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This Day in Comedy History

July 1 - July 7

July 1

 

HAPPY CANADA DAY!

1931 - Acclaimed actress Leslie Caron is born in Boulogne-sur-Seine, Paris, France. The multiple award winner (2 BAFTAs, Golden Globe, Emmy) and two-time Oscar nominee kicked off her career in An American in Paris (1951), and appeared in such other comedies as Daddy Long Legs (1955), Gigi (1958), Father Goose (1964), A Very Special Favor (1965), The Man Who Loved Women (1977), Funny Bones (1995), Chocolat (2000), and Le Divorce (2003).

1934 - Best known as Corporal Max Klinger, the cross-dressing corporal on M*A*S*H, Jamie Farr is born in Toledo, Ohio. 

1948 - Still early in his career, future comedy legend Peter Sellers makes a brief appearance on the BBC variety series ShowTime. Frustrated with the slow pace of his career, Sellers had telephoned radio producer Roy Speer, pretending to be Kenneth Horne (star of the radio show Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh), to promote himself. Sellers was caught out, but seeing him a "cheeky young sod", Speer gave him an audition.

1949 - The comedy-drama Mama premieres on US TV. The show would run until 1957.

1951 - In Seattle, Washington, Daryl Anderson is born. He’s best known for playing Dennis “The Animal” Price in the Mary Tyler Moore Show spinoff Lou Grant (1977-1982).

1952 - Super Bass-o-Matic ‘76 pitch man Dan Aykroyd is born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

1956 - Elvis Presley appeared on Steve Allen’s variety show singing “Hound Dog” to a basset hound. He was forbidden to dance.

1956 - Lorna Patterson is born in Whittier, California. She is best known for playing Randy, the singing blond stewardess, in Airplane! (1980) and for starring in the television series Private Benjamin.

1956 - Alan Ruck is born in Cleveland, Ohio. He is best known for playing Ferris’ best friend Cameron in John Hughes' Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Stuart Bondek in ABC’s sitcom Spin City, and Connor Roy in HBO’s series Succession. Film roles include Class (1983), Three for the Road (1987), Three Fugitives (1989), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Goats (2012) and Freaky (2020).

1962 - Two-time Emmy winner Andre Braugher is born in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known as Captain Raymond Holt in the police comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine and used car salesman Owen in the comedy-drama series Men of a Certain Age (2009–2011).

1967 - Model and actress Pamela Anderson is born in Ladysmith, B.C., Canada. She first came to comedy fame by playing Lisa for the first two seasons of the hit sitcom Home Improvement. Later, she starred in two of her own comedy series, V.I.P. and Stacked. On the big screen, she can be seen in Borat (2006), Superhero Movie (2008), and Blonde and Blonder (2008).

1971 - Julianne Nicholson is born in Medford, Massachusetts. She’s best known for playing Jenny in Ally McBeal. Film credits include Flannel Pajamas (2006), Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2009), I, Tonya (2017) and Seeing Other People (2004), which won her the Best Actress award at the 2004 Aspen U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

1973 - The July ‘73 issue of National Lampoon is released and it contains an added special bonus - a promotional demo of Chris Rush’s First Rush, featuring his "Cosmic Comedy". The Brooklyn comic was one of the magazine’s founding contributing writers and editors.

1974 - Author and actress Jill Kargman is born in New York City. Her novel Momzillas was adapted into the Bravo series Odd Mom Out, which is written by and stars Kargman as a satirical version of herself.

1976 - Thomas Sadoski is born in New Haven, Connecticut. He played Matt Short in the sitcom Life in Pieces.

1977 - Greased Lightning hits theatres, starring Richard Pryor as race car driver Wendell Scott, the first black man to win a major NASCAR race… And no, it has nothing to do with the song from the movie Grease.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Xc-xbhu_c

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1977 - Liv Tyler is born in New York City. Comedy credits include: Empire Records (1995), That Thing You Do! (1996), Cookie's Fortune (1999), Dr. T & the Women (2000), One Night at McCool's (2001), Jersey Girl (2004), Lonesome Jim (2005), Super (2010) and Space Station 76 (2014).

1981 - Diminutive actor and activist who would have an incredible seven decade career in film and television, Billy Barty receives his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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1987 - The Monkees (except for Mike Nesmith) reunite for the first time in forever on the Here We Come Again Tour. Opening act for the first 59 shows is “Weird Al” Yankovic, the opening date taking place at the Community Center Arena in Tucson, Arizona.

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1992 - Produced by Russell Simmons, the stand-up series Def Comedy Jam has its debut on HBO.

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1992 - Happy Birthday, Canada! In celebration of Canada Day, Spinal Tap plays Much Music’s Great Canadian Party. The one-day Canadian tour had the mockumentary stars opening a festival on the Atlantic coast at Quidi Vidi Park in St. John’s, Newfoundland, performing middle of the bill at Molson Park in Barrie, Ontario, and closing the show five time zones and more than 7000 kms west of where they began at Vancouver’s Thunderbird Stadium.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joh5FwETyfU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxrNgtpnQwc

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2000 - Actor from The Odd Couple, The Sunshine Boys, The Bad New Bears, The Front Page and the Grumpy Old Men series, and an Oscar winner for The Fortune Cookie, Walter Matthau passes away of a heart attack at age 79 near Los Angeles.

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2004 - Legendary actor Marlon Brando passes away in Los Angeles. Comedy credits include: Guys and Dolls (1955), Don Juan DeMarco (1994), The Freshman (1990), Candy (1968), Charlie Chaplin’s A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956), and Bedtime Story (1964).

2009 - With voices provided by Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah, the third installment in the Ice Age series Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs debuts in theatres.

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2014 - After losing a legal battle with the producer of their Holy Grail movie over the Spamalot musical, the five surviving Monty Python members found themselves owing almost $1 million in legal fees and royalties. To make that up, they decided to produce a reunion show. This was the result - Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go, a one-off date at 02 Arena in London. Their first time on stage together in 34 years, tickets sold out in 43 seconds, and the huge demand led to the addition of nine more dates, with their final show coming on July 20 and being broadcast on UK’s Gold channel and in theatres across the globe. Special guests in the run of shows include comedians Stephen Fry (on this first night), Mike Myers, Simon Pegg, Eddie Izzard, Noel Fielding, Lee Mack, Matt Lucas, Bill Bailey, David Walliams and actor Warwick Davis. Professors Steven Hawking and Brian Cox appeared nightly (in a pre-recorded bit, and live at the final night’s show), as well as frequent Python collaborator Carol Cleveland. Video archive footage of Graham Chapman was also included.

2016 - Australian stand-up Jim Jefferies has his special Freedumb released on Netflix.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VcszNLRWPE

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2018 - After a short illness, English puppet maker Peter Firmin passes away at his home in Kent at the age of 89. He is best remembered for his Smallfilms collaborations with Oliver Postgate, which include some of Britain's most popular children's television programmes of all time, such as Bagpuss, Pingwings, Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine, Clangers and Pogles' Wood.

2019 - The second special by the Canadian stand-up, Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room is released on Netflix.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIQWyUhFh-k

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2022 - Shortly after premiering at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Minions: The Rise of Gru gets its wide release in US theatres. The sequel to Despicable Me’s spinoff prequel Minions, it would prove to be a box office smash. In fact, its opening four-day weekend total of $123.1 million set a new Independence Day weekend record, besting Transformers: Dark of the Moon's $115.88 million from 2011.

This Day in Comedy History

July 2

 

1937 - Actress Polly Holliday (famous for playing Flo in TV’s Alice) was born. She also had her own spinoff series, titled, appropriately, Flo.

1947 - Comedian-writer-director-actor Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld) is born in Brooklyn, New York.

1948 - German-born Canadian actor whose career would get its start on The King of Kensington and Bizarre and move to the films Nothing Personal, Barney’s Version, Sweet Liberty, The Trotsky, Dick, Intern Academy and TV’s Frasier, Saul Rubinek is born in the Föhrenwald Displaced Persons Camp in Wolfratshausen, Allied Occupied Germany.

1951 - The debut of The Bob and Ray Show on NBC Radio.

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1954 - Actress Wendy Schaal is born. She voices Francine on  American Dad and earlier starred in the sitcoms It’s a Living, Nearly Departed, Good Grief and AfterMASH. Film roles include Joe Dante’s Innerspace, The 'Burbs, and Small Soldiers, as well as Where the Boys Are '84, Going Under, and Munchies.

1955 - The Lawrence Welk Show first appears on ABC. The variety show would stay on the air for the next 27 years.

1967 - Neil Simon’s classic The Odd Couple’s original Broadway comes to an end after 964 performances between the Plymouth and the Eugene O'Neill Theatres. The production, directed by Mike Nichols and starring Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison and Art Carney as Felix Ungar, won Tony Awards for Best Actor (Matthau), Best Author (Simon), Best Direction (Nichols) and Best Scenic Design (Oliver Smith), and was also nominated for Best Play. During its run, Matthau was replaced by Jack Klugman and then Pat Hingle, while Carney was replaced by Eddie Bracken and later Paul Dooley.

1973 - 1940s pin-up  and box office queen from the films Million Dollar Legs (oh yeah, her legs were insured for a million dollars by the studio), How to Marry a Millionaire, The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend and Three for the Show, Betty Grable passes away from lung cancer at 56.

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1977 - A reasonable facsimile of the stars of Alice is displayed on the cover of TV Guide.

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1985 - Actors Nelson Franklin (The Millers, Traffic Light, Nick the IT guy in the US version of The Office) and Ashley Tisdale (Hellcats, High School Musical) are born.

1986 - From Mean Girls, Freaky Friday, Herbie: Fully Loaded and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, actress Lindsay Lohan is born in New York City.

1988 - Heading into their third season, Designing Women dress up the cover of TV Guide.

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1990 - She broke out in The Wolf of Wall Street and also stars in I, Tonya and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Dalby, Queensland, Australia’s Margot Robbie is born.

1993 - One of the stars of Car 54, Where Are You? and The Munsters, also known for The Secret of My Success and My Cousin Vinny, Fred Gwynne passes away in the cigar room of his house aged 66.

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1997 - Actor Jimmy Stewart dies at his home in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 89.

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1997 - The first in what would turn out to be a franchise, the Tommy Lee Jones/Will Smith film Men In Black opens in theatres.

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2006 - Vaudeville and Borscht Belt stand-up comedian, frequent guest on the biggest variety shows of his era (including numerous appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show, which he also guest hosted several times)... actor whose film credits include Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part I (1981), Jerry Lewis’ Which Way to the Front? (1970) and The Busy Body (1967)... game show staple as both a guest and host... Jan Murray passes away at the age of 89 in Beverly Hills, CA.

2012 - Almost four years after the first season of the “girl empowerment” web series Smart Girls at the Party, created by Amy Poehler, Meredith Walker and Amy Miles, premiered online, the Smart Girls at the Party YouTube Channel goes live.

2014 - The day her film Tammy opens, Melissa McCarthy gets her foot and handprints immortalized in the cement at the TCL Chinese Theater.

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2016 - Multi-BAFTA and British Comedy Award winning comic from The Mrs. Merton Show and The Royle Family, Caroline Aherne dies of cancer at age 52.

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This Day in Comedy History

July 3

 

1878 - Known as “the man who owned Broadway” in the years before World War I, showman George M. Cohan is born in Providence, Rhode Island. He began his career in a family vaudeville act with his parents and sister, “The Four Cohans,” before writing over 50 shows and 300 songs in his lifetime, including more than three dozen Broadway musicals. Considered the father of American musical comedy, a statue of him stands in Times Square, New York City, commemorating his contributions to American musical theatre.

1943 - Kurtwood Smith is born in New Lisbon, Wisconsin. The veteran actor is best known for playing dad Red Forman in That '70s Show (1998-2006). He also played Leslie Claret on Patriot (2015-2018), Old Man Peterson on The Ranch (2017-2020), and voiced Gene on Regular Show (2012-2017).

1947 - Long time writer for the Miami Herald with a nationally syndicated humor column, and more than two dozen books of humor to his credit (including one that was the basis for the sitcom Dave’s World), Dave Barry is born in Armonk, New York.

1949 - Best known as Bailey Quarters on WKRP in Cincinnati, actress Jan Smithers is born in North Hollywood, California.

1952 - The sitcom Mister Peepers premieres on NBC. The popular series would run for three years.

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1957 - Co-creator of the revue Cod on a Stick, and founding, and youngest, member of the troupe CODCO who would go on to have their own cult classic CBC series, Tommy Sexton is born in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

1962 - Thomas Gibson is born in Charleston, South Carolina. He’s known for co-starring as Greg Montgomery, opposite Jenna Elfman's Dharma, in the ABC sitcom Dharma & Greg (1997–2002).

1962 - Tom Cruise is born in Syracuse, New York, probably only about half as tall as he is today. His breakthrough movie role was Risky Business (1983). Other notable comedy roles include Jerry Maguire (1996), Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and Tropic Thunder (2008).

1964 – “Lisa it’s your birthday! Happy Birthday, Lisa!” French-born American comedian and actress Yeardley Smith was born on this day in 1964. Aside from her voice work on The Simpsons, she starred in Herman’s Head.

1969 - Orangeburg, South Carolina’s Shawnee Smith is born. She would go on to star as Linda in CBS’s Ted Danson sitcom Becker (1998–2004) and as ex-wife Jennifer on FX’s Charlie Sheen sitcom Anger Management (2012–2014).

1976 - Actress Andrea Barber is born in Los Angeles. She is known for playing Kimmy Gibbler in ABC’s “TGIF” sitcom Full House and its sequel series on Netflix, Fuller House. She's the one right dab smack in the middle of this cast photo:

1978 - Julie Klausner is born in New York City. She created, wrote and co-starred with fellow comedian Billy Eichner in the Hulu sitcom Difficult People (2015–2017).

1978 - The United States Postal Service issues a 15-cent commemorative stamp honoring musical comedy legend George M. Cohan on what would have been his 100th birthday.

1980 - Olivia Munn is born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She was a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (2010-2011) and appeared in such films as Big Stan (2007), Date Night (2010) and Steven Soderbergh's comedy-drama Magic Mike (2012).

1985 - The first look into the story of Marty McFly, Doc Brown and the gang, and the moment that changed Chuck Berry’s career, Back to the Future opens in theatres.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvsgGtivCgs

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1989 - Actor Jim Backus passes away in Los Angeles of pneumonia after battling Parkinson’s disease for many years. He’s best remembered for playing stuffy millionaire Thurston Howell on Gilligan’s Island and for voicing Mr. Magoo. He also starred in the radio version of The Alan Young Show, and the TV sitcoms I Married Joan (playing Joan Davis' husband) and The Jim Backus Show, also known as Hot Off the Wire.

1993 - Joe DeRita, who was starring in comedy shorts before being recruited for The Three Stooges in the years after Shemp Howard’s death, became known as Curly-Joe and remained with the trio until the end. He would become the last surviving member of The Three Stooges until his death from pneumonia on this date, just shy of his 84th birthday.

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2000 - Pointing towards his upcoming gig as part of the three man team in the booth, Sports Illustrated asks “Can Dennis Miller Save Monday Night Football?” It turns out, he couldn’t, as his performance was much criticized and he was eventually fired.

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2005 - Comedians Ralphie May and Lahna Turner are married. We're hoping this wasn't his honeymoon O-face:

2007 - Australian comedian and host of the satirical game show Good News Week Mikey Robins, who had battled obesity and diabetes, announces on an episode of Australian Story that he'd lost about 65kg. Well done, Mikey!

2007 - The movie License to Wed is released, starring Robin Williams, Mandy Moore and John Krasinski.

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2009 - On what would have been his 131st birthday, a bronze bust of Broadway musical comedy legend George M. Cohan is unveiled at the corner of Wickenden and Governor Streets in Fox Point, Providence, a few blocks from his birthplace. The city renames the corner the George M. Cohan Plaza and announces an annual George M. Cohan Award for Excellence in Art & Culture.

2012 - From What It Was, Was Football to No Time for Sergeants, A Face In the Crowd, The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock and beyond, amiable entertainment icon who would have a seven decade career, Andy Griffith passes away of a heart attack at 86.

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2014 - The week her film Tammy is released, Melissa McCarthy lands on the cover of Rolling Stone.

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2019 - Best known for his many characters on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In (for which he won an Emmy Award), comic actor Arte Johnson passes away at the age of 90.

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This Day in Comedy History

July 4

 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, USA!

1927 - Renowned comedy playwright Neil Simon is born in The Bronx, New York.

1927 - Italian sex symbol known for North American comedies including Come September, Strange Bedfellows, The Private Navy of Sgt. O’Farrell and Buena Sera, Mrs. Campbell, actress Gina Lollobrigida is born in Subiaco, Italy.

1971 - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart correspondent Al Madrigal is born in San Francisco, CA. The comedian and actor is also known for co-founding the All Things Comedy podcast network with Bill Burr, for co-starring in Showtime's dark comedy I'm Dying Up Here, NBC's About a Boy, and the CBS sitcoms Gary Unmarried and Welcome to The Captain. He also appeared in the movie Night School and created the Primos series of comics, about a Latino superhero.

1978 - Actress Becki Newton is born Rebecca Sara Newton Diamantopoulos in New Haven, Connecticut. She’s known as Amanda Tanen on Ugly Betty and Quinn Garvey on How I Met Your Mother.

1981 - TV Guide features Diff’rent Strokes stars Gary Coleman and Dana Plato on its cover while asking the question “ Is TV Maligning Teens?”

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1986 - Yakov Smirnoff became an American citizen. What a country!

1995 - Sister of Zsa Zsa and known for her role as Lisa Douglas on the sitcom Green Acres, as well as her movie work in Don’t Go Near The Water, Artists And Models, The Truth About Women and My Man Godfrey, Hungarian born actress Eva Gabor passes away at the age of 76.

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2002 - Actress Julia Roberts married cameraman Daniel Moder outside Taos, New Mexico. We're guessing Lyle Lovett didn't attend the wedding.

2011 - Performing with his Steep Canyon Rangers at the “Capitol Fourth Celebration” on the lawn of the Capital Building in Washington, DC, Steve Martin performs a ditty he wrote specifically for the event called "Me and Paul Revere" - in which Revere’s famed (if historically dubious) “midnight ride” is told from the perspective of his horse. The festivities are aired by PBS. 

This Day in Comedy History

July 5

 

1929 - Best known as Jessica Tate on the sitcom Soap, and Mona Robinson on Who’s the Boss?, actress Katherine Helmond is born in Galveston, Texas.

1932 - Child actor known for playing the role of Froggy in the Our Gang comedies, Billy Laughlin is born in San Gabriel, California.

1963 - Two time Golden Globe and four time Emmy winner Edie Falco is born in New York City. She starred in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie and played Sylvia in Louis CK’s Horace and Pete.

1963 - Dorien Wilson is born in Lompoc, California. He is known for his sitcom work: playing Professor Stanley Oglevee in the Moesha spinoff The Parkers, Terrence Winningham in Sister, Sister, and Jay Weaver in In the Cut.

1966 - British comic and actress from the shows Drop the Dead Donkey and Ballykissangel, Susannah Doyle is born in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England.

1975 - The week their summer replacement variety series debuts, Tony Orlando and Dawn make the cover of TV Guide.

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1989 - In what was basically the burning off of a pilot episode, Seinfeld debuts on NBC. Called The Seinfeld Chronicles, the one-off episode has a much different Kramer, and no Elaine at all, but critics liked it so the network would revisit it a year later.

1991 - Actor and gamer Jason Dolley is born in Los Angeles. He’s known for his roles in Disney Channel shows and movies, particularly the sitcoms Cory in the House and Good Luck Charlie.

2002 - In a move that had been coming since his controversial post-9/11 comments the previous September, Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect airs for the last time on ABC.

This Day in Comedy History

July 6

 

1925 - Silent comedy’s biggest star, Charlie Chaplin is featured on the cover of Time magazine.

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1925 - Singer and TV host whose Merv Griffin Show was a major stepping stone for young comedians, Merv Griffin is born in San Mateo, California.

1927 - Best known for his political comedy and frequent appearances on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, as well as his runs for the Presidency, Pat Paulsen is born in South Bend, Washington.

1931 - Jazz and gospel singer who also acted in sitcoms including Chico and the Man and The Royal Family as well as in the films Harlem Nights, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate and Beauty Shop, Della Reese is born in Detroit.

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1933 - The Three Stooges (as Howard, Fine and Howard) appear alongside movie star Ted Healy in Nertsery Rhymes, the first of five appearances the Stooges make for MGM.

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1936 - Internationally known comic from the BBC shows Dave Allen at Large and The Dave Allen Show, Dave Allen is born in Firhouse, Dublin, Ireland.

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1937 - Actor from the Superman films, Silver Streak, W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings, 1941, Back to School and Charlie Wilson’s War, Oscar nominee Ned Beatty is born in Louisville, Kentucky.

1945 - Abbott and Costello’s The Naughty 90’s is released. The film includes the longest recorded version of the classic Who’s On First sketch (mentioned on the poster as "Their Famous Baseball Story").

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1951 - Oscar winner known for films including Shakespeare in Love, The Banger Sisters, Intolerable Cruelty and the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, Geoffery Rush is born in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.

1951 - Influential stand-up who would be the first Native American comic to perform on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, Charlie Hill is born in Detroit.

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1952 - Actor Grant Goodeve is born in Middlebury, Connecticut. He is best known for playing eldest son David in the ABC comedy series Eight is Enough (1977-1981).

1954 - Comedian and actor Allyce Beasley is born in Brooklyn, New York. She is best-known for her role as rhyming, love-struck receptionist Agnes DiPesto in the series Moonlighting. She also played Coach's daughter in Cheers.

1956 - Casey Sander is born in Washington, D.C. He is best known for playing neighbour and friend Wade in the sitcom Grace Under Fire, and Jimmy Wennick in the sitcom Tucker.

1958 - Working in partnership with Dawn French, an actress known for the sketch show French and Saunders, as well as the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, Jennifer Saunders is born in Sleaford, England. 

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1964 - One of the top rated comedies of all time, The Beatles' film debut A Hard Day’s Night has its royal premiere at London’s Pavilion Theatre. The movie would open in the U.S. one month later.

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1966 - Stand-up, actor, voice artist and writer known for The Sarah Silverman Program, The Big Bang Theory and Mr. Show with Bob and David, Brian Posehn is born in Sacramento, CA.

1973 - Radio and film comic who appeared in hundreds of films, though is best remembered for Some Like It Hot, Joe E. Lewis passes away aged 81.

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1974 - TV Guide pays tribute to Lucille Ball’s 23 years on television. Though they perhaps overdo it on the hair.

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1978 - Tia and Tamera Mowry are born in Gelnhausen, West Germany. The real life twins are best known for playing fictional reunited twins in the sitcom Sister, Sister (1994–1999).

1979 - Stand-up and actor Kevin Hart is born in Philadelphia.

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1982 - Argentine feminist comic and screenwriter Malena Pichot is born in Buenos Aires.

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1985 - After almost five years, comedian and radio host Martin Kelner’s first series - his Saturday night show - comes to an end on BBC Radio 2.

1990 - Meet George Jetson, his boy Elroy, daughter Judy and Jane his wife on the big screen - as The Jetsons: The Movie premieres.

1990 - Jeremy Suarez is born in Burbank, CA. The actor is best known for his role as Jordan Tompkins on The Bernie Mac Show.

1990 - Dubbed "The Dean of Comedy" by his San Francisco colleagues, winner of the San Francisco Comedy Festival, co-owner of the revered club The Holy City Zoo, and one of the driving forces behind San Francisco Comedy Day, Jim Samuels dies at the age of 41 of spinal meningitis brought on by complications of AIDS.

1995 - Filming begins on Adam Sandler’s movie Happy Gilmore, in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The interiors are shot in an abandoned hospital. Filming would be completed September 1, 1995.

1998 - The New Yorker publishes Steve Martin’s "In Search of the Wily Filipino".

2003 - Versatile actor best known for his role as Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, Buddy Ebson passes away at the age of 95.

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2011 - Steve Martin performs "Jubilation Day" with the Steep Canyon Rangers on BBC's The One Show. (We don't have a picture of that yet, but it probably looked something like this performance he did at the Grand Ole Opry. You're welcome!)

2011 - The Kevin James film Zookeeper is released.

2016 - Sarah Silverman reveals on Twitter and Facebook that she was very lucky to be alive, and had spent the previous week in ICU at Cedars Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles with a “freak case of epiglottitis” that she had thought was simply a sore throat.

2018 - Argentine comic Luciano Mellera’s special Infantiloide is released on Netflix.

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2019 - At just 20 years of age, actor Cameron Boyce dies of complications due to epilepsy in Los Angeles, CA. He is best remembered for appearing in the comedy films Grown Ups (2010) and Grown Ups 2 (2013), and for starring in the Disney Channel/Disney XD comedy series Jessie (2011–2015) and Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything (2015–2017).

This Day in Comedy History

July 7

 

1919 - Charlie Chaplin and his first wife Mildred Page have a son, Norman Spencer Chaplin. Unfortunately their first child is born malformed and would die just three days later.

1927 - Jazz trumpeter Carl Hilding Severinsen is born in Arlington, Oregon. But you probably know him as “Doc” Severinsen, Johnny Carson’s band leader on The Tonight Show.

1941 - A member of the popular 1970s trio The Goodies, Bill Oddie is born in Rochdale, Lancashire, England.

1949 - Actress from the films Popeye, Time Bandits, Brewster McCloud, Nashville and Roxanne, and creator, executive producer (sometimes star) and host of the award winning TV series Faerie Tale Theatre, Shelley Duvall is born in Fort Worth, Texas. 

1951 - Actor/comedian/singer Roz Ryan is born in Detroit, Michigan. She is best known for playing Amelia in the sitcom Amen.

1956 - Already a popular radio series, the television adaptation of Hancock’s Half Hour makes its debut on the BBC.

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1963 - Vonda Shepard is born in New York City. The singer and songwriter was a regular in the comedy series Ally McBeal, as the resident performer in the bar where the show's characters went to drink and hang out after work.

1965 - Comic actress from MADtv, Parks and Recreation, F Is for Family, Lady Dynamite, Arrested Development and The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Mo Collins is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1966 - Stand-up champion of food, laziness and fatherhood, Jim Gaffigan is born in Elgin, Illinois. 

1969 - Winifred “Freddie” Brooks on the Cosby Show spinoff A Different World and voice actor on Inspector Gadget, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Toy Story 4 and dozens more, American-Canadian actress Cree Summer is born in Los Angeles.

1973 - Troy Garity is born in Los Angeles. He is best known as Isaac Rosenberg in the Barbershop films: Barbershop (2002), Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004) and Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016), as well as for playing Jason in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's HBO series Ballers.

1976 - Bérénice Bejo is born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The French-Argentine actress is best known for playing Christiana in A Knight's Tale (2001) and Peppy Miller in The Artist (2011), co-starring opposite Jean Dujardin, which earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.

1976 - Actor Hamish Linklater is born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He is best known for his work in two sitcoms: playing Matthew Kimble in The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Andrew Keanelly in The Crazy Ones.

1983 - Still on Saturday Night Live, with Trading Places in theatres and his stand-up special Delirious about to come out, Eddie Murphy, all of 22 years old, hits the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

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1984 - Ross Malinger is born in Redwood City, CA. He is best known for his work as a child actor, in Sleepless in Seattle (1993) starring Tom Hanks, and Disney’s Toothless (1995).

1990 - Richard Lewis’s TV special I’m Doomed airs.

1990 - Comedian Luke Null is born in Cincinnati. He was an SNL cast member in the show’s 2017-2018 season, its 43rd.

2000 - A parody of a variety of genres that would spark a franchise of its own (despite a tagline promising "No Sequel"), the horror comedy Scary Movie opens in theatres.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTLPULt0eJ4

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2001 - Drew Barrymore and Tom Green get married. They would divorce the following year, presumably immediately after he takes her to a screening of his new film Freddy Got Fingered.

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2007 - Actress Eva Longoria marries San Antonio Spurs star player Tony Parker in Paris. They would later divorce.

2011 - Marking the opening of the film Horrible Bosses, Jennifer Aniston adds her hand and footprints to the cement at the TCL Chinese Theatre. 

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2015 - Funny Or Die announces the lineup for their third Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival featuring the likes of Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, John Mulaney, Nikki Glaser, and lots more.

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2017 - Artie Lange is rushed to a hospital where he has emergency surgery after collapsing with pains in his chest following a stand-up performance in Chicago.

2018 - Broadcast live from the Brady Theater in Tulsa, Bill Maher’s 11th stand-up special for the service, Bill Maher: Live From Oklahoma airs on HBO.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=10155807597487297

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2019 - A memorial plaque dedicated to Dame Thora Hird is unveiled at the Bayswater home where she spent more than 60 years of her life by The Theatre and Film Guild of Great Britain and America. The prolific English comedian and actor appeared in over 100 films and television programmes, winning three BAFTA Awards for Best Actress, during a career which spanned over seven decades.

This Day in Comedy History