, you could escape reality for a little while in the dark of the movie theater. And people also wanted a cheap snack at the movies. So some popcorn sellers decided to set up carts outside in front of the theaters. They made hot popcorn right there on the sidewalk and sold it for $0.05 to $0.10 a bag. And they started making lots of money. Theater owners were not happy.

SUBJECT 3: Oh, popcorn carts all over the sidewalk in front of my very fancy, high brow theater. Selling that odious popcorn, making a boatload of money, I should be making the money. It's an outrage. A scandal. And it's really, really annoying.

ROSE DUPONT: Eventually, some of these popcorn sellers started talking their way into the theaters, including a savvy businesswoman named Julia Braden.

SUBJECT 4: Julia Braden? She is a legend in the field of popfluencing. She was one of the first sellers to convince a theater to let her set up her popcorn stand inside the lobby. I have her tattooed on my bicep here, see?

JOY DOLO: Wow. So detailed. But yeah, you are right. Julia was an incredible salesperson.

ROSE DUPONT: By 1931, Julia had popcorn stands at four different theaters, and she was making more than $14,000 a year.

JOY DOLO: That's the same as about $280,000 today.

SUBJECT 4: Like I always tell my followers at my pop tube channel, popcorn can change lives. Take it from me, an actual pop star. Before popcorn, I had crippling insomnia that kept me awake all night, a serious case of constipation, and no driver's license.

ROSE DUPONT: Wait, the popcorn fixed your constipation, and insomnia, and it taught you how to drive?

SUBJECT 4: And now, look at me. Sleeping and pooping right on schedule. And cruising the streets. In my 2002 Toyota Camry. And it's all thanks to popcorn.

JOY DOLO: Wow. See, Rose? Popcorn really can do anything.

ROSE DUPONT: Yeah. So anyway, by the 1930s, theater owners started setting up their own popcorn stands inside the theaters.

JOY DOLO: It was like popping money. They would spend $10 on a bag of unpopped kernels and make 10 times that selling freshly popped popcorn.

ROSE DUPONT: It was just what the movie business needed to do. Remember, this was the middle of the Great Depression. Owners were struggling to keep their businesses open.

JOY DOLO: Selling popcorn helped theaters make money during a really tough time.

SUBJECT 4: So even though movie theater owners really didn't want to let people eat popcorn inside, in the end, popcorn kind of saved movie theaters.

JOY DOLO: Yeah. Isn't it ironic? Don't you think? A little too ironic. Yeah, I really do think Alanis Morissette, a true great '90s pop star.

SUBJECT 4: A pop star? I don't think she produced popcorn related content. I would know.

ROSE DUPONT: Popcorn still makes a lot of money for movie theaters today. In fact, snacks like popcorn, soda, and candy make up almost half of movie theater profits.

JOY DOLO: So if you love seeing movies at a theater, think popcorn.

SUBJECT 4: I do. Every morning during my three-hour gratitude yoga ceremony, but here's the best part. The movie industry has changed popcorn itself.

JOY DOLO: Wait, seriously?

SUBJECT 4: Yeah, before theaters started selling popcorn, most popcorn grown in the US was the white variety, but movie theater owners wanted yellow corn. It got bigger when it popped up, so you got more volume for the same number of kernels.

ROSE DUPONT: Makes sense. Bigger popcorn meant you could fill up more bags with less corn and make more money.

SUBJECT 4: Plus, yellow corn has a yellowish color when it's popped, which makes it look like it has butter on it. So today, about 90% of commercially grown popcorn is yellow because of the movies.

JOY DOLO: That's such a cool fact. No wonder you're a popular popcorn influencer.

SUBJECT 4: Well, I didn't get as many as 12 subscribers, including my mom, for nothing.

JOY DOLO: So popcorn changed the movie-going experience, and the movies changed popcorn. I love it.

ROSE DUPONT: Joy, Joy, we're almost at the front of the line.

JOY DOLO: Oh, yes. Popcorn time. Oh, boy, it looks like she's live streaming.

SUBJECT 4: Hi, friends. It's your fave pop star back with another installment of pop culture where we talk all things popcorn. I'm here with my pals, Joy and Rose, and we've been waiting in line at the movies forever. But it's finally time.

SUBJECT 6: Hi what can I get you?

SUBJECT 4: Three King-sized jumbo buckets of popcorn with extra butter, a side of kettle corn, and five of those sticky sweet popcorn balls you've got over there.

ROSE DUPONT: Oh, that's nice of you to treat us.

JOY DOLO: Yeah, thanks.

SUBJECT 4: Wait, what? Right, this was definitely not all just for me.

SUBJECT 6: And three tickets to Snakes on a Train?

SUBJECT 4: Oh, no, we're just here for the popcorn. Queue the popcorn. Oh, yeah.


JOY DOLO: People have been eating popcorn for thousands of years. But new poppers in the mid-1800s helped kick off America's popcorn fever.

ROSE DUPONT: At first, movie theater owners didn't want popcorn inside.

JOY DOLO: But the Great Depression convinced them that popcorn could be a big moneymaker.

ROSE DUPONT: Popcorn helped keep movie theaters open during tough times.

JOY DOLO: And it still makes a lot of money for theaters, even today.

ROSE DUPONT: And that's it for today's episode of Forever Ago.

JOY DOLO: This episode was written by Shahla Farzan. It was produced by Nico Gonzalez Whistler and Ruby Guthrie, and edited by Sanden Totten. Fact checking by Katie Reuther. Engineering help from Michael Osborne and Alex Simpson with sound design by--

ROSE DUPONT: Rachel Briese.

JOY DOLO: Original theme music by Marc Sanchez. We had additional production help from the rest of the Brains On universe team.


Beth Perlman is our executive producer, and the executives in charge of APM Studios are Chandra Kavati and Joanne Griffith. Special thanks to Jessica Buchanan and Deb Edertal.

ROSE DUPONT: And if you want access to ad-free episodes and special bonus content, subscribe to our Smarty Pass.

JOY DOLO: OK, Rose, are you ready to hear the answers for First Things First?

ROSE DUPONT: Absolutely.

JOY DOLO: Yes. OK, so as a reminder, we're putting these three movie snacks in order of when they were invented. And you said number one, Milk Duds, because it seemed like the original. Number two, Slurpees. And number three, Sour Patch Kids. Are you ready?


JOY DOLO: Is there a drum roll, or a

ROSE DUPONT: Ba, da, baa da.


JOY DOLO: OK, so here we go. And you are absolutely right, Rose.


JOY DOLO: Yeah, all three of them right in a row. Milk duds, Slurpee, Sour Patch Kids. You did it.

ROSE DUPONT: Yay, smarty, smarty.

JOY DOLO: Milk duds, these chocolate covered caramels were first invented in 1928. They got their name because their inventor couldn't figure out how to shape the sticky caramel inside into perfect balls. So he called them duds. So it wasn't like I thought. We were like, they weren't great.


JOY DOLO: Which is interesting. This is right around almost right before the depression to 1928, started in the '30s. And then next up, we have Slurpees. And the Slurpee was invented by accident in the late 1950s.


JOY DOLO: Yeah, yeah. So an ice cream shop owner in Kansas City stashed some bottles of soda in his freezer after his soda fountain broke. But he left them in a little too long, and when he pulled them out, they were a little frozen and slushy. And he realized he was on to something. So he built a special machine using an old air conditioner from a car and created a new drink.

ROSE DUPONT: Oh, really?

JOY DOLO: Yeah, I know. I feel like that's how a lot of cool things are done, like, by accident. It's like, whoops, I forgot this thing, and now I have pants or whatever, whatever happens after that. So last, and certainly not least because it's also my favorite, Sour Patch kids, they were created in the early 1970s. So they were originally called Mars men because they were designed to look like tiny aliens. Yeah.

But when Cabbage patch kids, the squishy faced dolls, became a toy sensation in the 1980s, the candy was later renamed Sour Patch Kids. Do you know what a Cabbage patch doll is?

ROSE DUPONT: I do. I used to have one.

JOY DOLO: Did you, really?


JOY DOLO: And now they have the candies that's named after them, too. That's pretty cool. They were Mars men, and then they became like Cabbage patch Kids.

ROSE DUPONT: I was wondering why they were shaped that way.

JOY DOLO: Yeah. Well, now, next time I have them before I throw them in my mouth, I might take a longer look at them and just study them a little Mars man, and see what they look like. Was any of this history surprising to you?

ROSE DUPONT: I think the fact that Slurpees were created by accident, that was really surprising. I feel like Slurpees would be like something you would be like, oh, I hate ice cream. Let's make something else.

JOY DOLO: I want another cold ice treat.


JOY DOLO: Without all that dairy. Tell you, well, good job. You did a great job.

ROSE DUPONT: Thank you.

JOY DOLO: We'll be back in two weeks with an episode about wheelchair basketball.

ROSE DUPONT: Thanks for listening.


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