This Day in Comedy History
June 1 - June 7
*MULTI - There must be something in the air on this date, as in 1933 Charlie Chaplin marries Paulette Goddard, in 1949 Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz marry for the second time, and Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold re-marry in 1991.
1926 - Hollywood icon and global sex symbol with a knack for comedy (Some Like It Hot, The Seven Year Itch, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Monkey Business, How To Marry A Millionaire), Marilyn Monroe is born in Los Angeles.
1937 - This revered narrator and Academy Award and Golden Globe winning actor rose to fame on the hit children’s show The Electric Company in the 1970s. Among his many, many, many film and TV roles since you’ll find such notable comedies Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty, Nurse Betty, Going In Style, The Big Bounce and Coming 2 America. Morgan Freeman is born in Memphis, Tennessee.
1939 - Actor from Blazing Saddles, Greased Lightning, Scavenger Hunt, Once Bitten and Fletch Lives who also won an Emmy for his appearance on the sitcom Dear John, Cleavon Little is born in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
1940 - Stage actor known for his role as Clayton Endicott III on the sitcom Benson as well as the films M*A*S*H, Where The Buffalo Roam, Inspector Gadget and Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach, Rene Auberjonois is born in New York City.
1946 - Brian Cox is born in Dundee, Scotland. In his storied career the prolific actor has won Olivier, Emmy and Golden Globe awards, while also being nominated for a BAFTA and three SAG awards. Comedy film credits include Super Troopers and Rushmore, but he’s probably most famous for starring as patriarch Logan Roy in HBO’s acclaimed satirical dark comedy Succession.
1947 - Actor Jonathan Pryce is born in Carmel, Flintshire, Wales. The Olivier Award winning theatre actor also won a Tony for his role in the 1976 production of Comedians on Broadway, where he went on to also star in other musicals like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. In movies he frequently worked with director Terry Gilliam (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Brothers Grimm, Brazil, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote); other movie roles include The Two Popes (for which he was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award), Bedtime Stories, What a Girl Wants, Leatherheads, Hysteria, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Haunted Honeymoon, The Healer, The Man Who Invented Christmas, Listen Up Philip, Unconditional Love, Barbarians at the Gate, Very Annie Mary and Dough. On TV he’s been seen in Who’s Line Is It Anyway (UK), and Rowan Atkinson’s 1999 Comic Relief special Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death.
1949 - Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz marry, for the second time. Sadly, it also wouldn’t last for the second time.
1953 - Best known for her role as Corinne Tate on the sitcom Soap, Diana Canova is born in West Palm Beach, Florida.
1955 - The film adaptation of the Broadway hit of the same name, The Seven Year Itch has its debut at Loew’s State Theatre in New York. While now divorced, ex-husband Joe DiMaggio attends on star Marilyn Monroe’s arm.
1956 - Actor Lisa Hartman Black is born in Houston, Texas. She is best known for starring as the title character in the Bewitched spinoff series Tabitha (1977-1978). On the big screen, she can be seen in Bare Essentials (with Mark Linn-Baker) as well as Where the Boys Are, Student Exchange and Just Tell Me You Love Me (aka Maui and Hawaii Heat) (none of which feature Mark Linn-Baker).
1956 - Tom Irwin is born in Peoria, Illinois. The actor is best known for playing Adrian in the Lifetime comedy-drama series Devious Maids.
1961 - Stand-up and actor known for playing the title role on the sitcom Hangin’ With Mister Cooper, Mark Curry is born in Oakland, California.
1969 - Teri Polo is born in Dover, Delaware. She is best known for starring as Pam Byrnes-Focker in the Meet the Parents trilogy.
1972 - Following a week of previews, the Toronto production of the play Godspell opens up at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Over the course of the run at the Royal Alex and later at The Bayview Playhouse, the cast would include soon-to-be SCTV cast members Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Dave Thomas, and Martin Short, original SNLer Gilda Radner, and actors Victor Garber and Jayne Eastwood. The musical director was SNL and eventually Letterman sideman Paul Shaffer, with saxophone player Howard Shore who ended up at SNL before he went on to win 3 Oscars for film scores.
1973 - Model, TV personality and occasional actress Heidi Klum is born in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. She’s had supporting and cameo roles in movies including Blow Dry (2001), Ella Enchanted (2004), The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and Ocean's 8 (2018), and TV guest appearances on shows including Sex and the City, How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives and Parks and Recreation. From 2013 until 2020, Klum was a judge on the hit NBC reality show America's Got Talent.
1974 - Alanis Morrisette is born in Ottawa, Ontario. The Canadian singer and actress is best known as a singer (Jagged Little Pill anyone?) but has also found time to work as an actress, starting with a short stint on the cult classic sketch comedy series You Can’t Do That On Television. She also appeared in the hit HBO comedies Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and had a recurring role as Nancy’s obstetrician in Weeds. On the big screen she played God in the Kevin Smith films Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. She has also worked in the theatre, appearing in musicals and such plays as The Vagina Monologues.
1978 - Link Neal of the comedy team Rhett and Link is born in Boone Trail, North Carolina. The duo are best known for their YouTube series Good Mythical Morning.
1979 - The death of Steve Lubetkin. The Comedy Store had been a big success, making a pile of money for its owner Mitzi Shore, but none of the comics were getting paid. The janitors were, the waitresses, dishwashers... everyone but the people the crowds were paying to see. So they went on strike. Well known comedians marching in a picket line in front of the club became embarrassing, so Shore settled. Part of the settlement was that nobody who was a regular would be denied spots at the club, but some comedians couldn't get booked after the strike. After weeks of not getting spots, comic Steve Lubetkin couldn’t take it any more and hurled himself off the roof of the Sunset Hyatt. His dead body landed on the ramp between the hotel and the club. Pinned to his body was a note that read “My name is Steve Lubetkin. I used to work at The Comedy Store”.
1981 - Amy Schumer is born in New York City - probably shortly after Tammy Pescatelli, Kathleen Madigan, Wendy Liebman or Patrice O'Neal did it.
1989 - With the sequel to the box office juggernaut about to hit theatres, Ernie Hudson and his Ghostbusters II friends grace the cover of Rolling Stone.
1990 - Tonight’s episode of The Arsenio Hall Show features the national television debut of singer Mariah Carey. She performs “Vision of Love.”
1991 - Comedy Central makes its debut. By merging The Comedy Channel and HA!, two failing networks, executives were still able to make the same number of mistakes, but this time with no competition. Eventually, they’d get better.
1991 - Zazie Beetz is born in Berlin, Germany. She is best known for her Emmy-nominated supporting role in the series Atlanta, for playing Domino in Deadpool 2, and for her work in the Netflix anthology series Easy.
1991 - Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold re-marry in 1991, and, as we all know, this time everything went gangbusters.
1996 - Taped at The Takoma Theatre in Washington, DC, Chris Rock’s first full length special, Chris Rock: Bring the Pain premieres on HBO.
2007 - With a cast including Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, the Judd Apatow film Knocked Up opens in wide release.
2008 - A large fire engulfs a section of the Universal Studios lot in Universal City, California, including a storage vault building that housed the masters of hundreds of thousands of film and music works spanning from the 1940’s through to the 2000’s. Among those whose catalogues were partially or completely decimated in the blaze were Groucho Marx, Mae West, Chris Rock, Bob Hope, Steve Allen, Spinal Tap, Cheech and Chong, Bill Cosby, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg, Moms Mabley, Buddy Hackett, Pigmeat Markham, Slappy White and Martin Mull.
1922 - Canadian-born British comic actress best known for starring on the BBC sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo!, Carmen Silvera is born in Toronto.
1937 - The original Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan from the film M*A*S*H, also known for Moving Violations, Back to School, Brewster McCloud, The Player, Prêt-à-Porter, Three for the Road, Last of the Red Hot Lovers and Meatballs 3: Summer Job, Oscar nominated actress Sally Kellerman is born in Long Beach, California.
1941 - Golden Globe winning, Emmy nominated actor Stacy Keach is born in Savannah, Georgia. His comedy roles include playing comedian Christopher Titus’s father in the FOX sitcom Titus (2000–2002), and Sergeant Stedenko in the Cheech & Chong films Up in Smoke (1978) and Nice Dreams (1981).
1950 - Daughter of Let’s Make a Deal host Monty Hall, actress from the sitcoms Hello, Larry, Love & War, Oh Baby and Bette, as well as such films as Hannah and Her Sisters, The Wedding Planner, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Sex and the City and Heartburn, Joanna Gleason is born in Toronto, Ontario.
1955 - Emmy Award winning stand-up and actor from Saturday Night Live, the Wayne’s World films and his underrated, self-titled sketch show, Dana Carvey is born in Missoula, Montana.
1955 - Actor Gary Grimes is born in San Francisco, CA. A “best newcomer” nominee at both the BAFTA Awards and Golden Globes in 1972, he made only a handful of films before retiring from acting in the 1970s - among them Disney’s Gus, Summer of ‘42 and its sequel, Class of ‘44.
1962 - Billed as “The Funniest Woman In The World” stand-up Moms Mabley becomes the first female comic to headline Carnegie Hall.
1968 - Andy Cohen is born in St. Louis. The radio and television talk show host is best known for Bravo's late night talk show Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, and for his SiriusXM show Andy Cohen Live.
1972 - Multi-Emmy Award winning comic, improviser, and show host known for Whose Line Is It Anyway?, The Wayne Brady Show and Let’s Make a Deal, Wayne Brady is born in Columbus, Georgia. If asked, he will put all of these credits in song, on the spot.
1973 - Opposites attract as Carol O’Connor and Mike Evans of All In the Family hang out on the cover of TV Guide.
1978 - Comic actress from Unhappily Ever After, The Norm Show, Las Vegas and her own series Nikki, Nikki Cox is born in Los Angeles.
1978 - Dominic Cooper is born in Greenwich, London, England. He starred in the TV series Preacher and is known for his role in the films Mamma Mia! and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
1978 - Actor Justin Long is born in Fairfield, Connecticut. Long is known for such films as Galaxy Quest (1999), Dodgeball (2004), Accepted (2006), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), He's Just Not That Into You (2009), Tusk (2014), Comet (2014), The Lookalike (2014) and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019). On TV, he played Warren on the NBC series Ed, and voices Kevin Murphy in Netflix's animated series F is for Family. You’ll probably best recognize him though for Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign - a series of commercials he did with John Hodgman.
1978 - Man, a lot of comedy actors were born today! Up next is Deon Richmond, born in Harlem, New York. He is best known for playing Rudy Huxtable's friend Kenny (aka "Bud") on The Cosby Show, Jordan on Sister, Sister, Calvin in Teachers, and Darren in Getting By. He also played a young Eddie Murphy in the beginning scenes of Eddie Murphy: Raw, and appeared in the comedy films Trippin', Not Another Teen Movie, and National Lampoon's Van Wilder.
1988 - Comedian, actress and rapper Awkwafina is born Nora Lum in Stony Brook, New York. She is known for the series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens and MTV’s Girl Code. She played supporting roles in the comedy films Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016), Ocean's 8 (2018), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) before her leading role in the comedy-drama The Farewell (2019) won her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, making her the first Asian woman to win a Golden Globe in any leading performance film category.
1989 - Dead Poets Society is released, with Robin Williams starring and picking up an Oscar nomination for his work.
1990 - Film and TV actor Brittany Curran is born in Weymouth, Massachusetts. She began performing as a child and is best known for her roles on the television series Men of a Certain Age (for which she won a Peabody Award) and The Magicians, and for the film Dear White People.
1996 - Stand-up (The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson), highly requested TV guest (The Larry Sanders Show, In Living Color, The Golden Girls), but best known for replacing Richard Dawson as the host of Family Feud for seven years, before the producers replaced him with, wait for it... original host Richard Dawson, Ray Combs dies after hanging himself with a bedsheet at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center. 16 years later to the day, Richard Dawson would pass away of cancer.
2001 - A career that spanned being a star of television’s early era, alongside Sid Caesar on Your Show Of Shows then on to her own show that would earn her both an Emmy and a Peabody Award, through to National Lampoon’s Vacation and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Comedy Awards, Imogene Coca passes away at the age of 92.
2008 - Paul Sills, American theater director and comedian best known as the co-founder of The Second City improv troupe, died of pneumonia at the age of 80.
2009 - After eight seasons, ABC’s Jim Belushi sitcom According to Jim comes to an end with its final episode, Heaven Opposed to Hell, in which Jim stands trial in Heaven after choking on a shrimp puff.
2009 - Based on the hit 1992 Whoopi Goldberg movie, and after a regional premiere at the Pasadena Playouse in California, Sister Act the musical, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater and book by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner, has its West End premiere at the London Palladium, starring Patina Miller.
2010 - Dorothy DeBorba, American actress best known for her role in the Our Gang films, died of emphysema and lung disease at the age of 85.
2015 - After five seasons on NBC, the sitcom Community returned for a last season on Yahoo! Screen. The final episode aired on this date.
1925 - 1950’s and 60’s movie star from Some Like It Hot, Paris When It Sizzles, Goodbye Charlie, Sex And The Single Girl, The Great Race and Not With My Wife, You Don’t!, Tony Curtis is born Bernard Schwartz in New York City.
1935 - Irma P. Hall is born in Beaumont, Texas. She is best known for her performances in Soul Food (the movie and TV series), A Family Thing and The Ladykillers, winning the Jury Prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival for the latter.
1958 - Suzie Plakson is born in Buffalo, New York. Plakson has had various recurring roles in sitcoms, most notably How I Met Your Mother, Mad About You and Everybody Loves Raymond. She also regularly does voice work, most notably playing real estate agent Monica de Vertebrae (a brontosaurus) in the series Dinosaurs. Movie roles include Wag the Dog, Bingo and My Stepmother is an Alien.
1958 - Scott Valentine is born in Saratoga Springs, New York. The actor is best known for playing Mallory’s not-so-bright artist boyfriend Nick in the hit 1980s sitcom Family Ties. The character was so popular that NBC produced three pilots for his own spinoff.
1964 - On Hollywood Palace, hosted by rat packer Dean Martin, it’s pretty much a typical show with guests who aren’t a big deal or anything... like The Rolling Stones in their U.S. TV debut!
1964 - With his wife Britt Eklund at his side, Pink Panther star Peter Sellers has his handprints preserved in the concrete at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
1971 - Vik Sahay is born in Ottawa, Ontario. He began his acting career by appearing in three episodes of the Canadian cult classic children’s sketch series You Can't Do That on Television. He is best known for playing Lester Patel in NBC’s Chuck, Kevin in Radio Active, Anil Sharma in CBC’s This is Wonderland, and Dalal Vidya in Our Hero (which earned him a 2002 Canadian Comedy Award nomination). He has also appeared in movies such as The Rocker and American Pie sequel American Reunion.
1975 - Bandleader and actor who, along with his real family, starred in the long-running sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Ozzie Nelson dies of liver cancer at the age of 69.
1983 - “Weird Al” Yankovic’s first show outside of the U.S. takes place at the El Mocambo in Toronto.
1987 - Lalaine Vergara-Paras is born in Burbank, California. “Lalaine” is best known for playing Miranda in Disney Channel’s Hilary Duff series Lizzie McGuire.
1988 - Penny Marshall’s comedy classic Big is released, starring Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia and John Heard.
1989 - Toronto’s Skydome celebrates its grand opening. Performers at the Gala include Andrea Martin, Alan Thicke and Andre Philipe Gagnon.
1992 - After four seasons, the Richard Lewis/Jamie Lee Curtis series Anything But Love comes to an end on ABC.
1992 - Portly of dimension, bushy of eyebrow and proper English of deportment, actor from films The Road to Hong Kong, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Who Is Killing the Great Chefs Of Europe? and The Great Muppet Caper, Robert Morley dies of a stroke aged 84.
1992 - When you’re running for President of the United States you leave no stone unturned when reaching out to voters you may not have gotten to yet. Hence, then-Governor Bill Clinton sits down for an interview and famously plays his saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show.
1994 - Anne Winters is born in Dallas, Texas. She has acted in such films as Mom and Dad (2017) and Night School (2018).
2001 - Mel Brooks becomes the first person from the comedy world to capture the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) with three wins for the Broadway production of The Producers at the 55th Tony Awards.
2007 - Sarah Silverman hosts the 2007 MTV Movie Awards at the Universal Amphitheater. Big moment of the night comes from when Silverman mentions to a cheering crowd that “in a couple of days Paris Hilton is going to jail” and with Hilton not only in the crowd, but shown on the big screen goes on to mention “I heard that, to make her feel like, more comfortable in prison, the guards are gonna paint the bars to look like penises. I just worry that she’s going to break her teeth on those things”. Awards on the night go to Johnny Depp for Best Performance in a Movie for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Best Comedic Performance to Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, and Best Kiss to Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. The MTV Generation Award was presented to Mike Myers.
2010 - Actress who was known from All In The Family, Maude and Mama’s Family before she became an Emmy winner for her role as Blanche Deavereaux on The Golden Girls, Rue McClanahan passes away at 76.
2016 - Bo Burnham’s special Make Happy is released on Netflix.
1936 - Actor Bruce Dern is born in Chicago, Illinois. Notable comedy credits include the movies Nebraska (for which he earned a Best Actor Oscar nod), The ‘Burbs (co-starring with Tom Hanks), The Peanut Butter Falcon, Twixt, The Cake Eaters, Jack Nicholson’s Drive, He Said, Smile, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Family Plot.
1956 - Keith David is born, with the full name Keith David Williams, in New York City. He’s known for acting in such comedies as There's Something About Mary, Barbershop, and Men at Work. On TV, he took over the “old guy” role by joining the Spanish study group as Elroy for season six of Community.
1960 - Actor, comedian and pantomime artist Bradley Walsh is born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. He starred in the TV series Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad, alongside his son Barney Walsh, and also appears in the film Mike Bassett: England Manager.
1969 - One of the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade and an SNL cast member for eight seasons, Horatio Sanz is born in Santiago, Chile.
1971 - James Callis is born in Hampstead, London, England. This side of the Battlestar Galactica reboot, he’s best known for playing Bridget Jones's best friend Tom in the movie trilogy: Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and Bridget Jones's Baby. TV watchers may recognize him from SyFy’s Eureka.
1972 - Comedian and actor Rob Huebel is born in Alexandria, Virginia. A frequent Upright Citizens Brigade performer (particularly with improv partner Rob Riggle), Huebel is best known for the MTV sketch comedy series Human Giant, Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital, FX’s The League, Amazon’s Transparent, The Office (US) and as a regular panelist on VH1’s Best Week Ever. Movie roles include Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story, The Other Guys, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Life as We Know It, Little Fockers, Despicable Me, The Descendants, Horrible Bosses 2 and I Love You, Man. He can also be seen regularly at funnyordie.com.
1975 - Oscar winner Angelina Jolie is born in Los Angeles. Starring film roles on her comedy resume include Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Hackers, Pushing Tin, Life or Something Like It and Mojave Moon. She’s also provided voices for the Kung Fu Panda series and Shark Tale.
1984 - Eric Morecambe’s funeral took place at St. Nicholas Church in Harpenden, England. The British comedy legend is best remembered for his work with partner Ernie Wise in Morecambe and Wise. The pair worked together from 1941 until Morecambe’s death, the night after performing standup at a charity show for his friend Stan Stennett’s theatre.
1990 - Broadway stage actor who made the move to TV and films including A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Enter Laughing, Catch 22, Wholly Moses!, Cocoon and Arthur 2: On The Rocks, Jack Gilford dies of stomach cancer in his Greenwich Village home, aged 81.
1991 - A few days before his movie City Slickers opened, Billy Crystal got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The film would be a hit and get a sequel - no sequel for the star yet, though.
1995 - After 347 performances, Jackie Mason’s third Broadway show Politically Incorrect wraps up its run at the John Golden Theater.
1997 - Friends actor Matthew Perry entered a drug rehabilitation program for addiction to prescription painkillers.
2005 - British journalist, author and talk show host (seen playing himself in Love Actually) whose show ran for 25 years, Michael Parkinson is knighted by the Queen.
2007 - A judge dismisses Carol Burnett’s $6 million lawsuit against 20th Century Fox, claiming that her charwoman cartoon character had been portrayed on Family Guy without her permission, finding that the parody was protected under the First Amendment.
2007 - In other legal news: Paris Hilton begins serving a 23-day jail sentence for breaking probation. She would be transferred after three days to house arrest in her own home after developing a psychological condition, but later be returned to jail to finish her sentence… Seems like a lot of transfers in a three week sentence but hey, we ain’t legal experts.
2010 - Russell Brand reprises his Forgetting Sarah Marshall character of out-of-control rock star Aldous Snow, and Jonah Hill is a guy with ONE JOB. Get Him to the Greek opens in theatres.
2011 - English actor Donald Hewlett, best known for his many sitcom roles (most famously Colonel Charles Reynolds in It Ain’t Half Hot Mom and Lord Meldrum in You Rang, M’Lord?), died of pneumonia at the age of 90.
2019 - Recorded live at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington, DC, the first special by Colleen Bellinger’s YouTube character Miranda Sings Live… Your Welcome is released on Netflix, so haters back off!
*MULTIPLE - Tough date for comics with TV shows as, in 1954 the last episode of Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows airs, the last Milton Berle Show airs in 1956, and the final George Gobel Show is seen in 1960.
1956 - The final Milton Berle Show airs… though he’s still known as "Mr. Television." It’s not just notable because it’s the show’s finale though - it was also famously the last time Elvis Presley was allowed to be shown below the waist (in extended, unobscured shots) on network TV following his hip-gyrating rendition of “Hound Dog”, which featured an additional two “slowed-down striptease-style” verses by Elvis at the end of the song. The bump-and-grind movements caused a national controversy and earned Presley the nickname “Elvis the Pelvis.”
1958 - Beth Hall is born in Bogota, New Jersey. She’s a frequent TV guest star, but is best known for her portrayal of Wendy Harris on the CBS sitcom Mom.
1962 - Best known for playing Jeff in Curb Your Enthusiasm, the patriarch of The Goldbergs, Marvin in Mad About You and Mort in Arrested Development, stand-up comic and actor Jeff Garlin is born in Chicago, Illinois. Film roles include Safety Not Guaranteed and voice work in ParaNorman, WALL-E and Toy Story 3.
1967 - Actor Ron Livingston is born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He starred in the movies Office Space, Swingers, Adaptation and the TV series Loudermilk.
1971 - Actor and shirtless hip-hop artist Mark Wahlberg is born in Boston, Massachusetts. He made his big screen debut as a student of Danny DeVito’s in Penny Marshall’s Renaissance Man (1994), and has starred in many comedies since, among them The Other Guys (2010), Ted (2012), Ted 2 (2015), Daddy's Home (2015), and Daddy's Home 2 (2017).
1977 - Liza Weil is born in Passaic, New Jersey. She is best known for starring as Paris Geller in the series Gilmore Girls (2000–2007) and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (2016).
1982 - At that point he was an actor from Mary Tyler Moore’ variety show with the film Night Shift about to come out, and she was one of the stars of the sitcom Benson. Michael Keaton and Caroline McWilliams are married on this date.
1982 - Following her 17-day prison sentence for tax fraud, two-time Academy Award nominated actress Sophia Loren (Grumpy Old Men, Grumpier Old Men, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Marriage Italian Style, Houseboat, It Started in Naples) is released from prison.
1983 - Comedian Chelsey Crisp, best known as the Huangs’ neighbour Honey in the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, is born in Phoenix, Arizona. She’s also a cast member and artistic director of the improv and sketch comedy team Duchess Riot.
1985 - British sitcom hit The Young Ones premieres on MTV in the United States, becoming the first non-music related series to air on that channel.
1996 - Memorable and much in demand character actor with more than 200 film and television credits over a 50 year career, Vito Scotti passes away at The Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills at the age of 78.
1998 - Jim Carrey’s The Truman Show opens on North American screens.
1999 - Singer Mel Tormé dies of complications from a minor stroke in Los Angeles at the age of 73. And if you’re asking “why is The Velvet Fog on a comedy history list?” you haven’t seen his work in Night Court, or The Lucy Show, or Seinfeld. He even had his own comedy-variety series The Mel Torme Show from 1951-1952.
2009 - After premieres at The Hague and in Hollywood, The Hangover opens wide in North America. The story of guys heading to Vegas in advance of their friend’s wedding, and starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham, Jeffery Tambor and Ken Jeong, it becomes a box office monster and prompts two sequels.
2010 - Hank Greenspan, the child actor best known for playing Grover in the Cedric the Entertainer series The Neighborhood, is born.
2013 - The Washington, D.C. “Newseum”, in collaboration with Paramount, opens an exhibition related to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, featuring props from the film and its sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The sequel would be released six months later.
2015 - With support from Jason Statham, Allison Janney, Jude Law and Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy plays a not-quite-ready spy in the Paul Feig film Spy, which opened on this date.
2018 - With the full cast of Cate Blanchett, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter and Rihanna on hand, the movie Ocean’s 8 has its World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall in New York.
1918 - British stage, radio and film star known for his many appearances in the Carry On movie series, actor Kenneth Conner (MBE) is born in Highbury, London, England.
1933 - The first full-time drive-in theatre - called Park-In Theater because the term “drive-in” hadn’t been coined yet - opened in Camden, New Jersey. The brainchild of Richard Hollingshead, reportedly to solve his mother’s problem of never being able to get comfortable in movie theater seats, he tested it out in his driveway by nailing a screen up between two trees in his back yard. Advertised as entertainment for the whole family, with all welcome “no matter how noisy the children are,” Hollingshead charged 25 cents per car and 25 cents per passenger, up to a maximum fee of $1 per vehicle. The first film screened was the 1932 British comedy Wives Beware, starring Adolphe Menjou.
1959 - Acerbic stand-up and SNL Weekend Update host Colin Quinn is born in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York.
1960 - The show he had after departing The Tonight Show, The Steve Allen Show last airs on NBC. No harm, though, it would find a new home on ABC a year later.
1966 - A year after its pilot is broadcast as part of a Comedy Playhouse episode, the series Till Death Us Do Part has its proper debut on BBC TV.
1967 - American actor who first gained notice for his work in the film Private Parts and would follow it up with Man On The Moon, Big Momma's House, American Splendor, The Truman Show, Fred Claus and more, Paul Giamatti is born in New Haven, Connecticut.
1983 - At the 10th Daytime Emmy Awards, Betty White beats out Dick Clark and Richard Dawson to become the first woman to win Outstanding Game Show Host for her work on Just Men!, a show that lasted just three months.
1986 - After 24 years on the air, a talk show that gave huge career boosts to a generation of up and coming comics, the final episode of The Merv Griffin Show aired on this date.
2005 - Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Tony and Emmy Award winning actress perhaps best remembered as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, and wife to Mel Brooks for more than 40 years, Anne Bancroft dies of cancer at 73.
2013 - With support from Chris Tucker and Jaden Smith, action comedy star Jackie Chan has his greatest weapons cast in cement at the TCL Chinese Theatre.
1917 - Dean Martin is born, as Dean Paul Crocetti, in Steubenville, Ohio. He and partner Jerry Lewis would become Paramount’s biggest stars as Martin & Lewis, and he would continue having huge success with his Rat Pack movies, roasts, and TV variety shows.
1940 - Ronald Pickup is born in Chester, Cheshire, England. A prolific television, film, and theatre actor, he was described as an essential member of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre company and is today perhaps best remembered for his role as Norman in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012).
1953 - Actress Colleen Camp is born in San Francisco, California. She is known for her roles in comedy features such as The Swinging Cheerleaders, two of the Police Academy films, Valley Girl, Election, American Hustle and Clue (in which she played Yvette the Maid).
1963 - In a Jekyll and Hyde sendup, a nerdy professor turns into a suave ladies man through chemistry in what many considered by many to be Jerry Lewis’ best film. The Nutty Professor opens on this date.
1965 - Comic actress who would play a succession of dumb blonde roles despite a genius level IQ, who would win the Best Actress Oscar for her role as Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday (over Bette Davis for All About Eve and Gloria Swanson for Sunset Boulevard, no less), and who would star opposite Peter Lawford and Jack Lemmon in It Should Happen To You and with Dean Martin in Bells Are Ringing, Judy Holliday dies of throat cancer at the young age of 43.
1970 - Helen Baxendale is born in Pontefract, Yorkshire, England. She is best known for her roles as Rachel Bradley in the British comedy-drama Cold Feet (1997–2003), Lorna Thompson in the British sitcom Cuckoo, and Emily Waltham in the American sitcom Friends (1998–99).
1971 - The most erudite of the talk show hosts, "Wit in the Night" Dick Cavett distinguishes the cover of Time Magazine.
1972 - After playing a small New York theater for four months, the musical Grease opens on Broadway.
1978 - A Saturday Night Live cast member for eight years, he’s also known for creating and starring in the series Barry and Documentary Now!, and from such films as Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Men In Black 3 and Trainwreck. Three time Emmy winning comic, actor and producer Bill Hader is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
1981 - Larisa Oleynik is born in Santa Clara, CA. The actress is best known for starring in the TV series The Secret World of Alex Mack, Winx Club and 3rd Rock from the Sun, and the movies The Baby-Sitters Club, 10 Things I Hate About You and 100 Girls.
1989 - Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (Martin & Lewis) reunited for the last time at Bally's Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Martin was headlining shows there, and on his 72nd birthday Lewis presented him with a birthday cake, thanked him for all the years he gave joy to the world and finally joked: "Why we broke up, I'll never know."
1988 - Michael Cera - of Arrested Development, Juno, Knocked Up, and Superbad fame - is born in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
1990 - Universal Studios Florida opened “Lucy - A Tribute”, an interactive walk-through attraction dedicated to Lucille Ball. It wasn’t permanently closed until August, 2015.
1991 - The dark comedy feature Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead is released. The film stars Christina Applegate, Joanna Cassidy, Josh Charles and David Duchovny.
1993 - A New York judge, Justice J. Elliott Wilk, hands down his ruling in the Woody Allen-Mia Farrow custody case. Farrow was awarded custody of biological son Satchel (now known as Ronan Farrow), and two adopted children, Dylan and Moses, in a damning decision which says, among other things, “Mr. Allen’s behavior toward Dylan was grossly inappropriate and… measures must be taken to protect her.”
2006 - Howard Stern announces that a lawsuit settlement with CBS Radio finally gave Sirius the exclusive rights to his entire back catalog of broadcasts from WXRK, totalling almost 23,000 hours. Sirius reportedly agreed to pay CBS $2 million for the rights - about $87 per-hour of tape.