Monday, July 12, 2010

This week in Television History: July 2010 PART II

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL with Ed Robertson and Frankie Montiforte Broadcast LIVE every other Monday at 9pm ET, 6pm PT (immediately following STU'S SHOW) on Shokus Internet Radio. The program will then be repeated Tuesday thru Sunday at the same time (9pm ET, 6pm PT)on Shokus Radio for the next two weeks, and then will be posted on line at our archives page at We are also on Share-a-Vision Radio ( Friday at 7pm PT and ET, either before or after the DUSTY RECORDS show, depending on where you live.

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

July 12, 1990
Northern Exposure airs its first episode.

The offbeat show, about a Manhattan doctor contractually forced to work in the fictional of town Cicely, Alaska for four years to repay a student loan from the state. Rob Morrow stared as Dr. Joel Fleischman. Most of Northern Exposure's story arcs are character-driven, with the plots revolving around the eccentricities of the Cicely citizens. The show consistently ranked in the Top 20 most-watched TV shows until it was canceled in 1995.

July 12, 1937
William "Bill" Henry Cosby, Jr. is born.

A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at various clubs, then landed a vanguard role in the 1960s action show I Spy. He later starred in his own series, The Bill Cosby Show, in 1969. He was one of the major characters on the children's television show The Electric Company for its first two seasons, and created the humorous educational cartoon series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, about a group of young friends growing up in the city. Cosby also acted in numerous films. Cosby's net worth is estimated at over $300 million.

July 12, 1908
Milton Berle is born.

As the manic host of NBC's Texaco Star Theater (1948–55), he was the first major star of television and as such became known as Uncle Miltie and Mr. Television to millions during TV's golden age.

July 13, 1985
Live Aid, a massive concert for African famine relief, takes place simultaneously in Philadelphia and London.
In addition to 162,000 fans that attended the all-day event were 1.5 billion viewers worldwide who watched the show on MTV or other television stations. An estimated 75 percent of all radio stations around the world broadcast at least part of the concert.

Irish musician Bob Geldof, of the Boomtown Rats, organized the event. Among the participants were Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, the Beach Boys, Carlos Santana, Madonna, Sting, and Tina Turner. Several disbanded groups came together again for the day, including Crosby, Stills and Nash; The Who; and surviving members of Led Zeppelin, including Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones. All performers worked for free, as did many other concert workers. The production, which ordinarily would have cost $20 million to stage, cost only $4 million and raised more than $70 million for famine relief.
Despite the number of acts, the show ran surprisingly smoothly. Rotating stages allowed bands to set up and dismantle their equipment while other bands were onstage. Acts from one stadium were telecast across the Atlantic to the other. Such organization, however, did not characterize the group's later charitable efforts: Live Aid was later criticized for its disorganized and slow efforts to channel aid to Africa.

Jul 16, 1967
Will Ferrell is born in Irvine, California.
After rising to fame on TV’s Saturday Night Live, Ferrell starred in a string of big-screen comedies, including Old School and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Ferrell graduated from the University of Southern California in 1990 and went on to join The Groundlings, an improvisational comedy group whose members have included Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz and Lisa Kudrow. In 1995, Ferrell became a cast member of Saturday Night Live (SNL). Over the course of his seven seasons with the show, he became known for his impersonations of such celebrities as President George W. Bush, game show host Alex Trebek and Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton. Ferrell also became known for the fictional characters he created, including cowbell player Gene Frenkle of Blue Oyster Cult, cheerleader Craig Buchanan and dense nightclubber Steve Butabi.
In 1998, Ferrell reprised the Butabi character for the feature-length movie A Night at the Roxbury, which co-starred his SNL castmates Chris Kattan and Molly Shannon. The following year, Ferrell and Shannon appeared together in another SNL sketch movie spin-off, Superstar, about the nerdy Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher (played by Shannon). During his years at SNL, Ferrell also had supporting roles in movie comedies like Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1995), Zoolander (2001) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001).
In 2003, Ferrell starred in the box-office hits Elf, about a human raised by Santa’s elves, and Old School, about three men in their 30s who try to relive their college days by starting their own fraternity. Ferrell, along with his Old School co-stars Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn, came to be known in the media as members of the so-called “Frat Pack,” a group of male Hollywood actors who appeared together in comedies in the late 1990s and 2000s. Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller were also considered members of the group.
In recent years, Ferrell has starred in several sports-themed comedies, including 2006’s Talladega Nights, about auto racing; 2007’s Blades of Glory, about figure skating; and 2008’s Semi-Pro, about basketball.

July 18 1913
Richard Bernard “Red” Skelton was born.

The comedian who was best known as a top radio and television star from 1937 to 1971 Skelton's show business career began in his teens as a circus clown and went on to vaudeville, Broadway, films, radio, TV, night clubs and casinos, while pursuing another career as a painter.

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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