TV Fact #373 – October 31st, 2015:

The American prime time animated television special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (1966), based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, was the first “Peanuts” special to use the titular pattern of a short phrase, followed by “Charlie Brown”, a pattern which would remain the norm for almost all subsequent “Peanuts” specials. It was a Halloween special that now airs annually during the Halloween season. However, it inspired less scary actions from viewers…and in fact inspired a strange act of kindness.

The repeated line “I got a rock” quoted by the lead character Charlie Brown (Played by Peter Robbins) caused some stir among many viewers of the show, according to Charles Schulz in the book and retrospective TV special “Happy Birthday, Charlie Brown” (1979). Schulz said that after the program first aired, bags and boxes of candy came in from all over the world, as Schulz quoted, “just for Charlie Brown.”

Charlie Brown may have been an animated character but he has remained a popular character and almost a real person it seems as a simple TV special brought out an act of kindness in real audience members. Sometimes fictional characters have the power to bring out the very real good in people. Maybe it’s because of this good that Charlie Brown and his gang continue to appear both in classic specials that are played seasonally or new stories that continue to bring him to life.

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Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 2:00 AM  Leave a Comment  

Movie Fact #872 – October 31st, 2015:

The 1991 American horror comedy fantasy film “Ernest Scared Stupid” was the last Ernest film to be released theatrically by Touchstone Pictures (Although the 1995 sports comedy film “Slam Dunk Ernest” did see a video release from Touchstone) while all future Ernest films were independently produced because many kids found the film to be too scary. Many people agreed that the plot of the film, a troll stealing the souls of children, as well as the death of the troll itself to be very disturbing.

This film is, ironically, considered the best film to feature the character Ernest P. Worrell (Played by Jim Varney). You have to figure that, while the film is too scary for children, it’s scary nature makes it long-term a memorable film for the Halloween season. So…I guess they did something right.

Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 1:51 AM  Leave a Comment  

Quote #872 – October 31st, 2015:

“Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

– Lindsay Lohan, “Mean Girls”

Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 1:40 AM  Leave a Comment  

TV Fact #372 – October 30th, 2015:

The British television comedy series “Broaden Your Mind” (1968-1969) was one of BBC2’s earliest programmes to be completely broadcast in colour, which had been introduced by the network a year earlier. Sadly, this achievement didn’t stop it from having all of is programmes wiped by the BBC after their first broadcast in 1968 with only a handful of brief filmed sequences having survived. These surviving sequences were included, digitally restored, on Network DVDs 2003 release, “The Goodies At Last”. It should be noted though that all of the programmes survive as off-air audio recordings made by a fan at the time of original transmission. So cheers to fandom!

Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 1:39 AM  Leave a Comment  

Movie Fact #871 – October 30th, 2015:

The 1964 epic war film “Zulu” featured actor Michael Caine, who at this early stage in his career was primarily playing bit parts, as the character Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead. However, Caine was originally up for the role of the character Private Henry Hook, which eventually went to actor James Booth. The story is rather a little more interesting than that.

According to Caine, he was extremely nervous during his screen test for the part of Bromhead and director Cy Endfield didn’t help. Endfield told Caine that it was the worst screen test he had ever seen, but they were casting Caine in the part anyway because the production was leaving for South Africa shortly and they had not found anyone else for the role.

Still, Caine’s performance in “Zulu” won him praise from reviewers and his next film role would be in the starring role of the 1965 British espionage film “The Ipcress File” in which Caine was reunited with actor Nigel Green who also co-starred with Caine in “Zulu” as the character Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne.

Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 1:32 AM  Leave a Comment  

Quote #871 – October 30th, 2015:

“The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”

– Michael Denison, “The Importance of Being Ernest”

Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 1:27 AM  Leave a Comment  

TV Fact #371 – October 29th, 2015:

The title for the British television series “Do Not Adjust Your Set! (DNAYS!)” (1967-1969) was not a coincidence. The show did in fact derive it’s title from a notice screened during the 1950’s and 1960’s whenever the signal went, which was a lot. It was thought that doing this would gain the show free publicity and it did although not the audience you think. The show, originally written as a children’s TV show,  it quickly acquired a following amongst many adults, including future Monty Python members, comedians John Cleese and Graham Chapman. Cleese himself mentioned this in the “Paying my ex-wife” stage performance tour in October of 2010.

Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 1:26 AM  Leave a Comment  

Movie Fact #870 – October 29th, 2015:

During an appearance on “The Directors”, available on the 2-Disc DVD for director Terry Gilliam’s 1981 British fantasy film “Time Bandits”, Gilliam said he wanted to do the 1991 American comedy-drama film “The Fisher King” because he was tired of doing big budget special effects films, such as his previous film, the 1988 British adventure fantasy comedy film “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”, which went over budget and cost over $45 million, nearly twice as much as the budget of “The Fisher King” which was only $24 million.

Also, this was the first film Gilliam directed in which he was not involved in writing the screenplay, as well as his first film not to feature any other members of Monty Python. However, it is Gilliam’s second film involving the Holy Grail, the first being the 1975 British comedy film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.

Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 1:18 AM  Leave a Comment  

Quote #870 – October 29th, 2015:

“How do you make God laugh? Make a plan.”

– Eric Stoltz, “Kicking and Screaming”

Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 1:13 AM  Leave a Comment  

TV Fact #370 – October 28th, 2015:

The British television drama series “The Street” (2006-2009) only got to a third season due to cutbacks at ITV Studios in Manchester (ITV produced the series, although it is shown by the BBC).

Published in: on October 31, 2015 at 1:10 AM  Leave a Comment