Monday, October 3, 2011

Today in Pop Culture History: Three Premieres and an Aquittal

3 October 1955: The "Mickey Mouse Club" premiered, giving birth to the "Mouseketeers," singing and dancing children with stardom on the brain. Of the original Mouseketeers, the most famous is Annette Funicello, who went on to make a slew of teenybopper romances with Frankie Avalon, and the classic  film Back to the Beach. However, more pop culturally relevant for people of a certain age (mine) is the sixth season of the 1990s revival of the MMC, which unleashed upon an unsuspecting world both Justin Timberlake AND Ryan Gosling. Also Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. But Gosling! Could you die?

3 October 1960: The premiere of "The Andy Griffith Show." Pop culturally notable for giving "Ronnie" Howard his first acting job.

3 October 1961: First episode of "The Dick Van Dyke Show." The comedy was fairly groundbreaking for the realistic way it portrayed the relationship between Rob Petrie and his wife, played by Mary Tyler Moore (vs. something like "Ozzie and Harriet," which also premiered on this day in 1952). Just to give you a sense of how low the bar was for breaking ground, though, the couple still slept in separate beds, and there was a national uproar when Moore wore capri pants rather than a dress or skirt. However, there is no "Modern Family" without this show.

"I'll cash in on your wretched disfigurement."
3 October 1995: An L.A. jury found O.J. Simpson not-guilty of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole and  Ron Goldman. However, proving that Simpson knifed the wrong waiter, he was found liable in a civil trial brought by Goldman's family in 1997. Pop culture connection (and upper): "Seinfeld" would lampoon Simpson's lawyer and the infamous "glove defense" with recurring character Jackie Chiles in the episode "The Caddy." "It's lewd, lascivious, salacious, outrageous"

Somewhere In Between
3 October 1981: Irish nationalists imprisoned in Belfast ended hunger strikes that had claimed ten lives. Pop culture connection: A 2008 film about the hunger strikes, aptly titled Hunger, stars Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands, the leader of the protest. If you love Fassbender you should check it out, but fair warning, he makes Christian Bale's body in The Machinist look positively plump. It's too horrifying to even link to.

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