Monday, November 18, 2019

This Week in Television History: November 2019 PART III

November 19, 1919
Alan Young is born Angus Young. 
The British-born Canadian actor and voice actor best known for his role as Wilbur Post in the television series Mister Ed and as the voice of Scrooge McDuck in Disney films, TV series and video games. During the 1940s and 1950s, he starred in his own shows on radio and television.

November 19, 1959
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show Premieres Jet Fuel Formula.
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show is the collective name for two separate animated series: Rocky and His Friends (1959 – 1961) and The Bullwinkle Show (1961 – 1964). Rocky & Bullwinkle enjoyed great popularity during the 1960s. Much of this success was a result of it being targeted towards both children and adults. The zany characters and absurd plots would draw in children, while the clever usage of puns and topical references appealed to the adult demographic. Furthermore, the strengths of the series helped it overcome the fact that it had choppy, limited animation; in fact, some critics described the series as a well-written radio program with pictures.
The show was broadcast for the first time in the fall of 1959 on the ABC television network under the title Rocky and His Friends twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, at 5:30pm(et). In 1961, the series was moved to NBC where it was renamed The Bullwinkle Show, and first appeared on Sundays at 7pm(et), just before Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color; eventually, it was rescheduled on late Sunday afternoons, and early Saturday afternoons in its final season. Subsequently, in 1964, the show returned to ABC, where it was canceled within a year. However, reruns of episodes were still continually aired on ABC's Sunday morning schedule [11am(et)] until 1973, at which time the series went into syndication. In addition, an abbreviated fifteen minute version of the series ran in syndication in the 1960s under the title The Rocky Show. This version was sometimes shown in conjunction with The King and Odie, a fifteen minute version of Total Television's King Leonardo and His Short Subjects. The King and Odie was similar to Rocky and Bullwinkle in that it was sponsored by General Mills and animated by Gamma Productions.

November 20, 1939
Richard Remick "Dick" Smothers is born. 
He is best known for being half of the musical comedy team the Smothers Brothers, with his older brotherTom.

November 21
World Television Day
World Television Day celebrates the daily value of television as a symbol of communication and globalization. Television is one of the single greatest technological advances of the 20th century, serving to educate, inform, entertain and influence our decisions and opinions.  It is estimated that approximately 90% of homes around the world have televisions, however, with the introduction of internet broadcasting, the number is declining in favor of computers.
World Television Day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1996. It is celebrated annually on November 21.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Friday, November 15, 2019

Your Mental Sorbet: Back to the Future Part II Behind the Scenes Special Presentation (1989)

Here is another "Mental Sorbet
that we could use to momentarily forget about those
things that leave a bad taste in our mouths

Leslie Nielsen hosts a night dedicated to Back To The Future including an airing of the first movie and a sneek peak of Back To The Future Part II. This show features director Robert Zemeckis saying that hoverboards were real.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Monday, November 11, 2019

This Week in Television History: November 2019 PART II

November 13, 1949
Caryn Johnson, later known as Whoopi Goldberg, is born in New York City.
Goldberg began acting at age eight in children's theater productions. She dropped out of high school during her freshman year, later citing a learning disability that teachers mistook for retardation. She began using drugs but later cleaned up and resumed her interest in acting. She married her substance abuse counselor and had a daughter. She started winning small roles in Broadway shows including Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair. Her marriage ended, and she moved with her daughter to California, where she began performing with improv groups in San Diego and San Francisco while earning money as a bank teller, makeup artist, and other odd jobs.
Goldberg launched a comedy act with comedian Don Victor but was soon performing a hit solo act called "Spook Show." She toured the country with her comedy, eventually ending up on Broadway.
In 1985, three days after her 36th birthday, she made her movie debut in The Color Purple, also starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. She earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She later appeared in numerous comedies, including Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), and won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as a psychic in Ghost (1990). In 1992, Goldberg starred in the comedy Sister Act, earning a third Golden Globe nomination, her first for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. She reprised the role in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), making her the highest-paid actress at the time. Her other film roles include Made in America (1993), Corrina, Corrina (1994), The Lion King (1994), The Little Rascals (1994), Boys on the Side (1995), Theodore Rex (1995), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), Girl, Interrupted (1999), For Colored Girls (2010), Toy Story 3 (2010), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Nobody's Fool (2018) and Furlough (2018). In television, Goldberg is known for her role as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation. She has been the moderator of the talk show The View since 2007. She has been married several times and has several grandchildren.

November 15, 1929
Edward Asner is born.
Film, television, stage, and voice actor and a former president of the Screen Actors Guild. He is primarily known for his Emmy Award-winning role as Lou Grant during the 1970s and early 1980s, on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series Lou Grant, making him one of the few television actors to portray the same leading character in both a comedy and a drama.

November 15, 1919
Joseph Albert Wapner is born. 
The retired American judge and former television "judge." He is the first star of the ongoing reality courtroom series The People's Court. The court show's first run in syndication, with Wapner presiding as "judge", lasted from 1981 to 1993. This run lasted 12 seasons and 2,484 episodes. Unlike the show's second run which has been presided over by multiple judges, Wapner was the sole judge to preside during the court show's first run.
Wapner's tenure on the program made him the first star of arbitration-based reality court shows, what is now a most popular trend in the judicial genre. Until the summer of 2013, Wapner also held the title of longest reigning arbiter over The People's Court. However, by completion of the court show's 2012-2013 season, Marilyn Milian captured this title from him and became the longest-reigning judge over the series. Five years after presiding over the The People's Court, Wapner returned to television as a judge on the nontraditional courtroom series, Judge Wapner's Animal Court, lasting for 2 seasons (1998-1999 and 1999-2000).

November 17, 1944
Actor and director Danny DeVito is born in Neptune, New Jersey.
A former hairdresser, DeVito made his stage debut in 1969. He began appearing in small movie roles, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). He spent five years playing cab dispatcher Louie De Palma on the TV sitcom Taxi. By the mid 1980s, with comedy credits like Romancing the Stone (1984) and Ruthless People (1986), he was in high demand as a comic actor. He began directing in 1987, with Throw Mama from the Train, followed by the hit The War of the Roses (1989). Recent credits include L.A. Confidential (1997) and The Rainmaker (1997). In 1994, he began producing films with great success. His hits as producer have included, including Pulp Fiction (1994), Get Shorty (1995) and Erin Brockovich (2000). Married to actress Rhea Perlman, DeVito owns his own film company, Jersey Films. DeVito currently plays Frank Reynolds on FX's critically acclaimed comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Maria Perego - Topo Gigio’s Creator

Maria Perego & Topo Gigio
1923 - 2019

With the collaboration of her husband, she invented and created Topo Gigio , the famous puppet that has enjoyed considerable success both nationally and internationally.

It was a time of innovation in Italy, with television and animation cinema ; Maria Perego introduced a new technique unknown in the peninsula, using puppets instead of drawings, inspired by the Czech Jiří Trnka (who followed the Italian tradition of puppet theater ).
In the fifties he created several characters dedicated to young people. Before Topo Gigio, the most famous of them was Picchio Cannocchiale . For her creation Maria Perego was inspired by an already existing character, loved by children: Picchiarello . In the same way he invented Topo Gigio, but this time he took Mickey Mouse as a reference Topo Gigio saw the light in 1959, and his fortune was due to some programs broadcast in prime time, with the voice of Peppino Mazzullo . The mouse attracted not only children (for its smallness and for its infantile nature), but also an adult public. At the end of the fifties Topo Gigio was a guest in programs with very high audience ratings. He also had an incredible success in selling plush toys. One of the many peculiarities of this character is the representation of reality as of fiction, because, despite being a fictional character, he also faces real problems, which are part of everyone's life, as intentionally desired by the creator. His fame then became international, appearing as a guest on television programs around the world, including the Ed Sullivan Show.
In 1974 Topo Gigio was even co-host of Canzonissima , flanked by Raffaella Carrà and Cochi and Renato : he duet with famous people (such as Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra ). Determined to defend her creative autonomy, Maria Perego built up a reputation as a woman and professional "of iron" over time, also because of her not always easy relations with Rai. 

Buona notte Maria.
Grazie per il dono di Topo Gigio

Friday, November 08, 2019

Your Mental Sorbet: Could You Survive BACK TO THE FUTURE?

Image result for Could You Survive BACK TO THE FUTURE?
Here is another "Mental Sorbet
that we could use to momentarily forget about those
things that leave a bad taste in our mouths
Hosted and produced by Jake Roper of Vsauce 3 fame answering the series titled question – 'could you survive?'" You are transported into the movies filled with mind-blowing experiments like what would happen if you actually jumped in a DeLorean and went back in time?" The show's Back to the Future episode, which breaks down all of the inaccuracies with Doc Brown's clock-tower-based plan to send Marty McFly back to 1985 via a bolt of lightning. After all, it is the only thing beyond stolen plutonium that's capable of generating 1.21 giagawatts.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Christopher Dennis

Best known as "Hollywood Superman" Christopher Dennis has died. 
Dennis was 52 years old. He walked Hollywood Boulevard dress as Superman for almost 30 years. He was known for his resemblance to film star Christopher Reeve, who played Superman in a series of movies in the 1980s. 

Dennis appeared in the documentaries Confessions of a Superhero, Superheroes: We Work for Tips and was the star of a docuseries on his life, The Kid: Adventures of Hollywood Superman.

He made several appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live. 

Good Night Neighbor

Stay Tuned
Tony Figueroa