Useless Facts [Part 14]

  • The term “television” was first coined at the 1900 Paris World’s Fair. At the time, they were referring to still images being transmitted through electrical wires.
  • General Electric introduced the first American TV set in 1928.
  • The first remote control was called Lazy Bones. It was sold by Zenith in 1950 and it was connected to the set by a long wire.
  • The first show nationally televised in color was the 1954 New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade on NBC.
  • The first color TV was introduced in 1951, but it took fifteen years before all network broadcasting in the US was transmitted in color.
  • In 1967, the U.S. Congress mandated PBS. It began broadcasting in 1970.
  • Home Box Office (HBO), the first pay cable network, went on the air in 1972.
  • The industry claims that for the sharpest picture, people should sit at a distance of between four and eight times the height of the TV screen.
  • Of all the TV comedy and drama series in history, Gunsmoke aired the most episodes (over 600).
  • Actor Carroll Spinney has been playing Big Bird since 1969.
  • None of the cast of The Dick Van Dyke Show was in the original pilot, not even Dick Van Dyke himself. The show’s creator–Carl Reiner–played the lead. Johnny Carson almost ended up with the lead before Dick Van Dyke was picked.
  • George Carlin was the first guest host of Saturday Night Live, in 1975. Janis Ian was the first musical guest.

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