Monday, November 22, 2010

This week in Television History: November 2010 PART IV

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.

November 24, 1978
David Letterman makes his first guest appearance on The Tonight Show.

Letterman became a favorite on the show, serving as guest host more than 50 times. By 1982, Letterman had his own late-night comedy talk show, Late Night with David Letterman, which ran until 1993. When NBC chose Jay Leno instead of Letterman to become the replacement when host Johnny Carson retired, Letterman changed networks and launched Late Show on rival network CBS.

November 26, 1922
Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz is born in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The son of a barber, Schulz showed an early interest in art and took a correspondence course in cartooning. After serving in the army in World War II, Schulz returned to St. Paul and took a job lettering comics for a small magazine. In 1947, Schulz began drawing a comic strip for the St. Paul Pioneer Press called "L'il Folks," featuring Charlie Brown and his gang of friends. In 1950, after several rejections, Schulz sold syndication rights to United Features, which renamed the strip "Peanuts." Schulz drew the comic himself, without assistants, until his retirement in 1999. Peanuts ran in some 2,600 papers, in 75 countries and 21 languages, earning Schulz some $30 million a year. Schulz died in 2000.

November 27, 1980
Bosom Buddies starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari debuted.

An offbeat sitcom about two men disguising themselves as women, the show ran for four years and first brought Hanks to national attention.
Hanks studied acting in high school and played with a Shakespeare festival for three years. He appeared in a horror flick, He Knows You're Alone, in 1980, then Splash in 1984, followed by a huge success with Big in 1988, for which he was nominated for an Oscar. His career took off again with Sleepless in Seattle (1993); he is now considered one of the top box office draws alive. He won the Best Actor Oscar twice, for Philadelphia in 1993 and Forrest Gump in 1994.
Peter Scolari was born September 12, 1955 later workedon Newhart and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show.

Nov 27, 1940
Bruce Lee born.

Lee was born while his father, a Chinese opera star, was on tour in America. The Lee family moved back to Hong Kong in 1941. Growing up, Lee was a child actor who appeared in some 20 Chinese films; he also studied dancing and trained in the Wing Chun style of gung fu (also known as kung fu). In 1959, Lee returned to America, where he eventually attended the University of Washington and opened a martial-arts school in Seattle. In 1964, he married Linda Emery, who in 1965 gave birth to Brandon Lee, the first of the couple’s two children. In 1966, the Lees relocated to Los Angeles and Bruce appeared on the television program The Green Hornet (1966-1967), playing the Hornet’s acrobatic sidekick, Kato. Lee also appeared in karate tournaments around the United States and continued to teach martial arts to private clients, including the actor Steve McQueen.
In search of better acting roles than Hollywood was offering, Lee returned to Hong Kong in the early 1970s. He successfully established himself as a star in Asia with the action movies The Big Boss (1971) and The Way of the Dragon (1972), which he wrote, directed and starred in. Lee’s next film, Enter the Dragon, was released in the United States by Hollywood studio Warner Brothers in August 1973. Tragically, Lee had died one month earlier, on July 20, in Hong Kong, after suffering a brain edema believed to be caused by an adverse reaction to a pain medication. Enter the Dragon was a box-office hit, eventually grossing more than $200 million, and Lee posthumously became a movie icon in America.
Lee’s body was returned to Seattle, where he was buried. His sudden death at the young age of 32 led to rumors and speculation about the cause of his demise. One theory held that Lee had been murdered by Chinese gangsters, while another rumor circulated that the actor had been the victim of a curse. The family-curse theory resurfaced when Lee’s 28-year-old son Brandon, who had followed in his father’s footsteps to become an actor, died in an accidental shooting on the set of the movie The Crow on March 31, 1993. The younger Lee was buried next to his father at Seattle’s Lake View Cemetery.

Nov 28, 1962
Talk-show host and comedian Jon Stewart born.

Stewart’s irreverent take on national and world events has been a huge hit with audiences and has even led some viewers to cite The Daily Show as their primary source of news. Raised in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz attended the College of William and Mary and after graduation began performing stand-up comedy at clubs in New York City. In 1991, he became host of Short Attention Span Theater on Comedy Central, which was followed in 1992 by You Wrote It, You Watch It on MTV. In 1993, he hosted a half-hour program, The Jon Stewart Show, also on MTV. A late-night, nationally syndicated version of the program launched the following year but was cancelled in 1995.

In January 1999, Stewart took over hosting duties of The Daily Show from Craig Kilborn, who had hosted the show since its 1996 debut on Comedy Central and left to replace Tom Snyder as host of The Late Late Show. With Stewart in the anchor seat, The Daily Show typically opens with a monologue about the day’s news stories, followed by a satirical report from one of the program’s “fake news” correspondents. (Previous correspondents have included Steve Carrell, who was a Daily Show regular from 1999 to 2004 and went on to star in such movies as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Little Miss Sunshine and Get Smart and the NBC sitcom The Office. Another Daily Show correspondent, Stephen Colbert, left the program in 2005 to launch his own spin-off, The Colbert Report.) During the final segment of the half-hour Daily Show, Stewart conducts interviews with politicians, authors, Hollywood celebrities or other newsmakers. The Daily Show has won multiple Emmy Awards, and in 2004 Stewart and his writing staff released a best-selling mock-history textbook titled America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction.
In addition to hosting The Daily Show, Stewart served as master of ceremonies for Hollywood’s biggest annual event, the Academy Awards, in 2006 and 2008. His own movie career, which includes appearances in Playing by Heart (1998), The Faculty (1998) and Big Daddy (1999), has yet to win him any Oscars. On The Daily Show, Stewart has mocked his roles in such box-office bombs as 2001’s Death to Smoochy.

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

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

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