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This Day in Pop Culture for June 20

Jaws

1975: ‘Jaws’ is Released in Theaters

Universal Pictures producers of the film Jaws hired 27-year-old Steven Spielberg to direct the film before the release of his first movie, The Sugarland Express. Based on the novel by Peter Benchley, shooting the film took longer than expected and drove costs up to $8 million while the budget was set at $4 million. At one point, Universal threatened to shut down production of the movie, but had a change of heart and instead promoted with a $700,000 marketing campaign. The mechanical shark used in the picture was affectionately named Bruce. (Pixar named the shark in Finding Nemo after him as well.) The famous “daa-daa” music was composed by John Williams and was performed by tuba player Tommy Johnson. Jaws made about $7 million during the opening weekend becoming one of the first summer blockbuster films ever. It also caused a lot of people to be afraid of going into the water. Any water. (Image: Universal)

2019: ‘Holey Moley’ Premieres

Holey Moley is a sports reality competition series where the term “sports” is loosely termed. It is often pitched that the series was created by Stephen Curry, but outside of his occasional appearances on the show, he is just one of the eight or so executive producers. Wearing the famed gold Wide World of Sports jackets, the show is hosted by sports commentator Joe Tessitore and comedian Rob Riggle with Jeannie Mai as a sideline reporter. They really make this wacky show worth watching. The show premiered on this day in 2019 with 10 episodes and each season that has followed has increased the number each summer. Holey Moley is currently shot at Sable Ranch in Santa Clarita, California – the same place where Wipeout was filmed years earlier and the obstacles have been built by the ATS Team who have done work on other shows like American Ninja Warrior, The Titan Games and Big Brother. With holes that feature contestants running through “burning” windmills, avoiding giant rubber duckies and playing giant pinball machines, it is show that won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Birthdays

  • 1924: Chet Atkins (singer)
  • 1931: Olympia Dukakis (actress)
  • 1942: Brian Wilson (singer)
  • 1945: Anne Murray (singer)
  • 1949: Lionel Richie (singer)
  • 1952: John Goodman (actor)
  • 1963: Kirk Baptiste (Olympic sprinter)
  • 1986: Dreama Walker (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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