Thursday, September 29, 2016

ANIMATION FUN FACTS FOR SEPT 29, 2016


Birthdays: Roman general Pompey Magnus, Miguel de Cervantes, Admiral Horatio Nelson, Rudolph Diesel (inventor of the engine), Enrico Fermi, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Autrey, Lech Walesa, Stanley Kramer, Bryant Gumbel, Greer Garson, Michelangelo Antonioni, Ian McShane, Anita Ekberg, Andrew Dice-Clay, cartoonist Russ Heath is 90, Tom Sizemore, Emily Lloyd is 46, Silvio Berlusconi, Stephanie Miller is 55


1930-Ninety year old writer George Bernard Shaw turned down the offer of a Peerage.

1930- First day of shooting on the Tod Browning horror classic Dracula. Hungarian actor and recreational morphine addict Bela Lugosi played the lead role he had already made famous on stage. Lugosi was identified with the character Dracula for the rest of his life and when he died he was buried in the Dracula cape.

1933- The movie A Bill of Divorcement introduced the star Katherine Hepburn.

1953- The television show “Make Room for Daddy” premiered, making a star out of big nosed nightclub entertainer Danny Thomas. The Lebanese Thomas had tried to break into films with no luck.  He burst into tears after Columbia studio chief Harry Cohn suggested he get a nose job and forget about it. Danny Thomas at one time was the richest man in Beverly Hills.

1959- Hanna Barbera's "Quick Draw McGraw" TV show. Baba Louie and El Kabong!

1961- Russian ballet star Rudolph Nureyev, acclaimed as the greatest dancer of his age, defected to the west in Paris and was granted asylum.

1969- The TV series Love American Style premiered.

1975- The legendary R&B singer Jackie Wilson, collapsed of a heart attack while performing on stage for Dick Clark’s ‘Good Ol’ Rock and Roll Revue’ at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, N.J. He lingered in an out of a coma for 8 years, dying in 1984. He was only 49. All the time he was comatose, Dick Clark covered all his medical bills, and kept it a secret.

1976- At his birthday party musician Jerry Lee Lewis accidentally shot his bass player Norman Owens in the chest with s 357 magnum. He said he was using the gun to try and open a soft drink bottle and it accidentally went off. Owens survived and sued Lewis.


1996- The first Nintendo 64 bit game system, The NES, debuted in the US. It sold 500,000 the first day.




Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Sept 28, 2016


 Birthdays: Michel Caravaggio, Georges Clemenceau, Al Kapp, William Paley, Max Schmelling, Bridgette Bardot is 82, Frederic Engels, Marcello Mastroianni, Moon Unit Zappa, Ed Sullivan, Sylvia Kristel, John Sayles, Arnold Stang, J.T. Walsh, Seymour Cray, Janeane Garofalo is 52, Mira Sorvino is 49, Hillary Duff is 29, Naomi Watts is 48


1928-For his birthday William Paley, son of a cigar manufacturer, was given control of a little radio company called Columbia broadcasting. He turns CBS into a corporate broadcasting giant, and threw his support behind developing television and long playing records.

1961- Richard Chamberlain made a name for himself by playing the handsome Dr. Kildare on TV, Raymond Massey co-starred.

1961-The Hazel TV show with Shirley Booth premiered.

1967- Speed Racer premiered in the U.S.



1976- Stevie Wonder released his famous album Songs in the Key of Life.


1994- Michael Eisner cancelled plans for a theme park called Disney’s America in Northern Virginia.



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Animation Fun Facts Sept 27, 2016


 Birthdays: King Stefan Bathory of Poland, Thomas Nast, Arthur Penn, Mike Schmidt,
 Meatloaf, William Conrad, Dick Schapp, Samuel Adams, George Cruikshank, Jayne Meadows, Wilford Brimley, Shaun Cassidy, Greg Morris, Amanda Detmer, Avril Lavigne is 32, Gwynneth Paltrow is 44


1935-13 year old singer Frances Gumm of the singing Gumm Sisters signed an exclusive contract with MGM Pictures. Louis B. Mayer changed Frances name to Judy Garland.

1937- J R R Tolkiens’ The Hobbit first appeared in bookshops.

1938- Bob Hope first sang “Thanks For the Memory” on his NBC radio show. It became a hit his movie appearance in the film “The Big Broadcast of 1938.”


1947- Disney’s film Fun and Fancy Free, featuring Mickey and the Beanstalk.


1954- The Tonight Show premiered. Steve Allen hosts.


1961- Hanna Barbera's "Top Cat" show premiered. Do you remember the words to the theme song..?  "Top Cat, the most effectual- Top Cat, who's intellectual: Close friends get to call him T.C., Providing it's with dignity. Top Cat, the indisputable leader of the gang... He's the Boss he's a pip, he's the championship, He's the most tip-top, Top Cat !"

1977- Bob McKimson, Warner director of countless Foghorn Leghorn shorts, died of heart failure in front of Friz Freleng and Yosemite Sam animator Gerry Chiniquy while having lunch. Fellow artist Art Leonardi had asked Bob for a souvenir drawing that morning, Bob did him a Bugs Bunny but as he was leaving Art reminded him that he neglected to sign it. Bob said as he walked out "Oh, I'll get to it after lunch..."

1989- The Japanese corporate giant Sony purchased Columbia Pictures.

2003- Hours after the seasons final concert, in the dead the night, the historic bandshell at the Hollywood Bowl was demolished. After a long legal fight with preservationists, the historic 1929 structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, that Gershwin and Stokowski played in, was replaced with a new shell promising better acoustics. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Sept 26, 2016


Birthdays: George Gershwin, T.S. Elliot, John Chapman (also known as Johnny Appleseed)-1774, Winsor McCay-1869, Theodore Gericault -1791, Olivia Newton-John, Cheryl Tiegs is 68, Marty Robbins, Linda Hamilton, Pope Paul VI, Jack Lalanne, Melissa Sue Andersen, Phillip Bosco, James Cavaziel, Surena Williams, Linda Hamilton is 60.


1835- Donizetti’s opera Lucia De Lammermoor premiered.

1887- Emile Berliner patented the gramophone, rejecting Thomas Edison's cylinder in favor of a flat disc record on a turntable.

1892- The John Philip Sousa Band makes it's first public appearance.

1926- Bullock's Wilshire department store opened. The Tea Room quickly became the in place for Hollywood Society to see and be seen in.

1937- "Queen of the Blues" Singer Bessie Smith died after a car accident in Mississippi. She crashed her Packard into a parked car. She was 43. One account said she died because she was refused treatment in a segregated hospital but the truth was she was treated by a white doctor at the scene and sent to the nearest hospital, which was a black one.


1941- Max Fleischer's "Superman" cartoon debuts. They were much more expensive that the usual short cartoons- $90,000 to the usual $40,000, but Paramount wanted them.

1955- Eddie Fisher married Debbie Reynolds.

1957- The musical West Side Story opened. The legend goes composer Leonard Bernstein was in the hospital to be operated on for a deviated septum. While recuperating he ran into lyricist Steven Sondheim, who was also recovering from an operation. To pass the time while convalescing they started talking about the idea of an updated Romeo and Juliet set to music in the slums. One early title was Gang Way!
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1961- Nineteen year old folk singer Bob Dylan made his debut in a Greenwich Village coffee house Gerde’s Folk City.


1962- The Beverly Hillbillies debuts. The story goes that CBS mogul William Paley disliked farm-humor type shows and this was premiered behind his back while he was on vacation.

1964-The premiere of Gilligan’s Island. The good ship Minnow was named for Newton  Minnow, the FCC Chairman who first called television “A Vast Wasteland”.

1983- Filmation's "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe". The popular toy was originally supposed to be a product tie -in to the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Conan the Barbarian, but toy maker Mattel balked at the films R rated violence, so changed the toy's name. I Have The Powerrrrrr!!!

1987- A market research group called Q-5 tried to use a bank of computers number-crunching demographic surveys to design the ultimate safe, wholesome, politically-correct children's show.  They came up with "The Little Clowns of Happytown"-. Of the 26 children's series in syndication it remained dead last in ratings, He-Man, Jem and G.I. Joe on top. The people have spoken.

1990- The Motion Picture Association changed the rating for the naughtiest movies from X to NC-17.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Sept 25, 2016


Birthdays: William Faulkner, Jean Phillipe Rameau, Mark Rothko, Dmitri Shoshtakovich, Sergei Bondarchuk, Phil Rizzutto the Scooter, Bob MacAdoo, Heather Locklear is 54, Scotty Pippin, Christopher Reeve, Mark Hamill is 65, Glen Gould, Barbera Walters is 87, Red Smith, Aldo Ray, Will Smith is 48, Michael Douglas 72 & Catherine Zeta-Jones-47


1888- The beginning of the Sherlock Holmes adventure the Hound of the Baskervilles.

1933- Young writer John Huston was driving drunk on Sunset Blvd when he struck and killed a pedestrian. His father Walter Huston was a top movie star, so to avoid scandal MGM head Louis B. Mayer paid $46,000 to cover it up. John Huston went on to become a great Hollywood director and screenwriter.

1953- Alfred Hitchcock wrapped filming on his only 3D film, Dial M for Murder.

1965- The Beatles cartoon show premiered.

1980- John Bonham of Led Zeppelin was found dead of alcohol poisoning.

1984-THE RUBBERHEADS STRIKE- Disneyland workers including the actors who stroll the park in big Mickey and Goofy heads go on strike.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Sept 24, 2016


Birthdays: Roman Emperor Vitellius, Duke Albrecht Wallenstein, Chief Justice John Marshall, Francis Scott Key, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Raft, Chief Joseph, Sheila MacCrae, Anthony Newley. Phil Hartman, Mean Joe Greene, Billy Bletcher the voice of Pegleg Pete, Pedro Almodovar is 66, Jim Henson, Brad Bird is 59.

1934- Stanford graduate Frank Thomas’s first day as a Walt Disney Animator.

1936- Noel Coward's play 'Private Lives' opened.

1938- Bob Clampett's cartoon "Porky in Wackyland" ( Foo!)



1953-UPA's "Unicorn in the Garden" directed by Bill Hurtz, based on the cartoon style and story by James Thurber.

1953- The movie "The Robe" premiered, the first movie in CinemaScope. It's success was part of a wave of 'Sword & Sandal" epics and fostered many imitation wide screen processes- Superama,VistaVision, Dynarama, WarnerVision, TotalScope-etc. There had been earlier experiments with wide screen - Abel Gance's 1925 Napoleon, which used three 35mm images shown simultaneously, and Cimarron 1930, which was a true wide screen 70mm film starring a very young John Wayne. It was superseded by 1967 by the more advanced Panavision lens. For many years in Hollywood we called a wide screen picture a "Scope" picture.

1960- The "Howdy Doody Time" children's show canceled after thirteen years. The show remains a pivotal memory in the minds of thousands of American baby-boomers who grew up in the fifties. As the last song and the last credits rolled by, just before the cameras switched off, Clarabell the mute clown goes up to the lens and in a haunting voice said; "Goodbye, Kids."

1968- T.V. show "60 Minutes" debuts. Mike Wallace was pared with Harry Reasoner. The show was originally aired Tuesday nights at 10PM and fared poorly in the ratings. When it was moved to Sundays at 7:00PM it became a weekly institution.

1977- The TV series “The Love Boat “debuted.

1988- The Godfather of Soul Music James Brown got a little crazy sometimes. This day he burst into his office complex in Georgia waving a pistol and shotgun and demanded everyone stop using his washroom! After locking the bathrooms he led police on high speed chase through Georgia and South Carolina, only stopping when the cops shot out his tires. He rode the rims till they collapsed. James Brown did 2 years for being under the influence of drugs. Hay!



Friday, September 23, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for Sept 23, 2016


Birthdays: Euripides-484BC, Victoria Woodhull, Walter Lippmann, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Mickey Rooney, Julio Inglesias, Walter Pidgeon, Louise Nevelson, Jason Alexander is 56, Mary Kay Place, Harry Connick Jr, Bruce Springsteen is 67, William McGuffey

1939- At the World’s Fair in New York a time capsule was buried not to be opened until the year 6939. It contains a Bible, a mail order catalog and newsreels of President Franklin Roosevelt. I hope they include a description of what film was….

1962- H& B's show The Jetsons' premiered. It was the first ABC show to be presented in color.  Jane! Stop this Crazy Thing! Jane!

1964- Marc Chagalls’ paintings on the ceiling of the Paris Opera House unveiled.

1969- the film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" premiered. Written by William Goldman and directed by George Roy Hill. It made fortunes for stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford, who later started and independent film festival called Sundance.

1984-Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Frank Wells met the Disney Animation Dept. and are pitched storyboards for the film Basil of Baker Street, later called the Great Mouse Detective. Up to now their thinking had been to dismantle the animation department and earn income from the licensees of the existing library. Roy Disney was instrumental in insisting the animation division remain. Eisner dictates memos to start the television animation division. 

1994- Quentin Tarentino’s masterpiece Pulp Fiction premiered.