2160: Ken Burns Theory

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Ken Burns Theory
Some of the KBCU ancillary works try a little too hard to tie everything together. Doris Kearns Goodwin, the sports journalist featured in "Baseball," was somehow ALSO a famous historian who wrote bestselling biographies of Lincoln AND Johnson? Unrealistic.
Title text: Some of the KBCU ancillary works try a little too hard to tie everything together. Doris Kearns Goodwin, the sports journalist featured in "Baseball," was somehow ALSO a famous historian who wrote bestselling biographies of Lincoln AND Johnson? Unrealistic.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a "BASEBALL" FANFIC WRITER. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

Some fiction writers and filmmakers set some or all of their works in a common universe. When it's not obvious that several works from the same author are set in the same fictional universe, some fans may try to find a way to relate them to a common storyline (such as the examples of fan theories described in this Mental Floss article).

Ken Burns is an American filmmaker renowned for his historical documentaries. Therefore all his documentary series are set in a common universe, the real one, and usually a single part of it, the United States in the last two centuries. The series mentioned are

The joke here is that Cueball is trying to find the common features between Ken Burns' series to set them in a common universe, as a fiction fan would do, "discovering" similarities between series that are just well-known facts in American history. For example, several series have an office named "President", which Cueball "guesses" to be the same for Lincoln and Johnson, and which obviously is just the President of the United States. Cueball has also drawn inferences from facts established in one series to draw conclusions about another, when he (correctly) concludes that the 1960s protesters depicted in Baseball were protesting "Johnson's war" as depicted in The Vietnam War.

The title text continues the joke by saying these stories are set in the "KBCU", an acronym which stands for "Ken Burns Cinematic Universe" similar to the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Doris Kearns Goodwin, mentioned in the title text, is a famous historian who has written biographies of several U.S. Presidents. She is also a fan of baseball's Boston Red Sox and a sportswriter who appeared in the Baseball miniseries. Since very few famous historians are also sportswriters, Cueball concludes that Burns was "unrealistic" in tying the two "characters" together.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Cueball is standing next to Megan.]
Cueball: Lincoln was "President" in The Civil War (1990), the same office held by Johnson in The Vietnam War (2017).
Cueball: And Baseball (1994) briefly showed 1960s "protesters." I think they were protesting Johnson's war!
Cueball: It all fits!
[Caption below the panel:]
I have a fan theory that every Ken Burns miniseries exists within a single cohesive universe.


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Discussion

Is the joke in this comic that Ken Burns made documentary films about real events, meaning all of his mini-series truly were a part of a common universe - our own universe? Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 15:12, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Could someone put in a summary of the Pixar theory from the Mental Floss article? It's the kind of thing that Randall is trying to reference. --108.162.246.215 17:25, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Ehh, The Pixar theory is a famous example, but there are a lot more, like the snow globe theory, I don't think a single one needs to be summarized here to get the point 162.158.74.69 01:16, 8 June 2019 (UTC) sam

Is it weird that I found this funnier before I understood that Ken Burns was a documentary filmmaker? For some reason I thought that Burns was an actor and that cueball was trying to explain how his character could be the same person in some weird pseudohistorical fictional universe.

OMG same here! I thought Ken Burns was an actor I wasn't terribly familiar with (outside of having heard his name), and these were fictional movies based on elements of real life that he's acted in... Somehow it's less funny that Burns is a documentary maker and Cueball is just trying to create a fictional link that's actually really already there, LOL! NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:01, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Uh, yes. You're both weird! ;-) Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 04:38, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Or neither of us particularly care for documentaries and prefer our fiction to be fictional. :) LOL! NiceGuy1 (talk) 03:33, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

All the movies by M. Night Shyamalan are in the same universe though, right? 172.68.211.244 16:41, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

Maybe? 172.68.132.149 01:52, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

And I thought the joke was related to the liberties that Ken Burns takes with his "Histories" so that it isn't clear whether his versions of events could exist in the same universe.