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This Day in Pop Culture for January 17

Popeye the Sailor

1929: Popeye the Sailor Man Makes His First Appearance

King Features’ comic strip, Thimble Theatre by E. C. Segar had been in existence for ten years before Popeye the Sailor Man was featured on this day in 1929. His first line, “’Ja think I’m a cowboy?!” He quickly became one of the strip’s most popular characters. In 1933, Max Fleischer introduced Popeye and friends for Paramount Pictures within a Betty Boop cartoon which was followed by his starring role in I Yam What I Yam. In 1980 Robert Altman directed Robin Williams in the live action movie, Popeye.

1984: VCR Legal

The Supreme Court approves that private VCR’s could be used to record shows to watch later.

1926: Burns & Allen

Comedians George Burns and Gracie Allen wed. They were married 38 years before her death in 1964.

1976: He Wrote the Songs

Barry Manilow’s song, “I Write the Songs” became the #1 hit.


  • 1504: Pope Pius V
  • 1706: Benjamin Franklin (inventor)
  • 1922: Betty White (actress)
  • 1927: Eartha Kitt (actress)
  • 1931: James Earl Jones (actor)
  • 1933: Shari Lewis (puppeteer)
  • 1939: Maury Povich (talk show host)
  • 1942: Muhammad Ali (boxer)
  • 1949: Andy Kaufman (comedian)
  • 1957: Steve Harvey (game show host)
  • 1962: Jim Carrey (actor)
  • 1964: Michelle Obama (former first lady)
  • 1971: Kid Rock (singer)
  • 1980: Zooey Deschanel (actress)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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