January 22, 2007 Monday
January 22nd, 2007

St. Vincent's Day- "If Vincent's Day be Rainy Weather, shall rain then 30 days together.”

Birthdays: Sir Francis Bacon, D.W. Griffith, Charles Gordon Lord Byron, August Strindberg, Andre Marie Ampere (electric Amps), UN Secretary General U- Thant, Ann Southern, Sam Cooke, John Hurt, George McManus, Joseph Waumbaugh, J.J. Johnson, Jim Jarmusch, Linda Blair, Piper Laurie, Diane Lane

1918- A Manitoba judge tries to outlaw movie comedies, because they tend to make the public "too frivolous".

1938-On a bare stage, Thorton Wilder’s play 'Our Town' premiered.

1947- Hollywood's first commercial television station, KTLA, went on the air for regular broadcasting. At the time, in all of LA, there were only 350 TV sets.

1949-Tex Avery’s MGM cartoon "Bad Luck Blackie".

1959- Former 'Our Gang' child star Charles 'Alfalfa" Switzer was killed in a bar in Studio City. He pulled a knife on a man over a $50 debt on a hunting dog. The man then shot him. He was 32. According to fellow Little Rascal Darla Hood, Switzer was a brute who bullied the other children and bitter his adult career never blossomed.

1968-T.V. comedy review show Rowan & Martin’s 'Laugh-In' premiered. It launched the careers of Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn and Eileen Brennan. You bet your sweet Bippy!

1972- In an interview with Melody Maker magazine, rocker David Bowie outed himself and said he was gay. Technically, he would be bi-sexual, since his wife Angela did catch him in bed with Bianca Jagger.

1973- President Richard Nixon celebrated his second inaugural with his own concert which Leonard Bernstein conducted 'Concert for Peace' at the Washington Cathedral. While Nixon’s orchestra played his favorite classical piece, Tschaikowsky’s 'Overture 1812' with real cannons, Bernstein played Haydn’s Mass in a Time of War to 15,000 people against the War in Vietnam.

1975- Hollywood agents Ron Meyer and Michael Ovitz leave William Morris and form the Creative Artists Agency, or CAA.

January 21, 2007 sun
January 21st, 2007

Yesterday Arnold the Governator and the Mayor of LA Antonio Villarigosa held an event to lobby for Los Angeles' bid for hosting the Summer Olympics in 2016. The First time LA hosted it in 1932 they made a move star of gold medal swimmer Larry Buster Crabbe ( Flash Gordon), and animator Ed Friedman was a second team for track and field. In 1984 We got future Disney execs Peter Schneider and Tom Schumacher, who met Jeffrey Katzenberg while working on the 1984 Olympics Arts Festival. Lets see what we get in 2016.

Birthdays: Leadbelly (Harlan Ledbetter), J.Carol Naish, Tele Savalas, Christian Dior, Placido Domingo is 66, DJ Wolfman Jack, Paul Scofield, Robby Benson the voice of the beast in Beauty & the Beast, Jack Nicklaus, Steve Reeves- the 1960's Hercules moviestar, Benny Hill, Emma Bunton- Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, Gena Davis is 51

1198- THE THIRD CRUSADE DECLARED- In reaction to the news of Salladin's capture of Jerusalem, King Henry II of England, Phillip Augustus of France and Conrad the Emperor of Germany "take the Cross", decide to invade the Holyland. Henry died before the army departed and was replaced by his son Richard the Lionhearted. Every morning before breakfast and every night before retiring all the knights of the Crusade would raise one steel clad fist to the east and to the sound of massed trumpets shout: " AEIDEUVA, AEIDEUVA, SANCTUS SEPULCHORUM!!" ("Help, Help to the Holy Sepulchre!").

1916- The National Board of Review outlawed nudity in Hollywood movies.

1935- the conservation group the Wilderness Society created.

1938 -Max Fleischer tells his New York based cartoon studio they are relocating to Florida.

1938- George Melies, the father of Motion Picture Special Effects, died selling chocolates in a Paris train station -Gare du Norde.

1958- BADLANDS- Teenagers Charlie Starkweather and Carol Ann Fugate kill her family and go on a Bonnie & Clyde style crime spree throughout Nebraska killing 11 people. When they were caught Starkweather pleaded self defense, even against the murder of Fugates infant baby brother. He went to the electric chair. Carol Ann Fugate did twenty years, yet she denied she was anything more than an unwilling accomplice. Starkweather had a 'James Dean-Marlon Brando' leatherjacket look and the two teen killers seemed to typify America's dread of juvenile delinquency and the 'degenerate Rock and Roll' culture of the 1950's. Their story inspired several films including 'Badlands" .

1991- Disney's Beauty and the Beast becomes the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

January 20, 2007 sat.
January 20th, 2007

Had a great time at Cal Arts telling stories. Thanks to Cynthia Overman and all the Cal Arts character animation department for the welcome.I saw a MP3 recorder was getting everything. Jeez, please don't put it out on the net, I'll never work anywhere ever again!
But Hey, They're Beautiful, I love them...

Birthdays: Frederico Fellini, Patricia O’Neal, Mario Lanza, David Lynch, George Burns, DeForest Kelly, Edwin Buzz Aldrin the second astronaut to walk on the moon, Arte Johnson, Lorenzo Lamas

1779- The famous English dramatic actor David Garrick died. Supposedly his last words were when someone asked “Is it hard to die?” Garrick replied:” Dying is not Hard. Comedy is Hard.”

1938-The first true animator, Emile Cohl, died while headed for the Paris premiere of Disney's"Snow White and the Seven Dwarves". Cohl was so poor that the electricity in his flat had been turned off and the candles had ignited his beard. Angry he was never recognized in his time, he once said: "the French prefer their artists with marble and flowers on top." An Italian sculptor subscribed funds to build a statue to Cohl in Paris. Walt Disney and Dave Fleischer donated money. The sculptor took the money and skipped town, the statue was never built.

1949- FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover gave Shirley Temple a pen that shoots tear gas.

1953- The Birth of Little Ricky on the I Love Lucy show drew a larger viewing audience than the televised inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower.

1961- John F. Kennedy gave his famous inaugural speech:”Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Outgoing President Eisenhower disliked JFK personally and was angry that his election seemed a repudiation of his policies, so almost nothing was said between them in the limousine during the drive to the ceremony. John Kennedy also went through that day mostly hatless, inaugurating the fashion. Before JFK a man was not fully dressed without a fedora or cap of some sort.

1982- Rock star Ozzie Osbourne was hospitalized in Des Moines Iowa after biting the head off a dead bat thrown on stage during a concert. At another concert with Lou Reed, Ozzy picked up a straw filled with ants and snorted it up his nose so his kids could watch ants crawling out of his mouth, nostrils and tear ducts. ROCK AND RROOLLLLL, BABY!!

1982- SONY introduced the Camcorder, the personal video camera.

1986- The worlds first computer virus, Brain, was sent out over the internet.

January 19, 2007 fri.
January 19th, 2007

Birthdays: Edgar Allen Poe, Robert E. Lee, Paul Cezanne', Janis Joplin would have been 64, J.D. Salinger, Tipi Hedren, Slobodan Milosovic’, radio star Ish Kabibble, Dolly Parton, Michael Crawford, Desi Arnez Jr., Chic Young, Jon Matlack, Richard Lester, John H. Johnson publisher of Ebony and Jet Magazines, Jean Stapleton, Fritz Weaver, Robin MacNeill, Bart the Bear-1977 the trained Bear who starred in films like Clan of the Cave Bear, White Fang and Legends of the Fall

Happy Feast of St. Wulfstan.

1840- Explorer Lt. Charles Wilkes claimed all of the continent of Antarctica for the United States. He was on a scientific expedition to chart the South Seas and Southern polar waters. Wilkes was really good at exploring and charting but he was such a horrible disciplinarian as a captain he was courtmartialed upon his return. Wilkes’ erratic behavior may have been a model for Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab in his novel Moby Dick.

1919- Famed dancer of the Ballet Russe Vasclav Nijinsky danced his last dance at a hotel in San Moritz Switzerland. He later became an incarcerated mental patient and underwent numerous extreme therapies until his death in 1950.

1940- The Three Stooges do their impression of Hitler and the top Nazis in the Columbia Pictures short comedy “You Natzy Spy”. Moe Howard is still the best Hitler impersonator of all time. “Hail-Hail-Hailstone of Moronica! Waahoo!”

1977- In one of his last acts as President Gerald Ford pardoned Tokyo Rose. Iva Toguri D’Aquino was a Japanese American who did propaganda broadcasts for Radio Tokyo encouraging American GI’s to give up. She explained she was stranded in Tokyo while visiting when the war broke out and was coerced into doing the broadcasts.

1979- Wendy O. Williams, mohawk-haired lead singer of the punk band the Plasmatics was arrested in Milwaukee for masturbating herself with a sledgehammer on stage.

1991-Eastern Airlines ceased operations and goes out of business. Chairman and former astronaut Frank Borman was philosophical: “Business without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.”


Another lesson from the Ancient Animators

"Don't be precious about your stuff. Your trash can is your best friend." Shamus Culhane (1908-1996)

Birthdays: Daniel Webster, A.A.Milne inventor of the Winnie the Pooh stories, Joseph Glidden, Oliver Hardy, Cary Grant real name Archibald Leech,Danny Kaye, Emmanuel Chabrier,Pierre Roget (Roget’s Thesaurus), Ray Dolby (Dolby sound), John Boorman, Kevin Costner

1908- Frederic Delius orchestral tone poem Brigg Fair premiered.

1919- American Society of Cinematographers formed (ASC).

1943- As part of the war effort the US government ordered the sale of sliced bread be stopped for the duration. The phrase “ the greatest thing since sliced bread” entered the slang vocabulary.

1949- Look Magazine published a photo essay called "Prizefighter". The photographer was a young kid from the Bronx named Stanley Kubrick. Mr Kubrick said he wanted to try filmmaking.

1953-The Hollywood Animation Guild chartered. Originally the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, signatories included Disney legends Milt Kahl, Les Clark, John Hench and Ken Anderson.

1962- THE FRENCH CONNECTION- NYPD cracked a drug ring smuggling heroin from South East Asia into New York via Marseilles. The French Connection bust nabbed $3.5 million in dope and made heroes out of the two detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grazzo. Egan joked to Grazzo:"I’ll betchya Paul Newman will play me and Ben Gazzarra you!" Actually Gene Hackman played Egan and Roy Scheider Grazzo in the Oscar winning 1971 film. Both cops retired from the force to make careers in show biz. Ironically, while the film was being made, the real heroin from the case disappeared from the NYPD evidence lockup and was replaced with bags of corn starch. It was never recovered.

1977- The cult documentary PUMPING IRON premiered. Filmmakers George Butler and Rob Fiore maxed out his American Express card to the tune of $35,000 to bring this look at the little known world of professional body building to the screen. The film first brought to the public a charmingly confident Austrian body builder named Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wanted to try acting someday. Also Lou Ferrigno who would also star in movies and as the TV Hulk. Twenty five years later politician Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to buy the rights to Pumping Iron so he could edit out the scenes of him smoking a joint.

1978- In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, rock star Frank Zappa described most rock journalism as " People who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for people who can’t read."

1987- National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition premiered.

1990- Rusty Hamer, who played Danny Thomas’ son in the t.v. show Make Room for Daddy, put a 357 Magnum to his head and pulled the trigger. He was 42.