Monday, December 06, 2010

This week in Television History: December 2010 PART I

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.

December 8, 1980
John Lennon, is murdered by a deranged fan in front of his New York apartment building.

Lennon was born in 1940 in Liverpool, England. As a boy, Lennon lived with his aunt after his father left the family. Lennon attended Quarry Bank High School, from which he derived the name for his first band, the Quarrymen, formed in 1955. In 1956, he met Paul McCartney, who joined the band, and the two began writing songs together. George Harrison joined the band in 1957, and the three played together under several different names and with varying members until 1960, when they adopted the name the Beatles.
The band toured German beerhouses in 1961 and debuted later that year at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where they gave more than 300 performances during the next two years. Drummer Ringo Starr joined the group in 1962. The group scored several U.K. hits in 1963, launching the "Beatlemania" tidal wave that hit the United States in 1964. In a little more than 10 years, the group transformed rock and roll, scoring 20 No. 1 hits on the Billboard pop charts, more than any group in history. The group's records spent a total of 59 weeks topping the charts between 1964 and 1970.
Lennon divorced his first wife, Cynthia Lennon, the mother of his son Julian, and married artist Yoko Ono in 1969. With Ono, he released the album Two Virgins in 1968. He became more involved in liberal political causes and pursued projects with Ono. In 1970, McCartney announced that the Beatles had broken up. Lennon released his first solo album, Imagine, in 1971, and it rose to No. 1 on the charts. During the next few years, he released projects with Ono as well as his own solo albums, including chart-topper Walls and Bridges (1974). He gave his last public performance in 1974 and released his last solo album, Rock 'n' Roll, the following year. In 1975, Lennon and Ono had a son, Sean, and in 1980 the couple released their album Double Fantasy, which topped the charts and included the No. 1 single "(Just Like) Starting Over."

December 9, 1965
A Charlie Brown Christmas is the first of many
prime-time animated TV specials based upon the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz aired for the first time.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Abominable "Bommi" Snowman MySpace Video

It was produced and directed by former Warner Bros. and UPA animator Bill Meléndez, who also supplied the voice for the character of Snoopy. Initially sponsored by Coca-Cola, the special aired on CBS from its debut in 1965 through 2000, and has aired on ABC since 2001. For many years it aired only annually, but is now telecast at least twice during the Christmas season. The special has been honored with both an Emmy and Peabody award.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is also one of CBS's most successful specials, airing annually more times on that network than even MGM's classic motion picture The Wizard of Oz. Oz was shown thirty-one times on CBS, but not consecutively; between 1968 and 1976, NBC aired the 1939 film.

December 11, 1944
Teri Garr is born in Lakewood, Ohio.

Garr was born into a show business family: Her father was a vaudeville performer and her mother was a Rockette. After launching her own performing career as a dancer, she made her film debut with a tiny role in 1963’s A Swingin’ Affair. She went on to appear in a string of Elvis Presley films, including Fun in Acapulco (1963), Kissin’ Cousins (1964), Viva Las Vegas (1964) and Clambake (1967). In the early 1970s, Garr was a regular on such TV shows as The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. Garr’s big-screen breakthrough came in 1974, when she was featured in writer-director Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, a psychological thriller starring Gene Hackman as a surveillance expert. The film received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. That same year, the blonde actress played Dr. Frankenstein’s pretty lab assistant Inga in director Mel Brooks’ hit horror spoof Young Frankenstein, which co-starred Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn and Cloris Leachman.
In 1977, Garr co-starred in director Carl Reiner’s Oh, God!, playing the skeptical wife of a supermarket manager (played by John Denver) who is picked by God (George Burns) to spread his message. In Steven Spielberg’s multiple Oscar-nominated hit Close Encounters of the Third Kind later that year, Garr played another disapproving mate, this time of a cable guy (Richard Dreyfuss) who displays increasingly strange and obsessive behavior after an encounter with a UFO. In 1979, Garr appeared in The Black Stallion, based on the classic children’s novel by Walter Farley.
In 1982, Garr co-starred in Tootsie, writer-director Sydney Pollack’s comedy about an out-of-work actor, played by Dustin Hoffman, who dresses in drag to land a role. The film was a huge box-office success and earned nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Garr’s portrayal of Sandy Lester, the neurotic actress friend of Hoffman’s character. Garr lost the Oscar to her Tootsie cast mate, Jessica Lange, who played a soap actress for whom Hoffman’s character falls.
Garr went on to appear in such films as Mr. Mom (1983), with Michael Keaton, After Hours (1985), Mom and Dad Save the World (1992) and Dumb & Dumber (1994). Known for her comedic talents, she’s hosted Saturday Night Live several times and has been a frequent guest on The Late Show with David Letterman. Garr also appeared on the hit sitcom Friends as the estranged biological mother of Phoebe Buffay, played by Lisa Kudrow.
In 2002, Garr publicly announced that she has been suffering from multiple sclerosis for a number of years. Since then, she has been a dedicated advocate for awareness of the disease. Garr published an autobiography, Speedbumps, in 2005.
To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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