Monday, August 09, 2010

This week in Television History: August 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.

August 10, 1948
Candid Camera, produced and hosted by Alan Funt, debuted on this day in 1948.
Funt had originally created the concept for radio, debuting Candid Microphone in 1947. When it premiered as a television show, the program kept the name Candid Microphone until its second season.

Both the radio and TV versions featured unsuspecting people captured in their natural, bemused responses to comic setups. Candid Camera ran on network television from 1948 to 1950, again in 1953, and once again from 1960 to 1967. In 1989, Alan's son Peter became his father's co-host in a series of Candid Camera specials. In 1991, CBS tried to revive the show with Dom DeLuise and Eva LaRue as co-hosts.

August 11, 1921
Alex Haley, author of Roots (1976), was born in Ithaca, New York.
After 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, Haley retired and wrote books, including The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965).

In 1976, he published his best-known work, Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The blend of fact and fiction, drawn largely from stories recited by Haley's grandmother, chronicles seven generations of Haley's family history, from the enslavement of his ancestors to his own quest to trace his family tree.
Roots became a TV miniseries in 1977. The eight-part series was aired on consecutive nights and became the most watched dramatic show in TV history. Some 130 million people-nearly half the country's population at the time--watched the final episode of the series. Haley died on Feb. 10, 1992.

August 11, 1933
Jerry Lamon Falwell, Sr. The
evangelical Christian pastor, televangelist, and a conservative commentator was born.

He was the founding pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, a megachurch in Lynchburg, Virginia. He founded Lynchburg Christian Academy (now Liberty Christian Academy) in 1967, Liberty University in 1971, and cofounded the Moral Majority in 1979.

August 13, 1899
Alfred Hitchcock is born.

He became a highly influential director of suspense films in the 1940s and 1950s, known for sneaking his own cameo appearance into every film.

On Television, Hitchcock also hosted two anthology mystery series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, from 1955 to 1962, and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, from 1962 to 1965. After his theme music, based on Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette," played, he would offer an eerie, "Good eeevening." Each episode appeared to end with evil triumphing over good, but after the final commercial Hitchcock would explain in his distinctive British accent how happenstance or a bizarre mistake had overpowered the villain. A color revival of his show was introduced in 1985. Although the revival featured all new episodes, each was preceded by one of Hitchcock's introductions from earlier shows, processed into color.

August 14, 1945
Steve Martin, comedian, actor, and writer Steve Martin is born in Waco, Texas.
The son of a real estate executive, Martin moved to Garden Grove, California, as a child, where he worked at Disneyland during his teens. At Disneyland, he entertained crowds with magic tricks and later with banjo music and comedy. He eventually studied theater arts at UCLA and broke into show business as a comedy writer. In 1969, he won an Emmy for his writing on the hit comedy show The Smothers Brothers and later wrote and appeared on other comedy-variety shows, including The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.
Meanwhile, Martin began performing his own comedy at nightclubs and on records. He was soon guest-hosting The Tonight Show and appearing on Saturday Night Live.

Martin made his film debut in 1977 in The Absent-Minded Waiter, which he wrote. After playing small but entertaining roles in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) and The Muppet Movie (1979), he starred in his first big hit, The Jerk (1979). He appeared in numerous comedies in the 1980s, including All of Me (1984), Three Amigos (1986), and Roxanne (1987), a modern adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, for which he won the Writer's Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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