Thursday, April 21, 2016

Not awkward, not weird, but definitely a "family photo". At least they got ONE thing right!

    Sometimes the Internet is just SO stupid. Or, to be more accurate and fair, it's the people who post certain things on the Internet…

    I heard from a friend today that she'd seen the following online at this URL (

    … and she was wondering if she was mistaken in thinking that the guy in the photo was me. I replied and told her she was not wrong, and that this was in fact a photo taken back when the first live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was being filmed in North Carolina. Fellow TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman and I had been asked to pose for some publicity photos on one of the movie sets with the actor who played Leonardo, garbed in one of the incredible Jim Henson Studio-created Turtle suits.

    Following that session, I asked if it would be okay if I got a shot of me and my wife and infant daughter (who were also briefly visiting the movie set) posing with Leonardo, kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The actor inside the costume (who, if I am remembering correctly, was named Dave, and who told us that he too had recently become a father) was very gracious in agreeing to take the extra time to do this, although he was sweating uncomfortably inside that heavy foam-rubber suit in the sweltering North Carolina summer heat.

    I've always considered this photo to be a cool artifact of that time and experience. I'm glad we got the chance to pose for it, and I wish I knew the photographer's name so he or she could get the proper credit.

    So, for the dumbass who posted this as supposedly one of "The Most Awkward and Weird Family Photos of All Time", here's a fact-check for you:

    1.) We (the people in the photo) love the "Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles". We understand that they are sometimes called by the more generic "Teenage Mutant HERO Turtles" title in certain other locations, and there's nothing wrong with that, but we've always preferred to think of them by the original title -- "Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles".

    2.) We didn't hire a Turtle for a day to pose with our infant. See above for the real story, not your invented nonsense.

    3.) The baby is not a boy, she's a girl -- my daughter, Emily, now 27 -- who loves this photo (even if she cannot, obviously, remember being there when it was taken!). She also did not grow up to hate the Turtles.

    So there you go -- wrong, wrong, and wrong.

    It's a useful object lesson, I think -- context IS important. -- PL


Vaughn Michael said...

Wow people are such idiots.

Anonymous said...

My guess is the person who wrote that article didn't even realize it was you, Peter Laird, the co-creator of the Turtles in that photo with your family. Seems to me he thought it was just a random family who were fans of the Turtles or something.

Even then he should notice the obvious Jim Henson costume for the Turtles, and that its not some cheap halloween costume you could buy out of the store. You're right, the ignorance of some people can be astounding.

Melanie Servidio said...

People are stupid, and assholes, nonetheless it really is a great family photo!

Friendly Floridian

James Hanna said...

What annoys me most about this, is that it shouldn't matter if it was the creator of the ninja turtles or not! I could definitely see myself posing for the exact same picture with anyone or all of my 3 kids. Rude idiotic people will do anything to get attention. It's like people treat the internet like it's high school.

James Hanna said...
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