What Really Happened?
By: Andrew Jenks Entertainment, Inc. and Seven Bucks Productions
“History is a version of past events that people have decided to agree upon," Napoleon Bonaparte once famously said. In other words, there are many sides to every story. WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? chronicles documentarian Andrew Jenks as he examines and contextualizes famous figures and historical events, while discovering untold stories and unraveling newfound narratives. With today’s technology, access to information, the ability to communicate from all parts of the globe, and cross-reference historians, Jenks takes on his own rogue investigations. He does not go down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories, nor does the show purport to solve every historical mystery. Instead, Jenks often times throws a wrench in the gears of history, getting either closer to the truth or creating more questions. WHAT REALLY HAPPENED is executive produced by Seven Bucks Productions’ Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Brian Gewirtz, Andrew Jenks and Cadence13.
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In 1981, on a 9th floor building and in front of hundreds of people, Muhammad Ali talked a 21- year-old out of committing suicide. The story ran the following evening in front of 36 million people on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. But with new sources and information, Jenks questions if this was a concocted event, devised by Ali himself.
Meek Mill, one of the hottest rappers in the world, violated parole too many times. But when the judge at his hearing began giving him tips on his music and lifestyle, people started to question who was in the wrong. It all got more bizarre after she sentenced Meek to two-to-four years in prison. Until recently, he resided in solitary confinement. And then, in a bizarre twist, the FBI asked Meek for help investigating the judge. What Really Happened? Guests: Jason Flom (The Innocence Project), Inimai Chettiar (Brennan Center for Justice), and Ryan Ferguson (author).
You wouldn’t think one of the best basketball players in the world, worth well over $100 million, spends his summers in a two-bedroom apartment in San Diego, but that’s what Kawhi Leonard does. In San Antonio he opted to live with his mom, and they played Jenga at night over enchiladas. His disinterest in the spotlight, and focus on the game, made him a perfect fit for the militant, and world-champion, San Antonio Spurs, led by their revered coach Gregg Popovich. Just like the Spurs’ prior stars, Leonard was humble and loyal. But in his last year with the team, he suddenly cut himself off from everyone. He refused to return, and landed in Toronto with the Raptors. What Really Happened? Guests: Chris Mannix (Sports Illustrated, host of The NBA Crossover podcast)
Would Apple exist without if Steve Jobs had never taken acid? Jobs said repeatedly that taking LSD was one of the "two or three most important things" he ever did in his life. But was this a tale to galvanize press, or a genuine belief. What Really Happened? Guests: Daniel Kottke (college friend of Steve Jobs), Trip Hawkins (entrepreneur, founder of Electronic Arts), Maia Szalavitz (reporter and author), Dr. John Amodeo (author), and Andrew Stanton (filmmaker).
In 1876, Buffalo Calf Road Woman, also known as Brave Woman, miraculously saved her brother from death against the Americans trying to take over their land, and soon afterwards she became a war leader for her tribe. Only 15 years ago, Northern Cheyenne storytellers broke more than 100 years of silence about the battle, and they credited Buffalo Calf Road Woman with striking the blow that resulted in the death of none other, than a Civil War hero, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. A story of peace and war, heroes and villains, myths and facts, and trying to understand, what really happened? Guests: Richard DeSirey (author of "Morning Star, Let Us Make a New Way"), Dr. Herman Viola (author of "Little Bighorn Remembered: The Untold Indian Story of Custer's Last Stand"), former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, and Joseph and Rosemary Agonito (authors of "Buffalo Calf Road Woman: The Story of a Warrior of the Little Bighorn")
A 6-year-old boy was stuck in a hot air balloon that happened to look like a flying saucer, 7,000 feet above ground, flying over Colorado. Cable news channels had a field day. And, when the balloon landed, something didn't add up. Ultimately in this episode, a professor predicts what won't happen in years to come, an Academy-Award nominated filmmaker unravels where he's going, and a storytelling guru helps make sense of "breaking news" as Jenks sorts out... what really happened? Guests: Matt Heineman (Academy Award nominated filmmaker: The Private War, Cartel Land, and City of Ghosts), Robert McKee (author, lecturer, story consultant), and Bob Thompson (Trustee Professor of Television, Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University)
President Bill Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin were ready to change the world. Their epic press conferences and newly released phone transcripts reveal a sincere friendship. But, as time went on, things got complicated, and led to Vladimir Putin. Guests: Adele Lindenmeyr (Professor of History and Dean of Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), and Evelyn Farkas (former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia)
Famous musicians Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse all died at 27 years old. Some call this phenomenon "a media construct". Research shows that of the 3,463 musicians who died in the last two hundred years, there is a 40% spike at the age of 27, compared to the years surrounding it. But, recent studies on the brain help put this data into context. What really happened? Guests: Charles R. Cross (New York Times Best-Selling author of "Heavier Than Heaven"), and Dr. Roger McIntyre (Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto, Head of the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit at the University Health Network)
The most famous comedian in the world had just signed a $50 million contract, and had started filming the third season of his critically acclaimed show, Chappelle's Show. Then, he had a “meltdown” and “escaped” to South Africa. Now, more than ten years later, Jenks revisits what really happened, and finds Dave at a town hall meeting in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
King John II of France is missing from the pages of history. There are no movies, no books, hardly a Wikipedia page. But, after Jenks dug in to the mystery of this seemingly forgotten king, a whole medieval world came to life. As it turns out, John II, perhaps better known as John the Good, sailed to England to turn himself in as a prisoner of war, abandoning his stunned French subjects to fend for themselves through the Dark Ages. Is he the worst king in history? Or, has he been unfairly lost to the annals of time? What Really Happened? Guests: David Green (author/historian), Michael Jones (author/historian), Michael Pye (author/historian), Neil Murphy (author/historian), and Peter Hoskins (author/historian)
John Carter is one of history's biggest box office flops: $250 million... gone. But, it was directed by two-time Academy Award winner Andrew Stanton, had Disney’s marketing prowess, and was based on the book that inspired Star Wars and Avatar. What Really Happened? This episode is the anatomy of a blockbuster gone bust, a possibility even when the person in charge is brilliant. Guests: Andrew Stanton (filmmaker), Michael Sellers (author, filmmaker, former CIA officer), Germain Lussier (film critic), Robert McKee (author, lecturer, story consultant), Matt Singer (film critic), and Brooks Barnes (New York Times Media and Entertainment reporter)