Sky King DVD June Cleaver book

Peabody & Sherman cartoons on DVD Lancelot Link Secret Chimp on DVD Shazam on DVD Classic Commercials on DVD Good Times Season 5 on DVD 1950's Saturday Morning Shows

 

BRIEF HISTORY OF
THE TODAY SHOW

Part Three - by Billy Ingram

History of the Today show on NBCIn 1977, original hosts Jack Lescoulie, Frank Blair and Dave Garroway joined Jane Pauley and Tom Brokaw to celebrate Today's 25th anniversary. Notably absent - J. Fred Muggs who was doing his nightclub act in Florida at the time.

When asked about his missing co-host, Garroway replied, "I didn't want that damn monkey on the program."

Largely forgotten by the public and out of work for more than a decade, Dave Garroway committed suicide in 1982. By then, the show he helped create was running a poor second to ABC's Good Morning America.

Jane Pauley was replaced by Deborah Norville in 1989, but wasn't until NBC hired Katie Couric in 1991 that Today regained dominance over the competition - ratings rose almost immediately after her debut. With Couric at the helm Today was once again a financial powerhouse for the network. But nothing lasts forever and, in time, Couric realized that she was in the cat bird's seat and demanded a huge raise or she would bolt.

Bryant Gumbel Today ShowIn 2001, faced with losing the most important female talent in network daytime television, NBC capitulated to Couric's salary demands (to the tune of $60 million-plus for five years).

This time when her contract was up, Couric was determined to anchor a network evening newscast - and maybe wake up at a decent hour in the mornings. She jumped ship to CBS in April of 2006, a few months before her contract with the Today show was up. This gave NBC a few precious months to prepare America for waking up to Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera - or Matt Lauer and Curious George.

You probably know by now which they chose.


FREE ADVICE FOR NBC:
In 2012 NBC was once again shopping for a new Today host when Meredith Viera left; was replaced by Ann Curry. Then Ann Curry was dropped after one year in a highly publicized move.

If NBC should decide again on a simian sidekick for Today, what would be their modern-day options? They'll be looking for chimps with a strong Q rating and lots of TV experience.

Surprisingly, J. Fred Muggs is still a possibility. TVparty-er Mark tells us, "J. Fred Muggs is alive and well and living in retirement with a chimpanzee lady friend in Florida.

"J. Fred was born in French Cameroon in 1952, so he is old enough for AARP membership, but because of his foreign birth, J. Fred Muggs is not eligible to become President. Which might be a shame, because he must be quite bright and articulate compared with a few pols from both parties here in the United States."

Think about it NBC - J. Fred may miss the perks of being the star of one of NBC's top shows and be willing to make a comeback.

Other chimps with high Q ratings include:

Tonga - this chimp had two hit series - as the 'Bloop' on Lost in Space and as the title character in the 1970 action series, Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. Tonga would now be in his forties. This makes him the elder stateschimp of the bunch, but much too old for TV.

Clyde - from Clint Eastwood's hit movies in the seventies. Clyde probably won't stoop to doing television, most movie actors won't, if they can help it.

Mr. Smith - the star of NBC's 1983 self-titled series. Smith has an edge, he's a talking Orangutan with Washington insider experience - or at least he played one on TV, what's the difference? Still, NBC is unlikely to rehire the big ape after he almost single-handedly wrecked their Friday night schedule in 1983. Mr. Smith was back in the jungle before Christmas of that year!

Bubbles - Michael Jackson's chimp has the highest Q rating of all. Perhaps as a test for possible weekday duty on Today, Bubbles was given his own Saturday morning cartoon series in 1985. He's an unlikely choice as his deceased former owner has gone on the record as saying, "I'm the star! Not that chimp! Bubbles just isn't that cute anymore!" According to insiders, Bubbles sucker-punched the fragile superstar one day and was promptly shipped off to Sylmar, CA to share a cage with 22 other primates.

 

THE TODAY SHOW : EARLY YEARS
TODAY SHOW : 1960s & 1970s
THE TODAY SHOW : 1970s & Beyond

TVparty : Classic TV!

THE TODAY SHOW : EARLY YEARS
TODAY SHOW : 1960s & 1970s
THE TODAY SHOW : 1970s & Beyond

Fridays TV Show on DVD DVDWhen Things Were Rotten on DVD

Ripcord on DVDDobie Gillis on DVD

 

 

Video Vault / Holiday Specials / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV!

Television's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the Seventies / The Eighties / TVafterparty / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments
1950's TV Shows / Fess Parker & Davy Crockett / Jack Benny Program / 1952 Olympics Telethon / Amos 'n' Andy / Little Rascals & Our Gang / Howdy Doody / The Lone Ranger / Abbott & Costello TV Show / The Three Stooges: The Where They Were / The First 'Black' Show - Beulah / Women on TV in the 1950s / The Today Show / TV's First Rerun Series / The Ken Murray Budweiser Show / Saturday Morning Serials / Two Variety Shows of the Fifties / Game Shows of the Fifties /1950's TV Wrestling / Mr. Adams and Eve / TV's First Star / History of the Laugh Track / The First Interactive Video Game / Designing Winky-Dink / The McKimson Brothers & Animation / Interview with a Show Business Legend / The Soundies / Snaders Telescriptions / Steve Allen Interviewed / Racket Squad / The Big Show / Beverly Garland & Decoy / Roger Muir / Noel Coward's 1955 TV Special / 1950's TV Shows on DVD / 1950's Old Time TV Thanksgiving / Outrageous 1950's Commercial! / The Real Superman? / Mickey Mouse Club's Cheryl / Gale Storm / Captain Allen Swift / NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade Telecasts / Julie London / The Goldbergs / 1950's Female Singers / The Dead End Kids / Bowery Boys / Fred Allen / Ed Wynn / Mr. Belvedere Movies / Art Linkletter / The Bickersons / Marty & Live TV / George Gobel & Red Buttons / Barbara Billingsley / Billy Gray Interview / Abbott & Costello Show / The Honeymooners / Three Stooges' Joe Besser / Whirlybirds / Burns & Allen Show
Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / North Carolina Actors / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Soupy Sales / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / Gay Icon T-Shirts / Alex Toth Book / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More!


Everything
you're looking
for is right here:

TimeLife.com
Save money!
Carol Burnett Show on DVD Untouchables on DVD Twilight Zone on DVD Fat Albert on DVD Good Times Season 5 on DVD Soupy Sales DVD
Looking for classic TV DVDs? See below:
TV Commercials on DVD Wrestling DVDs Classic TV Books
Jim Longworth Christmas Specials TV Shows on BLU-RAY

TimeLife.com
Save money!