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Today in History: Friday, August 18, 2023

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The TV game show scandal investigation began in 1958…The third run of “The Merv Griffin Show” premiered on CBS in late night opposite NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1969. Griffin’s first scheduled guests on CBS were Joe NamathWoody Allen and Leslie Uggams. The talk show only lasted two-and-one-half years on CBS before it re-entered syndication in 1972 where it remained thru 1986…John Tesh became co-host of syndicated entertainment newsmagazine “Entertainment Tonight” in 1986. He spent 10 years in the position, alongside Mary Hart…Also in 1986, the game show “Double Talk” hosted by “Webster” star Henry Polic II premiered on ABC in daytime. The celebrity panelists for its first week were Betty White and Stuart Damon. Airing opposite more popular options in “The Price is Right” on CBS and “Scrabble” on NBC in most markets, “Double Talk” only lasted four months…Showtime debuted made-for television movie “Losing Chase, featuring Helen MirrenBeau Bridges and Kyra Sedgwick, in 1996…Patrick Swayze received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997.

Mortal Kombat“, the martial arts flick based on the popular 1990’s video game, opened in theaters in 1995…Science fiction fantasy “The Cell” starring Jennifer Lopez premiered in 2000.

Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel” reached #1 in the Billboard charts in 1956…The Rolling Stones released single “We Love You” in 1967…Also reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Touch Me In The Morning” by Diana Ross in 1973; “Good Times” by Chic in 1979; “Fallin‘”, the debut single of Alicia Keys, in 2001.

The first Long John Silver’s restaurant opened in Lexington, Kentucky in 1969…

In his speech upon accepting the Republican nomination at the GOP convention in 1988, George H. W. Bush famously uttered “I want a kinder and gentler nation” and “Read my lips: no new taxes.”

Novel “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov was published in 1958.

Larry Bird announced his retirement from the NBA in 1992 after 13 years with the Boston Celtics. Bird was a vital member of Boston’s three NBA championships (1981, 1984 and 1986), and was a 3-time league Most Valuable Player (1984-86). He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Celebrity Birthdays
Film star Robert Redford is 87; actor-comedian Martin Mull (“The Cool Kids”) is 80; comedienne Elayne Boosler is 71; Denis Leary (“Rescue Me”) is 66; actress Madeleine Stowe (“Revenge”) is 65; TV journalist Bob Woodruff is 62; actor Craig Bierko is 59; Christian Slater of “Mr. Robot” is 54; actor Edward Norton is also 54; “Cosby Show” star Malcolm Jamal Warner is 53; actress Kaitlin Olson (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) is 48; “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” Andy Samberg is 45.

Did You Know?
In 1960, the United States Congress amended the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit the fixing of quiz shows. As a result of that action, many networks canceled their existing quiz shows and replaced them with public service programs. Most networks also imposed a winnings and appearances limit on their existing and future game shows, which would eventually be removed by inflation and the rise of the million-dollar jackpot game shows starting in 1999.