The Oscar statuette is 13.5 inches tall and weighs 8.5 pounds. Except for some slight streamlining of its base, it remains virtually unchanged since it was first handed out in 1928. Uploaded by reviewsinhd.com.
It was the boss of MGM, Louis B. Mayer, who came up with the idea. Like Andy Hardy – “Let’s put on a show!” He got the other studios to buy in on the idea, and the first Academy Awards presentation debuted on May 16, 1929.
That first ceremony drew 270 people for a brunch that costs $5 per ticket. Now, valet parking would be insulted with a $5 tip. The Oscar statuette made its appearance at that first show, and save for some minor streamlining of the base, is essentially the same today as back then. Wings won the first Best Picture; but then, if you know movie trivia, you probably knew that.
The Oscar show has been hosted by a wide variety of actors and comedians over the decades. The recent ones you know, but some of the earlier hosts included Will Rogers (1934), Frank Capra (1936), Fred Astaire (1951), and Jerry Lewis (1957).
Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker. Uploaded by lightstalker.org.
Because of the success of the Oscars, each entertainment medium gives out awards to pat itself on the back. The Tonys, the Grammys, the Emmys, various Critics awards. Shoot, everyone who puts out a 25-cent picture magazine in Nashville has some kind of Country Music award. But only one is a title that comes as close to British peerage as we have in this country. “May I introduce John Smith, John Doe, and Academy Award Winner Jane Doe.”
Archie's creator, John Goldwater, wanted a comic character to capitalize on the popularity of Mickey Rooney in the Andy Hardy movies. The year was 1941. Uploaded by comicsbulletin.com.
Though the publisher is also known as Archie Comics, I’m celebrating the comic books themselves. Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, Jughead, Moose, Miss Grundy, and Mr. Weatherbee. The town of Riverdale, and Riverdale High. The quandary over whether he likes Betty or Veronica more. The rivalry with Reggie. Yeah, those Archie comics.
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I’d never thought of it before, but when John Goldwater created Archie in 1941, he was inspired by the popular Andy Hardy movies starring Mickey Rooney. He had a nickname then – “Chick” – and he showed up in Pep Comics #22. And while Goldwater guided the magazine through its most popular era, the comic was written by Vic Bloom and drawn by Bob Montana.
Betty and Veronica have had their own title through the years. So has Jughead. And in an attempt to be “relevant,” Archie Comics now has its first openly gay character, Kevin Keller. Archie now seems dated to me; I can’t imagine today’s kids buying into these characters. But when I was growing up, I loved them. They weren’t challenging, but they were fun. And, of first importance, aren’t comic books supposed to be fun?
Copyright 2009-2011, Robin G. Chalkley. All material on these pages, and the listing of items as Great American Things, is copyrighted. The exceptions are the photographs and videos, which remain the property of their respective owners.
Header photo used courtesy of Flickr photographer too melo.