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The Great Toilet Paper Scare

Brian Gersten
United States, 2020, 11 min.

In English.

The untold story of a notorious incident involving Johnny Carson, a lot of toilet paper, and millions of fearful Americans. In 1973, as a dire oil crisis plagued the country, Carson made a joke on "The Tonight Show" about a possible paper shortage. This off-hand remark quickly created an actual paper shortage when viewers went and bought up as much toilet paper as they could get their hands on. Compiled entirely of archival footage, and animated sequences based on contemporaneous news reports, the film explores the power and impact of misinformation in the media.

Director's Statement

We decided to bring this nearly forgotten piece of history to life for a variety of reasons: 1) It's a pretty damn funny story. 2) Not many people know about it or remember it. 3) This story is a classic case of misinformation in the media, which currently plagues many American news outlets, and we believe lessons can be learned from this incident. 4) Everybody loves Johnny Carson.

Category: Documentary, Animation, Short Doc.
Themes: Community, Historical.

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