1969: First Airing of ‘Frosty the Snowman’
Frosty the Snowman came to life on this day on CBS in 1969. Though produced by Rankin/Bass who are best known for producing stop motion puppet specials, Frosty was a hand-drawn animation special. Also unlike earlier specials, Frosty featured just one song and was only 30 minutes in length. However, it did feature a celebrity narrator (Jimmy Durante’s final performance in a film). Rankin/Bass wanted the special to have the look of a Christmas card, so Mad magazine and greeting card artist Paul Coker, Jr. was hired to do the job. In 1992, CBS created a “sequel” to the special which doesn’t look or feel like anything like the original. (Image: CBS)
2021: Class is in Session at Abbott Elementary
One of ABC’s biggest hits of 2021 didn’t even air until December 7 as a midseason replacement series. Abbott Elementary not only stars Quinta Brunson, but she created it as well. The comedy mockumentary series takes place at an underfunded and predominantly black, Philadelphia public school where the teachers are being recorded for a fictional documentary.
Brunson plays Janine Teagues, a second-grade teacher who is determined to make a difference in the lives of her students while making the lives of her fellow teachers more complicated. It’s a tough job. Most of the new teachers don’t make it past year one. Janine’s coworkers include the experienced kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard, second grade teacher Melissa Schemmenti, history teacher Jacob Hill, the tone-deaf school principal Ava Coleman, and recent substitute hire Gregory Eddie who would rather work at a more successful school.
In 2022, Abbott Elementary has been nominated for six Primetime Emmy awards.
1990: ‘Edward Scissorhands’ Cuts His Way into Theaters
The Tim Burton-directed romantic dark fantasy, Edward Scissorhands, opened in theaters on this day in 1990. The weird story of an artificial man who was created with scissor blades instead of hands starred Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. The film also starred Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Alan Arkin and Vincent Price in his last acting role. In fact, the role of the inventor (the creator of Edward) was specifically written for Price unlike Depp who was not the studio’s pick for the role. They initially wanted Tom Cruise, Gary Oldman or Tom Hanks. The music was written by Danny Elfman and three of Tom Jones’ hits (“It’s Not Unusual,” “Delilah” and “With These Hands”) appeared in the film as well.
- 1904: Clarence Nash (original voice of Donald Duck)
- 1923: Ted Knight (actor)
- 1932: Ellen Burstyn (actress)
- 1956: Larry Bird (basketball player)
- 1979: Sara Bareilles (singer)
- 1987: Aaron Carter (singer)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.