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This Day in Pop Culture for September 16

The Robe

1953: Release of ‘The Robe’

Billed as the “First motion picture in CinemaScope – The modern miracle you see without glasses!” The Robe was released on this day in 1953. The movie was based on the novel of the same name written by Lloyd Douglas. Douglas said that the reason that he wrote the novel in the first place was to answer the question, “What happened to the Roman soldier who won Jesus’ robe through a dice game?” The epic starred Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature and Michael Rennie. The film earned an estimated $17.5 million in North America, which warranted it for a sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators which released the following year and to date is the only biblical epic with a sequel.

(Wikimedia/Warner Bros.)

1964: Peter Potamus Sets Sail

The purple hippopotamus known as Peter and his first mate, So-So sailed on his “magic flying balloon” for the first time on this day in 1964. The Peter Potamus Show was a first-run syndication show before ABC picked it up in January 1966. Instead of a half-hour program featuring one cartoon, the show featured three. The first was set aside for the star of the show. Voiced by Daws Butler, Peter would travel the world and time with So-So (Don Messick). When he got into trouble, he would use his Hippo Hurricane Holler to blow his opponents. Away. The second show, featured Breezly the polar bear (Howard Morris) and his buddy Sneezly the Seal (Mel Blanc) who would frequently break into an army camp up north. The final segment belonged to three dogs named Yippee, Yappee and Yahooey (Doug Young, Hal Smith and Daws Butler) aka The Goofy Guard. Working together similar to The Three Musketeers, they attempted to keep a king safe.


  • 1914: Allen Funt (creator of Candid Camera)
  • 1924: Lauren Bacall (actress)
  • 1925: B.B. King (singer)
  • 1927: Peter Falk (actor)
  • 1927: Jack Kelly (actor)
  • 1949: Ed Begley Jr. (actor)
  • 1956: David Copperfield (magician)
  • 1958: Jennifer Tilly (actress)
  • 1964: Molly Shannon (actress)
  • 1971: Amy Poehler (actress)
  • 1972: Mike Doyle (actor)

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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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