Thursday, September 30, 2010

This is just sad.

Five days after being hospitalized for an accidental overdose from prescription pills, Comedy Central fixture, stand-up comedian, and Last Comic Standing judge Greg Giraldo has died.

He was 44.

September 30, 1938 -
RKO Studios released the eighth Marx Brothers film-comedy Room Service, on this date.

Lucille Ball, who has a supporting role in this film, would later buy the studio that made this film, RKO Studios less than 15 years later. She and Desi Arnaz purchased it during the height of their success on I Love Lucy and renamed it Desilu Studios.

September 30, 1948 -
Howard Hawks released his iconic western, Red River, starring John Wayne & Montgomery Clift on this date.

There was some concern that John Wayne and Montgomery Clift would not get along since they were diametrically opposed on all political issues, and both were outspoken on their views. According to legend they agreed not to discuss politics and the shooting went smoothly.

September 30, 1952 -
The motion picture process Cinerama -- which employed three cameras, three projectors and a deeply curved viewing screen -- made its debut with the premiere of This Is Cinerama at the Broadway Theater in New York City on this date.

Cinerama technicians were working on the system right up to the last minute. The was no time for a trial run. It wasn't until the actual premiere in front of an audience that the entire presentation of this film, from start to finish, took place.

Today in History:
September 30, 1452 -
It's the anniversary of the printing of the Gutenberg Bible in Mainz, Germany on this date. It was the first book ever printed with movable type. What made Gutenberg's invention revolutionary was not that it allowed you to print letters on paper, but that you could print an infinite number of different pages from a small number of letter blocks simply by rearranging them.

The first section of the Bible came out on this day. He printed 180 copies on expensive Italian paper. It was designed to be used for public reading in the dining halls of monasteries. But within three decades there were print shops all over Europe, and Gutenberg's invention launched a revolution in education.

Today about four dozen copies of the Gutenberg Bible survive. One of the most recent copies to come on the market was auctioned in New York in 1987 and sold for more than $5 million.

September 30, 1630 -
Pilgrim John Billington, who arrived on the Mayflower, is hanged at Plymouth for killing John Newcomen with a musket. Billington is the first Englishman executed in New England.

September 30, 1927 -
Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run of the season, on this day.

(Mark McGwire was born on October 1, 1963, however, so this no longer matters. Although, the Bambino was only hopped up on booze.)

September 30, 1938 -
The Germans occupied the Sudetenland in late summer of 1938. This enraged the British and the English, who both feared for the loss of the Sudetenland's celebrated pea crops.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to meet Hitler at Bertesgaden to discuss the situation, on this date.

Hitler assured him that there would be plenty of peas to go around, and Chamberlain returned to England with the famous proclamation of Peas in Our Time. World War II was therefore avoided and did not break out until some time later.

September 30, 1955 -
Teen idol James Dean was killed in a car accident that probably could have been avoided if he had had his car inspected and tuned up regularly, obeyed all posted highway signs, and driven only when alert and sober

(Remember kids, if you are going to drink til you drop, drop where you drink), on this date.

On the other hand, if he had survived, today James Dean would probably be tottering aimlessly around celebrity golf tournaments, pimping life insurance or antacids, and writing tell-all memoirs.

September 30, 1960 -
The first prime-time animated series aimed at adults, The Flintstones, premiered on ABC-TV on this date.

The Flintstones was the first American animated show to depict two people of the opposite sex sleeping together in one bed. You can no longer even mention in polite society, the cartoon from the 50's that showed two characters of the same sex sharing a bed (vegetable shortening, farm animals and marital aids were involved.)

September 30, 1982 -
Cheers, the comedy television series that ran eleven seasons from 1982 to 1993, premiered on this date. It was produced by Charles-Burrows-Charles Productions in association with Paramount Television for NBC, having been created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles and Les Charles. It was nearly canceled during its first season when it ranked dead last in ratings.

However, Cheers eventually became a highly rated television show in the United States, earning a top-ten rating during eight of its eleven seasons, including one season at #1, and spending the bulk of its run on NBC's "Must See Thursday" lineup.

And so it goes.

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