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This Day in Comedy History

June 8 - June 14

June 8

 
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June 9

 
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June 10

 
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1964 - Kate Flannery is born in Philadelphia, PA. The actress is best known for playing Meredith Palmer in the US version of The Office on NBC.

1965 - Model-actress Elizabeth Hurley (Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, Bedazzled, Kingpin) is born in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.

1967 - Actor Spencer Tracy dies aged 67, just weeks after he finished filming Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

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1968 - Caustic and opinionated Boston-accented stand-up also known for his works F Is For family, The Mandalorian and his Monday Morning Podcast, Bill Burr is born in Canton, Massachusetts.

1978 - The 30th and final episode of English sitcom The Good Life aired on BBC. (It’s better known as Good Neighbors on PBS in the United States.)

1978 - Actor DJ Qualls (Donald Joseph Qualls to his parents) is born in Nashville, Tennessee. He is best known for roles in such films as Road Trip (2000), The New Guy (2002), Comic Book Villains (2002), Delta Farce (2007) and Last Day of Summer (2010). He also starred in the FX sitcom Legit and Syfy’s Z Nation, and was a regular on Scrubs and The Big Bang Theory.

1982 - Four months into his show Late Night With David Letterman, people were still trying to figure the host out, as evidenced by the cover of the June 10, 1982 Rolling Stone magazine.

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1983 - “Weird Al” Yankovic’s first tour, as part of An Evening of Dementia with Dr. Demento in Person Plus “Weird Al” Yankovic, wraps up at Micky’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1983 - Leelee Sobieski is born (with the much higher Scrabble score name of Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta Sobieski) in New York City. Since her feature film debut, in Disney’s Tim Allen film Jungle 2 Jungle, she has appeared in such other comedies as: Never Been Kissed, Finding Bliss, and The Last Film Festival.

1993 - Burt Reynolds filed for divorce from Loni Anderson after five years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences.

1994 - City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold is released, starring Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Jon Lovitz, and Jack Palance, who had won an Academy Award for his supporting performance in the first film.

1996 - Presented as a fundraiser for Comic Relief’s National Health Care for the Homeless program, a star-studded crowd filled Mann’s Chinese Theatre (raising $225,000 in the process) for the premiere of the Jim Carrey/Matthew Broderick dark comedy The Cable Guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm-kQh4zvaA

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1999 - With the success of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Mike Myers dances on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

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2004 - Marlon Brando recorded his final role, an audio recording for the still unreleased animated comedy feature Big Bug Man. Offered a different role, Brando chose to voice Mrs. Sour instead, and wore a blond wig, old lady wardrobe and full makeup during the session, to be humorous and also to get into character. The frail Brando, who by this point was on oxygen six hours a day, was recorded in his own home, and passed away three weeks later.

2006 - Tim Minchin begins a two-night stand at The Dolphin Theatre in Perth. The shows would be recorded and later released as the album So Rock.

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2010 - Russell Brand doesn’t dance on the cover of Rolling Stone.

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June 11

 

1933 - Gene Wilder is born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1937 - The seventh film by The Marx Brothers (and the second one to be an album title by Queen), A Day At The Races opens in theatres.

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1945 - The original Rizzo in the Broadway production of Grease, Vanessa Melon in the film Back To School, but best remembered as Carol the divorced daughter on the 70’s series Maude, Adrienne Barnea is born in Sacramento, California.

1959 - Before he was famous in North America for the series House, he, along with his Cambridge University pal and comedy partner Stephen Fry were the first ever winners of the Perrier Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, had the Granada TV sketch series Alfresco, A Bit Of Fry And Laurie on the BBC, and the series Blackadder. British comic, actor, author and director Hugh Laurie (CBE) is born in Blackbird Leys, Oxfordshire, England. 

1966 - TV Guide sends their top photographer to cover Bath Day on Gilligan’s Island.

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1969 - Actor known for Elf, The Station Agent, Death At A Funeral, Penelope, Find Me Guilty and Living In Oblivion, Peter Dinklage is born in Mendham Township, New Jersey.

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1979 - Marion Robert Morrison dies of stomach cancer in Los Angeles - but you might know him better by his stage name, John Wayne. And even though The Duke is definitely most famous for starring in dozens and dozens and dozens of serious westerns, he also left behind quite a few comedies. Among them are the films: McLintock!, The Quiet Man, Donovan’s Reef, Hatari!, Brannigan, The Train Robbers, North to Alaska, Seven Sinners (with Marlene Dietrich), the sports comedy Trouble Along the Way, Winds of the Wasteland, His Private Secretary, A Lady Takes a Chance, Lady for a Night, Girls Demand Excitement, A Man Betrayed, Overland Stage Raiders, Three Texas Steers, Somewhere in Sonora, the Claudette Colbert romantic comedy Without Reservations - and the unrelated Bob Hope mystery comedy Cancel My Reservation. He was also a frequent guest in countless TV comedy, variety and talk shows - and even had his own comedy special, Swing Out, Sweet Land, in which he and an all-star cast of friends told the story of America through a series of sketches.

1986 - The John Hughes teen comedy about the fun and possible consequences of ditching school, Matthew Broderick stars in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which opened on this date.

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1993 - British actor best known for his appearances in the Carry On film series, Bernard Bresslaw dies of a heart attack after collapsing in his dressing room before a performance of Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew. He was 59.

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June 11, 1999 - Mike Myers’ film “Austin Powers-The Spy Who Shagged Me” opens on over three thousand screens.

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June 11, 2006 - The Drowsy Chaperone wins five Tony Awards.

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2006 - On a flight to San Diego from New York City, Jerry Lewis suffered his third heart attack.

2019 - The film Toy Story 4 is released.

June 12

 

1930 - Best known for his character Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C, as well as his frequent appearances on The Carol Burnett Show, Jim Nabors is born in Sylacauga, Alabama.

1954 - Popular Dutch comic, cabaret and recording artist known for her sketch and parody theatre productions, Tineke Schouten is born in Utrecht.

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1955 - The final episode of the Wally Cox/Patricia Benoit sitcom Mr. Peepers airs on NBC.

1957 - Timothy Busfield is born in Lansing, Michigan. He won an Emmy Award as one of the stars of the television series Thirtysomething.

1958 - Jenilee Harrison, best known as Cindy Snow, Chrissy Snow’s cousin and replacement on the hit sitcom Three’s Company after Suzanne Somers was written out of the show in 1980.

1959 - Scott Thompson of Kids In The Hall born in North Bay, Ontario.

1972 - Comedian Finesse Mitchell of Saturday Night Live fame is born in Atlanta, Georgia. He also appeared on such shows as Showtime at the Apollo, BET's ComicView, Comedy Central Presents, Disney Channel's sitcom A.N.T. Farm and Showtime’s Roadies.

1974 - Comedian, actor and podcaster Jason Mewes is born in Highlands, New Jersey. He is best known for playing the Jay half of the “Jay and Silent Bob” duo in Kevin Smith's films.

1978 - Actor and comedian Timothy Simons is born in Readfield, Maine. You probably know him best as Jonah Ryan on the HBO television series Veep, and from such films as The Interview and The Boss.

1981 - Sometimes you just need an effective communicator. Mel Brooks and a stellar cast (Harvey Korman, Dom DeLuise, Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Sid Caesar, Gregory Hines, Pamela Stephenson, Bea Arthur, Spike Milligan and Shecky Greene) take us through Mel Brooks’ History Of The World, Part 1. The film, a collection of sketches, opened on this date.

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June 12, 1983 - Superman III hits theatres - and thanks to co-star Richard Pryor, it’s much funnier than the previous two films.

1986 - You loved him as Magnitude in the NBC series Community and Sid in the ABC musical comedy series Galavant. Actor Luke Youngblood is born in London, England.

1998 - The revenge comedy Dirty Work hits theatres. The film is the first directed by Bob Saget, and stars Norm Macdonald, Artie Lange, Jack Warden, and Traylor Howard. Cameos include Don Rickles, John Goodman, Gary Coleman, Rebecca Romijn, Chevy Chase, Christopher McDonald, Adam Sandler, and - in his final film performance - Chris Farley. [Also includes the Boyd Banks dead hookers in a trunk scene]

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1999 - Friends star Courtney Cox marries actor David Arquette (Never Been Kissed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, See Spot Run) in San Francisco. They would divorce in 2013.

2009 - Sri Lankan comedian Annesley Dias passed away.

2010 - Toy Story 3 hits theatres.

2012 - Jerry Lewis was hospitalized after collapsing from hypoglycemia at a New York Friars Club event.

2016 - Elín Ortiz, Puerto Rican actor and comedian, died aged 81.

June 13

 

1926 - Known for the film Bye, Bye Birdy, the TV sitcom Bewitched, and as the quick and quip-filled long running resident of the center square on The Hollywood Squares, actor Paul Lynde is born in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

1943 - Malcolm McDowell is born Horsford, Yorkshire, England. Film credits include O Lucky Man! (1973), Britannia Hospital (1982), Tank Girl (1995), Easy A (2010) and The Artist (2011). McDowell has also played many roles on TV series, including Entourage (2005–2011), Franklin & Bash (2011–2014) and Mozart in the Jungle (2014–2018).

1951 - Stellan Skarsgård is born in Gothenburg, Sweden. Although he’s best known for his dramatic work, he also has plenty of comedy credits, most notably Mamma Mia! (2008) and its sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018), Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018), Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014) and Boogie Woogie (2009).

1953 - Stand-up comic, star of NBC’s Home Improvement and the Santa Clause film trilogy, as well as the voice of Buzz Lightyear for the Toy Story franchise, Tim Allen is born in Denver, Colorado.

1962 - Brat Packer Ally Sheedy is born in New York City. She’s best known for starring in The Breakfast Club (1985), Short Circuit (1986) and Only the Lonely (1991).

1972 - The final episode of the CBS music-and-comedy variety series The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (1969-1972) airs.

1974 - Steve-O is born in Wimbledon, London, England, with the full name Stephen Gilchrist Glover. The British-American comedian is known for his performance stunts on the American television series Jackass on MTV, and its spinoff movies and TV shows.

1978 - Ethan Embry is born in Huntington Park, California. He’s known for his many comedy roles - including "Rusty" Griswold in Vegas Vacation, Mark in Empire Records, The Bass Player in That Thing You Do!, Preston Meyers in Can't Hardly Wait and Coyote in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie.

1979 - Beginning in 1935 as the leading lady of the Our Gang film series, Darla Hood died of heart failure brought on by acute hepatitis after receiving a blood transfusion during an appendectomy. She was 47.

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1981 - Before his Captain America fame he was an actor known for starring in Fox’s sitcom Opposite Sex and teen comedies like Not Another Teen Movie, The Perfect Score, The Nanny Diaries, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, What’s Your Number and Playing It Cool. Chris Evans is born in Boston, MA.

1986 - The Rodney Dangerfield college comedy Back to School is released, featuring Sam Kinison as an over-the-edge professor.

1986 - Actress known for her work in the films The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Big Momma’s House 2, The House Bunny, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Defendor and Suburban Gothic - and for starring on the sitcom 2 Broke Girls, Kat Dennings is born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania as Katherine Victoria Litwack.

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1986 - Twin actresses known for starring as Michelle Tanner in ABC’s hit “TGIF”-block series Full House, and for their many movies, albums and books after it, Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen are born in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles.

1990 - Aaron Taylor-Johnson is born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. He is best known for playing the superhero Kick-Ass (2010-2013). Other movie roles include such films as Shanghai Knights (2003), Dead Cool (2004), The Best Man (2006), and Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008).

1998 - British cartoonist who created, and then produced the Andy Capp comic strip for more than 30 years, Reg Smythe passes away aged  80.

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2000 - The American Film Institute unveil their “100 Years… 100 Laughs” list, topped by Some Like It Hot, Tootsie, Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall and Duck Soup. Cary Grant has the most appearances on the list, with eight films.

2011 - McMaster University makes Steve Smith (Red Green) an honorary Doctor of Letters.

2017 - From a sketch on The Kroll Show all the way to New York’s Lyceum Theatre, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s special Oh, Hello On Broadway debuts on Netflix.

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2018 - Popular Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon is assaulted and murdered in Princes Park while walking home after a gig at Highland Bar the night before; she was just 22 years old. Her death resulted in a public outcry. After CCTV footage was released, her attacker turned himself in and was given a life sentence.

June 14

 

1931 - Best known for playing Florence the maid on the hit sitcom The Jeffersons and its spinoff series Checking In, and later on the NBC series 227, five-time Emmy nominated actress, comedian and singer Marla Gibbs is born in Chicago, Illinois.

1941 - British impressionist and comic whose TV shows (Will The Real Mike Yarwood Stand Up?, Look: Mike Yarwood, Mike Yarwood In Persons, The Mike Yarwood Show) would keep him on the air for the better part of 20 years, and whose specials would draw record numbers, Mike Yarwood is born in Bredbury, Cheshire, England.

1952 - Famous as “The Big Ragu” (Carmine on “Laverne & Shirley”), Eddie Mekka is born Rudolph Edward Mekjian in Worcester, Massachusetts.

1955 - English comedian, drag queen and TV host Paul O'Grady is born in Tranmere, Birkenhead, Cheshire, England. He achieved notability in the London gay scene during the 1980s with his drag queen persona Lily Savage, going mainstream in the 1990s after being nominated for a Perrier Award at the 1992 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, hosting (as Savage) the shows The Big Breakfast (1995–1996), Blankety Blank (1997–2002), and Lily Live! (2000–2001). O'Grady subsequently dropped the character and in the 2000s starred in the BBC sitcom Eyes Down and hosting various television and radio shows, most notably The Paul O'Grady Show/The New Paul O’Grady Show and Paul O’Grady Live between 2004 and 2015.

1966 - Actress Traylor Howard, who starred in the television series Monk and Two Guys and a Girl, is born in Orlando, Florida.

1968 - Faizon Love is born (as Langston Faizon Santisima) in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. He has appeared in such films as The Meteor Man, Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, Friday, B*A*P*S, Elf, The Replacements, Made, and Couples Retreat, but is probably best known for playing Wendell Wilcox on the sitcom The Parent 'Hood from 1995–1998.

1978 - Brook Maurio, known by her nom de plume Diablo Cody, is an Academy Award winning screenwriter, blogger and filmmaker. She is best known for the movie Juno (2007) and for creating the Showtime comedy-drama United States of Tara (2009–2011). Other film credits include Paradise (2013), Jennifer's Body (2009), Young Adult (2011), Tully (2018) and the musical Ricki and the Flash (2015).

1985 - Building on the success of his award-winning video production Tele Vision Parts, ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith has his summer TV series Michael Nesmith In Television Parts debut on NBC. The show would feature appearances by Garry Shandling, Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Mull, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and others in a mix of music videos and comedy sketches.

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1988 - Kevin McHale is born in Plano, Texas. He’s best known for playing Artie in the Fox series Glee, and for hosting the British panel show Virtually Famous on E4. Also, he won three NBA championships before he was even born with the Boston Celtics… no wait, that was a different Kevin McHale.

1989 - Zsa Zsa Gabor is arrested after allegedly slapping a Beverly Hills police officer in the face. He had pulled her over for having expired tags.

1989 - Actress Lucy Hale is born in Memphis, Tennessee. She played Rose Baker in the comedy series Privileged (2008–2009) and starred in the films Life Sentence (2018) and Katy Keene (2020). Other film appearances include: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008), Sorority Wars (2009), A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song, and Dude (2018).

1992 - Daryl Sabara is born in Los Angeles County. The actor is best known for playing Juni Cortez in the Spy Kids film series. Other credits include Wizards of Waverly Place, Father of the Pride, Keeping Up with the Steins and World's Greatest Dad.

1997 - Artie Lange stopped using cocaine.

2012 - Yvette Wilson, American comedian and actress (Moesha, The Parkers), passed away at just 48 years of age, of cervical cancer. Also lost this day was Indian comedy actor TV Radhakrishnan, better known as “Kaka”, at 86 of respiratory failure.

2016 - All female sketch series Baroness Von Sketch debuts on CBC.

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2018 - With guests Jerry Seinfeld, Wayne Knight and Cardi B, the last episode of Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis airs on Funny Or Die.

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2019 - Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City returned to Comedy Central with back to back episodes.