THE PAST IS THE KEY to the future: as someone — I think it was George Santayana — once said, those who don’t remember the past are condemned to watch a rerun without realizing they’ve already seen the episode.
So, as a way of helping remember the past, we continue yesterday’s wrap-up of 1992. It will be recalled as a year of great significance, with some real industry highlights: Shakeups at the studio hierarchy, agency mergers, Johnny Carson stepping down …
OK, I think that pretty much covers it.
However, there are other stories — maybe less publicized, but just as significant. All of the following are true and all happened this year. Read them. Think about them. But don’t think about them too much. I mean, try to enjoy the holidays.
SHERWOOD SCHWARTZ AND SON LLOYD revealed they were waiting for Ted Turner and Columbia to complete negotiations on “Gilligan’s Island: The Movie,” while “Gilligan’s Island: The Musical” bowed in Chicago’s Organic Theater. And after only two weeks of negotiations, Sherwood and Lloyd Schwartz sold Paramount “The Brady Bunch Movie.”
“Diana: Her True Story” debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list; that same week, “Diana: A Princess and Her Troubled Marriage” was No. 8 and “Diana in Private” was No. 10.
Montana State U.’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse hosted a performance by Mike Warnke, Christian comedian-evangelist, who before conversion was a satanic high priest.
Two months before the national elections, NBC’s “The Brokaw Report” featured a debate on presidential issues between Richard Dreyfuss and Tom Selleck.
ABC’s “The Jacksons–An American Dream” carried the disclaimer: “Vocals performed by actors portraying Michael Jackson are not intended as simulations of Mr. Jackson’s voice.”
Israeli rock band Duralex Sedlex shocked Holocaust survivors by announcing it wanted to perform at the gates of the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. Singer Uri Droomer said the performance could symbolize Jewish survival.
WHILE CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT Dr. Bob Arnot and his crew were packing up their gear in Somalia, a few men stepped out of the crowd with guns and demanded the generator. Arnot started imitating Elvis Presley singing “Blue Christmas,” which confused the robbers and caused them to flee.
Dr. Daniel Collins of Dayton, Ohio, installed a crown in the tooth of Elvis fan Gayle Bellomy that reads “Elvis.”
Mourners poured into Memphis in August to honor Elvis Presley on the anniversary of his death, in what the Associated Press described as “an odd mixture of grieving and grooving.” Graceland labels this “Elvis International Tribute Week,” but the locals call it “Death Week” and the P&H Cafe hosted its annual Dead Elvis Ball.
The Jim Rose Circus Sideshow rolled into L.A. Among the acts are Amazing Mr. Lifto, who lifts irons with a coat hanger strung through holes in his tongue; the Torture King, who eats lightbulbs and skewers various parts of his body, then electrocutes himself; Slug, who eats maggots and other insects; former pharmacist Matt the Tube, who force-feeds a mixture of beer, chocolate and Maalox into his stomach, then regurgitates it and invites volunteers to sample it; and Jim Rose, who puts his face in broken glass and lets someone stand on his head.
Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour and Red Buttons were among the guests at a birthday party 43-year-old Mark Harris threw for his 76-year-old bride, Martha Raye, at the Friars Club in Beverly Hills.
Milton Berle and Red Buttons ended their yearlong feud.
While Phil Donahue was on vacation, his staff taped new shows. They featured the host in prerecorded intros and producers asking questions from the audience, with camera angles making it appear Donahue was holding the mike. A “Donahue” rep said the “producers are not seen on camera because people would be confused by this.”
Bobby London, who drew the daily “Popeye” comic strip for King Features, said the company told him he was being fired for submitting a sequence in which Olive Oyl asserts her right to have an abortion.
DURING A SUNDAY-MORNING religious broadcast on Channel 40 in Palm Springs, a switching mistake showed X-rated footage of a couple. About 10 minutes after it began, a viewer called in to point out the mistake.
The Hollywood Radio & Television Society named Ed O’Neill of “Married … With Children” as Man of the Year in Broadcasting.
Yvonne Lindsey, 39, of St. Louis was charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action for allegedly shooting her 12-year-old son in an argument over the television remote control.
“Godzilla vs. Biollante” was rated PG for “traditional Godzilla violence.”
Carol Burnett and Adam West toiled in a workshop for a sitcom called “Reel Life.” Where do they get these titles?
See ya in court, gang, and to all of you, happy holidays.