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Today in History: Thursday, December 2, 2021

© by Fox

Television and Radio
Actor-comedian Billy Crystal set a Winner’s Circle record on ABC game show “The $20,000 Pyramid” in 1977 by helping a contestant get to the top of the pyramid in just 26 seconds…On a 1982 episode of CBS drama “Knots Landing“, Diana (Claudia Lonow) caught Mack (Kevin Dobson) in a compromising situation: another woman in his apartment, which was news that later upset Karen (Michele Lee). Nevertheless, they ultimately married and lived as happily ever after as they could in that troubled cul-de-sac…Legendary music video for Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller,” directed by John Landis, debuted on MTV in 1983. Notable horror film actor Vincent Price was the video’s featured narrator…On the heels of their No. 1 hit “Islands in the Stream,” pop and country superstars Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton starred in “A Christmas to Remember” on CBS in 1984…Family drama “Second Chances” starring Connie Sellecca and Jennifer Lopez debuted on CBS in 1993. Although it ran for only 10 episodes, CBS spun it off into a series entitled “Hotel Malibu” starring Lopez that ran for just six episodes in the summer of 1994…Detective Crosetti (Jon Polito) was found dead on NBC’s critically-acclaimed “Homicide: Life on the Street” in 1994…The reality series version of “Green Acres” entitled “The Simple Life” starring wealthy socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie debuted on Fox in 2003. It ran for four seasons. The final season aired on E!…Brian Williams became anchor and managing editor of the “NBC Nightly News” in 2004. He remained at the position for 11 years.

Movies:
Fred Astaire’s “Dancing Lady” opened in theaters in 1933. The film featured Joan Crawford and Ted Healy and His Stooges (who later became The Three Stooges with Moe, Larry and Curly)…“Naked Gun” premiered in 1988, the first movie based on the short-lived 1982 ABC sitcom “Police Squad!.” Leslie Nielsen reprised his role as straight-faced Frank Drebin…“Cobb,” the film about baseball player Ty Cobb starring Tommy Lee Jones premiered in 1994…“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in the Hobbit series, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen, premiered in Los Angeles in 2013.

Music:
Reaching No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees in 1968; “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” by The Temptations in 1972; Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand’s “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” in 1978; “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men began its 16-week reign in 1995.

News:
The U.S. government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began operations in 1970…the Enron Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001, sparking one of the biggest corporate scandals in U.S. history…NASA announced the discovery of a new arsenic-based life form in 2010.

Celebrity Birthdays:
TV host Cathy Lee Crosby (“That’s Incredible”) is 77; film director Penelope Spheeris (“Wayne’s World”) is 76; former “Dateline NBC” anchor Stone Phillips is 67; actor Dan Butler (“Frasier”) is also 67; actor Steven Bauer (“Scarface”) is 65; actress Lucy Liu (“Elementary”) is 53; Naughty by Nature rapper Anthony Criss aka Treach is 51; actor Joe Lo Truglio (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) is also 51; tennis player Monica Seles is 48; singer Nelly Furtado is 43; pop singer Britney Spears is 40; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 38; country singer Jana Kramer and actress Daniela Ruah (“NCIS: Los Angeles”) are also 39; singer Charlie Puth is 30; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is 29.

Did You Know?
Richard Belzer is remembered for playing Detective John Munch on “Homicide: Life on the Street.” But he also appeared as John Munch on “Law & Order: SVU,” and as a guest star in eight other series. They are “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Trial By Jury,” “The X-Files,” “The Beat,” “Arrested Development,” “The Wire” and “30 Rock.”