Monday, October 15, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 15, 2018


Birthdays: Quintus Virgilius-Virgil 70 BC, Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great 1542, Oscar Wilde, Fredrich Nietszche, Mikail Lermontov, John L. Sullivan, Jane Darnell, Burt Gillett, John Kenneth Galbraith, Robert Trout, Klaus Barbie the Butcher of Lyon, P.G. Wodehouse, Penny Marshall, Mario Puzo, Sarah Ferguson-Fergie' the former Duchess of York, Chef Emeril LeGasse, Chuck Berry

1764- While wandering through the ruins of ancient Rome, British writer Edward Gibbon is inspired to write "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire".

1843- Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens opened to the public. One of the oldest amusement parks in the world and an inspiration to Walt Disney for Disneyland.

1905- First Little Nemo comic strip by Winsor McCay premiered in the NY Herald. McCay modeled the child on his own son Robert, and name Nemo came from a Latin root meaning no one.

1905- Premiere of Claude Debussy’s tone poem La Mer- the Sea.

1930- Duke Ellington first recorded Mood Indigo.

1940- Charlie Chaplin’s film The Great Dictator premiered.

1946- Walt Disney’s film Make Mine Music premiered.

1951- THE FIRST I LOVE LUCY SHOW- The successful family sitcom began its pilot episode this night. CBS and Phillip Morris had wanted Lucille Ball to transfer her popular radio show-“My Favorite Husband” to television. The story of the family life of Ricky Ricardo, a Cuban immigrant nightclub bandleader, his daffy wife Lucy, and their landlord friends Fred and Ethel Murtz became an overnight sensation.

1959- 20th Century Fox signed Elizabeth Taylor to star in their new movie Cleopatra. The first time an actor was paid a million dollars for one movie.

1976- What’s Love got to do with it? Ike and Tina Turner break up.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 14, 2018


B-Days: William Penn-1644, King James II Stuart, Joseph Plateau, Sword master Masoaka Shiki 1867, Dwight Eisenhower, Lillian Gish, Ralph Lauren, Eamon De Valera, e.e. cummings, Mobutu Sese Seko, C. Everet Koop, John Dean III, Cliff Richards, Jack Arnold the director of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Ralph Lauren- real name Ralph Lifshitz, Roger Moore.

 1066-BATTLE OF HASTINGS- The Norman army of William the Bastard defeats and kills King Harold Godwinson of the Anglo-Saxons. The occupation and settlement of Norman French into England had a dramatic effect on the language ensuring the language you are now speaking would become English, instead of something between Dutch and Danish.

1670-At a performance before King Louis XIV the Sun King at the Chateau of Chambord Moliere’s satire “Le Bourgeouis Gentilhomme” premiered. Lully wrote the music.


1873- Animation pioneer Edweard Muybridge shot and killed his wife's lover in Calistoga Cal. He was not hanged, because in the code of the Old West, adultery was considered cause for justifiable homicide. Plus, Governor Stanford wanted to win his bet about a horses legs all relaving the gorund during a gallop.

1926- A.A. Milne’s first book of Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Christopher Robin debuted this day. The stories had come out earlier in magazine installments.

1934- The Lux Radio Theater premiered.

1950- The LAPD raided a house party of gay men, which was illegal back then. One of the men arrested was future movie star Tab Hunter. This was kept secret until in 1955, when an angry agent Hunter dumped leaked the story to Confidential Magazine.  “ Tab Hunter Busted at Limp-Wristed Pajama Party!” It soon blew over and Tab Hunter went on to have a full movie career.

1954- First day of shooting on Cecil B. DeMille’s remake of the Ten Commandments staring Charlton Heston out in the Egyptian desert. It was so brutally hot that Anne Baxter joked to Vincent Price “ Vin, who do I have to sleep with to get OFF this movie?”

1959- Errol Flynn died of a heart attack in Vancouver. Exhausted by overindulgence in his favorite vices, doctors said the 50 year old movie star had the body of a 70 year old. A descendant of one of the Bounty mutineers, the Tasmanian born actor's last film was ' Cuban Rebel Girls'.

1972 - KUNG FU, starring David Carradine, premiered on ABC TV.

1972- Joe Cocker and his backup band were busted in Australia for drug possession.

1978- Lover Scott Thorsten “outs” pianist Liberace by filing a palimony suit.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 13, 2018


Birthdays: Revolutionary War heroine Mary Ludwig nicknamed Molly Pitcher, Lily Langtry-the Jersey Lilly, Lenny Bruce, Larraine Day, Nipsy Russell, Cornel Wilde, Margaret Thatcher, Herblock, Yves Montand, Nancy Kerrigan, Sammy Hagar, Marie Osmond, Kelly Preston, Chris Carter, Paul Simon is 78, Sascha Baron-Cohen is 47

1903- Victor Herbert’s operetta Babes in Toyland premiered.

1904- Sigmund Freud's book 'The Interpretation of Dreams" first published.

1938- RKO Pictures was having a salary dispute with their singing cowboy Gene Autry. So they cast around for another handsome cowpoke. Today they signed a dentist from a vocal group called the Sons of the Pioneers named Leonard Slye. He became a star with the film “Under Western Skies” under his new name- Roy Rogers.

1947- Kukla, Fran & Ollie debuted on television. Burt Tillstrom was the creator and puppeteer and Fran was his wife.


1978- Mickey Mouse gets his star on Hollywood Blvd Walk of Fame.

1982- The computer spreadsheet program Lotus 1-2-3 introduced.

2016 – Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 12, 2018


Birthdays: "God's Imp"King Edward VI- only son of Henry VIII, Emperor Pedro Ist of Brazil 1798, Helena Modjeska, Ralph Vaughn-Williams, Alastair Crowley, Luciano Pavarrotti, animator Izzy Klein, Joan Rivers, Dick Gregory, Tony Kubek, Susan Anton, Kirk Cameron, Hugh Jackman is 50

1886- Beginning of Sherlock Holmes story:” Adventure of the Second Stain”.

1920- Thoroughbred racehorse Man O’ War won his last race.

1928- The Winnie the Pooh stories featuring Tigger are first published.

1937- Under pressure from parent Paramount Studio, Max Fleischer signed the first animation union contract and settled the Cartoonist strike begun May 8th. A year later Fleischer tried to escape unions by moving his studio to Right-To-Work State Florida, but the additional expenses and poor box office ruined his studio.

1940-Retired movie star Tom Mix “The King of the Cowboys” died in auto crash outside of Florence, Arizona. The 60 year old actor ignored signs that a bridge was out and drove into a dry gulley. A large overpacked suitcase popped out of his back seat and broke his neck. The “Suitcase of Death” is preserved along with Tony the Wonder Horse at the Tom Mix Museum in Oklahoma.

1966- Sammy Davis Jr. appeared on the Batman TV Show. Sock-it-to-me!

1971-Weber & Rice’s musical Jesus Christ Superstaropened on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger theater. 

1977- Script completed for the classic film comedy Animal House.

1994-Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg announce their new studio  would be named Dreamworks SKG.

1997-53 year old singer John Denver died when he crashed his ultra-light Long E-Z plane into the ocean near Monterrey California. Later reports showed he was flying inebriated. An open sixpack of beer was next to him. The impact was so great his body had to be identified by fingerprints.

2005- Chinese archaeologists near the Yellow River discover the world’s oldest bowl of noodles. Someone’s fossilized noodle lunch from a bowl that tipped over in 2,000BC, and remained that way for four thousand years.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 11, 2018


Birthdays: Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Heinz the Ketchup king, Jerome Robbins, Carl Hubbard, Ron Leibman, John Candy, Omar Shariff, Ben Vereen, Art Blakey, Luke Perry, Joan Cusak, Sig Ruman– the fat actor with the goatee and the over-the-top German accent in the Marx Brothers comedies.

1944-“ To Have and to Have Not,” written by Ernest Hemingway. premiered. The movie paired Humphrey Bogart with a sultry Harpers model turned actress named Lauren Bacall. Her beauty worked on Bogart, who fell in love and married her, despite his being 44 and she 20 years old. They nicknamed each other Slim and Steve after the characters in the film. “If you want me, just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you? Just put your lips together and blow.”

1960- The Bugs Bunny Show premiered on TV. “Overture, hit the lights! This is it, we’ll hit the heights, and oh what heights we’ll hit…..etc..”


1967-The NY Times printed an image of a female nude by Bell Lab artist-in-residence Ken Knowlton. It was done on a computer as a digital mosaic of thousands of numbers. 
It was an early breakthrough image in CGI.


1975- NBC needed a Saturday replacement for Best Of Carson reruns, so Lorne Michaels’ TV show SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE premiered. Featuring the Not-Yet-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players: John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Gilda Radner, Garrett Morris, Chevy Chase, Lorraine Newman, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin and Mike O’Donaghue. First guest host George Carlin did his opening monologue while stoned.
Albert Brooks did a short film and Andy Kaufman did his Mighty Mouse lip sync bit. 
Paul Shaefer conducted the music and the show was held in NBC’s Studio 8H, which was built originally for Maestro Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony of the Air. At the last moment a sketch by young Billy Crystal was cut from the show. 

The show also revived the career of announcer Don Pardo, who had trouble finding work since the original Jeopardy Show was canceled. He was the announcer for the show until his death in 2014 at age 96.

1978- Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. Sid was too stoned to explain why he had killed the love of his life. It’s assumed they had a suicide pact. Vicious died of an overdose before his trial.

1987- The AIDS Quilt was first displayed on the National Mall in Washington.

1991- Comedian Redd Foxx was famous for doing bits like faking a heart attack. This day on the set of his new series the Royal Family, while joking with Della Reese, he clutched his chest and fell over. Everyone thought he was faking and laughed. He died at the hospital an hour later.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 10, 2018

Birthdays: Martin Luther, Giuseppe Verdi, Henry Cavendish 1731- the chemist who discovered Hydrogen, Helen Hayes, Mary Blair, Louis Lumiere, Thelonius Monk, Rod Scribner, LaVerne Harding, Boer leader Paul Kruger, Ed Wood Jr., Alberto Giacometti, Tanya Tucker, Harold Pinter, Richard Tucker, James Clavel, Jodi Benson the Little Mermaid, David Lee Roth, Bradley Whitford is 59, Sharon Osbourne is 64


1953- "Winky Dink and You" show. Children were invited to place a piece of celluloid acetate on their t.v. screens from a kit and help Winky Dink through numerous adventures by drawing on their TV screens. Of course many kids didn’t wait for the acetate but just drew on their family TVs with indelible markers. The birth of Interactive T.V. 

1957- RKO Studios, who produced King Kong, The John Ford Westerns and the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals, was sold to Desilu- the television production company owned by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez.

1962- The BBC banned on air play of a novelty record The Monster Mash, by Bobby Picket. For some reason they considered it offensive. 


1968- Jane Fonda does her zero-gravity striptease and runs into a kinky organist Duran-Duran, the film Barbarella premiered.


1980- Actor William 'Billy" Thomas, also known in the Our Gang kiddie comedies as Buckwheat, died at 49. 

1985- Orson Welles and Yul Brynner die one hour apart. They were both 70. Welles had just finished taping yet another appearance on the Merv Griffin Show. Brynner had a furious smoking habit, supposedly leaving one lit cigarette in every room of his house as he paced around thinking. When he knew he was dying of the stuff, he recorded several television spots to be aired after his death. He looked squarely at camera and said: " I smoked. -Don't."


Monday, October 8, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 9,2018


Birthdays: Camille Saint Saens, E. Howard Hunt, Jacques Tati, Alastair Sim, Bruce Catton, Joe Pepitone, cartoonist Mike Peters, Savannah, John Lennon would be 78, his son Sean Lennon, E. Howard Hunt, Scott Bakula, Peter Tosh, Charles Rudolph Walgren-the inventor of the modern Drugstore, Guillermo Del Toro is 53, Tony Schaloub is 65, Pete Doctor is 50.


1609- Invalid Captain John Smith is put on a ship back to England. Smith had earlier gotten stung by a stingray and almost died. This time a powder horn exploded on his hip and blew out part of his side. While Smith was leader of the Jamestown Colony he had many enemies among the jealous gentry. Some don't think he had an accident. 
Opinions also differ as to why the Jamestown settlers put Smith through a two month Atlantic crossing that could kill even healthy men. Some say they were hoping he wouldn't make it. He survived but never returned to Jamestown. Nobody told Pocahontas, and when she visited camp the men told her he was dead and forget about him.  She would meet him ten years later in England when she was a wife and mother of the children of settler John Rolfe.

1855- James Stoddard patents the steam calliope. 

1938- Eugene O'Neill's play 'The Iceman Cometh' opened.

1951- RKO Pictures asked Marilyn Monroe to please wear panties while working, She was upsetting the film crew.

1986- People said there would never be more than three networks. Today the first show of the fourth network, The Fox Network's the Joan River's Show, premiered. That show didn't last, but future hits like The Simpson's, Married With Children and the X-Files made Fox a major network within ten years.

1989- First edition of Penthouse Magazine in Hebrew. Oy Vey!




Animation Fun Facts for Oct 8, 2018


Birthdays: Eddie Rickenbacker, Rev Jesse Jackson, Juan Peron, David Carradine, 
Art Babbitt -the creator of Goofy would be 111, 
Chevy Chase is 75, Paul Hogan, Ruben Mamoulian, Edward Zwick, Johnny Ramone, Bruno Mars, Sigourney Weaver is 69, Matt Damon is 48


100 Years Anniv. 1918- SERGANT YORK- simple Tennessee hillbilly Alvin York was drafted into the U.S. Army where his crack shot talents enabled him this day to shoot up an entire German regiment. When his captain asked “ What did you do Alvin? Shoot the entire German Army?” He replied “ Nossuh, just 132 of them…” He captured 300 prisoners alone with only his single shot Springfield rifle. He got the Medal of Honor and a tickertape parade. Then went back to the Ozarks where he resumed his life of making moonshine, and other rustic pursuits.

1929- British Imperial Airways showed the first in-flight movie.

1933- HOLLYWOOD ACTOR'S FIRST MASS PROTEST- When Franklin Roosevelt created the NRA to fix wages and prices to try and solve the Depression, he even went as far as to try to regulate Motion Picture rates and fees. The catch was the rates were drafted with the advice of friends of the studio heads in Washington. The actors went ballistic when they saw new rules such as a ceiling cap on actors salaries of $100,000 a year (the producers had no such cap), restriction of actors independent agents, and terms of an old salary contract would stay in effect even after the contract expired until it was renegotiated.

   This night at the El Capitan theater on Hollywood Blvd. hundreds of moviestars met to draft a petition calling for rewriting of the codes. The activists included Paul Muni, Frederic March, Jeanette MacDonald, Groucho Marx and Boris Karloff. SAG president Frank Morgan (the Wizard of Oz) was considered politically too far left to face Roosevelt, so he stepped down in favor of comedian Eddie Cantor, who had helped Vaudeville acts unionize. In previous meetings at the El Capitan the earth tremors from the Great Long Beach Earthquake the previous March made actors reconvene in the Grauman's Chinese parking lot across the street.  Cantor went to the president's retreat at Warm Springs Georgia with the petition and had the hated articles taken out of the code.

1935- Ozzie Nelson married Harriet.

1945- "Bloody Monday" During a big strike three hundred and fifty armed thugs club their way through picketing Warner Bros. film workers.  Similar scenes were happening in front of Fox and MGM.

1957- Walter O'Malley announced the move of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles.

1957- Jerry Lee Lewis recorded his hit Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire.

50 Years Ago 1968- The movie Romeo & Juliet premiered. Director Franco Zefirelli caused a sensation by casting young people to play the young people! Olivia Hussey was 16, and Leonard Whiting was 17. Romeo & Juliet was the last time a film of a Shakespeare play was ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. 

1971- John Lennon first released the song Imagine.
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Sunday, October 7, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 7, 2018


Birthdays: Hans Holbein, Heinrich Himmler, Caesar Rodney, Joe Hill, Andy Devine, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Henry Wallace, June Allyson, Al Martino, Neils Bohr, Ameil Buraka, Johnny Cougar Mellencamp, Toni Braxton, Yo Yo Ma, Vladimir Putin is 64. 

1870- Writer Edgar Allen Poe was found sprawled over a barrel in a Baltimore street, dressed in someone else's clothing. He was taken to a hospital where he died raving at the walls. It was thought he died from heavy alcohol abuse. Recently scholars theorize he may have died from a brain tumor or diabetes impacted by alcohol sensitivity, which would explain the violent mood swings, and that he drank heavily to deaden the pain. Another scholar also theorized that the symptoms strongly point to rabies. Poe loved cats and as we all know there was no rabies shot or test at the time. 

1927- Sam Warner, the Warner Brother most responsible for committing the studio to gambling on a talking picture process, died just as the 'Jazz Singer 'opened and made Warner-Vitaphone a major Hollywood Studio. Jack Warner had earlier said "Who the heck wants to hear actors talk?"

1947-  The Actor's Studio opened, teaching the Stanislavski Method, sometimes called Method Acting. The group later suffered a feud between it’s two top teachers-Lee Strassberg and Sandy Meisner. Ask any old actor if they were with Lee or Sandy, odds were they sided with one and hated the other.

1957-Dick Clark’s T.V. show American Bandstand debuts.

1959-MARIO LANZA.- Philadelphia born Italian–American Lanza was the pop icon opera singer long before there were three tenors in concert. With moviestar good looks and a velvety voice his records and movies sold millions. But he was temperamental and had angered most of the powers that be in Hollywood, climaxing with skipping a $250,000 promise to perform in Las Vegas. This day in Italy he was found dead at age 38. For years there were rumors that he was actually done in by the Mafia for offending Lucky Lucciano, but in the 1990s a forensic investigation by his son proved his brutal regimen of binge eating and furious dieting wore out his heart. He would attempt to drop 50 pounds in three weeks, then put it back just as quickly until it gave him a heart attack. He literally dieted himself to death.

1960- The movie Spartacusopened. Producer/star Kirk Douglas had been using blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo for the script, smuggling him in and out of the lot for story meetings. Finally Douglas got fed up and ordered Trumbo to be brought out in the open as the movie's true author. This was considered the official end of the Hollywood Blacklist era, which had lasted since 1947. After director Anthony Mann left the project, Douglas hired Stanley Kubrick, who had such a hard time he afterwards left Hollywood never to return.

1971- Walt Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomstickspremiered in London. 

1982- London musical 'Cats' opened on Broadway.

1993- Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park"earned $ 712 million dollars just in North American box office.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 6, 2018


Birthdays: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Jenny Lind the Swedish Nightingale, George Westinghouse, Janet Gaynor, Carol Lombard, Karol Szymanowski, Thor Heyderthal, wrestler Bruno Sammartino, Britt Eckland, Le Corbusier, Elizabeth Shue is 55, Sean William Scott, Jeremy Sisto is 44, Ioan Guffrudd is 45

1847- Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre first published.

1889- Paris' naughty nightclub the Moulin Rouge opened.

1921- In London the society known as PPEN established, for Poets, Playwrights, Editors and Novelists.


1927-"THE JAZZ SINGER" with Al Jolson debuts. Okay, somebody made a sound picture in 1924, and also something called "Footlights of New York" from 1926 but hey, you know what?-  who cares! THIS was the movie that made "Talkies" a reality. The success of this film turned Warner Bros from a minor film company into a major Hollywood studio. Within a year of this opening, all but a handful of major movie theaters were showing sound movies. 26 year old Walt Disney was in the audience at that opening night, and it made him realize he needed to put sound in his cartoons.

1959- “Pillow Talk” premiered, the first romantic comedy pairing Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Stanley Shapiro won a best screenplay Oscar for it. The film typified the wink-wink attitude about sex before the 1960’s Sexual Revolution and defined Doris Day’s reputation as the wholesome, girl-next-door archetype. 

1966- California became the first state to officially declare LSD illegal. Hippies in San Francisco celebrate by rallying in Golden Gate Park in the thousands, and all taking a tab together.

1971- William Freidkin’s gritty cop movie the FRENCH CONNECTION premiered. The film won best picture, director and actor Oscars, made a major star out of Gene Hackman. One unforeseen result was the movie stimulated interest in pursuing the investigation of the real French-Corsican Mafia heroin trafficking in the US. That mob was soon broken up. The two real life detectives the film was based on- Eddie Egan and Sonny Corso, booth retired from the NYPD and pursued careers in show biz.

1981- Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat was assassinated while viewing parade marking Yom Kippur War anniversary. Commandos hopped out of the back of a troop carrier and blew him away with machine guns. Almost killed next to him was Hosni Mubarak. Although some claim that the chief assassin Khaled Al Islambouli asked Hosni to step aside so not to get hurt. One of the conspirators arrested was Alman Al Zawahiri, who today is the little guy with the glasses and grey beard who took over Al Qaeda, after Osama Bin Laden was killed.

1991- Elizabeth Taylor got married for the 8thtime, now to construction engineer Larry Fornetsky, at Michael Jackson’s house. They divorced shortly after.
  

Friday, October 5, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 5, 2018


Birthdays: Wendel Wilkie, President Chester Allen Arthur, Ray Kroc the founder of MacDonalds restaurants, Louis Lumiere, Vaslav Havel, Larry Fine of the Three Stooges" , Bob Geldorf, Mario Lemieux, Josh Logan, Bill Dana "my name Jose Jimenez", Bill Keane, Clive Barker, Glynnis Johns, Donald Pleasance, Maya Lin, Bernie Mac, Karen Allen is 67, Kate Winslet is 43,  Guy Pearce is 51, Jesse Eisenberg is 35


1904- According to comedian and playwright Steve Martin, this is the day Pablo Picasso met Albert Einstein at the Cafe Lapin Agile. There was a Cafe in Paris called Lapin Agile that Picasso did like to go, to but he never actually met Einstein.

1905- Happy Birthday T-Rex! Prof. Henry Osborne published a paper on the new bones found in Montana of a sleek hunter-killer dinosaur. He originally called it Dynamosaurus Imperiosis, but changed it to Tyrannosaurus Rex.

1932- Talking pictures now in vogue, MGM Studios fired famed comic Buster Keaton.

1933- Warner Bros musical Footlight Parade with James Cagney premiered.


1945- The BATTLE OF BURBANK.- Three thousand striking union filmworkers (and a few animators) battled the Burbank police in front of Gate 2 of the Warner Bros. Studio lot. chains, bricks, tear gas, firehoses, burning cars. Jack Warner placed sharpshooters behind those large movie billboards on Barham and Pass. One of the strikeleaders arrested was a background painter for Tex Avery cartoons. Herb Sorrel, the union leader, was pulled into a car and beaten up by gangsters, then arrested for incitement to riot. 

1961- The film Breakfast at Tiffany’s opened, with Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, the song Moon River.

1969- Monty Python's Flying Circusdebuted on British television BBC-1.


2011- Steve Jobs died at age 56of a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET) that spread to his liver. As he faded away, he looked straight ahead as if he was seeing something and murmured "oh wow....oh....wow...."

2017- ME TOO. Harvey Weinstein of Miramax and later the Weinstein Company was one of the most powerful movie producers in Hollywood. This day the NY Times broke the story of his history of sexually inappropriate conduct towards women. He was first fired from his company, then ejected from the Motion Picture Academy.  Soon more women and men were encouraged to come forward with their stories of sexual abuse. Across Hollywood celebrities careers kept falling, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Garrison Keilor, Les Moonves, Maestro James Levine, John Lasseter and more.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 3, 2018


Birthdays: Gore Vidal, Mikail Lermontov, Harvey Kurtzman, Chubby Checker, James Herriot, Eleanor Duse, Emily Post, Leo McCarey the director of the Marx Brothers classic film Duck Soup, and many Laurel & Hardy shorts, Steven Reich, Dave Winfield, Tommy Lee, Neve Cambell, Clive Owen is 54

1855- American James McNeill Whistler arrived in Paris to study painting. He had tried to apply to West Point for a military career, but failed the entrance exam. Years later he joking told friends "If I hadn't identified phosphorous as a gas, I'd be a major general by now!'

1895-The Red Badge of Couragefirst published. Despite being one of the best books on the average soldiers experience, author Stephen Crane was never in the Civil War or any army. He died of tuberculosis at age 26.

1910- English comedians Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel first arrive in the U.S. with a touring British vaudeville company, the Fred Karno Troupe.

1955- 'Good Morning, Captain.' The Captain Kangaroo kid show debuted on television. 

1955- The Mickey Mouse ClubTV show premiered. “Who’s the leader of the Band that’s Made for you and me…?”

1957-Walter Lantz's The Woody WoodpeckerTV Show debuted.

1957- Jayne Mansfield met Greta Garbo and asked for her autograph.

1961- The Dick Van Dyke Showpremiered. It made stars of Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore and was written by ex-Sid Caesar writer Carl Reiner and Rocky & Bullwinkle writer Alan Burns.

1967- Folksinger and union activist Woodie Guthrie died of Huntington’s Chorea. His family scattered his ashes in New York Harbor, then went to Nathans on the Coney Island Boardwalk for hot dogs, Woody’s favorite.

1992- Bald Irish pop star Sinead O’Connor caused a fuss by tearing up a picture of the Pope on the show Saturday Night Live. She was later booed off stage during a concert at Madison Square Garden.

1995- After a long sensationalist trial turned into a media spectacle, celebrity O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the double murder of his second wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. He was later convicted in a wrongful death suit brought in Civil Court by Nicole’s family. 


2003- The Siegfried and Roy magic show in Las Vegas came to an end after a large Bengal Tiger attacked Roy Horn and tore his throat open in front of an audience. Most thought it was part of the act. Roy survived, but wisely decided to retire. 

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 4, 2018


Birthdays: French King Louis X The Stubborn 1314, Richard Cromwell “ Tumbledown Dick, “ President Rutherford B. Hayes, Frederick Remington, Jean Millet, Buster Keaton, Englebert Dolfuss, Charlton Heston, Susan Sarandon is 72, Armand Assante, Damon Runyon, Alvin Tofler author of Future Shock, Anne Rice, Alicia Silverstone is 42, Christoph Waltz is 62, Liev Schreiber is 51


1846- The First American mayor of Los Angeles, a Lieutenant Gillespie, was apparently such an asshole to the population of Spanish Californians that they rose in revolt and chased him out of town. The Californios under their old Mexican General Andres Pico waged a guerrilla war against the U.S. army for the next few months.

1931- Chester Gould's "Dick Tracy" comic strip debuts.

1943- Actor Clark Gable was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for flying combat missions over Germany. It was said Gable took these deliberately dangerous missions instead of doing USO shows out of a death-wish in grief for his wife Carole Lombard, who was killed in a plane crash the year before.

1950- The first Peanuts comic strip introducing Charlie Brown’s dog Snoopy.

1957-"Leave it to Beaver' debuts on CBS.

1969- Diane Linkletter, the daughter of television personality Art Linkletter got high on LSD and leapt out of a window to her death. Her boyfriend snatched at the belt loops of her dress in an attempt to save her, but they tore away. Afterwards Art Linkletter became a livelong crusader against drug abuse.

1971- Janis Joplin was found dead of a drug overdose at the Landmark Hotel in Hollywood. She was 27. Her song “Me and Bobby McGee” was as yet unreleased but soon topped the pop charts. Joplin left a considerable sum in her will for a party for her friends. The invitation read “ The Drinks are on Pearl”, her nickname.

1986- On a New York street a man named William Tager walked up to CBS News anchor Dan Rather and mumbling “Kenneth, what’s the Frequency?” started furiously punching Rather. He thought CBS was beaming microwaves at his brain and it was Dan’s fault. Who Kenneth was, remains a mystery. 

2006- Julian Assange founded Wikileaks.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 2, 2018


Birthdays: King Richard III, Nat Turner, Mahatma Ghandi, Claus Von Hindenburg, Ferdinand Foch, Spanky MacFarland, Julius Marx known as Groucho Marx, Bud Abbott, Moses Gunn, Graham Greene, LeRoy Shield (composer of the music in the Hal Roach comedies), Donna Karan, Gordon Sumner known as Sting is 67, Lorraine Bracco is 54, Tiffany, Kelly Ripa 

1925-The first bright red Leyland doubledecker omnibuses appear on London streets.

1928 - This was a busy day at Victor Records Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. DeFord
Bailey cut eight masters. Three songs were issued, marking the first studio recording
sessions in the place now known as Music City, USA.

1933- Library of Congress musicologist John Lomax met with an Arkansas chain gang
convict named Hudlan Ledbetter, who everyone called Leadbelly.  He recorded a cotton picking work song of his called "the Rock Island Line'. Leadbelly became famous
and recorded his own version 3 years later. 

1937 - Ronald Reagan, just 26 years old, made his acting debut this day
with Warner Brothers release of "Love is in the Air".


1950- Charles Schulz's "Peanuts" comic strip debuts. Good ol' 
Charlie Brown was the name of a fellow post office worker all the guy's liked
to play jokes on.  Schulz's idea 'little folks' was initially rejected
by all the major comic syndicates. Three months before the strip was accepted his
girlfriend broke off their engagement. He had left his job at the post office and
she was convinced he would never amount to anything. 
At the time of his death Charles Schulz had mountains on the moon named for his characters, and he was arguably the richest visual artist on earth.

1954- Elvis Presley was fired from Nashville's Grand Ol' Opry Show after 
one performance. He was told: "Son, you ain't a' going no where. Go
back to driving a truck!"

1955 - "Good Eeeeeeevening." The master of mystery movies, Alfred
Hitchcock, presented his brand of suspense to millions of viewers on CBS
on this night.

1957- Raintree County, the first film in Panavision.

1958- The Huckleberry Hound show.

1959- The television show the Twilight Zone debuts. Producer/writer Rod Serling 
had fought network execs for months that a mystery-suspense show could compete with
all the Doctor and Cowboy shows on TV.  He originally wanted Orson Welles to be 
the host of the show but when Welles asked for too much money, Serling decided to
do it himself. He wrote 90 episodes. He said he got the name Twilight Zone from a 
term airline pilots used for the area when both the clouds and ground are invisible 
from view and you lose your bearings.

1967- San Francisco Police raid the Haight-Ashbury home of the rock band the Grateful
Dead, busting everyone for possession of narcotics.

1977 - Following a foiled attempt to steal the body of Elvis Presley from
Forest Hill Cemetery, both Presley's and his grandmother's bodies were moved
to Graceland.

1978- Future TV star Tim Allen was busted in Kalamazoo Michigan for selling cocaine.

1982- Godfrey Reggio’s haunting documentary Koyaanisqatsi premiered at Radio City Music Hall. Music by Phillip Glass.

1985- Actor Rock Hudson died of AIDS. The first major celebrity to die of the disease.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 1, 2018

 Birthdays: Vladimir Horowitz, Julie Andrews is 83, Walter Matthau, Richard Harris, Phillipe Noiret, James Whitmore, Pres. Jimmy Carter is 94, Everett Sloane, Rod Carew, Stanley Holloway, Tom Bosley, Randy Quaid, Cindy Margolis, Brie Larson, Zack Galifanakis is 49


1857- Gustav Flaubert's Madame Bovary premiered in magazine installments. Flaubert was tried for pornography because of it, but acquitted.

1945- Looney Tunes director Frank Tashlin left the cartoon business to work full time at Paramount doing live action movies. He wrote for the Marx Brothers and later directed the Dean Martin Jerry Lewis comedies. 

1947-THE BIRTH OF THE BURBS- William Levitt's postwar dream, a planned community of affordable pre-fab homes on the outskirts of New York, called Levittown, is born. Mr. and Mrs. Bladykas moved into the first 2 bedroom house, which cost $7,990 bucks. The first true suburb.

1952- This Is Your Life TV show hosted by Ralph Edwards premiered.

1955- The Honeymooners with Jackie Gleason, Jayne Meadows and Art Carney premiered on TV.

1957-  Los Angeles outlaws garbage incineration to try and cut down smog levels. Even though Los Angeles has reduced it's pollution levels by 30% in ten years it still had the worst air in the United States until surpassed by Houston in 1999.


1962- Johnny Carson took over the Tonight Show, after host Jack Paar in a rage walked of the set and resigned. Paar was annoyed at network censors for cutting a comedy sketch that featured the sound of a toilet flushing. At first, people were cool to Carson. Even his own mother in Nebraska wasn’t impressed. But by years end Johnny Carson became the king of late night TV, and ruled it for 32 years. 

1968-George Romero's weird film "Night of the Living Dead' premieres.

1982- Disney's EPCOT opens.

1987- The Whittier Earthquake rocks L.A. 5.9 on the Richter Scale, it killed 8 and caused millions in damage.

1992 -The Cartoon Network started.


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Sept 30, 2018


Birthdays: William Wrigley the Chewing Gum king 1868, Truman Capote, Eli Weisel, Lester Maddox, Buddy Rich, David Oistrach, Deborah Kerr, Angie Dickinson is 86, Marylin McCoo, Len Cariou, Johnny Mathis, Rula Lenska, Eric Stolz, Monica Bellucci is 54, Jenna Elfman is 47, Marion Cotillard is 43, Al Leong (Al KaBong) is 66

1791- Mozart's opera "Die Zauberflotte, The Magic Flute" premiered at Emanuel Schiknader's theater in Vienna. One of the theories about Mozart's death was that he put too much FreeMason's secret ritual into the story, so that the Masons did him in for violating their secrecy. 

1868- Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women first published in installments.


1919- The Fleischer Brother's first Out of the Inkwell cartoon featuring Koko the Clown. Koko was rotoscoped- meaning traced from live action like Motion Capture does today. Dave Fleischer put on the clown suit and was filmed by his brother Max.

1928- Walt Disney and his crew re-recorded the final soundtrack and music for the first Mickey Mouse short, Steamboat Willie. Walt was unhappy with the first version of the track, and pawned his car for the money to pay for this second session.

1930- Death Valley Days Show premiered on radio, sponsored by Twenty Mule Team Borax powder. When it moved to television in the 50’s the host was Ronald Reagan.

1935- George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Besspremiered at the Colonial Theater in Boston. It flopped originally but after some rewrites it became a major hit.

1947- The first World Series Game on Television- New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 5-3. Gillette and Ford paid $65,000 to sponsor the entire series.

1952- This Is Cinerama, showcasing the widescreen film process, opened in theaters.

1955- James Dean (24) was killed when his Porsche 550 Spyder crashed head on into a pickup truck driven by college student Donald Turnipseed on Highway 41 outside of Paso Robles, California. Dean was driving 85 mph at dusk without his headlights on, and two hours earlier had been given a ticket for speeding. 


1960- Hanna & Barbera's "The Flintstones"debuted. For six seasons in prime time the inhabitants of 301 Cobblestone Lane, Bedrock, was one of the most successful TV series ever. Originally going to be named the Flagstones, then Gladstones, before Flintstones. Ed Benedicts' designs with Alan Reed as the voice of Fred, Jean Van Der Pyl the voice of Wilma, Mel Blanc doing Barney and Bea Benaderet doing Betty. 
 The show was so obviously modeled on the live action comedy The Honeymooners, that Jackie Gleason considered suing, especially when two of his old writers went to work for them. But his people dissuaded him, saying if he did he’s be hated by every child in America. 


1982- The TV comedy Cheers premiered. The Beacon Street Bar in Boston where everybody knows your name. It made stars of Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Kirstie Alley and Kelsey Grammar.
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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Sept 29, 2018


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, Tom Sizemore, Emily Lloyd is 49, Silvio Berlusconi, Stephanie Miller is 57

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. 

1967- The cult TV series The Prisonerpremiered. 

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.  This wasn’t revealed until Clark himself died in 2012.

1976- At his birthday party rock & roller Jerry Lee Lewis accidentally shot his bass player Norman Owens in the chest with his 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. 

2008- When the Conservative US Congress failed to pass a bail-out bill for the economy wracked by the Great Recession and high gas prices, Wall Street dropped 700 points, the most ever at one time.


Friday, September 28, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Sept 28, 2018


 Birthdays: Michel Caravaggio, Georges Clemenceau, Al Kapp, William Paley, Max Schmelling, Bridgette Bardot is 84, Frederic Engels, Marcello Mastroianni, Moon Unit Zappa, Ed Sullivan, Sylvia Kristel, John Sayles, Arnold Stang, J.T. Walsh, Seymour Cray, Janeane Garofalo is 54, Mira Sorvino is 51, Hillary Duff is 31, Naomi Watts is 50


1904- A woman is arrested on New York’s Fifth Ave for openly smoking a cigarette. Look how far we’ve come. Today, almost anyone now can be arrested for smoking a cigarette!

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 showwith 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. 




Thursday, September 27, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Sept 27,2018


 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 34, Gwynneth Paltrow is 46

1771-Young artist Francisco Goya entered a scholarship competition sponsored by the Art Academy of Parma.  He lost to an artist named Bettino. Judges said about Goya’s work: "Crude and ugly colors".


1919- Entrepreneur Frank Toulet partnered with Oregon restaurant manager Joe Musso to open a new restaurant in the heart of Hollywood. First called Franks CafĂ©, it later became Musso & Frank, and it became an important hangout for the movie industry. It is still in the business today, still the same menu, and you can still see Hollywood types having power meetings there where Chaplin and Barbara Stanwyck once sat. 

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.”

1944- Evangelist Aimee Semple MacPherson died in hospital from an overdose of sleeping pills. She was 53. MacPherson was one of the most powerful evangelists of the 1920s with thousands of followers donating millions of dollars. 

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


1954- The Tonight Show premiered. Steve Allen was the first host.

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 !"

1962- Rachel Carson’s bookSilent Spring was published.The best seller first brought to the public’s eye how indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides, particularly DDT, was damaging the environment and killing off wildlife.

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. So, why not build a newer Coliseum in Rome? The old one is dilapidated and full of holes.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Sept 26, 2018


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 70, Marty Robbins, Linda Hamilton, Pope Paul VI, Jack Lalanne, Melissa Sue Andersen, Phillip Bosco, James Cavaziel, Surena Williams, Linda Hamilton is 62.


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 its 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. 


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 Storyopened. 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!

1960-THE NIXON-KENNEDY TELEVISED DEBATE. The first televised presidential debate that really ushered in the era of the "media-candidate". People who heard the debate on radio thought Vice President Nixon had won because he scored more points on issues. But far more who saw it on Television lauded Kennedy because of his cool, calm Presidential bearing as opposed to Nixon's pale sweaty-lipped nervousness. 
As he watched the debate on TV, Nixon’s running mate, Senator Henry Cabot-Lodge III, murmured “ We’re gonna lose…” For years Nixon put down his electoral defeat to the fact that he refused stage makeup before going on camera. 
One New York Times analyst referred to Kennedy & Nixon as the Roadrunner & Wile E. Coyote of American politics.

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 chief 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”. 

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.