“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.
Mr. Pop History – Sometime around late 1978, but the TV airwaves came alive with Ronco’s Mr. Microphone in 1979.
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.
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.
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.
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Mr. Pop History – Everyone seems to know that Duran Duran was the first to exploit the possibilities of video, music and getting on MTV. So, for the first few years of MTV – who were the others in pop history? My list includes Madonna, Stray Cats, Culture Club, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul and Milli Vanilli.
Gary West of www.mrpopculture.com and www.mrpophistory.com