(Submitted by Friend of the Blog and Skepticality listener Brian Hart)

As my wife and I turned on the TV to watch the latest episode of Nurse Jackie on Showtime, it was randomly on another channel.  The movie it was showing at that time was the 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and we switched over to Showtime.  The Nurse Jackie episode was called “Candyman”, and was about the death and funeral of the hospital’s news and candy vendor.  It featured the cast singing the song “Candy Man”.

Only one fly in this (chocolate?) ointment, that song only appeared on the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory back in 1971.  Who can possibly tie this coincidence together?

“The Candy Man can 
cause he mixes it with love 
and makes the world taste good”

Below are the extended notes for use in Skepticality Episode 237 provided Edward Clint.  Clint produces the Skeptic Ink Network and writes about Evolutionary Psychology, critical thinking and more at his blog Incredulous. He is presently a bioanthropology graduate student at UCLA studying evolutionary psychology.  Take a look and leave your comments below. Also, please be sure to listen to the podcast for our own hilarious commentary.

There might be more pop culture and media references to the beloved 1971 film than you realize. The classic Wonka film has had it’s fire rekindled after the advent of VHS home video, then with the DVD release, and again following the 2005 theatrical re-make (which does not include the song in question!) In fact besides Nurse Jackie, there are at least 17 different references, playings of the song, or parodies in recent media including films the Ice Age (2012 sequel), and TV shows including Futurama, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Gilmore Girls, and Malcolm in the Middle. The younger folks on the internet are also acutely aware of the Wonka image meme still widely used and circulated today.

Would it be considered a coincidence if you saw the movie playing after hearing a song by the band “Veruca Salt” on the radio or internet? The band is named after the rich, spoiled girl in the movie. How about when Wonka was quoted in the comedy classic Super Troopers? …The entire episode from The Office which revolved around Wonka’s “golden ticket” idea?

Still, Brian, the two references co-occurring and you just happening to see them seems pretty unlikely. Do you think it’s more unlikely than the runaway success of the film? A film about a creepy shut-in CEO using candy to lure a starving child into a “private tour” full of secret rooms, deadly machines, and fetish-geared pygmy slaves human-trafficked into his candy sweatshop? Maybe we’re better off not not knowing the odds, or what schnozzberries actually are.