Memory is a tricky thing. We often think we remember something that happened only to be confronted with facts that force us to reconsider. Occasionally, so many people fall under the same delusion that they begin to suspect some sort of cosmic controversy like The Matrix or in an alternate timeline or something like that.
This idea, that a belief that specific details from the past are being altered or changed, is called the Mandela Effect, and there are many examples. A popular one involves Sinbad, the comedian from the 80s and 90s who appeared in some favorite movies like Jingle All The Way. None of those movies, however, involved a genie named Shazam. But for some reason, a lot of people think it does.
Despite some doctored photos on the web, Shazaam! does not exist. Kazaam, which sounds like “Shazaam,” was a terrible Shaquille O’Neal movie about a genie, but Sinbad does not appear in it.
It “did not happen,” the comedian’s daughter Paige Bryan told NBCLX. “Get over it.” Apparently, she and her brother Royce Adkins have even had to tell close family members to get over it. “People the closest to us who know everything about our family” have occasionally wondered if the movie wasn’t real.
The Mandela Effect is named after the belief that Nelson Mandela had died in prison in the 80s, when in fact he was eventually released and won the Nobel Peace Prize. There’s also a collection of people who swear that the popular children’s book series The Berenstain Bears was originally titled the Berenstein Bears before some cosmic rift in the universe brought us to this Berenstain world. It was not. And Sinbad did not appear in Shazaam!
The comedian himself spoke about the phenomenon on Twitter years ago:
Have you noticed no one my age has seen this so called Sinbad Genie movie, only you people who were kids in the 90’s. The young mind !
— Sinbad (@sinbadbad) September 7, 2016
He once tried to debunk the theory by offering a cash reward to anyone who could produce a clip of the non-existent movie, and now his kids, decades later, are trying to clear their dad’s name. And who can blame them? I wouldn’t want people to think I was in one of Shaq’s movies either!