“Forgotten Hollywood”- It Takes a Street…

November 12th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Fifty years ago, Carol Burnett appeared on the initial broadcast of a quirky television program that featured a bunch of furry puppets. This first episode aired in the fall of 1969. That show was Sesame Street and a lot of kids were instantly hooked. Big Bird, The Cookie Monster, and  Oscar the Grouch are now part of a year-long celebration of this time-honored program.

“`Sesame Street‘s producers Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett worked with Harvard University developmental psychologist Gerald Lesser to design the show’s pioneering approach to schooling.  Iconic puppeteer Jim Henson supplied the critters. Other kid’s programming included basic programs as Captain Kangaroo and Romper Room. Only Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was teaching simple social skills.

“`The show was designed to help low-income and minority students to prepare for pre-school. The diverse show was set on an urban street with a multicultural cast.  Monsters, humans and animals all resided together peacefully.  Over the decades, Sesame Street became the initial children’s program to feature an individual with Down syndrome. They have had Muppets with HIV, autism, and in foster care, invited youngsters in wheelchairs, and discussed the topics of jailed parents, homelessness, women’s rights and military families. It introduced the bilingual Rosita — the first Latina Muppet. A vegan Muppet is in the works.

“`Some shows have lasted longer — Meet the Press and The Tonight Show among them; but few have had as big a cultural impact. Over six hundred celebrities have appeared on the program. Rubber Duckie and Sing are hit tunes that have actually charted. Not everyone has adored the show; especially those who complain about federal funds going to nonprofits that earn millions on licensing for a variety of items, such as lunch boxes, toys, diapers and most recently, commercials for Farmer’s Insurance.

“`One more item… The man who has given voice and life to Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for five decades is hanging up his large orange legs. At eighty-four, Caroll Spinney has performed the roles since the show’s first episode. His retirement ends an era for this tireless puppeteer.

“`Sesame Street is due to take home a well-deserved Kennedy Center honor for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in December, the first time a television program will receive the award.

“`Here’s to another fifty!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- No Strings Attached…

November 8th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`Maria Perego was the individual who created Topo Gigio, a puppet who entertained millions of adults and youngsters. Her great innovation in children’s television was understanding how to animate puppets like Topo Gigio in a convincing way: making them move by people totally dressed in black on a black background.

                        TOPO GIGIO

“`Perego created the puppet for the Italian television station Rai. In 1963, the character’s popularity spread all over the world after being featured on The Ed Sullivan Show. Topo Gigio closed Sullivan’s last program in 1971. The character remains a fixture of Italian pop culture and still performs regularly at festivals in Italy.

“`Maria Perego was ninety five.

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“`Happy birthday to Norman Lloyd, who celebrates with 105 candles on his cake. The legendary actor worked with Charlie Chaplin, was a memorable screen villain for Alfred Hitchcock, and co-starred on television’s St. Elsewhere.

“`Mr. Norman Lloyd (right)… Enjoy your special day!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- The Casting of James Dean…

November 6th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The team behind the independent film Finding Jack have cast a computer-generated James Dean in a co-starring role in their upcoming production. The digital Dean is to be assembled through old footage and photos and voiced by another actor.

“`Adapted from Gareth Crocker’s novel, the production is a live-action movie about the United States military’s abandonment of canine units after the Vietnam War. Rights to Dean’s likeness were acquired by the movie makers and by  Magic City Films through CMG Worldwide. The company represents Dean’s family along with intellectual property rights associated with many other deceased personalities, including Neil Armstrong, Bette Davis, and Burt Reynolds.

“`Digitally manipulated posthumous performances have been inserted into movies. But those have been largely roles the actors already played,  including Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing, who first appeared together in Star Wars, and were featured after their passing in the 2016 spinoff Rogue One.

“`What would James Dean (above) say about the controversy? How about this…

If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live after he’s died, then maybe he was a great man. Immortality is the only true success!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Our Midwest Radio Affiliate…

November 5th, 2019

Manny P. here…

“`The Forgotten Hollywood Radio Program has added a new affiliate: 89.9 KRPS-FM. Beginning November 16th, you can hear the weekly show every Saturday at 9p (CST). The broadcast coverage includes parts of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

 

“`Licensed to Pittsburg State University, KRPS-FM is professionally staffed and the area’s official affiliate for programming from National Public Radio (NPR). Its 100,000 watt signal makes it the most powerful radio station in the region. On any given day, KRPS listeners will hear in-depth news, classical music, lively jazz, and international views from the BBC.

“`The weekly show takes a nostalgic journey back to Hollywood’s Golden Age with tales and audio from memorable films and television.  You will additionally hear music and recordings from legendary actors and crooners. Forgotten Hollywood is based on my award-winning book series.

“`Worldwide, you can stream it live at:  http://station.voscast.com/59f1fe597c9c3/.

“`ENJOY!

Until next time>                               “never forget”