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.

When the Mickey Mouse Club went off the air in 1959, when did it come back in reruns?

Original Mouseketeers with Walt Disney

Original Mouseketeers with Walt Disney

From Julia W – When the Mickey Mouse Club went off the air in 1959, when did it come back in reruns?

Mr. Pop History - After Walt Disney left ABC. Syndicated reruns began on September 3, 1962 with WNEW-TV (channel 5) in New York. Annette Funicello and the gang became popular all over again with a new audience. Mickey reruns soon spread and the rest is pop history.

Who was Larry Kings worst guest ever? Has he ever mentioned it?

Demond Wilson

Demond Wilson

From Diana G – Hello Mr. Pop. What a fantastic site. I’m finding the search engine now works great. Did you do some tweaking?

Also, Larry King, who never seems to have a bad guest. My question: who was his worst ever? Has he ever mentioned it?

Mr. Pop History – My apologies. Up until recently, the search on this site stunk. It was bad. One of the problems is the size of Mrpophistory. It’s probably the largest accessible (privately-owned and produced) content website in the world – now at 13,000 pages.  What I mean by accessible is that, you can get anywhere on this site without a fee or as much as a password.

Now, part 2 of your question… Larry King once said his absolute low-point came back in the 1970’s, with his overnight national radio show. The guest was actor Demond Wilson, who many remember as the son in “Sanford and Son.” According to Larry King – during that live interview – Wilson answered questions with either a yes or no. He refused to elaborate when King wanted to know. At one point,  Wilson blurted out – “When Am I Going To Get Paid?” And lastly, he refused to take telephone calls. It must have been a nightmare for King.

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?

How many music awards shows are there?

Radio Music Awards 2005

Radio Music Awards 2005

From Gayle J – Mr. Pop History -  How many music awards shows are there? Help?

Mr. Pop History – OK – here goes:
American Music Awards, Grammys, Latin Grammy Awards, Latin Billboard Grammy, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (induction), Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, Dove Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, CMA Award, Teen Choice, Academy of Country Music Awards, Ozone Magazine awards, NAACP Music Awards and the newest – the Hip Hop Awards. To an extent – People’s Choice.   Those that have come and gone – Radio Music Awards, Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Billboard Awards and the late great Soul Train Awards.

And – that’s just music!!!!

This Week In Pop Culture History And Much More.

From Frank B – ABC had a show that ripped off Fox’ “Cops.” What was the name of this show?

Mr. Pop History – It was 1991′s “American Detective.” It was a broader interpretation of Cops, I suppose, as it focused on jobs, actions and private existences of the men and women who protect the public.

“Survivor” was the first of the successful run of Reality TV shows – is this true?

Regis-Philbin-Wants-To-Give-You-MoneyFrom Karen O – Mr. Pop – “Survivor” was the first of the successful run of Reality TV shows – is this true? In all the research I’ve seen – including Wiki – they say yes. Can you confirm this?

Mr. Pop History – Technically – no. “Survivor,” when first pitched to CBS, was pitched on the basis of the “suddenly” hot game show genre. That’s right – “Survivor” is a game show before it’s a reality show – and that’s what gets lost. All the others which followed? – They’re game shows in a reality setting.

You can thank “Who Wants To Me A Millionaire” because that trend won producers over. I don’t think it ever would have happened without Regis Philbin and crew!