remember the 90s movie “shazaam” starring the comedian sinbad as a genie who appears to a couple of kids to help them deal with a tragic moment?
If so, the sons of sinbad say you might want to double check your memory on that.
“It didn’t happen,” his daughter Paige Bryan told NBCLX. “get over it”.
But if you’re “absolutely sure” you’ve seen Sinbad parading around the big screen in a genie suit with a duo of little kids in need of a little cheering up, you’re not alone.
Royce Adkins, Sinbad’s son, said that even “those closest to us who know everything about our family” have sometimes doubted whether the film exists.
So how can thousands of people around the world have the same memory of a particular event or occasion that never happened?
no, it’s not a glitch in the simulation. it’s the mandela effect.
the mandela effect is “a belief that specific details of the past are being altered or changed,” explained dr. aaron french, professor of religious studies at the university of erfurt germany.
The phenomenon is named after a common misconception that former South African President Nelson Mandela died in prison in the 1990s, although he actually died in 2013.
the confusion surrounding the death of mandela and the mistaken belief in the existence of the movie “shazaam” are just two examples of these strange lapses in our collective memory.
another example of the mandela effect was caused by the series of children’s books “berenstain bears”. many believe that the spelling was once “berenstein”, but for some reason changed to “berenstain” over time.
(since we’re on the subject of titles, are they “looney toons” or “looney tunes”?)
when adkins and bryan first heard the “shazaam” theories, they assumed that people were simply confusing them with the movie “kazaam”, starring former nba star shaquille o’neal
“my dad and shaq: people confuse them all the time,” said bryan.
“Our father has been mistaken for Shaquille O’Neal more times than makes logical sense,” he explained.
but even when that confusion isn’t a problem, people keep coming back, bryan said. “Now people will say, ‘oh no, I’m not talking about ‘kazam’. I’m talking about your dad’s [movie].'”
the children of sinbad say that one group in particular is most obsessed with the existence of this film: fellow millennials.
bryan said he was in his twenties when he first heard the rumor. “All of a sudden, my peer group was like, ‘Hey, remember that movie your dad made when he was a genius?'” she said.
adkins said his father even tried to debunk the rumor by offering a cash reward of thousands of dollars to anyone who could find a clip of the film online. of course, nobody found anything. But not even that stopped the believers.
so what do the sons of sinbad think started all the confusion? They have two theories. One is that people are confused by a character he played on the ’90s show “All That,” who had a “really cool” costume, according to Bryan.
adkins also remembers a “sinbad the sailor” special where he was dressed in what one might consider “genie clothing” and thinks maybe people will see footage of that as evidence of “shazaam”.
But even when faced with the facts, people don’t want to be told they’re wrong. When they debunk the “Shazaam” theory, people get angry, claiming the film was “very influential in its childhood,” Adkins said. Strangely, Adkins said that to prove his point, some of these same people will later claim that the “influential” movie was so bad that Sinbad wanted to get rid of it.
“those things don’t add up”.
While the couple are tired of “shazaam” misinformation being spread, they are quite understanding of what can lead people to misremember, as they sometimes experienced the same event with two totally different memories of what happened .
“What our truth is definitely plays a role in how we remember something,” Bryan said.