Monday, January 21, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 21, 2019


Birthdays: Leadbelly (Harlan Ledbetter), Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, J. Carol Naish, Tele Savalas, Christian Dior, Placido Domingo is 79, Wolfman Jack, Paul Scofield, Robby Benson, Jack Nicklaus, Benny Hill, Emma Bunton- Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, Gena Davis is 63, Ken Leung is 49

1789- The first American novel published- The Power of Sympathy: An Epistolary Romance by William Hill Brown.

1916- The National Board of Review outlawed nudity in Hollywood movies.

1930- Walt’s top animator Ub Iwerks quit The Walt Disney Company.

1935- Disney animator Ollie Johnston’s first day at the studio, at $17 a week.

1938 -Max Fleischer tells his New York cartoon studio they are relocating to Florida.  

1938- George Melies, the father of Motion Picture Special Effects, died, He had been reduced selling trinkets in a little store in a Paris train station, but had a bit of the rediscovery by the film community in his final years. On his deathbed he gave his friends a drawing he made of a champagne bottle popping. He said “Laugh, my friends. Laugh with me, laugh for me, because I dream your dreams."

1943- Legendary big band drummer Gene Krupa was arrested in San Francisco for sending a kid to get him some marijuana. He served 84 of a 90 day sentence.

1959- Former 'Our Gang' child star Charles 'Alfalfa" Switzer was killed in a bar in Mission Hills, Ca. He pulled a knife on a man over a $50 debt on a hunting dog. The man then shot him. He was 32. According to fellow Little Rascal Darla Hood, Switzer was a brute who bullied the other children, and bitter his adult career never blossomed. 

1992- Disney's Beauty and the Beast becomes the first animated film ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 20, 2019


Birthdays: King Charles III of Spain, Richard Henry Lee- signer of the Declaration of Independence, Frederico Fellini, Patricia O’Neal, Dorothy Provine, Mario Lanza, David Lynch, George Burns, DeForest Kelly, Edwin Buzz Aldrin, Arte Johnson, Lorenzo Lamas, Bill Maher is 63, Rainn Wilson is 53

1779- The great English actor David Garrick died. Supposedly his last words were when asked “Is it hard to die?” Garrick replied:” Dying is not Hard. Comedy is Hard.”

1938- Early animation pioneer Emile Cohl died while headed for the Paris premiere of Disney's" Snow White and the Seven Dwarves". Cohl was so poor that the electricity in his flat had been turned off and the candles had ignited his beard. Angry he was never recognized in his time, he once said: "the French prefer their artists with marble and flowers on top."

1949- FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover gave Shirley Temple a pen that shoots tear gas.

1953- The Birth of Little Ricky on the I Love Lucy show drew a larger viewing audience than the televised inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower.

1965- Alan Freed, the disc jockey who coined the term Rock & Roll, died at 43 of uremic blood poisoning. He was broken by the Rock payola scandal and died so poor his friends passed the hat to pay for his funeral.

1982- Rock star Ozzie Osbourne was hospitalized in Des Moines Iowa after biting the head off a dead bat thrown on stage during a concert. 

1982- SONY introduced the Camcorder, the personal video camera.

1986- The worlds first computer virus, Brain, was sent out over the infant internet.


Friday, January 18, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 19, 2019


Birthdays: James Watt, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert E. Lee, Paul Cezanne', Janis Joplin, Tipi Hedren, Slobodan Milosovic’, radio star Ish Kabibble, Dolly Parton, Michael Crawford, Chic Young, Guy Madison, Richard Lester, John H. Johnson publisher of Ebony and Jet Magazines, Jean Stapleton, Fritz Weaver, Sean Wayans, Robin MacNeill, Paul Rodriquez, Antoine Fuqua, Drea Di Matteo, and Bart the Bear-1977 Bear who starred in movies like Clan of the Cave Bear, The Bear, White Fang and Legends of the Fall.

1829- Johann Von Goethe published Faust Part 1.

1853- Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore with the famous Anvil Chorus premiered in Rome.

1869- New York City controller of Central Park Andrew Green received a petition from 18 of the city’s wealthiest citizens. It called for the establishment of a Museum of Natural History. The famous building was built in 1874. 

1919- Famed dancer of the Ballet Russe Vaslav Nijinsky danced his last performance at a hotel in San Moritz Switzerland. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he became an incarcerated mental patient for the next 30 years, and underwent numerous extreme shock therapies until his death in 1950.


1924- Lillian Bounds first day working as a painter at Walt Disney Studios. She later became Mrs Walt Disney and died a millionaire.

1940- The Three Stooges do their impression of Hitler and the top Nazis in the Columbia Pictures short comedy “You Natzy Spy”. Moe Howard was still the best all time Hitler impersonator. “Hail-Hail-Hailstone of Moronica! Waahoo!”

1955- President Eisenhower held the first press conference that was shown on television. It was held in the treaty room of the State Department. 

1961- The first episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show was filmed.

1979- Wendy O. Williams, mohawk-haired lead singer of the punk band the Plasmatics was arrested in Milwaukee for masturbating on stage with a sledgehammer. 

1985- Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA peaked the pop charts at #9.

1993- Production began on Pixars first full length film  Toy Story.


Animation Fun Facts for Jan 18, 2019


Birthdays: Daniel Webster, A.A. Milne, Joseph Glidden, Oliver Hardy, Cary Grant- born  Archie Leech, Danny Kaye, Emmanuel Chabrier, Bobby Goldsboro, Pierre Roget (Roget’s Thesaurus), Ray Dolby (Dolby sound), John Boorman, Kevin Costner is 64, Jason Segel is 39

1908- Frederic Delius orchestral tone poem Brigg Fair premiered. 

1919- American Society of Cinematographers formed (ASC).

1949- Look Magazine published a photo essay called "Prizefighter". The photographer was a young kid from the Bronx named Stanley Kubrick.  Mr. Kubrick said he now wanted to try filmmaking. 

1952-The Hollywood Animation Guild chartered. Originally the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, signatories included Disney legends Milt Kahl, Les Clark, John Hench and Ken Anderson.

1962- THE FRENCH CONNECTION- NYPD cracked a drug ring smuggling heroin from South East Asia into New York via Marseilles. The French Connection bust nabbed $3.5 million in dope and made heroes out of the two detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grazzo. Egan joked to Grazzo:" I’ll betchya Paul Newman will play me and Ben Gazzarra you!"Actually Gene Hackman played Egan and Roy Scheider Grazzo in the Oscar winning 1971 film. Both cops retired from the force to make careers in show biz. Ironically while the film was being made, the real heroin from the case disappeared from the NYPD evidence lockup and was replaced with bags of corn starch. It was never recovered.

1964- Plans are revealed for building New York City’s World Trade Center towers.

1977- The cult documentary PUMPING IRON premiered. Filmmakers George Butler and Rob Fiore maxed out his American Express card to the tune of $35,000 to bring this look at the little known world of professional bodybuilding to the screen. The film first brought to the public a charmingly confident Austrian body builder named Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said he wanted to try acting someday. Also Lou Ferrigno who would also star in movies and as the TV Hulk. Many years later as a Republican icon, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to buy the rights to the film so he could edit out the scenes of him smoking a joint.

1978- In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, rock star Frank Zappa described most rock journalism as " People who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read."

1987- National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition premiered.

1990- Rusty Hamer, who played Danny Thomas’ son in the TV show Make Room for Daddy, put a 357 Magnum to his head and pulled the trigger. He was 42.



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 17, 2019


Birthdays: Benjamin Franklin, Max Sennett-1880, Al Capone, Ethan G. Hodell 1883- the inventor of the Tow-Truck, Constantin Stanislavsky, Moira Shearer, Shari Lewis, Vidal Sassoon, Claude Coats, Denny Doyle, Kevin Reynolds, Muhammad Ali, Jim Carrey is 57, Michelle Obama is 55, Zooey Deschanel is 39, James Earl Jones is 89, animator Genndy Tartakovsky, Betty White is 97!

1775-Sheridan's Restoration comedy The Rivals premiered at Covent Garden Theater, London. 
  
1904- Chekov's The Cherry Orchardopened in St. Petersburg.

1926- George Burns married Gracie Allen.

1929- Elzie Segar was drawing a comic strip for Hearst’s NY Journal called The Thimble Theatre. It featured Olive Oyl, her brother Castor Oyl, and her boyfriend Ham Gravy. In this day’s strip, Ham meets an odd-looking sailor based on a neighbor of Segar’s who liked to fight. Popeye the Sailor was born. 

1949- The first Volkswagen beetle automobiles arrived in North America. 

1949- The Goldbergs, a radio comedy show about a Jewish family in the Bronx, moved to television and became the first true sitcom. The show ended when Mrs. Goldberg was accused by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee of being a Communist.

1964- The first Porsche Carrera sports cars arrived in L.A. 


1994-The Great Northridge Earthquake rocked Los Angeles. 72 deaths and 20 billion dollars in damage.  It was officially listed as 6.8 on the Richter Scale, although many persist that in some areas it was as high as 7.2. The epicenter was in the San Fernando Valley, so the valleys two major industries, animated cartoons and pornography, were temporarily disrupted.


2000-A Complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton was offered for sale on E-Bay.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 16, 2019


Birthdays: Yukon poet Robert Service, The inventor of the pneumatic tire Andre Michelin 1853, Ethel Merman, Dizzy Dean, Peter Ustinov, Henry Mancini, A.J. Foyt, Marilyn Horne, Sade, Michael Wilding, Eartha Kitt, Debbie Allen is 69, John Carpenter, Diane Fossey, Kate Moss is 45, Tsianina Joelson, Animator Raul Garci

1938- Benny Goodman brought the new Swing Music to staid old Carnegie Hall. Count Basie and Harry James joined in to get the tuxedoed crowd dancing in the aisles, then afterwards they all went uptown to the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem to watch Count Basies band square off against the legendary Chick Webb. After this triumph, Benny Goodmans’ band would never be the same- Lionel Hampton, Harry James and Gene Krupa all split off to form their own orchestras." That band I had the night I played Carnegie Hall was the best I think I ever had."Goodman said later.

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

1942-Actress Carol Lombard and her mother died in a plane crash in the Sierra Mountains while returning from a war bond drive. Her husband, movie king Clark Cable was so disconsolate that he volunteered for air force combat squadron instead of doing USO work, and went on dangerous missions trying to get killed.


1954- THE WAR ON COMICS- Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee chaired the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. They concluded that one of the contributing factors to adolescent moral decay was four-color comic books! The media called comics “The Ten Cent Plague”. 
The probe was sparked by a book called The Seduction of the Innocent by psychiatrist Frederic Wertham. He charged among other things that Batman & Robin were gay because when not fighting crime, Bruce Wayne & Dick Grayson lounged around all day in silk pajamas, with no women! That Superman was a fascist, and Wonder Woman’s strength and independence made her a lesbian!
Despite public testimony by Walt Kelly, Milt Caniff, Al Capp and Bill Gaines, 350 comic book companies including the EC "Tales from the Crypt" label were driven out of business. The strict comics-code was established. The comic book industry, which had been selling one million books a month, never regained that level of prosperity in the US again. 

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


1974- Peter Benchley’s novel Jawsfirst published.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 15, 2019


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

1927- The Dumbarton Bridge carried the first auto traffic across San Francisco Bay.

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


1943- Walt Disney released Education for Death, a wartime short directed by Clyde Geromini and animated principally by Ward Kimball. 

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

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



Monday, January 14, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 14, 2019


Birthdays: Marc Anthony 82BC, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Benedict Arnold, Faye Dunaway is 77, Hal Roach, Richard F. Outcault, Cecil Beaton, John Dos Passos, Lawrence Kasdan, Guy Williams, Andy Rooney, Julian Bond, Steven Soderbergh is 56, LL Cool J, Emily Watson is 52

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

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


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

1954- actress Marilyn Monroe married baseball star Joe DiMaggio.

1957- Humphrey Bogart died of esophageal cancer at age 57. 

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

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

  

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan. 13, 2019


Birthdays: Salmon P. Chase, Horatio Alger-1834, Sophie Tucker, Gwen Verdon, Robert Stack, Charles Nelson Reilly, Rip Taylor, Brandon Tartikoff, Julie Louise Dreyfus is 58, T. Bone Burnett is 70, Patrick Dempsey, Orlando Bloom is 42

1895- Oscar Wilde’s play The Ideal Husband, premiered in London.

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

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

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

1943- Movie starlet Frances Farmer was dragged screaming in a straightjacket out of a Hollywood hotel. She screamed Rats! Rats! and listed her occupation on her arrest record as “c**ksucker”. Her career was ruined and she spent years in asylums. But it’s inconclusive whether she had actually suffered mental illness or it was her mother overreacting to her sullen, temperamental nature.

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



1957-THE FRISBEE went into production today. Two World War II fighter pilots who met in a German prison camp, Warren Fransconi and Walter Morrison, invented the plastic platter in a San Luis Obisbo home. Originally called Flying Saucers and Pluto’s Platters, they got the name Frisbee when they demonstrated it at Yale University. The students there were used to flipping pie platters at each other from the local Frisbee Pie Company, so when they played with the new disc, they cried “Frisbee, Frisbee!” which seemed to Walter a better name. 
When Walt Morrison died in 2002, his family obeyed his last request, to have his body cremated, his ashes mixed with plastic, and molded into a Frisbee.

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

1962- In the wee hours of a rainy night, TV pioneer Ernie Kovacs died when he plowed his Corvair into a power pole at Beverly Glen and Santa Monica Blvd. He was attending a baby shower Billy Widler threw for Milton Berle and his wife. But it was also known that Ernie had a weakness for vodka and orange juice. At the funeral the pastor said Ernie wanted his life summed up like this,” "I was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1919 to a Hungarian couple. I've been smoking cigars ever since."

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

1979- Russian animator Yuri Norstein’s masterpiece Tale of Talespremiered.

1985- Carol Wayne, an actress who played bimbo blonde roles on shows like Johnny Carson, drowned while swimming in Mexico. She was 41.

2002- Pres. George W. Bush almost choked to death on a pretzel, while alone watching football on TV.





Saturday, January 12, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 12, 2019


Birthdays: Pilgrim leader John Winthrop, Charles Perrault (Mother Goose), John Hancock, Edmund Burke, John Singer Sargent, Jack London, James Farmer the founder of CORE, Herman Goering, "Smokin' Joe" Frazier, Tex Ritter, Martin Agronsky, Howard Stern is 64, Rush Limbaugh, Oliver Platt is 59, Wayne Wang, Tiffany, Kirstie Alley is 63, Disney Animator John Sibley, John Lasseter is 62


1928- NY police raid Alfred Knopf publishing offices, and seized 852 copies of the novel “The Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall, because it was thought to turn innocent girls into lesbians!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 11, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 11, 2019


Birthdays: Roman Emperor Theodosius I, Alexander Hamilton, Gliere, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Harry Selfridge the London department store guy, Rod Taylor, David Wolper, Lyle Lovett, Ben Crenshaw, Naomi Judd, Joan Baez, Stanley Tucci, Disney animator Prez Romanillos, Amanda Peet is 47

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

1963- A record was released in Britain called “Please, Please Me” recorded by a working class rock & roll band from Liverpool called The Beatles. It was their first major hit.

1964- U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry gave the first warnings against smoking. 


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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 10, 2019


Birthdays: Ethan Allen, Marshal Michel Ney, Frank James -Jesse's brother, Francois Poulenc, Ray Bolger (the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz), Al Goldstein the publisher of Screw Magazine, Stephen Ambrose, Sherrill Milnes, Pat Benatar, Sal Mineo, Jim Croce, Rod Stewart, Walter Hill, George Foreman, Linda Lovelace, Roy E Disney Jr, Jermaine Clement of Flight of the Concords is 45

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

1917- Frontiersman and master showman Buffalo Bill Cody died at 70 of uremia poisoning. His last words after he was told his end had come was "Ah forget it boys, let's play a round of High-Five." Today his grave still overlooks the city of Denver.

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


1927- Fritz Lang’s masterpiece film Metropolispremiered.

1929- Herge’s comic character Tin Tin first appeared in a Belgian newspaper XXe Siecle.

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

1941- The comedy play ARSENIC AND OLD LACE opened on Broadway. 

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

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


1961- Writer Dashell Hammett died.


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

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

2004- NY based Writer and actor Spaulding Gray spent the day taking his kids to the movies. They saw Tim Burton’s movie Big Fish.Gray put his kids into a taxi home and from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, called his wife to say he would be home soon and that he loved her. Then he took the ferry, jumped into the harbor and drowned himself. He had waged a long battle with depression and his mother had commit suicide. His body did not resurface until March 9.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 9, 2019

Birthdays: Richard Nixon, Woody Guthrie, Ray Bolger, William Powell, George Balanchine, Judith Krantz, Bob Denver, Crystal Gayle, Joan Baez, Simone de Beauvoir, Sir Rudolph Bing, Herbert Lom, Gypsy Rose Lee, Joely Richardson, J.K. Simmons is 64.

1847- THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES-after a small skirmish near San Gabriel Mission, Commodore Richard Stockton and the U.S. cavalry retake Los Angeles and end resistance by the native Mexican population 'the Californios', to U.S. rule. The Californios had driven out the Yankee occupiers once before.

1857- The Fort Tejon earthquake shook Los Angeles This was the last major quake in Southern Cal of the great San Andreas Fault, an estimated 8.0! Stay tuned….

1914 -John Randolph Bray takes out patents on the principles of film animation: cycles, arcs, keys and inbetweens. He even tried to sue Winsor McCay, who had already been using them for years. 

1924- The breakfast cereal Wheaties invented.

1936- Actor John Gilbert died of a heart attack after years of alcohol abuse. The accepted reason was he was a has-been silent film star who's voice was too thin and squeaky for talking pictures. Actually his voice wasn't too bad, some of it may of had to do with his punching Louis B. Mayer in the mouth when Mayer made a crude remark about Gilbert's relationship with Greta Garbo -something like "Why marry her when you're getting it anyway ?.."-BOP! . Mayer got up and screamed: "I'll ruin you if it costs me millions!"
Gilbert's fading popularity and decline into alcohol as his second wife Virginia Bruce’s film career blossomed, was the inspiration for "A Star is Born".

1939- Top Looney Tunes director Frank Tashlin was hired by Walt Disney. He quit after two fruitless years, and he wrote a children’s book called the "Bear that Wasn’t" about his experiences.  An early vice president of the Cartoonists Guild, he also joined the Mouse House to help unionize the studio. After a stint at Screen Gems, in 1945 Frank Tashlin went to Paramount’s live action division and became the director of the Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis comedies. 

1959- The TV series Rawhide debuted, starring a young actor named Clint Eastwood. President Lyndon Johnson and Ladybird were big Rawhide fans.


1972- In a rare press conference by telephone from the Bahamas, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes declared the biography done of him by Clifford Irving was a total fabrication. 

1976- First day of shooting in Philadelphia of the movie Rocky. It was the first movie to utilize the Steadicam, a system that balanced hand-held camera shots.

2007- Steve Jobs introduced the i-phone. 




Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 8, 2019


Birthdays: Elvis Presley would have been 83, Robert Schumann, Jose Ferrer, Shirley Bassey, Peter Arno, Yvette Mimieux, Larry Storch is 96, John Nierhardt, Bruce Sutter, Charles Osgood, Gen. James Longstreet, publisher Frank Doubleday, Saheed Jafray, Soupy Sales, David Bowie, Kim Jong Un, Steven Hawking.

794AD- The great Christian monastery of Lindisfarne was sacked by Vikings. 

1705- George Frederich Handel’s first opera Almira opened.


1889- Herman Hollerith received a patent for the electronic counting machine. The machine fed numbers onto punch cards and was used in the U.S. census of 1890. In 1896 Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company, which later was renamed International Business Machines or IBM.


1962- The Mona Lisa traveled to America and went on display today at the National Gallery in Washington. It was loaned in a deal brokered by Jackie Kennedy and French cultural minister Andre Malreaux.


1973- Carly Simon got a gold record for "You’re So Vain". 


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 6, 2019


Birthdays: St. Joan of Arc, Khalil Gibran, Mountain man Jedediah Smith, Tom Mix, Alexander Scriabin, Gustav Dore', Loretta Young, Earl Skruggs. Carl Sandburg, Danny Thomas, Nancy Lopez, John DeLorean, Alan Watts, John Singleton, Anthony Minghella, Rowan Atkinson is 64 

1849- the first cartoon cover of Punch Magazine.

1945- First Pepe Le Pew cartoon, "Odorable Kitty". When the Warners producer who replaced Leon Schlesinger, Eddie Selzer, heard the plans to do a short about a skunk he thundered: "Absolutely Not! Nobody will like a cartoon skunk!" Chuck Jones recalled: "As soon as he said no, I knew we just had to do it." Selzer's final opinion:" Nobody'll laugh at that sh*t!" Pepe went on to become one of Warners most beloved characters.

1949- Composer Leonard Bernstein noted in his diary that  “JR (Jerome Robbins) called today with a novel idea- a modern version of Romeo and Juliet set in the slums.”At first the musical was going to be called East Side Story, then GangWay, finally West Side Story.

1956- Prince Rainier of Monaco announced his engagement to movie star Grace Kelly.


1962- Bob Clampett's Beany and Cecil the Sea-Sick Sea Serpent. This was the animated version of his popular puppet show.“So Long Kids, Wind Up Your Lids, We’ll look for You Real Soooooon.”

1975-“ Ease on Down the Road.-“ The musical The Wiz premiered on Broadway.

1993- Ballet star Rudolf Nureyev, the most famous male dancer since Nijinsky, died of HIV/AIDS.

1995- In another great step for low journalism, CBS anchor Connie Chung gets Kathleen Gingrich, the mother of Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, to call First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton a “bitch”. In an earlier time such gutter utterances would have been politely edited, but this was given national prominence.



Saturday, January 5, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 5, 2019

Birthdays: Zebulon Pike, Stephen Decatur, Alven Ailey, James Stuart Blackton (the first American animator, born in Lincolnshire, England ), W.D. Snodgrass, Jack Norworth -composer of " Take Me out to the Ballgame' , Konrad Adenauer, Astrologist Jean Dixon, Umberto Ecco, Yves Tanguy, Walter Mondale, George Reeves,  Roger Spottiswoode, , Robert Duval is 88, Dianne Keaton is 73, Spanish King Juan Carlos, Marilyn Manson is 50, January Jones is 38, Bradley Cooper is 44.


Hiyao Miyazaki is 78

1896- Josef Pulitzers’ New York World began printing the Sunday Yellow Kid comic strip with a yellow color on his shirt. The strip gave the name to the sensationalist tabloid press 'Yellow Journalism".

1933- First day of construction on San Francisco¹s Golden Gate Bridge.

1953- Samuel Beckett¹s play Waiting for Godot (En attendant Godot ) first premiered in Paris.

1959- Buddy Holly released his last single, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.

1959- The first Bozo the Clown TV show premiered on TV. Larry Harmon played the famous children’s clown.

1961- “Hello Wilbur” Mr Ed the Talking Horse appeared on TV for the first time.

1962- After a holiday break, shooting resumed on Cleopatra. This was the first time stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton worked together, and the first signs of their love affair. Their tempestuous relationship was one of the great affairs of 1960s Hollywood.

1970- Soap opera “All My Children” premiered.

1979- EMI Records ended their contracts with the punk band the Sex Pistols. They felt their outrageous behavior had gone just too far.

1980- The first Hewlett Packard Personal Computer, or PC, goes on the market.

1998-At the Heavenly Valley Ski Resort, former pop singer turned Republican  Congressman Sonny Bono died, when he skied headlong into a tree. 


Friday, January 4, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 4, 2019


Birthdays: Sir Issac Newton, Emile Cohl, Louis Braille, General Tom Thumb, Jane Wyman, Jacob Grimm of the Brothers Grimm, Sterling Holloway the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Francois Rude, Dyan Cannon is 82, Floyd Patterson, Don Shula, Barbara Rush, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Julia Ormond is 51

1936- Mickey’s Polo Team, directed by Dave Hand. 

1946- Terrytoons "The Talking Magpies" the first Heckle and Jeckyl cartoons.

1954- Young truck driver Elvis Presley went into Sun Records recording studio in Memphis. He plunked down $4 to record two demos for his mothers’ birthday. " Casual Love Affair" and "I’ll Never Stand in your Way". The studio technician was impressed enough to play the demo for his manager, who called back Presley for an audition.

1956- In the Peanuts comic strip Charles Schulz made Snoopy first stand up on two legs.


1956- Walt Disney had lunch with his old nemesis Max Fleischer, now retired. The meeting was arranged by Max’s son Richard Fleischer, who was working for Disney directing Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Although everyone had a nice time, Richard later admitted he found the whole thing depressing. Seeing his dad humbled:” It was like seeing David vanquished by Goliath.”

1958- the TV show Seahunt premiered. It made a star out of Lloyd Bridges, the father of Jeff and Beau. 

1960- Writer Albert Camus was killed in a car accident. He was 46.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 3, 2019


Birthdays: Marcus Tullius Cicero, John Paul Jones, Victor Borge, Zasu Pitts, Sergio Leone, Hank Stramm, Bobby Hull, Robert Loggia, Maxine Andrews of the Andrews Sisters, Ray Milland, Anna Mae Wong, Steven Stills, J.R.R. Tolkein, Victoria Principal is 69, Dabney Coleman, Mel Gibson is 63. Famed film editor Thelma Schoonmaker is 79

1933- MGM Louis B. Mayer hired his son-in-law David O. Selznick to produce movies. At the same time he was begging his filmworkers to take 20% paycuts because of the Depression, Mayer set Selznick salary at $4,000 a week. Newspapers joked “The Son-In-Law Also Rises”



1952- The T.V. series DRAGNET premiered today. “The story you have seen is true, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Star Jack Webb produced and wrote most of the scripts and oversaw the deadpan acting style.” Just the facts, Mam..”

1958- Howard Rushmore was the editor of Confidential, one of the most ruthless scandal magazines in show business. This day for reasons never explained Rushmore murdered his wife, then shot himself in the back of a NYC taxicab.  

1977- Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne file papers to form the Apple Computer Company. Within two weeks Ron Wayne sold his share of the company to Jobs and Woz for $800. The only real businessman of the group, he felt these kids would stick him with the bills when their little business went belly up.


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 2, 2019


Birthdays: Turkish Sultan Mehmed IV-1642, Frederic Opper the cartoonist of Happy Hooligan, Phillip Freneau, Roger Miller, Issac Asimov, Julius LaRosa, Tito Schipa, Renata Tebaldi, Tex Ritter, Dick Huemer, Cuba Gooding Jr, is 50, Tia Carrere, Kate Bosworth is 35

1688- The great insurance house Lloyd’s of London founded. In the past they’ve insured Betty Grable’s legs, Bruce Springsteen’s lungs and offered a million English pounds to anyone who could prove Elvis Presley was still alive.

1785- Austrian Emperor Joseph II ordered the Jews throughout his empire to adopt family surnames. A similar law was passed in Prussia and the rest of Germany ten years later. Most Jews created surnames out of their profession. This was when someone like Ystchak the diamond dealer became Issac Diamondstein and Yakub the butcher became Jacob Fleischman.

1815- Lord Byron married Lady Anna Milbanke. 

1843- Richard Wagner’s opera The Flying Dutchmanpremiered in Dresden.


1878- Farmer John Martin thought he saw something shiny flying in the sky above Denizen Texas. He is the first person to describe it as a “flying saucer.”

1937- Hollywood actor Ross Alexander had hit on tough times. He had been in a few movies like Captain Blood and A Midsummer Night’s Dream but his career seemed to be stalled, he was in debt, and his wife committed suicide. This day the 29 year old went into the barn behind his Encino home and shot himself. The Warner Bros. Studio looked around for a replacement to refill their roster of male leads. They replaced Alexander with an Illinois college sportscaster called “Dutch”- Ronald Reagan.

1975- In a letter to MITS, college kids Bill Gates and Paul Allen offered their computer language adaptation of BASIC for the new Altair personal computer. They named themselves Micro-Soft. 

1984- The Zenith Corporation announced it would stop selling video recorders in Betamax format and go over wholly to VHS. Other electronics giants followed suit and VHS won out over the higher quality Beta system.

2000- Larry Saunders had a conversation with his friend Jimmy Wales about writing data entries for collaborative websites called wikis. Saunders conceived of an open on-line encyclopedia encompassing all world knowledge. He called it Wikipedia.