1978: Meet The Rutles
The Rutles aka All You Need Is Cash was a made-for-TV mockumentary movie that aired on NBC on this day in 1978. A co-production of Eric Idle and Lorne Michaels’ companies, the movie was basically a satire of The Beatles. Eric Idle played Dirk McQuickly (a parody of Paul McCartney), Neil Innes played Ron Nasty (similar to John Lennon), John Halsey played Barry Wom (a parody of Ringo Starr) and Ricky Fataar played Stig O’Hara (a copycat of George Harrison). The real Harrison interviewed the fictional band in the movie. The film also starred Saturday Night Live stars John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and Mick Jagger, Paul Simon and Roger McGrough playing themselves. While most people who watched it gave the film good reviews, the movie itself got the lowest ratings of any show on prime time that week. (Image: Wikimedia)
2018: Toys Were Us
On this day in 2018, Charles P. Lazarus, the founder of Toys “R” Us passed away at the age of 94 one week after the company announced that it was shutting down all U.S. operations. “There have been many sad moments for Toys “R” Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today’s news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus,” the company said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles’ family and loved ones.”
Born on October 4, 1923 to a bicycle shop owner, Lazarus began his first business, Children’s Bargain Town in 1948. In 1957, the first Toys R Us store opened with the toys literally stacked from floor to ceiling to give the impression that they held an infinite supply and was one of the first toy stores to offer shopping carts. In 1965, Geoffrey the Giraffe became the company’s mascot. In 1990, Lazarus was inducted into the Toy Industry Association’s Hall of Fame. On January 20, 2019, the company clawed its way from bankruptcy under the banner Tru Kids Brands. Currently, Toys “R” Us is an online store working with Macy’s. In 2021 it was announced that the toy store would be back popping up in over 400 Macy’s stores starting in 2022.
1994: First Album
The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s first studio album was released on this day in 1994 featuring a mix swing, jump blues, rock, and rockabilly.
1941: Army Man
James Stewart became the first major American movie star to wear a military uniform in World War II when he was inducted into the army on this day in 1941.
1903: Out of Water
Is this even possible? It wasn’t global warming. Niagara Falls famously ran out of water in 1903 due to a drought.
- 1903: Bill Holman (cartoonist)
- 1908: Louis L’Amour (author)
- 1912: Karl Malden (actor)
- 1930: Pat Robertson (pastor)
- 1931: William Shatner (actor)
- 1947: James Patterson (author)
- 1948: Wolf Blitzer (journalist)
- 1948: Andrew Lloyd Webber (composer)
- 1952: Bob Costas (sportscaster)
- 1957: Stephanie Mills (actress)
- 1959: Matthew Modine (actor)
- 1976: Reese Witherspoon (actress)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.