Can you tell me the first sports “personality” show that set the standard?

"Inside The NFL" with Jimmy The Greek, Irv Cross, Jayne Kennedy and Brent Musberger

“Inside The NFL” with Jimmy The Greek, Irv Cross, Jayne Kennedy and Brent Musberger

From Len G – Mr. Pop – With so many sports shows on ESPN, the Bob Costas NFL program on HBO and all the networks, can you tell me the first sports “personality’ show that set the standard?

Mr. Pop History – I don’t think there’s any doubt it was “The NFL Today” on CBS, back during the 1970’s and into the 1980’s. Brent Musberger and Jimmy the Greek were just terrific. There was such a give and take energy and I’m not sure if these two got along off camera. Jimmy the Greek Snyder once punched Musberger in a bar. On the following program, they broke out an oversize boxing glove and laughed about it.

You get the picture – those dynamics made for a great sports show. Other members of the program included Irv Cross and over the years, folks such as Phyllis George and Jayne Kennedy. As good as some of these shows are today – and I love the Costas HBO program myself, I can’t help think it all began with the original “NFL Today.” It set the standard.

When did Mr. Microphone come out?

From Rich C. – When did Mr. Microphone come out?

Mr. Pop History – Sometime around late 1978, but the TV airwaves came alive with Ronco’s Mr. Microphone in 1979. Click here for 1970′s technology timeline.

Who could forget that 70′s guy exclaiming “Hey good looking, we’ll be back to pick you up later.” Mr. Microphone was actually a low-power FM modulator, but through the magic of Ronco advertising, the device was turned into a hip tool to pick-up girls. The only problem with this commercial: you had to know what station the receiving FM radio was tuned to, so you could infiltrate their radio. Getting the frequency just right would have taken much insight and tuning time. Oh well, it’s only TV. It’s one of the classic commercials of the 1970′s.

Someone at work told me that Brigitte Bardot once had a neighbor’s animal castrated. What was the reason for this?

Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot

From Cindy Z – Someone at work told me that Brigitte Bardot once had a neighbor’s animal castrated. What was the reason for this?

Mr. Pop History - From July/1989:

Brigitte Bardot is accused of having her neighbor’s donkey castrated because it was getting too friendly with her own donkey. Jean Pierre Manivet, who lives next door to the French star’s exclusive resort home in St.Tropez, said his donkey, Charley, had been castrated while Bardot was looking after it for him. The reclusive Bardot has become France’s best-known defender of animal rights.

Whatever happened to the actor who portrayed “ET?”

Pat Bilon

Pat Bilon

From Pat M – Whatever happened to the actor who portrayed “ET?”

Mr. Pop History - Actor Pat Bilon passed away in late January 1983:

Dies – Pat Bilon (35) – the 2’10″ midget who portrayed ‘ET’ in the movie. Bilon also appeared in “Under The Rainbow” with Chevy Chase. From Steven Spielberg “Pat Bilon was much more than just E.T.’s biggest helper. He was our good friend and we will miss him with all of our hearts.

What ever happened to TV maven Kathleen Sullivan?

Kathleen Sullivan

Kathleen Sullivan

From Doug M – Mr. Pop History – What ever happened to TV maven Kathleen Sullivan? She was on, well, just about everything in the 1980’s and 1990’s, then poof – she just disappeared. Did she pass away?

Mr. Pop History – No – Ms. Sullivan is alive and well I’m told, somewhere in Palm Springs. Her last media gig was as a newscaster for all-news KFWB radio Los Angeles. One day, she just up and quit and was never heard from again. Wild story. Her pictures are barely available on the Internet. Not even on IMDB. I found one in this site’s archives. Isn’t that face familiar?

Did the late Andy Kaufman have a son or a daughter?

Maria Bellu Colonna

Maria Bellu Colonna

From Jim N – Mr. Pop – Did the late Andy Kaufman have a son or a daughter?

Mr. Pop History – When he was alive, very few knew he even had a daughter. Kaufman never did marry. Her name is Maria Bellu Colonna and I believe she is 39 (2008). Andy Kaufman died from cancer back in 1984.

 

Some 1985 Pop Culture – Madonna and Sean Penn Get Married. Pop Culture Entertainment History.

Mr. Pop History -

1985 – And you can catch it week-by-week right here:
Top Trending TV – “Moonlighting” with Bruce Willis.
Madonna and Sean Penn marry.

New Coke is out, then bombs.
We loved, “Back to the Future” with Michael J. Fox.
Madonna becomes the Material Girl after her hit.
Whitney Houston is on top of the pop charts.
Pee Wee gets his big adventure.
Swatch Watches
The Chicago Bears’ lineman William “Refrigerator” Perry
The Brat Pack in the movies.
“We Are The World” rocks the world.
Michael Jackson buys Lennon-McCartney songs for about $47 million.

The Current Version Of TV’s “Jeopardy” Began In 1984. Pop Culture TV History.

From the mrpop archives of July 25, 1984:

Interesting – “Jeopardy” – which has been seen on-and-off daytime television since the mid-1960’s is coming back -this time a night time version is being readied for syndication. The show will be produced by Merv Griffin Enterprises which recently sent around a pilot and Jeopardy’s new host, Alex Trebek to talk about it. The new Jeopardy will be more splashy and supped-up – a different look and feel then its predecessors. Look for brighter flashing lights and high-tech TV monitors among otherthings. www.mrpopculture.com