Monday, September 01, 2014

This Week in Television History: September 2014 PART I

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:

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.

September 1, 1939
Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin is born. 

Tomlin has been a major force in American comedy since the late 1960s when she began a career as a stand up comedian and became a featured performer on television's Laugh-in

Her career has spanned television, comedy recordings, Broadway, and motion pictures, enjoying acclaimed success in each medium. She has won many awards including Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, and a Grammy Award and has also been nominated for an Academy Award. Tomlin's humor is often sharp and insightful in the traditions of standup comedians, but also frequently endearing, slightly wacky, and generally quite "family friendly" in the tradition of television comediennes such as Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, and Eve Arden.

September 2, 1969
NBC-TV canceled Star Trek. The show had debuted on September 8, 1966.

September 5, 1929
George Robert "Bob" Newhart is born. 

Stand-up comedian and actor who is best known for playing psychologist Dr. Robert "Bob" Hartley on the popular 1970s sitcom The Bob Newhart Show and as innkeeper Dick Loudon on the popular 1980s sitcom Newhart was born. He also appeared in film roles such as Major Major in Catch-22, and Papa Elf in Elf. He provided the voice of Bernard in the Walt Disney animated films The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under.

September 6, 1969
H.R. Pufnstuf the children's television series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft first aired. It was the first Krofft live-action, life-size puppet, program. 

The show centered on a shipwrecked boy named Jimmy (played by Jack Wild) and his friend, a talking flute named Freddy. Jimmy had been lured to the island with, by a magic boat that promised adventures across the sea. The boat was owned by a wicked witch named Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo (played by Billie Hayes) who rode on a broomstick-like vehicle called the Vroom Broom. He washes ashore on Living Island, home of dancing trees and singing frogs. The Mayor of Living Island was a friendly and helpful dragon named H.R. Pufnstuf (voiced by the show's writer Lennie Weinrib with the costume worn by property master Albert F. Bentley).

 The H.R. Pufnstuf character was originally created for the HemisFair '68 world's fair in 1968, where the Kroffts produced a show called Kaleidescope for the Coca-Cola pavilion. The character's name was Luther and he became the symbol of the fair.

September 7, 1974
Land of the Lost first aired. 

The children's adventure television series created (though uncredited) by David Gerrold and produced by Sid and Marty Krofft, who co-developed the series with Allan Foshko. During its original run, it was broadcast on the NBC television network. However, it also aired in daily syndication in the early 1980s as part of the "Krofft Superstars" package. In 1985, it returned to late Saturday mornings on CBS as a replacement for the canceled Pryor's Place - also a Krofft production. It was later shown in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel in the 1990s. 

Re-runs of this series now airs Saturday mornings on Me-TV. It has since become a cult classic and is now available on DVD. 

Krofft Productions remade the series in 1991, also titled Land of the Lost, and a big budget film adaptation was released in 2009.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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