The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

This Day in Pop Culture for October 2

Groucho Marx is Born
It was on this day in 1890 in Manhattan that Julius “Groucho” Marx was born. He was the middle child of five brothers. It was their mother, Minnie Marx that got the brothers interested in showbiz like her vaudeville-trained brother, Al Shean. Julius had wanted to become a doctor, but he had to drop out of school at the age of 12 to help the family earn money. However, he was strong reader which helped make up his lack of formal education. Having an impressive soprano voice, Julius became part of the Gene Leroy Trio performing at the Ramona Theatre in Grand Rapids, MI in 1905. Four years later, Minnie grouped Julius and his brothers Milton and Arthur along with Lou Levy to form The Four Nightingales who traveled across the U.S. After a rather poor performance in Nacogdoches, Texas, Julius and his brothers began to share a few jokes which to their surprise got a great response from the audience. The Marx Brothers reformed to become comedians instead performing Fun In Hi Skule for seven years. The brothers first movie was a silent film created in 1921, but was never released. It wasn’t until 10 years later that they would appear in another film, The Cocoanuts which was based on the brother’s own Broadway musical. Now known as Groucho, Julius made 26 movies with him starring with his brothers in 13 of them. In 1947, Groucho starred as the host of You Bet Your Life for ABC radio, a role he wasn’t initially excited for since he believed that only washed up people in Hollywood became game show hosts. While successful, the show moved from ABC to CBS to NBC. In 1950, the show appeared on radio and television. The show ended on radio in 1960 and on TV the next year. Groucho married three times and all of them ended in divorce. He had three children and passed away on June 22, 1977 at the age of 86.

First 'Peanuts' Comic Strip
The very first Peanuts comic strip was printed on this day in 1950 premiering in nine newspapers. It featured Charlie Brown, Shermy (a character who practically disappeared in short time) and Patty (not Peppermint Patty, a different one altogether). Over the years, the daily comic reached an all-time high of over 2,600 newspapers. Original strips continued until February 13, 2000 and all were hand-drawn by the strip’s creator, Charles Schulz. The strips have been translated into 21 languages.

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