Showing posts with label TV Shows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV Shows. Show all posts

Monday, April 23, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 23

'The Real Wedding Crashers' began to air on April 23, 2007.

'The Real Wedding Crashers'

It was on this day in 2007 that NBC aired the first episode The Real Wedding Crashers loosely based on Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s 2005 comedy, The Wedding Crashers. The reality prank TV series was produced by Ashton Kutcher’s production company who set up various stunts to be played by actors at different real weddings. The bride and groom were always in on the joke. The show starred Steve Byrne, Ben Gleib, Desi Lydic, Catherine Reitman, and Gareth Reynolds.Six episodes of the show were filmed but only four of them actually aired before NBC cancelled the show for good.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 31

Teletubbies debuted on March 31, 1997

Invasion of the Teletubbies

Popular and controversial, the British pre-school TV series, Teletubbies aired for the first time on this day in 1997 and continued to air in the U.K. until 2001. The show was created by Ragdoll Productions and was praised for its high production values, but was criticized for being a show to get toddlers hooked on TV with little educational value. In the U.S., controversy arose about the show in 1999 when the Rev. Jerry Falwell accused the Tinky Winky character of being a gay role model because he was purple, he had an antenna that was shaped like a triangle and carried a purse. Distributors of the show made it clear that the character was not gay and the “purse” was actually a “magic bag.” 60 new episodes of the series were created in 2015.

Friday, March 30, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 30

Jeopardy! aired for the first time March 30, 1964.

Jeopardy! Airs For the First Time 

Jeopardy!’s long-held gimmick was that instead of the host asking trivia questions, he would give the answers and the contestants would reply with the correct question. Those who are younger may not realize how long the game show Jeopardy! has been on the air. The very first airing of show was on this day in 1964 as a daytime game show for NBC. Created by Merv Griffin, the original show had a long run from 1964 to 1975. A revival of the show, The All-New Jeopardy! Ran on NBC from 1978 to 1979, but it is the current syndicated show that most are familiar with. The current version of the show began airing on September 10, 1984. It has been hosted by Alex Trebek and Johnny Gilbert as served as the announcer since day one. Now in its 32nd season the current show has won 31 Daytime Emmy Awards to date.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 29

The Rubik Cube Gets an U.S. Parent on March 29, 1983.

The Rubik's Cube Gets a Patent

Erno Rubik, a Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture invented a “spatial logical toy” in 1974. It was widely believed that he created it to help his students understand 3D objects, but apparently, his actual purpose for doing so was to solve a structural problem of moving the parts separately without causing the whole cube to fall apart. It was only after he had scrambled it for the first time and couldn’t get it back together in the right order that he realized that he had just created a new puzzle. He obtained a Hungarian patent for this “Magic Cube” in 1975 with the first batches produced and released into Hungarian toy shops two years later. In 1979, he made a deal with Ideal Toys who changed the name to Rubik’s Cube which debuted at the New York Toy Fair in 1980. However, it wasn’t until this day in 1983 that Rubik received his U.S. patent (#4,378,116) for the cube.

Monday, March 26, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 26

Leonard Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931.

Happy Birthday Spock

Okay, so today isn’t “Spock’s” birthday, but it is Leonard Nimoy’s, who was born on this day in 1931. Although Nimoy has had a steady acting career, the role he is most famous for is the iconic role of Spock in the Star Trek television series and its’ subsequent movies. Nimoy had been interested in acting since he was a child but it wasn’t until he was a young adult that he traveled to the West Coast (by selling vacuum cleaners) to pursue his dream. After a guest starring role in the TV show, The Lieutenant, Gene Roddenberry was so impressed, that he thought Nimoy would make the perfect Dr. Spock for his new series, Star Trek. Nimoy passed away from this universe on February 27, 2015.

Friday, March 23, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 23

Keri Russell was born on March 23, 1976.

Keri Russell is Born

Keri Lynn Russell was born in Fountain Valley, California on March 23, 1976. Russell’s first TV appearance was on the All-New Mickey Mouse Club show on Disney Channel. She was 15 when she started in 1991 and continued on the show through 1994. In 1992, she appeared in Disney’s Honey, I Blew Up the Kid movie and in 1998, Russell starred in the WB TV series, Felicity where she continued the role through 2002. She currently stars as KGB agent Elizabeth Jennings in the FX TV series, The Americans.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 6

National Dress Day was formed on March 6, 2016.

National Dress Day Becomes a Thing

Ashley Lauren Kerr, founder of TEAMfabulous created National Dress Day to “honor all of the ways dresses help us celebrate the significant moments of our lives” on March 6, 2016. “I have fond memories wearing dresses and I realized that dresses hold such powerful emotions for women,” said Ashley Lauren. “I remember the dresses I wore to my prom, first job interview, first date, competing in a pageant, my first red carpet event, the list goes on. This is a fun day to cherish and celebrate those memories. To me this day is about empowering women to celebrate our femininity and cherish memories of wearing dresses. It’s the women and their stories behind the dresses that make this day so special.”

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for February 28

‘An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge’ Aired twice on ‘The Twilight Zone’

‘An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge’ Airs on ‘The Twilight Zone’

The 1962 short French film, La Rivière du hibou (The Owl River) was based on the American short story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. The film won awards at both the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Awards. Two years later, producer William Froug, paid $25,000 to air it as part of The Twilight Zone TV show which aired on this day in 1964. Purchasing the story and re-editing the beginning and ending with Rod Serling giving a narration was significantly cheaper than the show’s regular episodes. However, there was a catch. The rights were given for only two airings, so it became a “missing episode” years later when The Twilight Zone went into syndication. The story involved a prisoner who was to be hanged on the bridge. Just as the man is to be hanged, the rope comes undone as the man falls and makes a clean getaway only to wake up realizing that his escape was just a dream and he dies from being hanged for real. The story was The Twilight Zone’s last episode to be produced but was not the last episode to air on TV.

Friday, February 9, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for February 9

Carmen Miranda was born on February 9, 1909

Carmen Miranda is Born

While you may not know Carmen Miranda by name, you’ve no doubt seen photos or at least tributes to the Brazilian singer and dancer known for wearing very tall hats stuffed with fruit. Carmen was born on this day in 1909. Before her performing career, she sold ties at age 14. She recorded here first single, “Samba Não vá Simbora” in 1929 and appeared on film for the first time in 1932. Her first appearance in an American film was in Down Argentine Way (1940), but her native country became skeptical of her claiming that she gave into American commercialism. She appeared in numerous films including That Night in Rio with Don Ameche (1941), Copacabana with Groucho Marx (1947) and Scared Stiff with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin (1953). Many assume that Carmen appeared in Disney’s The Three Caballeros dancing with Donald Duck, but that was her sister Aurora. It was Carmen's image that inspired the Chiquita Banana logo in 1943.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for January 30

'The Lone Ranger' radio show debuted on January 30, 1933.

'The Lone Ranger' Debuts on Radio

On this day, January 30, 1933, The Lone Ranger made its’ debut on Detroit’s WXYZ radio station. It was a creation of the station-owner George Trendle and fellow writer, Fran Striker. With no knowledge about cowboys and Indians, the writers wanted to create an American version of Zorro. As one of the original good guys, The Lone Ranger never smoked, swore, or drank alcohol and he never shot to kill. Tonto was cursed with uttering phrases that never would have been spoken by any indian. The popular series went to the movies and TV, becoming ABC’s first hit show in the early 1950’s. Disney tried out a revival of the story with a new movie that came out in 2013, but it failed to capture an audience this time around.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for January 16

"Hello Dolly!" opened on Broadway on January 16, 1964.

Well, ‘Hello Dolly”

The Broadway musical, Hello Dolly! was first produced on Broadway by David Merrick and opened on this day in 1964. Based on Thornton Wilder’s The Merchant of Yonkers, the musical starred Carol Channing. The show ran for 2,844 performances closing on December 27, 1970. Channing also starred in two of the show’s three revivals to date. Pearl Bailey played Dolly in the 1975 one month revival and Bette Midler has signed on to do the show’s 4th revival which will open on April 20, 2017. Barbara Streisand played the starring role for the 1969 movie which was nominated for seven Oscars and won three.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for December 17

"Tootsie" opens in theaters on December 17, 1982.

‘Tootsie’ Struts into Theaters

Tootsie, the second most profitable film of 1982, shared the story of an out-of-work actor who is do desperate to get a job that he adopts a new identity as a woman and in turn, finds out that living life as a woman is tougher than he thought. The movie was directed by Sydney Pollack and starred Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning and Geena Davis in her acting debut. Although nominated for ten Academy Awards including Best Picture, it only won one for Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Lange).

Saturday, December 9, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for December 9

Christmas seals were first used in 1907.

Christmas Seal are Created

Christmas Seals, a promotional tool used to promote the American Lung Association, went on sale for the first time on this day in 1907. Emily Bissell came up with the idea after she had read about similar Danish seals used in 1904. Bissell hoped to raise funds for a sanitarium in Delaware. In 1908, the stamps were used nationally to promote the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis (which later became the American Lung Association) and the National Red Cross (which later discontinued their involvement). In 1987, the term “Christmas Seals” was trademarked by the American Lung Association.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for December 7

'Edward Scissorhands" opened in theaters on December 7, 1990.

'Edward Scissorhands' Cuts His Way into Theaters

The Tim Burton-directed romantic dark fantasy, Edward Scissorhands, opened in theaters on this day in 1990. The weird story of an artifical man who was created with scissor blades instead of hands starred Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. The film also starred Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Alan Arkin and Vincent Price in his last acting role. In fact, the role of the inventor (the creator of Edward) was specifically written for Price unlike Depp who was not the studio’s pick for the role. They initially wanted Tom Cruise, Gary Oldman or Tom Hanks. The music was written by Danny Elfman and three of Tom Jones’ hits (“It’s Not Unusual,” “Delilah” and “With These Hands”) appeared in the film as well.

Monday, December 4, 2017

27 Versions of A Christmas Carol? Bah Humbug!

Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer in The Man Who Invented Christmas. (Bleecker Street)


For a story that was written in 1843, it’s amazing how popular Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol is. Many versions of the story has been produced from featuring pop culture characters from Mr. Magoo to Barbie and famous actors from Alastair Sim to Jim Carrey. Originally produced as a novella, the book was written during the Victorian era where people were longing for forgotten Christmas traditions and wanting to create new traditions such as incorporating the Christmas tree and using greeting cards.

The story is simple one, but many versions have missed the point of the original text. For instance, “Humbug” was actually a term meaning “deceitful efforts to fool people” and “pretending a false sincerity.” In essence, Scrooge already knew that he didn’t care about anyone else but himself but he also believed that this was true of all people. In his eyes, he felt that he was the only one being truthful. So, to say “Bah Humbug” was to mean, “You are a phoney. You don’t really care for others.”
Here is a brief history of some of the most prominent, tasteful, odd and even strangest versions of A Christmas Carol that have been produced over the years for the big screen and TV and the different people who have played the cranky one.

(Paul's Animatograh Works)
Title: Scrooge or Marley's Ghost
Year: 1901
Scrooge: Unknown

Possibly the first film adaptation of the story created in the United Kingdom. It is also the shortest clokcing in at only six minutes and 20 seconds in length.

(Worldview Entertainment)
Title: A Christmas Carol
Year: 1910
Scrooge: Marc McDermott

This story is only slightly longer than the 1901 version at just ten minutes in length. Like the first, it is largely forgotten.

Monday, November 20, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for November 20

"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" aired for the first time on November 20, 1973.

'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving' Airs for the First Time

On this day in 1973, CBS aired A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special for the first time. It played every year on that network until 2000. In 2001, it moved to ABC.  The special was Charles Schulz’s tenth, but has risen to become one of the more popular ones. It was the first TV special to feature Snoopy’s fine feathered friend, Woodstock and Franklin, the first African American character in the series. While some praised Schulz for adding diversity to the cartoon, others pointed fault that Franklin had to sit by himself during dinner. He shouldn't feel too bad though. Lucy apparently wasn't even invited.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Parable of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

The parable of "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving"
Peppermint Patty is less than pleased in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. (ABC)


Although a tale about friends getting together for Thanksgiving, the Peanuts special, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, is really a metaphor about family relationships during the holiday. See if this sounds familiar:

Charlie Brown and his sister, Sally, are preparing to go to their grandmother’s home for dinner when Charlie gets a call from Peppermint Patty who has invited herself and two other friends, (Marcie and Franklin), to Charlie’s place for the holiday. Without getting a word in edgewise, Charlie finds himself hosting a Thanksgiving meal knowing nothing about cooking except how to fill a bowl with cold cereal and making toast. Which begs the question…where are the parents?

Disgraced by the public outburst, Charlie Brown excuses himself from the table without a word. After a brief moment of awkward silence, Marcie reminds Patty that Charlie Brown didn’t invite her, but she invited herself and her friends to event and that she hasn’t been a very good model of thankfulness.After a brief prayer from Linus the theologian and believer of Great Pumpkins, the meal is unveiled. But Peppermint Patty is shocked and then outraged by the display of food. “What’s this?” she bellows. “What blockhead cooked all this? What kind of a Thanksgiving dinner is this? Where’s the turkey, Chuck? Don’t you know anything about Thanksgiving dinners? Where’s the mashed potatoes? Where’s the cranberry sauce? Where’s the pumpkin pie?!” Oh, the humanity.

Monday, October 30, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for October 30

"The War of the Worlds" air on the radio on October 30, 1938.

‘The War of the Worlds’ Causes Widespread Panic

One the world’s most effective radio stunts was performed on this day in 1938 when The Mercury Theatre on the Air performed H.G. Well’s The War of the Worlds as a special Halloween episode. The special was directed and narrated by Orson Welles in a way that made the story come alive. So alive in fact that it caused panic among those listening in thinking that Martians had really come to earth with evil intent. A lot of the program was presented in a series of new bulletins that stated an explosion took place on Mars while a strange object fell from the sky and landed on a farm in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey. Adding to the illusion was fact that the special did not take time out for commercials during the broadcast. Although some research has shown that the panic wasn’t as widespread as previously reported, it still marks an amazing, if not misguided, feat in radio.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for October 11

'30 Rock' debuted on NBC on October 11, 2006

'30 Rock' Premieres

It was on this day in 2006 when the Tina Fey-created sitcom, 30 Rock, debuted on NBC. Though fully satirical, it is said that Fey loosely based the series on her experiences working as a head writer for Saturday Night Live (which also debuted on this day in 1975). The name refers to 30 Rockefeller Plaza located in New York City where SNL is created and performed. The series starred Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit, Judah Friedlander, Katrina Bowden, Keith Powell, Lonny Ross, John Lutz, Sue Galloway, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Maulik Pancholy, and Rachel Dratch. The show ended it’s run. Over the show’s seven seasons, 30 Rock was nominated for 103 Primetime Emmy Awards winning 16. Ironically, the show’s ratings did not match the show’s high praise. The show was also known for creating very elaborate sets. There is one story that claims the show took three days to build a set that was only used for six seconds of air time.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for October 3

"The Dick Van Dyke Show" premiered on CBS on October 3, 1966.

‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ Premieres

The comedy show hit, The Dick Van Dyke Show, premiered on this day in 1966 and starred Van Dyke, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam and Mary Tyler Moore. However, the show’s original pilot had a completely different cast – including the show’s namesake. The “other” show’s pilot was created in 1960 and was to be called Head of the Family and would have starred Carl Reiner. The storyline was basically the same as the finished product, but fortunately, the latter won out. The Dick Van Dyke Show aired on CBS for five seasons. During that time, the show won 15 Emmy Awards.