Under The Influencewith Terry O'Reilly
Before Queen, this was Freddie Mercury's day job
To pay tribute to the late, great Freddie Mercury on his birthday, British Airways staged a full-fledged airport performance to surprise travellers.
A hot air balloon towing a car went missing over Uxbridge
A 1980's shoot for a Chevrolet Cavalier TV ad involving a brand new car and a hot air balloon went terribly awry.
These celebrities make their phone numbers public
Meet the app that allows fans to text their favourite celebrities directly.
How failing at fractions saved the Quarter Pounder
A&W tried to give McDonald's famous Quarter Pounder hamburger a run for its money. What happened next may surprise you.
These actors have won awards for worst performance
The Golden Raspberry Awards, also known as the Razzies, celebrates the year's cinematic under-achievements. And many famous names are proud - or not so proud - recipients.
How a Toronto music school attracted Taylor Swift
When the government cut grants to school music programs, the Regent Park School of Music swiftly took matters into their own hands.
Three products you didn't know were named after their inventors
Did you know there was a man named Nacho? What about a Mrs. Granny Smith? Or how about a Mr. Leotard? Some products are so cemented in our minds we forget their names once belonged to real people.
The inventor of the Rubik's Cube took this long to first solve it
The current world record is 3.47 seconds. But back in 1974 when inventor Erno Rubik first came up with the best-selling game, it took him a wee bit longer.
This famous spokes-animal had its own secretary
When a celebrity reaches a certain level of fame, they require a personal assistant to handle fan mail.
The day John Lennon made history in the sky over Toronto
Why John Lennon and Yoko Ono hired a famous skywriter to send a some celestial messages.
Why plastic surgery is booming during Covid
Lipstick and deodorant sales may be down, but Botox and fillers are up 90 per cent.
The super valuable treasure one man found in the walls of his home
Back in the 1930s, it was common to insulate homes using newspaper. But when one man renovated his house, he came across something completely unexpected.
How J. Edgar Hoover accidentally invented the Ten Most Wanted poster
Over 490 Most Wanted fugitives have been apprehended by the FBI, one-third of which were captured thanks to tips from the public.
How a detective used a disguise to save the life of a president
A fateful train ride and a floppy hat changed the course of history in more ways than one.
Why the "Can you hear me now?" guy sprinted to another brand
When a spokesperson switches companies, it can attract a lot of attention.
Why an episode of The Golden Girls was removed in 2020
The final episode aired almost 30 years ago when Bea Arthur’s character marries and moves away, breaking up the gang. So it may surprise you to learn The Golden Girls got into a little bit of trouble this past year.
Under the Influence is back!
Under the Influence is back for its 10th season (and Terry's 16th year on CBC Radio). And we've got a fun season planned for you.
Quarantine 4-Pack: Movies
A two hour podcast playlist for our cinephile listeners.
He's been putting out fires for 75 years — but do you know his name?
"The Mandela Effect" is a term for collective false memory — when a group of people misremembers a fact the same way. A phenomenon this famous bear knows all too well.
How the Spanish Flu wasn't Spanish at all
Over 100 years later, it's still remembered as the Spanish Flu. But the pandemic didn't originate in Spain.
Why sometimes the best way to sell a product is to increase its price
An interesting lesson in marketing from one Bruce Lee.
The Sopranos gave 200 fans their own mob nicknames
When the 20th anniversary of the Sopranos rolled around in 2019, HBO wanted to entice people to watch the series again and celebrate the milestone. And their free strategy earned them 300 media impressions.
Why Coca-Cola railed against the nickname 'Coke'
"Coke" wasn't always a welcome nickname. In fact, early Coca-Cola ads attempted to dissuade the public from using the term.
How flowers were a secret language in the Victorian era
It's called "floriography." And it conveyed anything from conjugal love, to anxiety to celibacy.
These major brands created the biggest product failures
Come take a walk through the Museum of Failure.