Monday, January 16, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 16, 2017


Birthdays: Yukon poet Robert Service, The inventor of the pneumatic tire Andre Michelin 1853, Ethel Merman, Dizzy Dean, Peter Ustinov, Henry Mancini, A.J. Foyt, Marilyn Horne, Sade, Michael Wilding, Eartha Kitt, Debbie Allen is 67, John Carpenter, Diane Fossey, Kate Moss is 43, Tsianina Joelson


1938- Benny Goodman brought the new Swing Music to staid old Carnegie Hall. Count Basie and Harry James joined in to get the tuxedoed crowd dancing in the aisles, then afterwards they all went uptown to the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem to watch Count Basies band square off against the legendary Chick Webb. 

1940- Lee Francis, then Hollywood’s top madam, was busted for prostitution.


Seventy Five Years Ago 1942-Actress Carol Lombard and her mother died in a plane crash in the Sierra Mountains while returning from a war bond drive. Her husband movie king Clark Cable was so disconsolate that he joined an airforce combat squadron instead of doing USO work and took dangerous missions trying to get killed.

1954- THE WAR ON COMICS- Senator Estes Kevfauver chaired a U.S. Senate subcommittee to study juvenile delinquency. They conclude that one of the contributing factors to adolescent moral decay was four-color comic books. The media called comics “ The Ten Cent Plague”.
Despite testimony by Walt Kelly, Milt Caniff, Al Capp and Bill Gaines, 350 comic book companies including the EC "Tales from the Crypt" label were driven out of business. The strict comics-code was established. The comic book industry, which had been selling one million books a month, never regained that level of prosperity in the US again.

1962- Television pioneer Ernie Kovacs died when he plowed his Corvair into a tree at Beverly Glen and Santa Monica Blvds. Kovacs had a fondness for all night poker and vodka parties.  Friend Jack Lemmon said Ernie was so fanatical for a good card game that once when over a friend's house no table large enough could be procured for a game, Kovacs ordered the front door taken off it's hinges and a tablecloth thrown over it so they could all play.

1962-First day of shooting on the film Dr No with a young actor named Sean Connery in the role of James Bond. Ian Fleming thought the casting of Connery would be a disaster, he wanted Cary Grant or David Niven.

1974- Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws first published.

1995- The UPN Network (Universal-Paramount Network) began telecasting.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 15, 2017


Birthdays: Dr. Martin Luther King, Moliere, Gamal Abdel Nasser, outlaw Cole Younger, Charro, Matthew Brady, drummer Gene Krupa, Lloyd Bridges, Mario Van Peebles, Josef Broyer the mentor of Sigmund Freud, Margaret O’Brien, Aristotle Onassis, Captain Beefheart, Dr. Edward Teller, Former Disney animator and animation educator Dave Pruiksma

1936-THE DGA- Several top Hollywood directors including Lewis Milestone, Ruben Mamoulian and William Wellman met at King Vidor’s house and pledged $100 dollars each to form the Screen Director’s Guild, later the Director’s Guild of America. It was a risky thing to do, previous attempts to form a directors union were broken up with threats by the producers of a perpetual blacklisting. Final recognition and contracts were signed by President Frank Capra in 1940. One provision insisted on in the contract was that the director’s credit be the final name in the opening titles before the movie began. And so it remains.



1960- Walt Disney Presents Leslie Neilsen as Revolutionary War guerrilla Francis Marion in the adventure series Swamp Fox.


1974- The first episode of Happy Days premiered with Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham and Henry Winkler as Da Fonz.



Saturday, January 14, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 14, 2017


Birthdays: Marc Anthony 82BC, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Benedict Arnold, Faye Dunaway is 76, Hal Roach, Richard F. Outcault, Cecil Beaton, John Dos Passos, Lawrence Kasdan, Guy Williams, Andy Rooney, Julian Bond, Steven Soderbergh is 54, LL Cool J, Emily Watson is 50

1831- Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame first published.

1900- Puccini's opera "Tosca" debuts in Rome.

Sixty Five Years Ago- 1952-The NBC "Today" show debuts with Dave Garroway, Jim Fleming and J. Fred Muggs the chimp.


1954- actress Marilyn Monroe married baseball great Joe DiMaggio.

1957- Humphrey Bogart died of esophageal cancer at age 57. When he was buried at Forrest Lawn, wife Lauren Bacall put in with his ashes a solid gold whistle inscribed with the famous line from "To Have and To Have Not"- 'If you ever need me, just whistle.' 

1964- Hanna & Barbera's ' The Magilla Gorilla' cartoon show.

Fifty Years Ago 1967- HIPPIES! The first “ Human Be-In” in Golden Gate Park. The Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead performed. Allan Ginsburg, Ram Dass and Timothy Leary spoke. LSD was laced into turkey sandwiches, and soon the crowd of 30,000 was high.  The national media played up the event, and the rest of America first saw the power of the Hippy youth culture, and heard the word like “psychedelic” and Timothy Leary saying “ Tune in, Turn on, Drop out.” It was the prelude to the Summer of Love.

1972- Norman Lear’s hit TV comedy series Sanford & Son premiered. Starring Red Fox, it was based on the English show Steptoe & Son. 



Friday, January 13, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 13, 2017


Birthdays: Salmon P. Chase, Horatio Alger-1834, Sophie Tucker, Gwen Verdon, Robert Stack, Charles Nelson Reilly, Rip Taylor, Brandon Tartikoff, Julie Louise Dreyfus is 56, T. Bone Burnett is 69, Patrick Dempsey, Orlando Bloom is 40


1906- The first ad for a radio appeared in an American Science Magazine. It boasted an effective range of over one mile !

1910- Dr. Lee Deforest experimenting with his new radio vacuum tubes broadcast singers from New York's Metropolitan Opera for the first time. The regular Texaco 'Live from the Met' broadcasts wouldn't get going until 1934.


1925- THE FIRST CALIFORNIA GURU- Indian spiritual teacher Parahamansa Yogananda , then called “The Swami” settled in Los Angeles and gave his first lecture to an audience in LA Philharmonic Hall. He founded the Malibu Self-Realization Center in 1950. It featured one shovel-full of ashes from the funeral pyre of Mahatma Gandhi.


1930- The Mickey Mouse comic strip first appeared in US newspapers. Walt Disney himself wrote them, Ub Iwerks penciled and Winn Smith inked.


1945- Sergei Prokoviev’s 5th Symphony (Classical) premiered in Moscow.

1946- In his comic strip, Dick Tracy first uses his two-way wrist radio.



1958- Actress Jayne Mansfield married weightlifter Mickey Hargitay. Their daughter was Marisa Hargitay

1979- The Young Men’s Christian Association filed a lawsuit against the rock group the Village People over their hit song “YMCA”. 

1979- Russian animator Yuri Nortstein’s masterpiece Tale of Tales premiered.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 12, 2017

QUIZ: What is a bon mot?

Answer to yesterdays question below: Okay Boomers, what did TWA stand for..?
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History for 1/12/2017
Birthdays: Pilgrim leader John Winthrop, Charles Perrault (Mother Goose), John Hancock, Edmund Burke, John Singer Sargent, Jack London, James Farmer the founder of CORE, Herman Goering, "Smokin' Joe" Frazier, Tex Ritter, Martin Agronsky, Howard Stern is 62, Rush Limbaugh, Oliver Platt is 57, Wayne Wang, Tiffany, Kirstie Alley is 61, Disney Animator John Sibley, Pixar director John Lasseter is 60

1928- A police raid seized 800 copies of the novel “The Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall because it was considered to promote lesbianism.

1928- Henry Grey and Ruth Snyder are electrocuted in Sing-Sing Prison for the murder of Mrs. Snyder's husband. The love triangle was the inspiration for the films 'Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice' and 'Body Heat". Press photographer Thomas Howard taped a small camera to his ankle and snapped a photo of Mrs Snyder frying in the chair. The New York Daily News published the photo on its front page.


1960-” The Scent of Mystery”- the first film in Smell-O-Vision.

1965- NBC TV premiered Hullabaloo, a Rock & Roll dance show with lots of mini-skirted go-go dancers. ABC responded with Shindig.

1966- Holy Cult Classic ! The TV show "Batman" with Adam West and Burt Ward  premiered.

1971- “ ALL IN THE FAMILY” Norman Lear's TV sitcom about racism and the 60's, debuted. Based on a successful British show Steptoe and Son, it broke new ground for American sitcoms by frankly discussing race prejudice, menopause, rape and other taboo subjects. The first show featured the sound of a toilet flushing. The networks were so worried about its explosive content ABC rejected the show twice, and CBS ran the first episodes with a long apologetic disclaimer. Carrol O’Connor, the actor who played Archie Bunker, was so convinced the show would flop, he demanded as part of his contract a round trip plane ticket home. The show ran for 13 years, a bushel of Emmy Awards and made Archie Bunker a folk-hero.


1987-No mystery, Agatha Christie dies at 88 of natural causes.

1995- Steven Speilberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen announced the name of their new partnership would be 'Dreamworks SKG'. Someone in Florida immediately bought the domain name “Dreamworks.com” and waited for their buyout offer.  I heard it was $5,000.


1997-According to Arthur C. Clarkes 1968 book "2001, a Space Odyssey", the HAL-9000 computer was booted up today.


2001- The Cohen Bros film Oh, Brother Where Art Thou? Goes into general release.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 11, 2017


Birthdays: Roman Emperor Theodosius I, Alexander Hamilton, Gliere, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Harry Selfridge the London department store guy, Rod Taylor, David Wolper, Lyle Lovett, Ben Crenshaw, Naomi Judd, Joan Baez, Stanley Tucci, Disney animator Prez Romanillos, Amanda Peet is 45


1892- French impressionist painter Paul Gaughin, aged 46, married a 13 year old Tahitian girl named Tehura.

1965- Whisky-A-Go-Go, the first Disco opened on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Discotecque is French for record library. An earlier Whisky had opened in Chicago. The LA Whisky a Go Go opened with a live band led by Johnny Rivers, featuring a mini-skirted female DJ spinning records between sets from a suspended cage at the right of the stage. That July the DJ danced during Rivers' set, the audience thought it was part of the act and the concept of Go-Go dancers was born. Groovy!

1995- Warner Bros purchased a dozen metromedia television stations around the US and this day started them off as the WB Network. Today the CW.

1999- John Stewart became the anchor of the Daily Show on Comedy Central.

2004- Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg registered the domain name Facebook.com.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 10, 2017



Birthdays: Ethan Allen, Marshal Michel Ney, Frank James -Jesse's brother, Francois Poulenc, Ray Bolger (the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz), Al Goldstein the publisher of Screw Magazine, Stephen Ambrose, Sherrill Milnes, Pat Benatar, Sal Mineo, Jim Croce, Rod Stewart, Walter Hill, George Foreman, Linda Lovelace, Roy E Disney Jr, Jermaine Clement of Flight of the Concords is 43


1888-date of LOUIS LePRINCE's claim of a patent on Motion Pictures, predating Edison 1893 and the Lumiere Brothers1895. LePrince even had as proof a film he shot of his mother, who had died in 1887. Despite this, LePrince could get no one to take him seriously.  One day he boarded a train from Dijon to Paris and disappeared from the face of the Earth.


1910- Joyce Clyde Hall started the company that became Hallmark Cards.

1924- Columbia Pictures created, ruled by Harry Cohn, whose motto was "I don't get ulcers, I give them!"

1927- Fritz Lang’s masterpiece film Metropolis premiered.

1929- The comic character Tin Tin first appeared in a Belgian newspaper XXe Siecle.

1939- Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov sold his first story to Amazing Stories Magazine "Marooned off Vesta".

1941- The comedy play ARSENIC AND OLD LACE opened on Broadway.  Playwright Joseph Kesselring originally wrote it as a drama based on true events, until he was advised - and, wisely so - to turn it into a dark comedy instead, guaranteeing a larger audience. When someone joked that Mortimer’s evil brother looked Boris Karloff, the character was indeed played by famous horror movie star Boris Karloff. He was an investor in the play. When buying the movie rights Warner Bros agreed to wait until the play ended its theatrical run. They thought plays usually are done in a few months. Arsenic and Old Lace ran until 1944. It was then made into a classic screwball comedy with Cary Grant and Raymond Massey.

1949- For years the recording industry had been working on ways to improve the 78 RPM record –RPM means Rotations Per Minute. RCA records announced the invention of the 45 RPM record. Columbia (CBS) had announced the LP 33 rpm record and originally offered to share the technology but RCA (NBC) was having none of it. But the 33 stored more music and could use old 78 rpm turntables adapted so the 45 soon became a vehicle for hit singles.

1958- Jerry Lee Lewis single "Great Balls of Fire" topped the pop charts.


1961- Writer Dashell Hammett died.

1970- Masterpiece Theater debuted on US TV with host Alastair Cooke. The first show was the BBC series The First Churchills. These shows were so popular that for awhile people thought PBS meant Preferably British Shows.


1992- The GREAT RUBBER DUCKY DISASTER- A North Pacific storm causes a ship to lose 29,000 plastic rubber duck toys overboard. They joined 61,000 Nike sneakers already bobbing in the water from a similar maritime accident. Scientists used the rubber ducky migration to track Pacific Ocean currents around Alaska.


2000- AOL and Time Warner announced a $165 billion dollar merger that made it the world’s largest media company. Considered now one of the worst business deals in history, the company lost $80 billion in one year. The deal almost sank both companies, uprooted both chairmen, and they detached permanently in 2009.