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Today in History: Friday, December 1, 2023

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Television and Radio
On the episode of CBS sitcom “Here’s Lucy” in 1969 titled “Lucy Meets Johnny Carson, Lucy (Lucille Ball) was an audience member at “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon and managed to make a big splash…The most widely remembered episode of ABC sitcom “The Odd Couple” aired in 1972 when Felix (Tony Randall) and Oscar (Jack Klugman) appeared on “Password.” The game’s host Allen Ludden and his wife Betty White guest starred…Premium cable outlet The Movie Channel launched in 1979… “Spencer,” the teen sitcom starring Chad Lowe, debuted on NBC in 1984. Lowe left the series after six episodes and the show was retooled and re-titled “Under One Roof” with Ross Harris in the spring of 1985. It aired with Harris for only seven more episodes…”Cagney & Lacey” became the first U.S. network drama in TV history to mention the word ‘condom’ in 1986…Also on CBS in 1986 was the debut of family sitcom “The Cavanaughs” starring Barnard Hughes and Christine Ebersole. It ran for two 13-episode seasons. The second season aired solely in the summers of 1988 and 1989…News coverage flooded the airwaves in 1992 as that “Long Island Lolita,” Amy Fisher, was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in jail in New York for shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco. She ultimately served 7 years behind bars…Also in 1992, “Frosty Returns,” the animated sequel to 1969’s “Frosty the Snowman” debuted on CBS. John Goodman voiced Frosty; Jonathan Winters was its narrator…The Game Show Network (now GSN) launched in 1994 with “What’s My Line?” as its first classic series…Tom Brokaw made his final appearance on the “NBC Nightly News” in 2004…Also in 2004 was the premiere of competition series “Project Runway,” hosted by Heidi Klum, on Bravo. A planned move to Lifetime for a sixth season in November 2008 was delayed until August 2009 following a break-of-contract lawsuit from Bravo’s parent company, NBC Universal.
“Tootsie” directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Dustin Hoffman and Jessica Lange premiered in Hollywood in 1982. The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards with Lange the sole winner for Best Supporting Actress….“Beverly Hills Cop” starring Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold premiered in Los Angeles in 1984. At $234 million at the North American domestic box office, it was the highest-grossing film of the year.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono released single “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” in 1971… Reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Top of the World” by The Carpenters in 1973; “I’m Your Baby Tonight” by Whitney Houston in 1990.

Hugh Hefner published the first edition of Playboy, featuring Marilyn Monroe as the magazine’s first centerfold in 1953.

The first Dr. Pepper soda ever served was in 1885 at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Tex… in 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Ala. for refusing to give up her bus seat to a Caucasian man, a violation of the city’s racist segregation laws… the first World AIDS Day was observed in 1988 to raise awareness of the AIDS virus and to support those living with HIV/AIDS.

Celebrity Birthdays:
Legendary golfer Lee Trevino is 84; singer-actress Bette Midler is 78; singer Gilbert O’Sullivan is 77; actress Charlene Tilton (“Dallas”) is 65; actor Jeremy Northam (“Emma”) is 62; actor Nestor Carbonell (“Lost”) is 56; comedienne Sarah Silverman is 53; “Girlfriends” star Golden Brooks is also 53; singer-actress Janelle Monae (“Hidden Figures”) is 38; actress Zoe Kravitz (“Big Little Lies”) is 35; Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez is 31.

Did You Know?
There was talk in 2007 of Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco appearing together in a reality series.  Thankfully, however, it never surfaced.