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Posted at 12:23 PM ET, 11/30/2010

Ahead of Thursday's NASA announcement, what has pop culture already taught us about aliens?

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly

No, silly, that's not an alien. It's 'The Simpsons's' Mr. Burns after undergoing a series of medical treatments. (Photo courtesy Fox)

Contact with extra-terrestrial life. It's never-ending fodder for countless movies, books and long-running TV shows. And remakes of those TV shows. And movies based on the remakes of those TV shows. And TV shows spun-off of those remakes. Because, until now, there's been no real proof of alien life elsewhere in the known universe (no matter what Mick Jagger says). Come Thursday, that may change.

That's when NASA will hold a news conference "to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life." (Full press release)

Cryptic, tantalizing and seemingly ripped right from the script of a Hollywood blockbuster. Have we made contact with little green martians? E.T.? Tribbles? Body snatchers? Or, is this just NASA's splashy way of announcing the discovery of microscopic bacteria -- interstellar snot, if you will?

In the hopes of calming any irrational fears about the potential announcement, we've condensed what we already know about aliens into handy list form.... after the jump:

1. They like plants, getting drunk and playing with Speak n Spells. ["E.T."]

2. When they finally show their ridiculous faces in M. Night Shyamalan movies, they ruin the whole damn thing. ["Signs"]

3. They like to hide space travel machine plans in audio tapes of Hitler's voice and assume the form of Jodie Foster's long-dead dad. ["Contact"]

4. They are super-excited about hosting Richard Dreyfuss on their UFOs. ["Close Encounters of the Third Kind")

5. They are handily vanquished by Sigourney Weaver (so NASA may want to have her on hand Thursday). ["Aliens" -- pick one]

6. Aliens prefer the Orson Welles radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds" to the excessively loud Tom Cruise blockbuster. (Okay, we made that one up. But if aliens are intelligent life forms, it will be so.)

7. Aliens also can be vanquished by Will Smith. Might want to have him on hand, too. ["Independence Day," "Men in Black"]

8. Extra-terrestrial life forms can't keep agents Mulder and Scully apart. ["The X Files"]

9. Sometimes in an attempt to appear benevolent, aliens will take the form of "Music Man" star Robert Preston. ["The Last Starfighter"]

10. While we've seen extra-terrestrials in too many films and TV shows to count, we remain convinced that they're all exactly like this guy:


By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly  | November 30, 2010; 12:23 PM ET
Categories:  Pop Culture  
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Comments

Uh-oh. I, uh, um, I mean, I have to go.

Posted by: byoolin1 | November 30, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

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