“Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” (and finger-eating wolverines)

On October 11, 1975, at 11:30pm Eastern Time, a new TV comedy show debuted on the NBC network. It opened with a wacky skit featuring three comic actors who were virtually unknown at the time. In the skit, a frumpy-looking East European immigrant with a heavy accent is being tutored on how to speak proper … Read more

The stirring words of Haile Selassie that Bob Marley used for the song “War”…

On October 4, 1963, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, gave a speech to the United Nations General Assembly that includes a famous quotation you almost surely know if you’re a fan of the late, great Reggae musician Bob Marley. Selassie’s speech provided the basis for one of Marley’s most popular songs, titled “War.” It’s … Read more

The odd links between “Louie Louie” and Ralph Nader’s “Unsafe At Any Speed”…

It’s truly odd, but true: the renowned rock song “Louie Louie” and the history-making book about car safety by Ralph Nader, titled Unsafe At Any Speed, are connected by both a quote and by a date. “Louie Louie” was written in 1955 by the pioneering American R&B singer and songwriter Richard Berry (1935-1997). In a … Read more

True or false: Stephen Colbert coined the word truthiness? (Hint: you’re right!)

During the very first Colbert Report show on October 17, 2005, the witty faux Conservative media pundit Stephen Colbert unleashed the word truthiness on the world. (Click here to see the video on the Colbert Nation website.) He introduced it like this: “On this show your voice will be heard…in the form of my voice. … Read more

OCTOBER 2 – The day we crossed over into The Twilight Zone

  On the evening of October 2, 1959, CBS aired the first episode of a new television series created by Rod Serling called The Twilight Zone. It became one of the most popular TV shows ever made and is still shown in reruns. The name of the series itself became an idiomatic term to describe … Read more

“Elvis has left the building.”

Even people who aren’t Elvis Presley fans know the line “Elvis has left the building.”   Credit for popularizing this famous quote goes to Al Dvorin, a Chicago bandleader and booking agent hired by Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker in 1957 to help organize Elvis concerts and serve as an announcer at the shows. From … Read more

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…”

Three years after Jack Kerouac coined the term “The Beat Generation” a group of Beat poets gathered at the Six Gallery on Fillmore Street in San Francisco for a poetry reading. The date was October 7, 1955 and Kerouac was there. So were local Beat celebrities Gary Snyder, Phil Lamantia, Michael McClure and a then … Read more

“I love it when a plan comes together.”

You may or may not be a fan of the ‘80s TV series The A-Team, but you probably know the famous catchphrase from the show:        “I love it when a plan comes together.” It was used frequently throughout the show’s five-season run from 1983 to 1986 by the team’s cigar-chomping leader, Colonel John “Hannibal” … Read more

“Coffee, Tea or Me?” – the catchphrase popularized by a hoax based on a joke…

Back in the 1960s, when air travel was more pleasant and our culture was less politically correct, airline stewardesses were hot – at least in terms of their popular image. Most stewardesses were young and single. In the media, they were often portrayed as both desirable and attainable – as women who liked to fool … Read more

“Don’t Bogart that joint, my friend…”

[Reposted by popular demand…] On June 24, 1968, ABC Records released the self-titled first album by The Fraternity of Man, a California-based rock band whose members included former Mothers of Invention guitarist Elliot Ingber and a young, 17-year-old singer and songwriter named Larry Wagner. The album wasn’t a big hit. But it was popular with … Read more