Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Today in Pop Culture History: "And Now For Something Completely Different!"

5 October 1952: The "Inner Sanctum" radio mystery program went off the air. All told it broadcast over 500 episodes, and host Raymond Johnson injected a campy and ironic tone to horror that just might be showing up again tonight on "American Horror Story." Some highlights of the show include guest star Boris Karloff reading Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" and the trademark organ and creaking door intro.


5 October 1969: "Nobody expects the Sp--. . . Oh bugger!"

"Monty Python's Flying Circus" debuted on the BBC today. The pop culture impact of this sketch comedy show is impossible to adequately represent, so I'll just ask you to leave your favorite quotes in the comments, and give you this:
You're welcome.

5 October 1990: The Contemporary Arts Center of Cincinnati and its director was acquitted on charges of obscenity for showing a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit that included sexually graphic photographs. Considering the year such charges were brought and heard by a court of law, I wonder if this item doesn't actually belong in the "downers" category. At least they were acquitted, and the controversy pointed towards debates about public money in the arts that are still rehearsed today. I think Toby Ziegler said it best, "In Europe and Japan they're spending between 1.5 and 3 billion on the arts, and Congress thinks 105 million is indulgent? . . . There's a connection between progress of a society and progress in the arts. The Age of Pericles was also the Age of Phidias. The Age of Lorenzo de Medici was also the Age of Leonardo da Vinci. The Age of Elizabeth was the Age of Shakespeare." Think Mapplethorpe ain't Shakespeare? How do you know?

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