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


  1. I've seen this photo show up on various lists like that and generally roll my eyes and make a mental note never to visit that site again. Let the dumbasses revel in their dumbassery! (I can imagine how it must have felt seeing those turtle suits. A couple years ago, someone showed up at a comic con dressed up as my character and it was the most incredible feeling.)

    1. Was that the "Toaster Guy" costume? -- PL

    2. Yes! It was as a matter of fact! How cool that you remembered!

  2. I have the same production crew shirt, haha!

    Yeah, shooting in NC during the summer was an unfortunate decision for the guys in the foam rubber suits. I've seen this pic pop up over the years and always thought it was a cool shot.

    The unit photographer credited on the first movie is Alan Markfield, though there may have been others on set.

  3. I hate those click-bait sites, they are internet cesspits. That picture looks like an amazing family memory. Talk about an epic take your "kid to work" day.

    Although, hiring out a ninja turtle for family photos does sound fun...

  4. I love how people who post dumb stuff on the internet don't know how to use it to do any research.

  5. I think that's a really cool photo. I've never seen it before but then I don't do social media. Whoever put the caption made themselves look pretty stupid because any real ninja turtle fan would have known that it pictured the man himself, Peter Laird.

    You'd be surprised how dumb people can be. I've watched all of the Marvel movies in theaters and have taken friends who still don't know why "that old guy" keeps showing up in scenes (Stan Lee).

  6. Cool picture, Peter! And which one of the turtles is Emily's favourite?

  7. The unit photographer credited on the first movie is Alan Markfield, though there may have been others on set.

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