Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 22, 2019


Birthdays: Sarah Bernhardt, Timothy Leary, Franz Liszt, Doris Lessing, Joan Fontaine, Derek Jacobi, Christopher Lloyd is 81, Annette Funicello, Brian Boitano, Curly Howard of the Three Stooges, Catherine Deneuve is 76, Spike Jonze is 50.

1883- First performance at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. It was Gounod’s Faust with soprano Christine Nillson and tenor Italo Campanini.      

1938-THE BIRTHDAY OF THE XEROX COPY- Chester Carlson working with an amateur chemistry set behind a beauty parlor in Astoria Queens, created the first photo copy. He took his invention to Edison, G.E., RCA and IBM who all rejected it. Finally a little firm that produced photographic paper for Kodak called the Haloid Company bought it. They later changed their named to Xerox.  


1962- Twentieth Century Fox chief Daryl Zanuck fired long suffering director Joe Mankiewicz off of the editing of the spectacle Cleopatra. Mankiewicz had shot a 6 hour movie he wanted shown as two films. Zanuck wanted one big movie at half that size. After a lot of embarrassing feuding in the press, Zanuck rehired Mankiewicz and he recut Cleopatra, When Elizabeth Taylor saw the finished film, she threw up. 
Cleopatra became one of the biggest disasters in Hollywood History.  

1962- At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis a stand up comic named Vaughn Meador recorded a comedy album called The First Family. It made lighthearted fun of John F. Kennedy and his White House. The record became the fastest selling hit of the pre-Beatles era, 7.5 million copies. Jackie called Meador a rat, but JFK thought it was funny and gave out copies as Christmas presents. He said Meador’s impersonation sounded more like his brother Teddy than him.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 21, 2019


Birthdays: Dizzy Gillespie, Whitey Ford, Alfred Nobel, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Blair, Carrie Fisher, Patty Davis (Reagan's daughter), Benjamin Netanyahu, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Manfred Mann, Sir Georg Solti, Angus McFadyen, Ken Watanabe is 60, Kim Kardasian is 39.


1879- Thomas Edison announced the invention of the Light Bulb. After experimenting with dozens of different type filaments in a vacuum, Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb with carbonized cotton. He and his crew stared at the glowing bulb for 40 hours to make sure it was really worked.
     
1932- The film Red Dust premiered. It made stars out of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.

1959- Six months after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright his last creation the Guggenheim Museum in New York City opened.

1969- Beat Generation author of On the Road- Jacques Kerouac died of alcoholism and stomach bleeding, a pencil and pad on his lap. He grew bitter about how his call for youth rebellion had been reinterpreted by the 60's generation as hippies and flower power. When he came upon a gathering of kids at an anti-war rally distributing American flags to burn, Kerouac collected them all and folded them neatly.

1972- Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack theme to the movie “Superfly” debuted at Number #1 in the Billboard charts.

2003- The Great California Brush Fires. Hot dry wind and a lost hunter ignited the worst brush fires in California history. Ten fires from Ventura County north of Los Angeles to Tijuana Mexico burned hundreds of thousands of acres for two weeks, destroyed 3000 homes and killed 20. The smoke clouds were visible from space.

2015- According to Robert Zemeckis 1989 film Back to the Future II, all the events Marty McFly and Doc Brown experience in the future occur on this date. Got your hoverboard, yet?


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 20, 2019


Birthdays: Sir Christopher Wren, Bela Lugosi (born Bela Blasgow from Lugosz), Charles Ives, Arthur Rimbaud, Daniel Sickles, Black Panther Bobby Seale, Juan Marichal, Tom Petty, Art Buchwald, Arlene Francis, Grandpa Jones, Mickey Mantle, Frank Churchill, Thomas Newman, Jerry Ohrbach, Rex Ingram, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Michael Dunn, Snoop Dogg (born Calvin Broadus Jr) is 48, Danny Boyle is 63, Viggo Mortensen is 61

1921- Rudolf Valentino starred in The Sheik, which premiered today.

1939- Frank Capra’s film “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” opened.

1947- 'ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN...' Judge J. Parnell Thomas banged the gavel opening the House Committee on Un-American Activities investigation into Communist infiltration into the Motion Picture Business. HUAC was set up in 1938 as the Dies Committee to keep an eye on pro-Nazis groups operating in German and Italian immigrant organizations, but by 1944 it's emphasis had switched to Communist espionage. Investigations of the army or top civil servants like Dean Acheson was dull stuff, New Deal hating conservatives knew investigating Hollywood would yield the big headlines and jazz up public interest. 

Jack Warner, Louis B. Mayer, Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney were the first in line to name names. Lucille Ball, Sterling Hayden, Zero Mostel, Ginger Rogers, Ed Wynn, Howard da Silva, and Lloyd Bridges admitted they had once held communist party memberships. The anti-commie hysteria turned Hollywood inside out and the bitter feelings remained for the rest of their lives. 



1951- the CBS Eye logo made its debut. Creative director Bill Golden was inspired when he drove through Pennsylvania Dutch country. He became intrigued by the hex symbols resembling the human eye that were painted on Shaker barns. In show biz slang CBS is still referred to as The Eye.

1955- Harry Belafonte recorded the Banana Boat Song, that made him a star. “ Come Mister Tally-Man, tally me bananas…Dayo!”

1955- J.R.R. Tolkein’s last book of the Lord of the Rings published. The Return of the King.

1973- The Six Million Dollar Man with Lee Majors premiered.


1977- Lynyrd Skynyrd band members Ronnie Van Zandt and Steve Gaines died when their plane crashed into a swamp while en route to a concert at Louisiana University.

1991- The Oakland California Firestorm. Drought and Diablo wind conditions fanned a blaze in the East Bay hills that destroyed 3,000 buildings and killed 25 people.

2013- Saving Mr. Banks with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, premiered.


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Animations Fun Facts for Oct. 19, 2019


Birthdays: Martha "Patsy" Jefferson, Auguste Lumiere, John Le Carre', Peter Tosh, Amy Carter, Jack Anderson, Peter Max, John Lithgow is 74, Robert Reed of the Brady Bunch, Evander Holyfield, Patricia Ireland, Michael Gambon is 79, John Favreau is 53, Trey Parker of South Park is 49

1845- Richard Wagners’ opera Tannhauser premiered.

1945- N.C. Wyeth, artist and father of Andrew Wyeth, was struck and killed by a train.

1953 – Arthur Godfrey had one of the more popular TV variety shows at the time. One of his headliners was the singer Julius LaRosa. But Godfrey was seen to act more and more imperiously with his cast and crew. This day after a song, Godfrey put his arm around LaRosa and said gently. "Julie lacks humility, So, Julie, to teach you a lesson, you’re fired!" La Rosa and the audience first thought he was kidding but he wasn’t. He had fired LaRosa live, nationwide on the air.

1957- Montreal Hockey great Maurice Rocket Richard became the first player to score 500 goals. 

1964- Doo Wah Diddy Diddy hit the pop charts.

1968- RUPERT MURDOCH INVADED ENGLAND. Never mind the Vikings or William the Conqueror, on this day the little Australian landed at Heathrow to begin a takeover war for his first English newspaper, the News of the World. Until now the Fleet Street press barons were a closed club of rich old gentlemen. Murdoch used Sir Robert Caro as his cover to get in and defeat a hostile takeover bid from Robert Maxwell. He then demoted Caro out of his leadership of the paper. He soon bought the London Times. Rupert Murdoch later became a U.S. citizen so he could build the Fox News and cable TV empires.



1985- Take on Me by Aha hit number one on the pop charts.


1990- Kevin Costner’s film Dances With Wolves premiered.

 


Friday, October 18, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 18, 2019



FEAST OF ST. LUKE. According to ancient sources Luke was actually a physician, but Medieval tradition made him the protector of artists. This is because John of Damascus claimed to have seen Luke draw paintings of the Madonna. In Rome during the Renaissance Titian, Michelangelo, Rubens and El Greco were members of the Guild of St. Luke and paid union dues.

1896- Joseph Pulitzer's N.Y. Journal American created the first Sunday Color Comics supplement.

1922- The British Broadcast Corp or BBC formed.

1926- In Hollywood Sid Grauman's Egyptian Theater opens.

1931- Thomas Edison died peacefully at age 84. His last words were-
"It's beautiful over there..." 

1946- Walt Disney premiered The Story of Menstruation.

1950- In a heated and emotional showdown in the Directors Guild all motions by C.B. DeMille and Frank Capra to extend the Hollywood anti-Communist blacklist to include expulsion from the Director's Guild were defeated. Billy Wilder, John Huston, John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy supported President Joe Mankiewicz who blocked the Blacklist Motions, and they also prevented a recall vote on Mankiewicz' s presidency.

1954- Hi & Lois comic strip debuted.


1967- Walt Disney's last cartoon done under his supervision "the Jungle Book." premiered. Disney had died the previous December. If you remember the film the end sequence Mowgli meets four vultures who talk like the Beatles but sing barbershop quartet. That’s because the characters were supposed to sing a Beatles parody song but Walt felt the group would soon be forgotten so he didn't want to date the film.

1974- Tobe Hooper's low budget cult film Texas Chainsaw Massacre first opened. Despite one film critic calling it " a bunch of sick crap" it became a huge hit. 

1982- President Reagan said during a radio address:" My Fellow Americans, the economy is in a helluva mess....this microphone isn't on, is it?.." 

1984- Handsome young television star John Eric Hexum died after shooting himself with a prop pistol loaded with blanks. The concussion of compressed air shattered his skull at close range. He was playing at mock- Russian Roulette. His last words were "Lets see if I can do myself in this time!"


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 17, 2019


Birthdays: Arthur Miller, Rita Hayworth, Jean Arthur, Montgomery Clift, Jimmy Breslin, Tom Poston, Gary Puckett, Margot Kidder, Evil Knievel, Jerry Siegel (Superman co-creator), Virgil 'Vip' Partch, Charles Kraft the sliced cheese king, Beverly Garland- star of Attack of the Alligator People, George Wendt, Cameron Mackintosh, Mike Judge is 57, Eminem is 47

1904- In San Francisco, Amadeo & Giovanni Giannini opened the New Bank of Italy, which in 1930 became the Bank of America. Among the 40 or so independent banks in California, Giannini’s bank grew because they encouraged immigrants to put their money in, when Anglo bankers refused to deal with foreigners. After the great San Francisco earthquake they buried the banks total assets in a strongbox in their garden until their building could be rebuilt. The Bank of America grew from that garden to become the largest bank in the U.S. and a major Hollywood financier.

1928- Duke Ellington recorded The Mouche, the Fly.

1965- After a two-year run, the New York Worlds Fair in Flushing Queens officially closed.

1967- The Hippy musical “Hair” opened at the Anspacher Theatre on Broadway.

 1989- In the late afternoon, the BAY AREA EARTHQUAKE- called the Loma Prieta Quake, shook San Francisco and vicinity. For the first time since 1906, fires were seen in the Mission District. The epicenter was a little town called Watsonville. 67 people were killed. California was planning to relieve traffic pressure by building upper levels onto existing freeways systems. When one of these new double deckers, the Cypress Freeway, collapsed, crushing motorists, all such plans were abandoned.
  There was a World Series baseball game under way in Candlestick Park, but miraculously no one was hurt. National TV audiences amazed that local fans laughed at the danger. They chanted to the TV cameras: "Welcome to California!".

1990- IMDB.com, the Internet Movie Data Base started up.

2005- The Colbert Report with Steven Colbert premiered on Comedy Central. ---------------------------

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 16, 20019


Birthdays: Lord Cardigan, Eugene O'Neill, Noah Webster, Dave DeBusschere, David Ben-Gurion, Angela Lansbury is 93, Gunter Grass, Linda Darnell, Charles Colson, Susanne Somers is 73, David Zucker, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tim Robbins is 61.


1847- Jane Eyre, an Autobiography first published. Writer Charlotte Bronte’ did it under the pen-name Currier Bell. 


1923- Walt Disney Studios Born. 22 year old Walt and his older brother Roy signed a deal with M.J. Winkler for six "Alice in Cartoonland" short cartoons. Budget-$1,500 each. 

1952- Charlie Chaplin’s film "Limelight" premiered in London. Chaplin had shot the film in Hollywood but released it in Europe because he had been driven into exile by McCarthyite Red Baiters.

1955- Ann Landers published her first column.

1969- The Miracle Mets. The New York Mets, then possessing some of the worst records in baseball history, defied all 100-1 odds and won the World Series, defeating the Baltimore Orioles in 5 games. Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Nolan Ryan. Rusty Staub. Thousands of fans at Shea went crazy and danced and partied on the field with the players. My brother recalled in the parking lot cars were covered with turf because the fans had stolen the bases and ripped up the sod for souvenirs. 


1976- Disco Duck by Rick Dees became #1 on the pop charts.

1992- The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson filed a $1.4 million dollar lawsuit against a French tabloid for publishing photos of her topless and her boyfriend Texas millionaire John Bryan sucking her toes. 

1997- According to the writers of the 1965 television show 'Lost in Space', this was the date the Jupiter-2 with Will, Penny, Dr. Smith and the Robot took off to colonize deep space. "Danger! Danger! Spare me your insolence, you mechanical ninny..."


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 15, 2019


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- 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.
The show was shot on film instead of live TV and it was produced in Los Angeles instead of New York City because Lucy and Dezi Arnez refused to relocate back east. The show also pioneered the three camera shooting system for sitcoms, still used to this day. When Lucille Ball was off being pregnant, the show proved re-runs could be just as popular as first time showings. The January 1953 episode of little Ricky’s birth drew more viewers than the inauguration of President Eisenhower.

1959- Twentieth 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.

1969- The musical Paint Your Wagon opened. Lerner & Lowe, Paddy Chayevsky, Andre Previn, Nelson Riddle, Josh Logan, with Clint Eastwood singing!

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


2018- Sears Roebuck, once the largest dept. store chain in America, declared bankruptcy.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 14, 2019


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.


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- MY NAME IS MUYBRIDGE.  One night a carriage drove up from San Francisco to the Yellow Jacket Mine near Calistoga in the north Napa Valley. A man asked for the foreman Major Harry Larkyns. When Larkyns answered the door the man quietly said to him:”Good Evening, Major. My name is Muybridge.  Here is the answer to the message you sent my wife earlier. “ He drew a pistol and shot Larkyns through the heart, killing him instantly. He then dropped the weapon and waited for the sheriff.
The murderer was the famous Photographer and Motion Picture Pioneer Edweard Muybridge. Muybridges’ young wife Flora had been having an affair while he was working on his Motion Studies Series in Palo Alto. Muybridge discovered the son she bore him was not his. They were even calling him Little Harry behind his back.
The jury that convened in Napa did not hang the artist-inventor. In the Code of the Old West, proven adultery was considered a justifiable homicide. Plus Governor Leyland Stanford was sponsoring Muybridge’s experiments. So he was acquitted. Flora Muybridge divorced him in 1875 and after her early death two years later, Muybridge gave Little Harry to a San Francisco Orphans Asylum and refused to pay for his upkeep.

1926- A.A. Milne’s first book of Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Christopher Robin stories debuted this day.

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  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?”

1955- Actor Zero Mostel testified in front of HUAC about his being a communist. Zero made lots of jokes and the committees expense, and even made some of them laugh, but was still blacklisted.

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.
In her memoirs, Bruce Lee's widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, asserts that Lee created the concept for the series. There is circumstantial evidence for this in a December 8, 1971 television interview that Bruce Lee gave on The Pierre Berton Show. In the interview, Lee stated that he had developed a concept for a television series called THE WARRIOR, meant to star himself, about a martial artist in the American Old West (the same concept as KUNG FU, which aired the following year), but that he was having trouble pitching it to Warner Brothers and Paramount. Show creator and producer Ed Spielman denied taking Bruce Lees idea. He said he had been working on it on the East Coast long before.

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.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 13, 2019


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 79, Sascha Baron-Cohen is 48


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.


1993- The Nightmare Before Christmas premiered. Directed by Henry Selick. Based on a three page poem Tim Burton wrote in the 80s while a Disney staff animator.

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


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 12, 2019


Birthdays: "God's Imp"King Edward VI- only son of Henry VIII, Emperor Pedro I 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 51

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


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.

1942- Louis Armstrong married his second wife, singer Lucille Watson. She made a home for him in a suburban neighborhood in Queens New York that Sachmo always returned to after traveling the world.

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

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

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

25 years ago 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.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 11, 2019


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 Betty Persky, now renamed Lauren Bacall. 


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 artists-in-residence Leon Harmon and Ken Knowlton.  Titled Study in Perception I, 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 the 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.

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.

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.

2001- V.S. Naipul won the Nobel Prize for literature.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 10, 2019


Birthdays: Martin Luther, Giuseppe Verdi, Henry Cavendish 1731- the chemist who discovered Hydrogen, Helen Hayes, Mary Blair, Louis Lumiere, Thelonius Monk, Rod Scribner, Early female animator 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 61, Sharon Osbourne is 67



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.

1957- Walt Disney’s TV show Zorro starring Guy Williams premiered.

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 Barbarellapremiered.

1980- Actor William 'Billy" Thomas, also known in the Our Gang kiddie comedies as Buckwheat, died at 49. His last words weren't "O' Taay !"

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."



Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 9, 2019


Birthdays: Camille Saint Saens, E. Howard Hunt, Jacques Tati, Alastair Sim, Bruce Catton, Joe Pepitone, cartoonist Mike Peters, Savannah, John Lennon would be 79, his son Sean Lennon, E. Howard Hunt, Scott Bakula, Peter Tosh, Charles Rudolph Walgren-the inventor of the modern Drugstore, Guillermo Del Toro is 54, Tony Schaloub is 66, Pete Doctor is 51.

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.



1981- Sir Hugh Hudson’s movie Chariots of Fire, about British Olympians at the 1924 Paris Olympics became a sleeper hit. The decision to let Greek composer Vangelis score the period film with an all-electronic synthesizer soundtrack became a sensation. Soon most of the movies of that time had synthesizer tracks. People said orchestras and bands would all be obsolete.


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!




Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 8, 2019


Birthdays: Eddie Rickenbacker, Rev Jesse Jackson, Juan Peron, David Carradine, Art Babbitt -the creator of Goofy would be 112, Chevy Chase is 76, Paul Hogan, Ruben Mamoulian, Edward Zwick, Johnny Ramone, Bruno Mars, Sigourney Weaver is 70, Matt Damon is 49


1933- HOLLYWOOD ACTORS 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. 
The actors went ballistic when they saw new rules, such as a 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 could stay in effect even after the contract expired, until it was renegotiated.
This night, at the El Capitan theater, hundreds of actors met to draft a petition calling for rewriting of the codes. The activists included Paul Muni, Frederic March, Jeanette MacDonald, Bettie Davis, Groucho Marx and Boris Karloff. Earth tremors from the Long Beach Earthquake made the actors move across the street to Grauman's Chinese parking lot . 
SAG president Frank Morgan (the Wizard of Oz) was considered politically too left to face FDR, so he stepped down in favor of comedian Eddie Cantor, who had helped Vaudeville acts unionize. 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. Jack Warner had stationed sharpshooters behind the studios billboards. A logo on the studio wall said:" Better Movies through Better Citizenship", which the union folk changed to "Better Movies through Better Marksmanship". 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.

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. 

1970- Dissident Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsin was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Soviet State kept him in internal exile and refused to let him travel to accept his prize. He was exiled to America in 1974 and returned to Russia after the fall of communism.

1971- John Lennon first released the song Imagine.

2004- Home decorating guru Martha Stewart began serving her 5 month prison term for perjury and insider trading. 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 7, 2019


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 65. 


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. 

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

1959- MARIO LANZA . Philadelphia born Italian–American Lanza was a 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 Spartacus opened. 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 been going on since 1947. After director Anthony Mann left the project, Douglas hired Stanley Kubrick, who had such a hard time he left Hollywood afterward never to return.

1971- Walt Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks premiered 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. 


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct 6, 2019


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 56, Sean William Scott, Jeremy Sisto is 45, Ioan Guffrudd is 46

1880- First classes at University of Southern California or USC. 

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 day, and it made him realize he needed to put sound in his next cartoon.

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. 


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.

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

1991- Disney’s Darkwing Duck TV show premiered.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 5, 2019


Birthdays: Wendel Wilkie, President Chester Allen Arthur, Ray Kroc the mastermind 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 is 96, Donald Pleasance, Maya Lin, Bernie Mac, Karen Allen is 68, Kate Winslet is 44,  Guy Pearce is 52, Jesse Eisenberg is 36

1880- Alonzo T. Cross patented the first ball-point pen.

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.

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 strike leaders 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.


50 Years Ago- 1969- Monty Python's Flying Circus debuted on British television BBC-1.

2011- Steve Jobs died at age 56 of 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...."


Friday, October 4, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 4, 2019


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 73, Armand Assante, Damon Runyon, Alvin Tofler author of Future Shock, Anne Rice, Alicia Silverstone is 43, Christoph Waltz is 63, Liev Schreiber is 52


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.

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.



1998- Rolie Polie Olie premiered on The Disney Channel. The French-Canadian Nelvana production, designed by William Joyce, is today considered one of the earliest animated TV series done completely on computer.  


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 3, 2019


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, Tommy Lee, Neve Cambell, Clive Owen is 55


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 Courage first 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.

1941- Warner Bros. THE MALTESE FALCON "premiered. Screenwriter John Huston asked if he could direct an adaptation of this old Dashell Hammett story, which had been already made into movies twice. This version became the most famous. The name was kept despite producer Hal Wallis wanting to change it to THE GENT FROM FRISCO

1951- The Shot Heard Round the World- Bobby Thompson's bottom of the ninth, last out, home run which enabled the N.Y. Giants to defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers for the National League Pennant.

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

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


1957-Walter Lantz's The Woody Woodpecker TV Show debuted.

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

1961- The Dick Van Dyke Show premiered. 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 they wisely decided to retire. 


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Animation fun facts for Oct. 2, 2019


Birthdays: King Richard III, Nat Turner, Mahatma Ghandi, Claus Von Hindenburg, Ferdinand Foch, Spanky MacFarland, Julius Marx known as Groucho, 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 68, Lorraine Bracco is 55, 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. 

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, just 3 ½ months since he announced he had contracted it. He was 59. The first major celebrity to die of the disease.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Oct. 1, 2019


Birthdays: Vladimir Horowitz, Julie Andrews is 84, Walter Matthau, Richard Harris, Phillipe Noiret, James Whitmore, Pres. Jimmy Carter is 95, Everett Sloane, Rod Carew, Stanley Holloway, Tom Bosley, Randy Quaid, Cindy Margolis, Brie Larson, Zack Galifanakis is 50

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

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.

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.


 10 Years ago- 2009- The Walt Disney Family Museum opened in San Francisco.