Dick Clark debuted as host of ABC’s “American Bandstand” in 1956…The music extravaganza “Your Hit Parade” was upgraded from radio to television on NBC in 1959, and stayed on the network through June 1958. CBS picked it up for the 1958-59 season and revived it briefly in the summer of 1974…Summer variety hour “The Gladys Knight & The Pips Show” debuted on NBC in 1975. It aired for just four episodes…”Totally Hidden Video“, the comedy program that secretly recorded practical jokes, premiered on Fox in 1989. It lasted nearly three years…Cable’s Food Network added the Japanese cooking competition series “Iron Chef” to its lineup in 1999…“The Office” mockumentary created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, starring Ricky Gervais and Martin Freeman, premiered on BBC Two in the UK in 2001. The series, of course, was the basis of NBC’s long-running sitcom on the same name.
Science-fiction adventure “Tron,” starring Jeff Bridges, premiered in theaters in 1982…Political action thriller “In the Line of Fire,” starring Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich and Rene Russo, opened in 1993…Teen sex comedy “American Pie” starring Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Tara Reid and Eugene Levy was released in 1999…”Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” — the box office smash that launched the “Pirates” film franchise and spawned three hit sequels — starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Geoffrey Rush, had its nationwide release in 2003…The original “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” starring Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd and Steve Carell opened in 2004.
In 1981, Nintendo released the arcade game “Donkey Kong” in Japan. Within the following year, the game’s popularity soared when Nintendo licensed it to companies that made home game consoles like Coleco and Atari. Mario the plumber was the hero of “Donkey Kong” and by the end of the 80’s decade, he was spun-off into his own Nintendo game “Super Mario Bros.” Along long with its sequels, “Donkey Kong” became the biggest selling video game in the industry’s history.
The MLB All-Star Game at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisc. concluded in a 7-7 tie in 2002 after both league’s squads run out of available pitchers…In 2003, Pittsburgh Pirates player Randall Simon used a baseball bat to hit a mascot dressed as an Italian sausage as it ran a “sausage race” by the Pirates dugout in Milwaukee. As a result of the incident, Simon was fined by the city $432.10 and suspended for 3 games by MLB with a $2,000 fine to the league…LeBron James joined his then-new Miami Heat teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh at a welcoming party in Miami in 2010, and in predicting the amount of championships the Heat could win, James famously proclaimed: “Not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven.” With James, Miami reached four NBA Finals from 2011-14, and won two NBA championships.
Singer-actor Ed Ames of The Ames Brothers is 95; actor Richard Roundtree (“Shaft”) is 80; science fiction author Dean Koontz is 77; singer Dee Dee Kenniebrew of The Crystals is also 77; actor Chris Cooper (“American Beauty”) is 71; composer and former “Entertainment Tonight” host John Tesh is 70; “Shark Tank’s” Kevin O’Leary is 68; singer Debbie Sledge of Sister Sledge is also 68; actor Jimmy Smits (“NYPD Blue”, “L.A. Law”) is 67; “Howard Stern Show” comedy writer Fred Norris is also 67; two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is 66; actress Kelly McGillis (“Top Gun”) is 65; “Heroes” creator Tim Kring is also 65; professional wrestler Kevin Nash is 63; rock singer Courtney Love is 59; actress Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”) is 56; actor Scott Grimes (“ER”) is 51; actor Enrique Murciano (“Without A Trace”) is 49; musician Jack White (“The White Stripes”) is 47; “The Wonder Years” star Fred Savage is 46, actress Linda Park (“Star Trek: Enterprise”) is 44.
Did You Know?
Fred Savage’s first TV appearance was at age nine in a short-lived CBS drama called “Morningstar/Eveningstar.” Last season he hosted “What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage,“ a hybrid of comedy and talk dedicated to exploring the fandom surrounding fictional sci-fi thriller “The Flare” on Fox.
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