Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

October 3, 1941 -
John Huston's first directorial effort, The Maltese Falcon, premiered in NYC on this date.

Humphrey Bogart had to supply his own wardrobe. This was common practice at Warner Brothers as a way for the studio to save some money.

October 3, 1953 -
The final installment of the Looney Tunes "Hunting Trilogy", Duck! Rabbit, Duck!, premiered on this date.

Bugs Bunny stuck out four signs to lead Elmer Fudd to shoot Daffy Duck. In order they are:




4th and last,


October 3, 1954 -
Another in the series of alcoholic actors playing model Dads, Father Knows Best, starring Robert Young premiered on this date.

Those who fondly recall this archetypal 1950s family sitcom may be surprised to learn that when the series debuted in 1954, it did so poorly in the ratings that CBS canceled it in March of 1955. A flood of protests came from viewers insisting that the show be reinstated. It was moved to an earlier time, and gradually became a hit.

October 3, 1955 -
Hey kids, remember Captain Kangaroo. Well, his show premiered on this date.

Most network shows were broadcast in color by the mid 1960s. CBS did not convert the Captain's early morning program to color until 1967.

October 3, 1955 -
If today wasn't special enough, The Mickey Mouse Club also premiered on this date.

Although the show was filmed and broadcast in black and white, all of the animated segments - the opening theme, Mickey's introductions and farewells, the Jiminy Cricket shorts, etc. - were filmed in color.

In the animated inserts, Walt Disney provided the voice of Mickey Mouse for the very last time. He retired from voicing the character during the production of Fun and Fancy Free (1947) because he simply could not do the required falsetto anymore, and let sound effects man James MacDonald take over.

October 3, 1955 -
Considered one of his five 'lost films' (held up for years from re-release), Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry, premiered on this date. This was Shirley MacLaine's film debut.

Unlike some of Hitchock's other leading ladies, Shirley MacLaine became his "eating buddy", and he took her for breakfast every day before shooting. He never propositioned her, but thought of her as "a girl who needed to be fed". Having just been plucked from the poverty-stricken life of a Broadway chorus girl, it was a pleasant change for MacLaine. As a result, she gained 15 pounds during shooting, resulting in a phone call from the studio telling her to stop eating so much as she was going to "ruin her career before it had even begun".

Octeber 3, 1960 -
Tony Richardson’s biting commentary of the collapsing British Empire, The Entertainer, starring Laurence Olivier, Albert Finney, Alan Bates, and Joan Plowright, opened in NYC on the date.

John Osborne wrote his play The Entertainer specifically at the request of Laurence Olivier, who wanted the Angry Young Man of the British theater to create a vehicle for him, one of the figures of the British Establishment that Osborne was rebelling against. Olivier hoped that appearing in the Osborne play would make him relevant to a new generation of theater goers. It proved to be one of Olivier's greatest stage successes (The Colonial Theatre in Boston has a plaque on the outside wall commemorating Olivier's appearance there during the US tour of the play), while the film adapted from the play won him the sixth of his ten acting Academy Award nominations.

October 3, 1960 -
Let grab down our fishin' poles and head down to the fishin' hole, The Andy Griffith Show premiered on this date.

When the series began, Andy and Barney were cousins in the first few episodes. This was a joke based on the stereotype that the only reason people in small towns get jobs in the local government is because they are related to someone, and not based on the merits of their abilities. However, after a few well placed references of Andy and Barney's relation (usually to cap off a joke) in the first season, this idea was dropped, and the backstory of their relationship became simply that they were friends since childhood.

October 3, 1961 -
The Dick Van Dyke Show premiered on this date. The show wasn't an immediate success but became a hit.

Carl Reiner would often ask cast and crew members about funny things that had happened to them, then he would write whole episodes about these occurrences. As a result, a majority of the episodes over the course of the show's five season run were based on actual events, that really occurred.

October 3, 1977 -
Elvis Presley's third and final television special, Elvis in Concert, was filmed by CBS in June 1977 and aired on this date, two months after Elvis' death. (This is the heavy, sweaty St. Elvis; the Elvis who died for our sins. Once again, those with afflictions, place one hand upon the afflicted area, be it yours or your neighbors, and the other on the screen. Soon, feel the soothing balm of his burning love wash over you.)

The telecast was mostly an edited version of two concert performances from Elvis' final tour. My Way was performed on a 3rd concert date on this tour. It became a best selling single following his death and was added as the last number before Can't Help Falling In Love.

October 3, 1986 -
The seventh collaboration between Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, Tough Guys was released on this date.

Adolph Caesar was signed on to play Leon Little. However, in the weeks of filming, Caesar died of a heart attack and Eli Wallach took over his role.

October 3, 2001 -
The french romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Amélie, starring Audrey Tautou, premiered in the US at the Aspen Film Festival on this date.

The traveling gnome was inspired by a rash of similar pranks played in England and France in the 1990s. In 1997, a French court convicted the leader of Front de Libération des Nains de Jardins (Garden Gnome Liberation Front) of stealing over 150 gnomes. The idea was later used in an advertising campaign for the Internet travel agency, Travelocity.

Tuning into that Bat channel

Today in History:
October 3, 1283
Dafydd ap Gruffudd was having a bad day. Besides having an unpronounceable name, he had gotten on the wrong side of King Edward I of England, for wanting to gain Welsh independence. On September 30th, Dafydd ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales, was condemned to death, the first person known to have been tried and executed for what from this time onwards would be described as high treason against the King. Edward ensured that Dafydd's death was to be slow and agonizing, and also historic; he became the first person in recorded history to have been hanged, drawn and quartered.

Dafydd was dragged through the streets of Shrewsbury at a horse's tail then hanged alive, revived, then disemboweled and his entrails burned before him for 'his sacrilege in committing his crimes in the week of Christ's passion,' and then his body cut into four quarters 'for plotting the king's death'.

Apparently, Edward was quite pissed off.

October 3, 1648 -
The greatest build out was finally completed on this day in history - the Taj Mahal.

Imagine what the contractor got to hide in his final bill with 20,000 laborers, master builders, masons, calligraphers, etc., working 22 years for the grieving Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to complete the great mausoleum for the shah's beloved wife. Imagine what Trump would do with the bill.

October 3, 1728 -
Charles G Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont, French duelist, diplomat, spy, soldier, Freemason and transvestite, was born on this date.

His/ her story is far to complicated to synopsize here, read about the Chevalier for yourself.

October 3, 1863 -
Sarah J. Hale, editor and founder of the Ladies' Magazine, continually annoyed President Lincoln until he declared the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day on this date.

George Washington had previously declared a Day of Thanksgiving on November 26 on this date.

But we'll talk more about Thanksgiving in November.

October 3, 1899 -
Tired parlour maids everywhere rejoiced,

J S Thurman patented the motor-driven vacuum cleaner (US patent #634,042) on this date.

October 3, 1906 -
Anticipating ABBA, SOS was adopted as warning signal by first conference on wireless telegraphy on this date.

Previously, people had to stand on the deck of their sinking ships and scream their heads off in hopes that someone would hear them.

October 3, 1922 -
Rebecca L. Felton became the first female senator in the US when she is appointed to the US Senate by Governor Thomas Hardwick of Georgia, on this date.

The appointment takes place when Congress had already adjourned, so Felton has no opportunity to serve. When the new session starts, Senator-elect Walter George, who was to replace her, will gallantly agree to claim his seat a day late, to allow the eighty-seven years old Felton to actually serve one day. Her tenure was the shortest for any Senator in history. She was also the last former slaveowner to serve in the U.S. Senate.

October 3, 1952 -
The United Kingdom successfully tests their first atomic bomb, Operation Hurricane, four hundred yards off the coast of the Monte Bello Islands off the Australian coast, becoming the world’s third nuclear power on this date. In order to test the potential threat of a bomb smuggled in a ship, the bomb was detonated inside the hull of the frigate HMS Plym.

Despite the explosion beginning in a ship and nine feet below the water line, the explosion created a crater twenty feet deep and a thousand feet across.

Oops, radiation still lingers around the test site like a bad chili and broccoli dinner farts.

October 3, 1962 -
Hey, Wally, are you a turtle? (Wally correctly answers the question)

Walter M. "Wally" Schirra, Jr. rode his one-man Mercury spacecraft atop an Atlas rocket into orbit on this date. Schirra completed six earth orbits lasting nine hours and 13 minutes.

The nine-hour mission on the Sigma 7 capsule was the longest to date for a U.S. flight and set the stage for the day-long final mission of the Mercury Program that followed.

October 3, 1964 -
According to noted food historian, Calvin Trilling, the first buffalo wings were served on this date. The wings were reported to have first been made in Buffalo, New York, by the Bellissimo family at the Anchor Bar.

They were served with blue cheese dressing and given away for free. The bar now sells the wings nationwide through its website.

October 3, 1990 -
East and West Germany were officially reunited on this date. The reunification of this once great nation was recognized as a clear sign that the Cold War was coming to an end, and was therefore celebrated not only in Germany, but throughout the world

- excepting certain corridors of France, Poland, and the Czech Republic, where the exuberance was strangely muted.

On October 3, 1992, Sinead O'Connor was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. At the end of her a capella performance of the Bob Marley song War, Sinead produced a copy of a photograph of Pope John Paul II, which she ripped into pieces.

Time has proven Sinead dead right about her protest.

And so it goes.

Before you go - To quote the internet, "He's fucking cooler than the other side of the pillow!"

Tom Petty died yesterday, after suffering a massive coronary. RIP Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr.


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