October 5, 1950 -
You Bet Your Life, hosted by Groucho Marx with his announcer George Fenneman, premiered on NBC-TV on this date. Its' run lasted 11 years.
Groucho Marx stated that the biggest laugh he ever got on the show was when he was talking to a female contestant. He asked about her husband, and she replied earthily, "Have you ever been made love to by a Frenchman?" The audience went into gales of laughter, and Groucho answered, "Not that I can recall!"
October 5, 1956 -
The huge, hulking, biblical spectacular, The Ten Commandments (the last film directed by the master showman, Cecil B Demille) opened on this date.
When Yul Brynner was told he would be playing Pharaoh Rameses II opposite Charlton Heston's Moses and that he would be shirtless for a majority of the film, he began a rigorous weightlifting program because he did not want to be physically overshadowed by Heston. This would explain his buffer-than-normal physique during The King and I, the film he made just after this one. Heston would later submit that Brynner gave the best performance in the film.
October 5, 1961 -
Blake Edwards' adaptation of Truman Capote's novel, Breakfast at Tiffany's, premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on this date.
Henry Mancini wrote Moon River specifically for Audrey Hepburn. He later said that while many version of the song have been done, he feels that Audrey's was the best. At a post-production meeting following a screening of the film, a studio executive, in reference to Moon River, said, "Well, I think the first thing we can do is get rid of that stupid song." Audrey Hepburn stood up at the table and said, "Over my dead body!" The song stayed in the picture.
October 5, 1962 -
Parlophone Records released the Beatles first single, Love Me Do, in England on this date. (The b side was, P.S., I Love You.)
By 1962, The Beatles were playing regular gigs at a club in Hamburg, Germany. They played a lot of Blues covers by famous American artists, and it was a big deal for them when they introduced this into their set, as they didn't know how it would hold up against songs by Little Richard and Ray Charles. The song was well-received and gave The Beatles a lot of confidence, which led to them writing and performing more original songs.
October 5, 1969 -
The British Empire had been on a long slow decline for many years. The last flourish of that dying world power happened on this date - Monty Python's Flying Circus made its debut on BBC-TV.
The funniest joke in the world is what Eric Idle refers to as "German gibberish". But for those who can handle it, it is, "Venn ist das nurnstuck git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beigerhund das oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!" When translated into English, the Funniest Joke in the World is complete nonsense.
October 5, 1990 -
Henry and June, the first NC-17-rated film was released in the US on this date.
This movie precipitated the creation of the NC-17 MPAA rating, which it earned in place of an "X". The two to three second shot of Anaïs Nin (Maria de Medeiros) looking at an explicit illustrated postcard involving a Japanese woman and a squid, less than three minutes into the opening credits of the film, was the cause of the NC-17 rating.
Today's moment of Zen
Today in History:
October 5, 1877 -
... I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; Looking-glass is dead. Too-hul-hul-suit is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men, now, who say ’yes’ or ’no’[that is, vote in council]. He who led on the young men [Joseph’s brother, Ollicut] is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people--some of them--have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are---perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find;maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever! ....
Chief Joseph, exhausted and disheartened, surrendered in the Bears Paw Mountains of Montana, forty miles south of Canada ending the Nez Percé war. Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain was born in 1840 in the Wallowa Valley of what is now northeastern Oregon. He took the name of his father, (Old) Chief Joseph or Joseph the Elder. When his father died in 1871, Joseph or Joseph the Younger, was elected his father's successor. He continued his father's efforts to secure the Nez Percé claim to their land while remaining peaceful towards the whites.
October 5, 1880 -
Alonzo T. Cross was issued was issued U.S. Patent No. 232804 for the first ball-point pen, the Stylographic Pen.
October 5, 1902 -
Ray Kroc was born on this date.
Mr Kroc invented McDonalds, which caused the collapse of the Soviet Union and made us all fat, allowing us to buy sub prime mortgage properties, which ultimate will bring down the United States as a dominant world power. (Michael Keaton played Ray Kroc in a bio-pic on the business man.)
October 5, 1930 -
The largest British dirigible, R101 crashed on a hill in Beauvais, France on this date. The ensuing fire killed all 48 of the passengers and crew.
The wreck of the R101 lay where it had fallen until well into 1931, becoming a sightseeing spot for air accident investigators and day trippers who wanted to see the near perfect skeleton of the largest airship in the world.
October 5, 1970 -
PBS became a network on this date.
Unlike the model of America's commercial television networks, in which affiliates give up portions of their local advertising airtime in exchange for network programming, PBS member stations pay substantial fees for the shows acquired and distributed by the national organization.
October 5, 1974 -
David Kunst left Waseca, Minnesota on June 20, 1970 and completed the first journey around the world on foot, returning to Waseca, Minnesota, on this date, four years, three months and sixteen days later.
He crossed four continents, walked 14,450 miles and went through 21 pairs of shoes. On October 21, 1972, he and his brother were shot during their portion of the trek through Afghanistan (his brother, John, was unfortunately killed in the incident.) After four months of recuperation, Dave continued on his walk with his other brother Pete.
October 5, 1989 -
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), was named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for nonviolent efforts to free his homeland from China.
Oh great, I keep blowing my chance of being read in China.
And so it goes.