I represent the first generation who, when we were born, the television was now a permanent fixture in our homes. When I was born people had breakfast with Barbara Walters, dinner with Walter Cronkite, and slept with Johnny Carson.
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I spent twenty years here before I got anything going, and from that I got lucky. It takes a lot of luck in show business too. You've just got to be lucky and in the right place at the right time
- Al Molinaro
Albert Francis "Al" MolinaroJune 24, 1919 – October 30, 2015
Al Molinaro died in a Glendale, California, hospital today, at the age of 96. He is survived by his wife Betty and son Michael, who said his father's death was the result of complications from an infected gall bladder.
Al Molinaro was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the son of Italian immigrants Rafaele and Teresa Molinaro. Molinaro moved to California in the early 1950s and worked odd jobs, finally saving enough money to start his own collection agency. He eventually sold his business and became interested in southern California real estate speculation. His investments paid off when one of his properties was purchased by a conglomerate which used the land to build one of the largest retail shopping malls of its day.As a result, Molinaro was already financially independent when he decided to pursue his longtime dream of being an actor.
Molinaro took an improvisation class, in which Penny Marshall was one of the other students. In 1970, she introduced him to her brother, producer Garry Marshall, who offered Molinaro the role of police officer Murray Greshler on the TV sitcomThe Odd Couple, which aired until 1975.
The following year, Molinaro was then hired by Garry Marshall to replace Pat Morita on another sitcom he produced, Happy Days. Molinaro's character was Al Delvecchio, the owner of Arnold's malt shop. He left the show in 1982, but then was tapped by Garry Marshall again to play the Al Delvecchio role on the short-lived Happy Days spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi, starring Scott Baio and Erin Moran.
He revealed in 1990 that he declined acting roles in movies offered to him by Garry Marshall. Molinaro said at the time, "I can’t work in movies with Garry because I’m so square that I won’t be in a movie that has four-letter words in it. . . . That puts me pretty much totally out of films these days. . . . You get to a point where you don’t want to do just anything for the career. You gotta live with yourself".
In 1992, at age 73, he retired from acting in film and television but continued to appear in TV commercials until the early 2000s. He appeared in 42 On-Cor commercials between 1987 and 2003.
Molinaro appeared in Weezer's music video for the 1994 song "Buddy Holly", which was set in Arnold's diner. He introduced the band as "Kenosha, Wisconsin's own Weezer."
In 2004, Molinaro announced plans to write a book about his childhood in Kenosha and his acting experiences. In 2005, he did not appear in the Happy Days Reunion which aired on ABC.
Molinaro was a frequent guest on the Don and Mike Show, a nationally syndicated radio show that aired from 1985 to 2008.
Here is another "Mental Sorbet"a little Spark of Madnessthat we could use to momentarily forget about those things that leave a bad taste in our mouths.
COZI-TV presents a Halloween special, "Auto-Tune the Munsters," the first TV show in history to get the Auto-Tune treatment! The episode "A Man for Marilyn" features five original songs and videos as Grandpa tries to turn an ugly frog into a handsome prince for Marilyn. Invite all the zombies, monsters, ghosts and witches at your Halloween party to hear this rock and rap musical with Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne), Lily (Yvonne DeCarlo), Grandpa (Al Lewis), Eddie (Butch Patrick) and Marilyn (Pat Priest). Trick or treat? Have both this Halloween night at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
RadioSlot.com San Francisco, CA Monday 11/2 10pm ET, 7pm PT with replays Tuesday thru Friday at 10pm ET, 7pm PT Click on the Talk Slot button at RadioSlot.com
PWRNetwork Ann Arbor, MI Various times throughout the week on the Entertainment Channel at PWRNetwork.com
Most of you know Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Garrett on The Facts of Life (and, before that, Diff’rent Strokes), as well as Schnauser’s wife on Car 54, Where Are You? and Molly the Mail Carrier on Sesame Street. But she also has a long list of stage credits, both on and off Broadway, including Li’l Abner, Threepenny Opera, Come Back LittleSheba, Pippin, Romeo and Juliet and dozens of others. Most remarkable, however, is that as often as Charlotte has made us laugh, she did often did so while overcoming great personal trauma, including the uncertainty of raising a son with autism at a time when very few medical experts knew much about it.
Charlotte opens up about her life in a new book, The Facts of My Life, that also includes great stories about her work and friendships with such legends as Meryl Streep, Jean Stapleton, Larry Hagman, Alice Ghostley, Stacy Keach, Julie Newmar, Tina Louise, Eartha Kitt, Paul Lynde, Dick Cavett, Kevin Kline, Angela Lansbury and Charles Nelson Reilly. Charlotte Rae will join us in our second hour.
For our listeners on the East Coast, Charlotte Rae will be signing copies of The Facts of My Life at legendary Sardi’s Restaurant in New York City on Tuesday, Nov. 3. For our listeners on the West Coast, Charlotte will sign copies of her book at the Barnes and Noble at the Grove in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Also joining us this week will be Deborah Norville, the Emmy Award-winning journalist who is celebrating her 20th anniversary this year as the host of Inside Edition. An eternal optimist, Deborah has not only believed in the power of positive thinking since she was a young girl, she has written or co-written several books on the subject — the latest of which, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Possible, asks the question “How much better would life be if we lived it with possibility?”
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Possible: 101 Studies About a Positive Attitude to Improve Your Life is an inspiring collection of stories written by people who achieved success, overcame disabilities and loss, or otherwise transformed their lives through positive thinking and force of will. Deborah Norville will join us in our first hour.
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.
October 27, 1945
U.S. President Harry S. Truman made his first
live television appearance.
President Harry S. Truman made his first
"live" television appearance at a Navy Day speech in New York's Central
Park on October 27, 1945.
October 28, 1950
Popular radio personality Jack Benny moves to
television with The Jack Benny Program. The TV version of the show ran for the next 15 years.
Jack Benny was born
Benjamin Kubelsky in 1894. His father, a Lithuanian immigrant, ran a saloon in
Waukegan, Illinois, near Chicago. Benny began playing violin at age six and
continued through high school. He began touring on the vaudeville circuit in
1917. In 1918, he joined the navy and was assigned to entertain the troops with
his music but soon discovered a flair for comedy as well. After World War I,
Benny returned to vaudeville as a comedian and became a top act in the 1920s.
In 1927, he married an actress named Sadye Marks; the couple stayed together
until Benny's death in 1974.
Benny's success in
vaudeville soon won him attention from Hollywood, where he made his film debut
in Hollywood Revue of 1929. Over the years, he won larger roles, notably
in Charley's Aunt (1941) and To Be or Not to Be (1942). Movies
were only a sideline for Benny, though, who found his natural medium in radio
In March 1932,
then-newspaper columnist Ed Sullivan, dabbling in radio, asked Benny to do an
on-air interview. Benny reluctantly agreed. His comedy, though, was so
successful that Benny was offered his own show almost immediately, which
debuted just a few months later. At first a mostly musical show with a few
minutes of Benny's comedy during interludes, the show evolved to become mostly
comedy, incorporating well-developed skits and regular characters. In many of
these skits, Benny portrayed himself as a vain egomaniac and notorious
pinchpenny who refused to replace his (very noisy) antique car and who kept his
money in a closely guarded vault. His regulars included his wife, whose
character, Mary Livingstone, deflated Benny's ego at every opportunity; Mel
Blanc, who used his famous voice to play Benny's noisy car, his exasperated
French violin teacher, and other characters; and Eddie Andersen, one of radio's
first African American stars, who played Benny's long-suffering valet,
Rochester Van Jones. The program ran until 1955.
the 1950s, Benny began experimenting with television, making specials in 1950,
1951, and 1952. Starting in 1952, The Jack Benny Show aired regularly,
at first once every four weeks, then every other week, then finally every week
from 1960 to 1965. Benny was as big a hit on TV as on the radio. Despite the
stingy skinflint image he cultivated on the air, Benny was known for his
generosity and modesty in real life. He died of cancer in Beverly Hills in
Winkler is best known for his
role as Fonzie on the 1970s American sitcomHappy Days.
"The Fonz", a leather-clad greaser
and auto mechanic, started out as a minor character
at the show's beginning, but had achieved top billing by the time the show
ended. Winkler started acting by appearing in a number of television
commercials. In October 1973, he was cast for the role of Arthur Herbert
Fonzarelli, nicknamed The Fonz or Fonzie, in the TV show Happy Days. The show was first aired in
January 1974. During his decade on Happy Days, Winkler also starred in a
number of movies, including The Lords of
Flatbush (1974), playing a troubled Vietnam veteran
in Heroes (1977), The One and Only (1978), and a morgue
attendant in Night Shift
(1982), which was directed by Happy Days co-star Ron
After Happy Days, Winkler put his acting career on the back burner,
as he began concentrating on producing and directing. He quickly worked on
developing his own production company and, within months, he had opened Winkler-Rich
As the 1990s continued, Winkler began a return to acting. In 1994 he
returned to TV with the short-lived right-wing comedy Monty on Fox
which sank in mere weeks. Also in 1994, he co-starred with Katharine Hepburn in
the holiday TV movie "One Christmas", her last film. In 1998, Adam Sandler asked Winkler to play a
college football coach, a supporting role in The Waterboy (1998). He would later
appear in three other Sandler films, Little Nicky
(2000) where he plays himself and is covered in bees, Click (2006, as the main character's
father), and You
Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008). He has also played small roles
in movies such as Down to You
(2000), Holes (2003), and I Could
Never Be Your Woman (2007).
Winkler recently had a recurring role as incompetent lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn in the Fox Television comedy Arrested
Development. In one episode, his character hopped over a dead
shark lying on a pier, a reference to his role in the origin of the phrase
"jumping the shark".
After that episode, Winkler in interviews stated that he was the only person to
have "jumped the shark" twice.
When Winkler moved to CBS for one season to star in 2005–06's Out of Practice, his role as the Bluth
family lawyer on Arrested Development was taken over by Happy Days
co-star Scott Baio in the fall of 2005, shortly
before the acclaimed but Nielsen-challenged show ceased production.
The rally was a combination of what initially were
announced as separate events: Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" and
Colbert's counterpart, the "March to Keep Fear Alive." Its stated
purpose was to provide a venue for attendees to be heard above what Stewart
described as the more vocal and extreme 15–20% of Americans who "control
the conversation" of American
politics, the argument being that
these extremes demonize each other and engage in counterproductive actions,
with a return to sanity intended to promote reasoned discussion. Despite
Stewart's insistence to the contrary, news reports cast the rally as a spoof of
rally and Al Sharpton's
the Dream rally.
To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".