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Saturday Night Live With Howard Cosell Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell was a dreadful variety program that ran on ABC from September 1975 to January 1976. It, of course, was hosted by sports announcer Howard Cosell and produced by Roone Arledge of Monday Night Football fame. It was later remembered by its director Don Mischer as 'one of the greatest disasters in the history of television,' largely due to Cosell and Arledge being unfamiliar with comedy and variety programming. Coincidentally, that same year NBC began airing a late-night comedy show titled Saturday Night. The shows did not directly compete. (Cosell's program aired at 8 p.m. whereas NBC's show aired at 11:30 p.m.) Cosell's show featured Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Christopher Guest as regular comedy performers dubbed 'The Prime Time Players.' In response, the NBC show called its regular performers 'the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players.' Ironically, all three of the original Prime Time Players eventually joined the NBC show. The premiere episode featured celebrity guests Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, Paul Anka, Siegfried and Roy, the cast of the Broadway version of The Wiz, Jimmy Connors, John Denver and the Bay City Rollers (whom Cosell dubbed 'the next British phenomenon'). The show was often hectic and unprepared. In one instance, Arledge learned that Lionel Hampton was in New York City and invited the musician to appear just an hour before airtime. The show fared poorly among critics and audiences alike, with TV Guide calling it 'dead on arrival, with a cringingly awkward host.' Alan King, the show's 'executive in charge of comedy,' admitted it was difficult to turn Cosell into a variety show host, saying Cosell 'made Ed Sullivan look like Buster Keaton.' Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell was canceled on January 17, 1976, after only 18 episodes. A year later, in 1977, NBC's Saturday Night was renamed Saturday Night Live.
Tags: Saturday  Night  Live  Howard  Cosell  variety  TV 
Added: 17th December 2010
Views: 2632
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Posted By: Lava1964
Jon-Erik Hexum Odd Death 1984 Jon-Eik Hexum was a 26-year-old actor with a promising future when he was fatally injured on the set of Cover Up, a TV adventure series he was starring in. On October 12, 1984, the cast and crew were filming the seventh episode of the series, titled 'Golden Opportunity,' on Stage 17 of the 20th Century Fox lot. One scene called for Hexum's character to load blanks into a .44 Magnum handgun. When the scene did not go as the director had planned, there was a delay. Hexum became restless and impatient and began playing to lighten the mood. Apparently, he had unloaded all but one blank round. In what would appear to be a game of Russian roulette, at 5:15 p.m., he put the revolver to his right temple and pulled the trigger. Hexum was apparently unaware that blanks use paper or plastic wadding to seal gun powder into the shell. This wadding can be propelled from the barrel of the gun with enough force to cause severe injury or death if the weapon is fired within a few inches of the body, especially if pointed at a particularly vulnerable spot. Although the paper wadding in the blank that Hexum discharged did not penetrate his skull, the wad struck him in the temple with enough blunt force trauma to shatter a quarter-sized piece of his skull and propel the pieces into his brain, causing massive hemorrhaging. Hexum was rushed to Beverly Hills Medical Center, where he underwent five hours of surgery. On October 18, six days after the accident, Hexum was declared brain dead. With his mother's permission, his body was flown to San Francisco on life support, where his heart was transplanted into the body of a dying 36-year-old Las Vegas man at Pacific Medical Center. Hexum's kidneys and corneas were also harvested: One cornea went to a 66-year-old man with cataracts, the other to a young girl. One of the kidney recipients was a critically ill five-year-old boy, and the other was a 43-year-old grandmother of three who had waited eight years for a kidney. Skin that was donated was used to treat a 3˝-year-old boy with third degree burns. Hexum's death was ruled accidental. His mother later received an out-of-court settlement from 20th Century Fox Television and Glen A. Larson Productions, the production team behind Cover Up.
Tags: Jon-Erik  Hexum  death  gun  accident 
Added: 22nd December 2010
Views: 3240
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Posted By: Lava1964
Maggie McNamara "I was terrible shy and I used to work on myself to keep from showing it." McNamara was married to actor/director David Swift. The marriage ended in divorce and McNamara never remarried. After her last onscreen role in 1964, McNamara fell out of public view and spent her later years working as a typist in New York City. In February 1978, she was found dead after a deliberate overdose of sleeping pills. According to police reports, she had a history of mental illness and left a suicide note.
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Added: 19th January 2011
Views: 2908
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Posted By: Cathy
Oorang Indians The Oorang Indians were a travelling team in the National Football League from LaRue, Ohio (near Marion). The team was named after the Oorang dog kennels. It was basically a novelty team put together by the kennels' owner, Walter Lingo, for marketing purposes. All the players were Native Americans, with Jim Thorpe as its star. The Indians played the 1922 and 1923 NFL seasons. Of the 20 games they played over those two seasons, only one was played at 'home' in nearby Marion, OH. Only four games were won by the team. With a population well under 1,000 people, LaRue is easily the smallest town ever to have been the home of an NFL franchise. The Indians were the first NFL team to have a halftime show. (It featured the kennels' dogs.) The team's owner was not too concerned about fielding a competitive squad--and it showed. Discipline was lax on road trips and the players routinely engaged in heavy drinking binges at speakeasies. In one famous incident in St. Louis, the Indians commandeered a trolley car to get them back to their hotel. Since the trolley was headed in the wrong direction, the players simply lifted it, and turned it around on the tracks.
Tags: football  Oorang  Indians  NFL 
Added: 22nd January 2011
Views: 1151
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Posted By: Lava1964
GI Joe Nurse Doll One of the most spectacular failures in toy history was the G.I. Joe Nurse figure. In 1967 Hasbro expanded its line of successful G.I. Joe toys. One was the G.I. Nurse Action Girl, a doll so rare that certain models in mint condition still in the box can bring up to $6,000 on today’s collectors’ market. 'The G.I. Joe Nurse is so valuable today because it was released for only one year,' says Sharon Korbeck, editorial director of Toy Shop, a biweekly magazine aimed at toy collectors. 'The figure didn’t do very well. Boys weren’t interested in a female doll, and girls weren’t interested in anything related to G.I. Joe.' Sales also suffered because toy store managers didn’t know how to position the doll. Some put her with the G.I. Joe action figures, while others stocked her next to Barbie and her friends. Either way, 50 percent of the prospective market was lost. There are actually two G.I. Joe Nurse figures: one has a dark-colored bag. The other has a white bag. An example of the rarer white-bag doll was highlighted on a season-four episode of Pawn Stars.
Tags: GI  Joe  nurse 
Added: 28th May 2011
Views: 15218
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Posted By: Lava1964
Billy West - Chaplin Impersonator Billy West (September 22, 1892 - July 21, 1975) was an actor, producer, and director of the silent film era. He is best known as a terrific Charlie Chaplin impersonator. Born Roy B. Weissburg in Russia, West adopted his professional name some time after emigrating to America. He appeared in many short films, first in Apartment No. 13 in 1912. In 1917 movie theaters couldn't get enough Charlie Chaplin comedies, and an enterprising producer hired West, who had been doing comic pantomimes on the vaudeville stage, to make imitation-Chaplin subjects to meet the demand. West, wearing the identical tramp costume and makeup, copied Chaplin's movements and gestures so accurately that modern audiences often mistake West for the genuine performer. Chaplin himself saw the Billy West company filming on a Hollywood street, and allegedly told West, 'You're a damned good imitator.' Some West comedies were later deceitfully re-released on the home-movie market as 'Charlie Chaplin' pictures. Most of the West comedies of 1917-18 resembled the Chaplin comedies of 1916-17, with Oliver Hardy approximating the villainy of Eric Campbell, and Leatrice Joy in the Edna Purviance ingenue role.
Tags: silent  films  Billy  west  Chaplin  impersonator 
Added: 7th July 2011
Views: 1561
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Posted By: Lava1964
NFL Announcerless Telecast - 1980 "We are just moments away from the kickoff of today's Jets-Dolphins game and a telecast that figures to be different. The fact that we try something different--and dare to--has been greeted with almost every kind of reaction, from good-natured humor to applause to some surprising anger." That's how NBC's Bryant Gumbel's introduced what was about to happen on Saturday, December 20, 1980: NBC was going to broadcast an entire NFL game from Miami's Orange Bowl with neither a play-by-play announcer nor an analyst. It was a meaningless, season-ending game for two mediocre NFL teams, but Don Ohlmeyer (pictured here) turned it into a happening. Ohlmeyer was the first producer of Monday Night Football. He produced and directed three Olympics, won 16 Emmy awards, and is a member of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Based on his years of experience, Ohlmeyer always believed that sports announcers talked too much. Here was an attention-seeking vehicle that would drive that point home. Ohlmeyer also thought the gimmick might be a way to boost ratings points out of an otherwise unattractive matchup. Dick Enberg, who was one of NBC's lead football announcers at the time, was not amused. He was worried. "My first reaction was of incredible nervousness," he recalled. "We're paid to talk, so all of us want to fill the air with lots of exciting words. We all gathered together, hoping that Ohlmeyer was dead wrong. I mean, he was flirting with the rest of our lives. What if this crazy idea really worked?" The game, won by the New York Jets 24-17, featured only sounds that could be picked up by on-field microphones, the referee's calls, plus the usual announcements from the Orange Bowl's stadium announcer. To compensate for the absence of TV announcers, NBC went overboard on its graphics and pre-recorded soundbites of players and coaches. It was a onetime experiment that was largely mocked by TV critics. Surprisingly, though, comments received at NBC's switchboard were about 60% favorable.
Tags: NFL  NBC  announcerless  telecast  Don  Ohlmeyer 
Added: 30th August 2011
Views: 1887
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Posted By: Lava1964
Adventures Of Captain Marvel Intro Adventures of Captain Marvel is a 1941 twelve-chapter film serial directed by John English and William Witney for Republic Pictures, adapted from the popular Captain Marvel comic book character then appearing in Fawcett Comics publications. It starred Tom Tyler (who also played The Phantom) in the title role of Captain Marvel and Frank Coghlan, Jr. as his alter ego, Billy Batson.
Tags: Adventures  Of  Captain  Marvel  Intro          Republic          Pictures          Adventures          Of          Captain          Marvel          John          English          William          Witney          Tom          Tyler   
Added: 28th September 2011
Views: 2099
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Posted By: pfc
Tell It To Groucho - 1962 After hosting the hugely successful You Bet Your Life on TV from 1950 to 1961, 70-year-old Groucho Marx was persuaded to return to the tube with Tell It To Groucho--a short-lived game show that aired for just five months on CBS in 1962 before being axed. The show was similar to YBYL, where the ad-libbed comedic banter between Groucho and the contestants was far more important than the game. This time the game portion was almost an afterthought. To win $500, contestants had to identify celebrities whose pictures were only shown for a split second. The show had a rotten time slot. It was directly pitted against Dr. Kildare on NBC and My Three Sons on ABC. Early in the show's run, Groucho wrote to a friend and described his on-air assistant, Patty Harmon, as "a sprightly young doll with oversized knockers who leaps around the stage with all the abandon of a young doe being pursued by an elderly banker". (Harmon was a onetime runner-up in the Miss Connecticut pageant and had been a contestant on YBYL. She later got some acting gigs as Joy Harmon. Her most famous role was in Cool Hand Luke; she's the busty blonde who provocatively washes her car within eyeshot of the aroused chain-gang prisoners.) Groucho never had another regular TV show after the last episode of Tell It To Groucho aired on May 31, 1962.
Tags: Joy  Patty  Harmon  Groucho  Marx  Tell  It  to  Groucho  game  show 
Added: 5th October 2011
Views: 3863
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Posted By: Lava1964
Last Female WWI veteran dies Florence Patterson Green never saw the front line. Her war was spent serving food, not dodging bullets. But Green, who died on February 4, 2012, aged 110, was the last known surviving veteran of World War I. She was serving with the Women's Royal Air Force as a waitress at an air base in eastern England when the guns fell silent on November 11, 1918. It was not until 2010 that she was officially recognized as a veteran after a researcher found her service record in Britain's National Archives. Green died Saturday at the Briar House Care Home in King's Lynn, eastern England, two weeks before her 111th birthday, the home said. Retired Air Vice-Marshal Peter Dye, director-general of the RAF Museum, said it was fitting that the last survivor of the first global war was someone who had served on the home front. "In a way, that the last veteran should be a lady and someone who served on the home front is something that reminds me that warfare is not confined to the trenches," Dye said. "It reminds us of the Great War, and all warfare since then has been something that involved everyone. It's a collective experience ... Sadly, whether you are in New York, in London, or in Kandahar, warfare touches all of our lives." She was born Florence Beatrice Patterson in London on February 19, 1901, and joined the newly formed Women's Royal Air Force in September 1918 at the age of 17. The service trained women to work as mechanics, drivers and in other jobs to free men for front-line duty. Green went to work as a steward in the officers' mess, first at the Narborough airdrome and then at RAF Marham in eastern England, and was serving there when the war ended. The photo below was taken in February 2010 at a celebration of Florence's 109th birthday.
Tags: Florence  Patterson  Green  WWI  veteran 
Added: 8th February 2012
Views: 1140
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Posted By: Lava1964

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