Friday, May 25, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 25, 2018


Birthdays: Miles Davis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Josef Broz Tito, Igor Sikorsky, Pontormo, Bennett Cerf, Claude Akins, Leslie Uggams, Bill Bojangles Robinson, Frank Oz (Richard Frank Oznowicz), Beverly Sills, Robert Ludlum, Anne Heche, Irwin Winkler, Mike Myers is 55, Ray Stevenson is 54, Ian McKellen is 79


1878- Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore premiered at the Savoy in London.

1895- Author and playwright Oscar Wilde sentenced to prison for sodomy.  
The terrible conditions of his imprisonment in Redding Gaol will break his health and lead to his early death in exile in 1900. In a 1995 ceremony honoring him in Westminster Abbey it was revealed the laws that sentenced Wilde were still on the books in England.


1906- Putting on the Ritz! Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz opened London’s Ritz Hotel. The first hotel to feature unheard of luxuries like a telephone and an indoor toilet in every suite!


1911- Thomas Mann visited Venice Italy. On the Lido Beach he was inspired to write A Death in Venice.

1932-Mickey’s Revue, the first Disney cartoon that featured the character that would eventually be called Goofy.


1942- First day shooting on the film “Casablanca”.


1946- Chuck Jones cartoon Hare Raising Hare, where Bugs meets a large shaggy monster named Gossamer “ Monsters are such inn…teresting people…”

1950- Brooklyn Battery Tunnel opened in NYC.

1957- Sid Caesar's Your Show of Show's canceled after nearly a decade. The show used future star writers like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Woody Allen and Neil Simon.  They pioneered the executive strategy of network programmer Pat Weaver to not let the show be owned by an entire sponsor, but the network would produce the show and would sell the sponsor commercial time in 30 second chunks. Pat Weaver’s daughter is Sigorney Weaver. Your Show of Showswas finally bested in the ratings by The Lawrence Welk Show.


1965- The Saint Louis Gateway Arch dedicated.

1968- The Rolling Stones release the song Jumping Jack Flash

1969- John Schlesinger’s film Midnight Cowboy premiered. The first X-rated film to ever win the Oscar for Best Film. 

1977- The premiere of George Lucas’ movie Star Wars. The movie opened on the 28th. After Universal passed, Twentieth Century Fox picked up the distribution but let the backend go to Lucas, because they didn't think the film would do any serious business. Even George Lucas didn’t expect the film to break even. Fox's market research department told studio head Alan Ladd Jr,  a) don't make this movie; no one will go see a science fiction movie; and b) change the title; no one will go see a movie with "War" in the title.  Fox executives had predicted the studios monster hit for that summer would be "Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry" with Peter Fonda and Susan George. 
Star Warswas a monster hit. 

It was like there were no other movies playing that summer. George Lucas became a seriously rich man and developed THX sound, digital animation and Industrial Light and Magic special effects. The film’s popularity ran so ahead of expectations, that at Christmas when you purchased a Star Wars Game you got a box with a pink IOU note in it pledging to get you the game when they printed more. 

1979- Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic Alien opened. It featured the exotic designs of Hungarian artist Giger, and John Hurt with a classic case of chest pains!

1980- Evangelist Oral Roberts claimed he saw a 900-foot Jesus over his bed.

1983- Return of the Jedi opened. It was originally Revenge of the Jedi, but George Lucas changed the name just a month before.

1986- Hands Across America stunt to help hunger has 7 million people at one time holding hands at noon.

1994- First International Conference on the World Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee and CERN talked on how to unify existing internet systems into the new World Wide Web.




Thursday, May 24, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 24, 2018


Birthdays: Jean Paul Marat, Queen Victoria, Walt Whitman, Emmanuel Leutze, Gary Burghoff, Priscilla Presley, Patti LaBelle, Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong, Peter Ellenshaw, Kristin Scott Thomas is 58, Alfred Molina is 65, Jim Broadbent is 69, John C. Reilly is 53, Bob Dylan is 77

1830 –The poem "Mary Had A Little Lamb," was written.

1866 - Berkeley, California founded, named for George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne.

1929- The Marx Brothers first movie comedy” The Coconuts” premiered.

1949- The city of Shanghai was captured from the KMT by the communist Peoples Liberation Army of Mao Tse Tung.

1950- Married movie star Ingrid Bergman shocked American morality by having an open love affair with neorealist film director Roberto Rosselini. This day they were finally married but the outcry of conservatives about this “Apostle of Degradation” was such that her image needed a makeover. So she played Saint Joan of Arc.

1958 – United Press & International News Service merge into United Press International

1989- In Los Angeles, a spectacular fire destroyed the Art-Deco-Moderne all-wood landmark, the Pan Pacific Auditorium. 

1991- Tri-Star Pictures $75 million-dollar flop "Hudson Hawk" opened.
 Star Bruce Willis, whose own salary was $17 million, blamed the film’s costs on union filmworkers’ salaries. He would return to his car after a day’s shooting to find it covered with animal excrement. The film almost sank his career. Willis’ next two films, "Death Becomes Her" and 'Pulp Fiction", he did for scale. In 2000 he gave a $100,000 dollar donation to the SAG/AFTRA strike fund.

1991- Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise opened. 


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 23, 2018


Birthdays: Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Scatman Crowthers, Rosemary Clooney, Artie Shaw, Alicia de Larrocha, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Melissa McBride, Drew Carey is 60, Joan Collins is 85

1785- Ben Franklin invented bifocal glasses.

1911- President Taft dedicated the central branch of the New York Public Library.

1931- In Max Fleischer's Silly Scandals, the girl character first seen in Dizzy Dishes is first called Betty Boop.

1941-Hollywood union boss George Brown and assistant Willard Bioff (also a Frank Nitti bagman) were indicted on federal racketeering charges. Brown had been a Chicago operative and it was said 'he could drink 100 bottles of beer in one day". Their main contact among the Hollywood studio heads was Nicholas Schenck, the chairman of Loews Theaters and a head of MGM. Willie Bioff had tried to help Louis B. Mayer defeat the screen actors guild and hijack the Disney animator's union. After their jail time Bioff blew up in his car after turning government witness and Brown 'disappeared...' Schenck meanwhile was pardoned by President Truman.


1969- The Who released their rock opera Tommy. 


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 22, 2018


Birthdays: Sir Lawrence Olivier, Mary Cassatt, Richard Wagner, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, T. Bone Pickens, Judith Christ, Irene Pappas, Paul Winfield, Richard Benjamin, Susan Strassberg, George Baker, Paul Winchell, Tommy John, Naomi Cambell, Dr. Robert Moog –inventor of the first music synthesizer, Ginnifer Goodwin is 40

1856- San Francisco City supervisor James Casey was hanged by San Francisco City Vigilance Committee for murder. Casey had sought out the editor of the Evening Bulletin James King and shot him down on the street for insulting him in print. The vigilantes of the Barbary Coast then went into action.

1915-The San Fernando Valley voted to become part of Los Angeles. 

1925- First day of shooting on Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis.

1954- Bob Dylan’s Bar Mitzvah. Maseltov!

1955-The Golden Age of Radio ended when after 22 years the Jack Benny show was canceled. Once the top broadcast show in the nation, Benny went into television.

1966- Bill Cosby became the first African-American to win an Emmy Award for starring in a television series- I-Spy.

1967- T.V. children's show Mr. Roger's Neighborhood debuted.


1972- The land of Ceylon declared itself the Republic of Sri Lanka.

1973- Scientist Bob Metcalfe of Xerox PARC patented the Ethernet.

1985- Top Disney animation director Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman who directed the Jungle Book among other films, died in a car crash following lunch at the Smoke House in Burbank.

1992- The film Encino Man premiered, with Brendan Frazier and Pauly Shore.

2001- Ted Turner and Jane Fonda divorced.

2002-The Ayatollahs of Iran outlaw Barbie dolls. They denounce Barbie as "agents of subversive Zionist Western propaganda."

Monday, May 21, 2018

ANIMATION FUN FACTS FOR MAY 21, 2018


Birthdays: Plato, Fats Waller, Albrecht Durer, Andre Sakharov, Armand Hammer, Raymond Burr, John Hubley, Dennis Day, Sen. Al Franken, Harold Robbins, Judge Reinhold, Larry Terro called Mr. T. is 67


1878- Mr. D.A. Buck of Waterbury Conn. received a patent for a low cost, mass produced pocket watch. Within a few years he was selling half a million Waterbury Watches a year at $3.50 each.

1892- Leoncavallo's opera "I Pagliacci"debuted at La Scala in Milan.

1908 - 1st horror movie “Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde” premiered in Chicago.

1922- On the Road to Moscow, the first political cartoon to win a Pulitzer prize. The cartoonist Rollin Kirby, was passionate about Prohibition. He had a regular character to extol temperance named Mr. Dry. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933 Kirby killed off Mr. Dry in print.

1933- Woolie Reitherman’s first day at Walt Disney Studio.


1945- BOGEY LOVES BABY-Humphrey Bogart married Lauren Bacall on a friend’s farm in Ohio. He was 48 and she was 21. Her real name was Betty Persky, but she passed for wasp. So when the publicity photographers came, they were under strict instructions from Jack Warner to frame out of the shots Bacall’s more Jewish-looking relatives.

1952- Actor John Garfield died. Some say he died in the midst of wild fornications; in truth he died alone of alcohol abuse at 40. The matinee idol of “The Postman Rings Twice” and “Kid Galahad” was too politically left for the conservative postwar age. When a young stage actor he had run guns to the IRA, later he supported progressive union movements, anti-fascism and desegregation. His outspoken politics got him blacklisted in Hollywood, his friends deserted him and he was ruined.

1952- Famed writer Lillian Hellman testified before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee HUAC, but refused to name names. “I cannot cut my conscience to fit the fashions of the day.” She escaped a contempt of Congress wrap but she was blacklisted and at one point was working in a department store.

1972- A Hungarian lunatic shouting I am Jesus Christ, attacked Michelangelo’s statue La Pieta with a hammer. He is the reason why today we can only enjoy this beautiful sculpture from behind 3 inch thick bulletproof glass.

1979 - Elton John becomes 1st western rock star to perform live in USSR.

1980 – Star Wars “The Empire Strikes Back" premiered.

1983 - David Bowie's "Let's Dance," single goes #1. The tracks featured a then little known guitarist named Stevie-Ray Vaughn.

1992- Tonight Show host Johnny Carson did his last show “I bid you a very heartfelt goodnight.” Johnny spent his remaining years in privacy, even refusing an invitation to appear at the NBC 75th anniversary spectacular.

2011- An 89 year old California reverend named Harold Camping caused a sensation in the U.S. when he declared today would be the Rapture, the Christian idea of the End of the World. It didn’t happen.

2017- In Nassau County NY was the final performance of Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Circus. The Greatest Show on Earth had been a tradition for 146 years.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 20, 2018


Birthdays: Honore Balzac, Jimmy Stewart, Leon Schlesinger, William Fargo of Wells Fargo, Moshe Dayan, Henri Rousseau, Dave Thomas, Ted Bessell (Donald to Marlo Thomas’ “That Girl”), Japanese baseball great Sadaharu Oh, Antony Zerbe, Bronson Pichot, Joe Cocker, Cher is 72, Busta Rhymes

1609- Shakespeare’s sonnets first published.


1830 - D Hyde patented the fountain pen, replacing the goose quill.



1891- Thomas Edison demonstrated an early prototype of kinetoscope- a motion picture machine- to his wife's friends at a party. The footage was of engineer W.K.L. Dickson and his associates dancing. That night Edison wrote a letter about his movie machine to photographer Edweard Muybridge: " I doubt it will ever have any commercial value.."'

1916- Artist Norman Rockwell sold his first painting for a Saturday Evening Post cover.

1926 - Thomas Edison says Americans prefer silent movies over talking pictures. He also thought the flat record disc could never replace the cylinder.

1937-The Cinema Editor's Guild started.

1937- Bob Clampett promoted to director at Leon Schlesinger’s Looney Tunes Studio. Clampett, whose mother hand sewed the first Mickey Mouse dolls for Walt Disney. After leaving Looney Tunes Clampett created the Beany & Cecil Show for early television. 

1975- In a small warehouse in Van Nuys California, George Lucas assembled an effects crew to create the film Star Wars. It is the birth of Industrial Light & Magic, or ILM. 

1979- The last Saturday Night Live show done by the original cast. Many of them had their 5 year contracts up and they wanted to do something else. Plus producer Lorne Michaels was feuding with NBC chairman Fred Silverman and wanted to leave. So goodbye Lorne Michaels, Gilda Radner, Lorraine Newman, Garret Morris, Bill Murray and Al Franken, Hello Jean Doumainian and Joe Piscopo! Lorne Michaels came back to the show a few years later and has produced it ever since.

1984- Hanna Barbera’s “The Smurfic Games”.

1993 - Max Klein, the inventor of Paint by Numbers sets, died at 77. President Eisenhower once passed out paint-by-numbers sets to his senior cabinet so their paintings could adorn the West Wing offices. Imagine seeing on your wall an original artwork by Richard Nixon or Curtis LeMay! 

1994- Walt Disney released Aladdin II, the Return of Jaffar. 

2003- In 1977, when Walt Disney's the Rescuers was being completed, the artists for a joke added a Playboy picture into a pan shot. Going by at 1/24th a second, they were confident nobody would ever spot it. Later in the 1990s, when Rescuers went to VHS video, they edited out the controversial frame. But when it was time in 2003 to rerelease on DVD, the Studio apparatchniks went back to the original 1977 negative, without ever bothering to consult any of the artists. We could have warned them. but no. So on May 20, 2003, nine million copies of the Rescuers DVD hit the stores, with the ensuing out cry, firestorm, and embarrassed apologies you can imagine.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 19, 2018


Birthdays: Malcolm X- born Malcolm Little, Ho Chi Minh- born Ngyun Tat Tanth- Ho Chi Minh means the Enlightener, Giovanni Della Robbia, John Hopkins, Lord Waldorf Astor, Dame Nelly Melba, Frank Capra, Wilson Mizner, Elena Poniatowska, Jim Lehrer, Nora Ephron, Grace Jones, Peter Mahew, Mad cartoonist Don Martin, Nancy Kwan, Pete Townshend, Joey Ramone, Jimmy Hoffa Jr, Polly Walker, and former Disney animator and educator Tom Sito


1886- First performance of Camille Saint Saen's Organ Symphony #3. Saint Saen's had actually written 6 such works but hated them all but three. He liked the third symphony so much he never wrote another. Composer Charles Gounod heard the symphony and exclaimed:" There is now a French Beethoven!"

1897- Writer Oscar Wilde was released from prison after doing two years of hard labor. The experience broke his health and he never completely recovered. He did use his experiences to write his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaolin 1898.

1927- Sid Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood opened. Ushers and doorman were dressed in imported Mandarin silk robes and wall hangings were painted by young artist/actor Key Luke. Sid Grauman was the showman who also invented the Hollywood premiere with spotlights and limo's pulling up to red carpets, etc.

1934- Mickey Mouse short cartoon Gulliver Mickey.

1956- Cecil B. de Milles film " The Ten Commandments" premiered. Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter and Edward G, Robinson.

1956- The Disney film Pollyana debuted, making a star of Haley Mills.

1958- The film “ The Attack of the 50 Ft Woman”premiered. A drive-in favorite.

1960 - DJ Alan Freed is accused of bribery in the radio payola scandal, the first scandal to hit the new world of Rock & Roll.

1962- Giant birthday party and rally held for President John F. Kennedy in New York's Madison Square Garden -his birthday was actually the following week. What made it memorable was Marilyn Monroe in a dress so tight she had to be sewn into it, singing her sexy version of the Happy Birthday song.  'Haapie (exhale) Burth- Day, Mister - Prezz- a -dent (sigh), Happy, etc. "

1997- Matthew Broderick married Sarah Jessica Parker. 


1998- George Lucas much anticipated film Star Wars Episode One the Phantom Menacepremiered, the first Star Wars sequel in 20 years. It was the first major film premiere to be projected digitally, two theaters in New York and two in Hollywood. It featured Jarr Jarr Binks, a character so annoying that web sites like www. I Want Jarr-Jarr to Die-Die.Com soon racked up tens of thousands of hits.

2000- Walt Disney film Dinosaur opened.

2005- Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith premiered.

2006- Dreamworks animated film ‘Over the Hedge’premiered.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for MAy 18, 2018


Birthdays: Pope John Paul II, Grover Cleveland, Ezio Pinza, Czar Nicholas II, Omar Khayam, Walter Gropius, Reggie Jackson, Margot Fonteyn, Robert Morse, Perry Como, Dwayne Hickman aka Dobie Gillis, Big Joe Turner, Richard Brooks, Miriam Margolyes, Chow Yung Fat is 63, Tina Fey is 48, Robert Morse is 87


1911- Composer Gustav Mahler died of heart disease shortly before his 51st birthday. He had completed his Ninth Symphony with dread, because he knew Beethoven, Schubert and Bruckner had never lived beyond their nine symphonies. 
On his table were preliminary sketches for his tenth.


1940- John Halas & Joy Batchelor founded Halas & Batchelor, for many years the predominant animation studio in England. 

1976- The filming of Francis Ford Coppolla's Apocalypse Nowwas disrupted when the Philippines was hit by a major typhoon. Francis rides out the storm cooking pasta, smoking pot and listening to records of La Boheme.

1995- Elizabeth Montgomery, the star of Bewitched,died of colon cancer at age 62.

2001- Dreamworks animated SHREK opened. The voice of Shrek was originally planned to be Chris Farley but the obese comedian died of a drug overdose and was replaced by Mike Myers. I’m serving Waffles!

2003 Pixar’s Finding Nemo opened.



Thursday, May 17, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 17, 2018


Birthdays: Sandro Botticelli, Eric Satie, Ayatollah Khomeni, Edmond Jenner, Archibald Cox, Sugar Ray Leonard, Maureen O'Sullivan, Howard Ashman, Craig Ferguson, Bill Paxton, Ralph Wright- the original voice of Eeyore, Alan Kay-inventor of the laptop computer, Dennis Hopper, Enya is 57- born Eithne Patricia Ni’ Bhraonain

1826- Artist-Naturalist John James Audubon departs for England ”in deep sorrow” because he could find no publisher in America for his masterpiece the “Birds of North America”.

1890 - Comic Cuts, 1st weekly comic newspaper, published in London.

1924- Marcus Loew of the Loew's theater chain buys Metro Pictures and combines them with Sam Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer’s studio to form Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

1931- Vaudeville dancer James Cagney became a tough guy movie star when the Howard Hawk’s film The Public Enemydebuted. “I wish you wuz a wishing well… so I could tie a bucket to ya and sink ya!”

1938 - Radio quiz show "Information Please!"debuts on NBC Blue Network.

1941- The Looney Toon Lockout. Producer Leon Schlesinger tries to forestall the unionization of his Bugs Bunny cartoonists by locking them out. After a week he relents and recognizes the cartoonist guild. Chuck Jones called it “our own little six-day war.”

1965- Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke shake hands and agree to write a sci-fi movie, with accompanying novel.  First called How the Solar System was Won, then Journey Beyond the Stars, the title was finally- 2001: A Space Odyssey.

1967 – Bob Dylan's 1965 UK Tour is released as film "Don't Look Back"


1971 - Stephen Schwartz' musical "Godspell," premiered off-Broadway.

1973 - Stevie Wonder releases "You are the Sunshine of my Love"



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 16, 2018


Birthdays: Tamara de Lempicka, Lily Pons, Richard Tauber, Henry Fonda, Liberace- real name Wladziu Valentine Liberace, Jan Kiepura, Edmund Kirby-Smith, Gabriela Sabbatini, Thurman Thomas, Margaret Sullivan, Olga Korbut- the original adorable little Olympic Gold Medal gymnast, Debra Winger is 63, Tori Spelling, Janet Jackson, Woody Herman, Studs Terkel, Ivan Sutherland is 80, Pierce Brosnan is 64.

1879- Dvoraks’ Slavonic Dances premiered.


1929- The First Academy Awards ceremony at the Rose Ballroom of the Roosevelt Hotel. They gave out two best picture winners. One was to William Wellman’s “Wings”. The second for “unique and artistic merit” went to F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise. The Academy originally wanted to give the Best Actor Oscar to the dog Rin Tin Tin, but the reconsidered when reminded about what kind of message that would send. So they gave it to Emil Jannings. Janet Gaynor got the first Best Actress. The ceremony was originally a dinner party with some industry business conducted. The ceremony then took about 15 minutes.


1946- the musical Annie Get Your Gunstarring Ethel Merman premiered on Broadway.

1957- in a small town in Pennsylvania, a failing small time businessman who had been drinking heavily, died of a heart attack at age 54. Ironically, he had just completed the first draft of a memoir about his days as a young Treasury Agent in Al Capone’s Chicago. His name was Elliot Ness. The book - The Untouchables- became a national best seller and Hollywood turned it into a hit television series, films. Elliot Ness became the most famous lawman since Wyatt Earp.

1965 – the birthday of Spaghetti-O's later known as Spaghettios.

1975 - Wings release "Listen to What the Man Said" in UK

1979- Shooting wraps on Steven Spielberg’s movie 1941.

1980 - Brian May of rock group Queen collapses on stage with hepatitis.

1980 - Paul McCartney releases "McCartney II" album.

1981 - "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes hits #1 for next 9 weeks. The elderly movie legend was not impressed:” Kim Carnes does not have eyes like me!” quote Bette.

1986 – the film "Top Gun," directed by Tony Scott and starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis premiered.

1990- Jim Henson died of viral pneumonia at Bellevue Hospital in NYC. He was 53. 

1996- One of the lamest moments in TV writing. On Dallas, Pam Ewing encounters her husband Bobby Ewing in the shower although he had been dead for one year. The incident meant the entire previous season’s events had only been a bad dream.

2009- Pixars film UP premiered.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

animation fun facts for may 15, 2018


Birthdays: Lyman Frank Baum, Claudio Monteverdi, Richard Avedon, James Mason, Joseph Cotten, George Brett, Jasper Johns, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Jean Renoir, Richard Daley Sr., Trini Lopez, Charles Lamont, director of Abbott & Costello Go to Mars, country singer Eddy Arnold, Chaz Palmintieri is 65, Lainie Kazan is 77, Joe Grant



1702- Charles Perrault died.Perrault 1628-1703 was a retired minister to French King Louis XIV, who wrote stories for children under the title Mother Goose. He created Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Puss in Boots. 

1863- Edouard Manet first displayed his Dejeuner sur l’Herbeat the Salon des Refuses in Paris. The painting is of two modern clothed men having a picnic with two nude women by a river bank. The women aren’t mythical goddesses or muses but just bare, naked ladies. This shocked Paris society and Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugene called it “Immodest and obscene”. Its revolutionary simple subject matter heralded the rise of Impressionism.

1903- While on a tour of Yosemite, President Teddy Roosevelt slipped away from his entourage to camp out alone under the stars with naturalist John Muir. 

1946- The first Tommy’s Burger stand opened in Los Angeles.

1953- Rocky Marciano defeated Jersey Joe Walcott for the Heavyweight Championship.

1963 - Peter, Paul & Mary won their first Grammy for, “If I Had a Hammer”.

1967- Paul McCartney first met his first wife Linda Eastman.

1968 - Paul McCartney & John Lennon appear on the Johnny Carson Show to promote
Apple records, Joe Garagiola is substitute host. 

1970 – The Beatles' last album, "Let It Be," is released in US



Monday, May 14, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 14, 2018


Birthdays: Thomas Gainsborough, George Lucas is 74, Thomas Wedgewood, Francesca Annis, David Byrne, Jack Bruce, Bobby Darin, Tim Roth is 57, Robert Zemeckis is 67, Kate Blanchett is 49


1800- Napoleon’s army began crossing the Alps into Italy via the Great Saint Bernard Pass.

1842 - 1st edition of London Illustrated News

1942- Disney composer Frank Churchill, who wrote "Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf", shot himself at the piano. Another version of the story had him shooting himself in an onion field in Valencia that would one day be the site of Cal Arts.

1944- In the comic strip Dick Tracy, the longtime Tracy nemesis the gangster Flattop was killed.

1951 - Ernie Kovacs Show, TV Variety debut on NBC. Kovacs was a great pioneer in the video medium who loved creating surreal images and pantomime blackout skits.

1955- Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park Cal, today’s Silicon Valley, was founded by peace activist Roy Kepler. Keplers’ books was a hangout for Stanford computer scientists, Hippies, and creators of the Whole Earth Catalog. The Grateful Dead and Joan Baez played there, Prof Douglas Englebart the inventor of the computer mouse, would pop in for coffee, and kids like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak would ride their bikes over to check out the new computer books.

1976- Keith Relf of the rock group the Yardbirds, was electrocuted while playing his guitar in his bathtub.

1968 - Beatles announce formation of Apple Records.

1998 - Last episode of sitcom Seinfeld on NBC (commercial fees were $2M for 30 seconds) Elderly singer Frank Sinatra died shortly after watching it.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 13, 2018

Birthdays: St. Sergius of Radonez 1314, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Cyrus McCormick, Stevie Wonder, George Braque, Daphne DuMaurier, Joe Louis, Richie Valens, Gil Evans, Beatrice Arthur, Harvey Keitel is 77, Dennis Rodman, Clive Barnes, Disney animator Burnett “Burny” Mattinson is 83, Steven Colbert is 53



1956- Actor Montgomery Clift was disfigured in a car crash. He had to have his jaw wired until it could heal.

1965 - Rolling Stones record "Satisfaction"

1965- In a DC nightclub, the Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded live “ The In Crowd”, one of the last jazz singles to crossover and become a hit pop song. 

1966 - Rolling Stones release "Paint it Black"

1992- Police arrest the manager of Comic Book Heaven in Sarasota Florida on seven counts of "displaying materiel harmful to minors", i.e. comic books.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 11, 2018


Birthdays: Salvador Dali', Jean Jerome, Chang and Eng Bunker-the original Siamese Twins-1811, Baron Munchausen, Irving Berlin, King Oliver, Martha Graham, Dr. Richard Fenyman, Mort Sahl, Foster Brooks, Denver Pyle, Henry Morgenthau, Doug McClure, Randy Quaid, Natasha Richardson, Rev Louis Farrakhan, Albert Hurter, Margaret Kerry the model for Walt Disney’s Tinkerbell

1956 - Pinky Lee Show last airs on NBC-TV.

1968 - actor Richard Harris attempted a singing career, releasing the song "MacArthur Park".

1972 -On the Dick Cavett talk show Beatle and peace activist John Lennon said his phone had been tapped by FBI. It turns out it he was, but at the time we all thought he was just paranoid from too many drugs.

1981- The musical play CATS opened in London.

1981- Bob Marley died of brain cancer at age 36. Marley and his group the Wailers, made Jamaican Reggae mainstream in pop music. 

1992 - Carlos “ Danny” Herrera, bartender inventor of the Margarita, died at age 90- Margarita was supposedly named for Hollywood actress Margaret Sullivan who wanted to drink tequila and lime with the guys but couldn’t tolerate the strong taste. Herrera mixed the tequila and lime juice into an iced cocktail and put the salt along the rim. He mixed a batch whenever he heard the actress was in Tijuana, writing on the bottle- For Little Margaret- Por Margarita.

1997- Deep Blue, a computer developed at IBM, defeated top world chess champion Gennady Kasparov. 



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 10, 2018


Birthdays: Fred Astaire, Phil Silvers, Nancy Walker, French royal minister Turgot, Marshal Jean Lannes, Marshal Nicolas Davout, John Wilkes Booth (assassin of Lincoln) Mark David Chapman (assassin of John Lennon), David O. Selznick, Mother Maybelle Carter, Ariel Durant, Jim Abrahams, Nancy Walker, Donovan, Homer Simpson, Gen. Lasalle, Bono, Paige O’Hara the voice of Belle in Beauty & the Beast.

1929- Walt Disney’s animated short Skeleton Dance premiered. Animated mostly by Mickey Mouse designer Ubb Iwerks, it marked the beginning of tightly done musical sync animation.

1933- Nazis Leader Josef Goebbels holds the first mass book-burning in Berlin. " We consign everything unGerman to the flames." 20,000 works by Thomas Mann, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Freud and Einstein are burned. 

1963- On the advice of George Harrison and Little Richard, Decca Records signed a new teen band called the Rolling Stones to a recording contract.

1977- Joan Crawford died of cancer and a heart attack. Once the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, now a neglected old recluse. She was 74. Soon after her daughter Christine published the memoirMommy Dearest, in which she alleged years of abuse and neglect.

1993- 188 young women died in a fire in a toy making factory near Bangkok, Thailand. They were locked into the building by their employer like the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire victims in 1911. They were making Bart Simpson dolls for America.



Animation Fun Facts for May 9, 2018


Birthdays: John Brown, James M. Barrie the creator of Peter Pan, Henry J. Kaiser of Kaiser Aluminum, Glenda Jackson is 82, Billy Joel, Candice Bergen is 72, Mike Wallace, Pancho Gonzales, James L. Brooks, Rosario Dawson, John Corbett, Albert Finney is 82


1662- London diarist Samuel Pepys noted today he first saw a Punch & Judy puppet show in Convent Garden.

1754- THE FIRST NEWSPAPER CARTOON- Ben Franklin in his Pennsylvania Gazette prints a drawing of a segmented snake with each piece named for a colony with the inscription: Join or Die. (Okay, it's not Calvin and Hobbs, but it's a start).

1887- Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show did its first performance in Europe. In London the English public, several European kings and writer Oscar Wilde thrilled to displays of trick riding, wild red Indians, cowboys and little Annie Oakley the trick shooter. 

1932 – London’s Piccadilly Circus first lit by electricity.

1935- The First Belch heard on nationwide radio. Melvin Purvis (the FBI man who killed John Dillinger) was doing an ad for Fleischmann’s Yeast when he committed the offense, which was dubbed “The Burp Heard Round the World”.

1937- ACTOR’S SHOWDOWN WITH L.B. MAYER- In a dramatic confrontation the heads of the Screen Actor’s Guild Robert Montgomery and Franchot Tone go to MGM boss Louis B. Mayer’s beach house during a Sunday garden party. While IATSE-Capone mob gangster Willie Bioff stood by to give Mayer support, Montgomery told Mayer he had a 96% strike vote from the actors, so if Mayer didn’t recognize SAG as the sole bargaining agent for actors they would paralyze Hollywood Monday morning!
  Mayer thought about it, then gave in. Bioff got from the actors a deal that the IA would back off if the actors would withdraw their support from a rival union to IATSE’s organizing the behind the scene’s technical artists. That night 5,600 actors and friends celebrated at Hollywood Legion Stadium. Next morning 200 waited in line to get their SAG cards including Garbo and Jean Harlow. 

1937- Burne Hogarth began drawing the Tarzan comic strip.Hal Foster had been in contract negotiations with the syndicate over money and the right to his originals. He had created Prince Valiant as a bargaining chip when the syndicate called his bluff by giving the Tarzan job to Hogarth. Foster went on to greater glory with Valiant but remained angry at Burne.



1955- HAPPY BIRTHDAY KERMIT THE FROG! Washington D.C. station puts on a young Univ of Maryland grad named Jim Henson as filler before the TODAY Show. He antics with his green frog called Kermit, fashioned from fabric from one of his mothers old green coats. The Muppets are born.

1961- John F. Kennedy's newly appointed head of the FCC, Newton Minow, did his first major address to a luncheon of top television executives. In his speech he blasted them for TV’s mindless content and violence. He called television: " A Vast Wasteland."

2005- Columnist Arianna Huffington started the on-line newspaper The Huffington Post.  It’s progressive slant was considered an answer to blatantly conservative blogs like Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 8, 2018


Birthdays: Harry Truman, Roberto Rossellini, Leopold Bakhunin, Louis Gottschalk, Oscar Hammerstein, Ted Sorenson, Sonny Liston, Toni Tennille, Ricky Nelson, Peter Benchley, Thomas Pinchon, David Attenborough is 92, Keith Jarrett, Alex Van Halen, Melissa Gilbert, French illustrator Jean Giraud aka Moebius, Enrique Inglesias, Bob Clampett, Don Rickles


1878- David Hughes invented the Microphone while trying to get over bronchitis.

1910-Russian-Jewish immigrant glove salesman Schmuel Gelpfisch married Blanche Lasky, the daughter of vaudeville performer Jesse Lasky. Gelpfisch later changed his name to Sam Goldfish, then Sam Goldwyn. He and his father in law Jesse Lasky went into the new flicker business and started the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company. They soon moved to Hollywood. 

1912- The movie studio Famous Players Lasky born. In 1914 they changed their name to Paramount Pictures. 


1943- Tex Avery's "Red Hot Riding Hood"- Ooohh Wolfy !

1962-"A Funny thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Forum" opened on Broadway.

1962- Director Joe Mankiewicz shot the climactic spectacle scene of Cleopatra –Elizabeth Taylor, entering Rome through the Arch of Titus on a mobile sphinx surrounded by thousands of extras. The shot had been delayed six months after a stunt woman fell off an elephant, and then the light in the Forum had not been right. When Elizabeth Taylor appeared in the scene, the Italian extras were supposed to shout "Hail Cleopatra!, but instead they all shouted "Liz! Liz!"

Monday, May 7, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 7, 2018


Birthday: Johannes Brahms, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Gary Cooper, Gabby Hayes, Ichiro Honda, Robert Browning, Marcus Loew of Loews Theater chain, Darin McGavin, Edward Land (inventor of the Polaroid lens and camera), Amy Heckerling, Traci Lords 

1937-Nobel Prize winning writer William Faulkner hired by MGM Studios, earning $500 a week. He celebrated by going on a two week long drinking binge. When MGM's Head of Writing Sam Marx had him tracked down to an Oakie farmers migrant camp in the Imperial Valley, he was dragged off boozily whining: " Ah wanna write for Mickey Mouse!!"

1939- Los Angeles Union Station opened. It was built on top of L.A's original China Town.

1941-Glen Miller records the "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" for RCA. the first gold record million seller.

1966- “Monday Monday” by the Mammas and the Poppas becomes #1 in the pop charts.

1996- Comedian Martin Lawrence went berserk and ran down a main intersection in Van Nuys Cal. raving and waving a pistol. When asked to explain himself, Lawrence blamed it on “Dehydration.”

1998- Apple Computers introduced the iMac.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 6, 2018


Birthdays: Maximillien Robespierre, Sigmund Freud, Rudolph Valentino, Orson Welles, Robert Peary, Willie Mays, Stewart Granger, Bob Seger, Toots Schoor, Weeb Ewbank, Andriana Caselotti- the voice of Snow White, Ruben Hurricane Carter, Christian Clavier, Tony Blair, George Clooney is 57.

1793- American artist Gilbert Stuart arrived back home after a stay in Europe dead broke. In the Age of Gainsborough, Romney and West, Stuart didn’t do so well. He left America because he was tired of being pestered to do copies of his famous portrait of George Washington, the one that is currently on our dollar bill.

1919- Wizard of Oz creator L. Frank Baum died of heart disease at 62. He was trying at the time to buy real estate in Los Angeles for an Oz- theme amusement park.

1937- THE FLEISCHER STRIKE-Cartoonists vote to strike Max Fleischers Studio after Max fires 13 animators for union activity and complaining about the 6 day work week.
  The strike was settled several weeks later when parent company Paramount forced Max to concede. Strikers sang "We're Popeye the Union Man! We're Popeye the Union Man! We'll Fight to the Finish, Cause We Can't Live on Spinach! We're Popeye...etc."

1937- The Society of Motion Picture Art Directors formed.

1941- A friend of Bob Hope who was now in the military suggested the comedian come and entertain troops on their army post. Hope takes the suggestion and it becomes his signature event. Into his eighties he entertained servicemen around the world in five wars.

1946- Curly Howard, was the most outrageous of the comedy troupe The Three Stooges. 
While people laughed at his antics, he lived a wild Hollywood life, lots of clubs, drinking, smoking and girls. This day while filming the short Halfwits Holiday, he suffered a massive stroke. He was only 42. He survived 6 more years in debilitated  health, moved from hospital to hospital by his brothers. He died in 1952 at age 48.

2001- Variety reported that the Walt Disney Company in promoting their upcoming summer film Pearl Harbor, had canceled plans for Pearl Harbor Happy Meals at McDonalds, as being in bad taste. 

2003- A tornado destroyed the factory in Jackson, Tennessee that produced most of the world’s supply of Pringles Potato Chips.


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 5, 2018


Birthdays: Tyrone Power, Karl Marx, Elizabeth Cochrane called Nellie Bly, Soren Kierkegard, Alice Faye, James Beard, Michael Palin is 75, Pat Carroll, Patrick Ewing, John Rhys Davies is 74, Lance Henriksen is 78, Brian Williams, Disney artist Floyd Gottfredson

National Teacher's Day.

National Cartoonist's Day.

1891-Carnegie Hall in New York opened. 


1945- Happy Birthday Yosemite Sam! Hare Trigger, the first cartoon to feature the red mustachioed desperado premiered.

1953- Broadway Director Jerome Robbins was riding high after directing hits like On the Town andKing & I,when he was labeled a Communist. To save his career, this day he testified before Joseph McCarthy’s House UnAmerican Activities Committee and named names. One actress he finked on, Margaret Lee said” I’ve just been stabbed by a wicked fairy”.Ironically, Jerome Robbins went on to direct two of his biggest hits “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forumand the Fiddler on the Roofusing blacklisted actors like Zero Mostel, Beatrice Arthur and Jack Gilford, who all hated him.

1968- Albert Dekker, star of monster movies like Dr. Cyclops, was found hanged in his bathroom, handcuffed, and wearing ladies lingerie. A narcotics needle was sticking in his arm. The police declared it an  “ auto-erotic episode that had gone wrong."

1975- Anne Rice’s hit novel The Interview With The Vampire first published.


1983- At a regional Comicon, the first edition comic of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlescame out and sold out within two hours.   

2006- Walt Disney Company formally acquired Pixar Studio.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for May 4, 2018


Birthdays: Bartolomeo Christofori'-inventor of the piano, Alice Liddel 1852- the inspiration of Alice in Wonderland, Audrey Hepburn –real name Edda van Heemstra Hepburn-Rusten, Roberta Peters, Maynard Ferguson, Pia Zadora is 65, Howard Da Silva ,Tammy Wynette, Randy Travis, Hosni Mubarak, George Will, Richard Jenkins



1891 –THE DEATH OF SHERLOCK HOLMES According to Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, this was the day Sherlock Holmes perished at the Reichenback Falls grappling with sinister Prof. Moriarity- The Napoleon of Crime.  Conan Doyle had tired of his eccentric detective and wanted to get on to other types of novels. But readers were horrified he had killed off the great sleuth. Conan-Doyle couldn’t take a walk down the street without someone stopping him:” Sir, How could you?!” When touring the US he wanted to lecture about historical subjects, but people only wanted know more about Holmes & Watson. After a decade, Arthur Conan-Doyle gave in and began a new series of the Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

1897- In Paris during a charity cinematograph show the nitrate film catches fire and 200 die. Movie film before the 1940’s was made from a very unstable Nitrate mixture and could explode from the slightest contact with flame. 

 1927- The Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences formed. Studio heads Irving Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer originally conceived the Academy as an arbiter where studio artists could air grievances without fear of retaliation, thereby sidetracking the call for unions. It didn't work, because of the nature of it's founders. 
After the stock market crash the Academy supported the studio heads enforced employee salary cuts. Soon all pretense as an ombudsman was abandoned and AMPAS focused instead on being the arbiter of artistic achievement.
Writer Dorothy Parker commented: "Going to the Academy with your problems is like trying to get laid in your mother's house, someone's always peeking through the curtains"

1948- Norman Mailor's first novel published: "the Naked and the Dead".

1953 - Pulitzer prize awarded to Ernest Hemingway for The Old Man & The Sea.

1957 - Alan Freed hosts "Rock n' Roll Show" 1st prime-time network rock music show.

1963- Nelson Rockefeller married Margaret Fitzler-Murphy, called Happy Rockefeller. 

1967- The Big Mac hamburger is invented by Jim Delligatti at his MacDonalds frnachise restaurant in Pittsburgh.

1975- Moe Howard died, the last of the original Three Stooges.

1991- Bing Crosby’s son Dennis Crosby put a shotgun to his head and ended his life. In 1989 his younger brother Lindsay had committed suicide in a similar fashion.

2000- The Love Bug Computer virus ravaged the worlds commerce through Microsoft Outlook causing $10 billion dollars in damage and shutting down temporarily the e-commerce of large firms like Reebok. It was launched by a Philippine grad student as part of his thesis.

2001- Bonnie Lee Blakely, the wife of actor Robert Blake, was found in her car dead of a gunshot wound to the head outside of Vitello’s Restaurant in Studio City, Ca. They had just had dinner, and Mr. Blake had returned into the restaurant to retrieve a gun he had left at his table. In 2005 the actor was acquitted of his wife’s murder, but lost a wrongful death suit to Blakely’s family. No other suspect has ever been identified.