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Bizarre States


Calling all Bizarros! Do you wonder about the spooky and weird underbelly of your favorite pop culture? Are you obsessed with urban legends, behind-the-scenes stories, and all things grim and macabre? Welcome to The Dark Side, Bizarre States’ newest show which follows Jessica Chobot and Andrew Bowser.

The first episode is all about one of the most wholesome and decent children’s shows of all time: The Smurfs. But, like any other piece of media, there are many different interpretations of the Smurfs and their lifestyle. Are the Smurfs Communists? Or are they all dead? Only Bowser and Jessica know the truth! Check out this week’s episode right now to learn all about your favorite blue cartoon.

On the surface, The Smurfs look like any other kid friendly cartoon. But once you look past the cute songs and bright animation, a darkness lurks below. The Smurfs are so focused on their own individual jobs and tasks, so tuned in to the concept of sameness, and so obsessed with maintaining the state–could they actually be Communist propaganda? Author Mark Schmidt first made the suggestion back in 1998 in a satirical breakdown, and the similarities are surprising. There are a few more possibilities on what the Smurfs could represent.

The Smurfs were created by Belgian cartoonist Peyo, who grew up during World War II. Were the Smurfs an absurdist representation of Nazism in Europe? Possibly, but that interpretation is up for debate. Another angle on the Smurfs comes from Turmoil in the Toybox, a religion-focused documentary from the 1980s, which claims the Smurfs represent corpses. Interesting thought! But sometimes, in the words of Andrew Bowser, a Smurf is just a Smurf.

As The Dark Side continues, Chobot and Bowser find the answers to all of these questions, and many more, like:

Was Chewbacca based on Bigfoot?

Does Steven Spielberg have a haunted house?

Is Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion…actually haunted?

If you’re hoping to learn all about the creepy, crawly, and downright strange history of your favorite movies, shows, directors, theme parks and more, check out The Dark Side!

New episodes of The Dark Side drop every Tuesday over on Nerdist’s YouTube channel. And if that’s not enough Bizarre States for you, check out Bizarre States: California, where Jessica and Bowser explore all of California’s spookiest haunts and experience all new adventures–from the Winchester Mystery House, to alien abductions, to Bigfoot and more! You can see new episodes of Bizarre States: California on, and if you use the promo code BIZARRE, you can get 60 free days to check out all Alpha has to offer. And if you missed any of last season’s Bizarre States: LA, Alpha is the only place to catch up. Happy Nerdoween!

Featured Image: Hanna-Barbera 

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