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Today in History: Friday, September 8, 2023

The original “Star Trek” began its three season run on NBC in 1966. “Star Trek: The Animated Series” debuted on this same day in 1973…Also in 1966, the ABC comedy “That Girl” premiered. Marlo Thomas, in her signature 60’s hairstyle, starred as an aspiring actress trying to make it in New York City. The series lasted five seasons…”The Mary Tyler Moore Show” spin-off “Phyllis” starring Cloris Leachman began its two-season run on CBS in 1975…Syndicated daytime talker “The Oprah Winfrey Show” began its 25 season run in 1986…Then-newlyweds Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were on the stage at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to open the MTV Video Music Awards in 1994. The ceremony, hosted by Roseanne, concluded with Madonna being escorted on-stage by David Letterman to present Video of the Year (won by R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”). Letterman jokingly advised Madonna to watch her language…Children’s educational series “Blue’s Clues” debuted on Nickelodeon in 1996… Japanese anime series “Pokémon” launched in the United States in syndication in 1998…Fox debuted three series: sitcom “Herman’s Head” began its three-season run in 1991; David E. Kelley‘s legal comedy “Ally McBeal” starring Calista Flockhart started its five-season run in 1997; and short-lived family drama “Get Real” featuring a teenage Anne Hathaway in 1999.

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh, was released in 1960. When the cast and crew began work on the first day, they had to raise their right hands and promise not to divulge one word of the story. Hitchcock also withheld the ending part of the script from his cast until he needed to shoot it…“Funny Girl,” based on life of Fanny Brice starring Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharir opened in 1968…Drag queen comedy “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything. Julie Newmar” starring Patrick SwayzeWesley Snipes and John Leguizamo opened in theaters in 1995...“American Beauty,” directed by Sam Mendes and starring Kevin SpaceyAnnette Bening and Thora Birch premiered in Los Angeles in 1999. It won five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography.

Reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye in 1973; “Blaze of Glory” by Jon Bon Jovi in 1990; “I’m Real” by Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule in 2001.

In 1974, Evil Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho but failed.
Play-by-play announcer Al Michaels made his debut on ABC’s “Monday Night Football” in 1986. He remained at the job for 30 seasons until he shifted to NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” where he has been since 2006.
Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Old Man & the Sea” published in 1952.

Celebrity Birthdays
Ventriloquist Willie Tyler (“Willie Tyler and Lester”) is 83; politician Bernie Sanders is 82; actress Heather Thomas (“The Fall Guy”) is 66; singer Aimee Mann is 63; actor David Arquette is 52; actor Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit”) and former “Dancing with the Stars” co-host Brooke Burke are also 52; actor Larenz Tate (“Menace II Society”) is 48; actor Nate Corddry (“Mom”) is 46; pop singer Alecia Beth Moore, or more famously known as Pink is 44; “Home Improvement” star Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 42; rapper Cameron Thomas aka Wiz Khalifa is 34; “Stranger Things” star Gaten Matazarro is 21. And a very Happy Birthday to my daughter, Jackie Berman, who is 32 and shares the same birthday with her Dad!

Did You Know?
Oprah Winfrey claims her worst interviewing experience was with Elizabeth Taylor in her show’s second season. Just before the interview, Taylor asked Winfrey not to ask any questions about her relationships. Winfrey found this to be a challenge considering Taylor had been married seven times. Taylor returned to the show in 1992, apologized to Winfrey and told her that she was in excruciating back and hip pain at the time.