For some reason, the following sketch featuring Rowan Atkinson as the Archbishop of Canterbury, received more complaints than any other item or program broadcast on British television during the whole of 2013. A whopping 25,000 complaints.
December 20, 1946 -
The Frank Capra film It's A Wonderful Life had a preview showing for charity at New York City's Globe Theatre, a day before its official premiere.
James Stewart was nervous about the phone scene kiss because it was his first screen kiss since his return to Hollywood after the war. Under Frank Capra's watchful eye, Stewart filmed the scene in only one unrehearsed take, and it worked so well that part of the embrace was cut because it was too passionate to pass the censors.
Next time you get a chance to watch the film, notice what a truly strange little film it really is.
Today's Holiday Special: You'll see a lot of strange things from now on.
December 20, 1967 -
Mike Nichols' seminal '60s film, The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, premiered on this date.
Robert Redford screen-tested with Candice Bergen for the part of Benjamin Braddock but was finally rejected by director Mike Nichols because Nichols did not believe Redford could persuasively project the underdog qualities necessary to the role. When he told this to Redford, the actor asked Nichols what he meant. "Well, let's put it this way," said Nichols, "Have you ever struck out with a girl?" "What do you mean?" asked Redford. "That's precisely my point," said Nichols.
Today in History
December 20, 1803 -
The United States finalized the Louisiana Purchase from France as a Christmas gift for Thomas Jefferson on this date.
December 20, 1879 -
Thomas Edison privately demonstrated light bulb to a rapt audience on this date at Menlo Park, N.J.
Unfortunately, it took 27 of his assistants to lift the entire shed and turn it around to screw in the bulb and many believe the light would never take off.
December 20, 1892 -
According to Jules Verne, on October 2nd, Phileas Fogg stepped out of the Explorers Club in London, England and decides to take a little trip.
Due to the incompetence and laziness of most of the transit workers around the world, finally completed his trip on this date.
Adolf Hitler was released from prison on December 20, 1924, after serving less than a year against a five-year treason sentence. Hitler became a prolific author while in prison, where he penned the infamous political autobiography Mein Kampf. (How I Intend to Enslave or Kill Millions of People Immediately Upon My Release.)
The Little Engine That Was Betrayed by Jewish Usurers,
Where the Wild Things Are and How to Eliminate Them ,
Every Little Aryan Child’s Bedtime Book of Insidious Evil and Global Domination.
December 20, 1957 -
Elvis receives orders from the draft board to serve in the United States Army, which to his credit he does without complaint.
I should have prepared you for the sight of the bare chest of Elvis.
December 20, 1997 -
Sotheby's auctions off the loincloth worn by Kirk Douglas in the 1960 film Spartacus for $2,990 on this date.
And so it goes