TV | Pop Culture | 80s

14 Facts About 'MacGyver' Made Only From A Toothpick And A Wristwatch

While MacGyver may be part of the reboot series phenomenon, there's something about a classic that just seems so authentic- and we can't get enough of it!

Even though the show ended in 1992, the inventive agent has remained part of our pop culture with parodies on Saturday Night Live and commercials starring Richard Dean Anderson. "MacGyver" has even become a verb!

He taught us to never underestimate our resources, with thousands of uses for duct tape and a Swiss Arm Knife.

There are some awesome facts you didn't know about this seven-year series that taught and entertained us.

1. Henry Winkler Was An Executive Producer

The former Fonz produced the series with his partner, John Rich. He also made a cameo appearance in the season six episode "Henry's Will." He played a lawyer, which actually foreshadowed his role on Arrested Development.

2. After The Pilot John Rich Wanted His Name Removed From The Credits

After the original 90 minute pilot, executive producer, John Rich, thought it was awful. He disliked it so much he asked for his name to be removed from the credits.

3. Richard Dean Anderson Got The Part For Doing Something Strange For His Audition

When reading for the role in auditions, the actor reached to grab his reading glasses. Apparently Winkler found that humble gesture to be humanizing of the actor. This proved the actor wasn't just some Hollywood tough guy but a person everyone could relate to, so he thought he would be a great fit for the role.

4. The Character Was Not Originally Name Angus

In the original press release from Paramount Pictures, the cast listing states the character name to be Stacey MacGyver. The name was never used in the series, and was apparently unknown to Anderson. This critical first name of Angus was not actually revealed until season seven, in the two-part episode "Good Knight MacGyver".

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5. MacGyver Was Inspired By McDonald's

Originally the show's creator, Lee David Zlotoff wanted to give the character a masculine name, so he was going to call him "Guy". It was suggested that he add the "Mac" as a reference to McDonald's, since it was popular at the time. "McGuy" didn't flow really well, so after the writers played with the idea, MacGyver was born.

6. Richard Dean Anderson Is Exactly One Year Older Than Macgyver

While there has been some debate around when the character's birthday actually is, confirmation that his birthday was January 23, 1951 was given when they showed his passport in the episode "Every Time She Smiles." Richard Dean Anderson was born on January 23, 1950. Crazy coincidence.

7. Richard Dean Anderson Learned A Few Tricks From The Show

The actor learned a lot while playing the role. In fact, one day he got locked out of his house and in the spirit of MacGyver broke the front window with a bench. Badass.

8. MacGyver's Floating House Was Worth Less Than You Thought

After the show ended, the floating house that was docked in Vancouver was sold, remodeled and sold again. Its value started at $200,000, but was reportedly sold for around $40,000 on Craigslist after some damage.

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9. Footage from The Italian Job was used in an episode

The car chase in the episode "Thief of Budapest" comes straight from the classic 1969 movie The Italian Job. And it's pretty obvious too!


10. In Brazil, The Theme Song Was Totally Different

Those in Brazil never got to hear the catchy instrumental by Randy Edelman. Instead they got the popular classic rock track "Tom Sawyer" by Canadian band Rush. In Brazil it was called Profissão: Perigo. Translation: Profession: Danger.

11. The Musical Number "Cleo Rocks" Was Written By Macgyver's Nemsis

You remember the episode "Cleo Rocks" in season four? This was when Penny Parker (Teri Hatcher) was cast as Cleopatra in a rock opera. As it turns out the evil Murdoc is up to no good. Actor Des Barres who played Macgyver's nemisis, Murdoc wrote the guitar-heavy faux-Broadway number. Brilliant!

12. Richard Dean Anderson Also Wrote A Song For An Episode

As it turns out, the cast of this amazing show was talented beyond what we saw on screen. Richard Dean Anderson also showed off his composition skills when he wrote the song "Eau D'Leo" for the episode "The Negotiator".

13. MacGyver Never Had a Girlfriend

Even though he was a handsome man that most fans swooned over, they never allowed him to have a girlfriend on the show. At one point they tried to introduce a love interest, but viewers did not like the change of pace.

14. Writers Ran Out Of Ideas And Asked Fans For Help

After a while, writers had difficulty coming up with new and exciting ways for MacGyver to get out of situations. John Rich offered fans money to come up with scenarios that they could use.

What was your favorite MacGyver moment? Share it with us in the comments.

Source: Me TV / Afternoon Special