The Week in Nostalgia: November 10-16
This week in pop culture history: the Disney Renaissance begins, Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” music video shocks America’s sensibilities, and the highest grossing comedy of all time invades theatres.
November 10, 1969: Sesame Street debuts on television.
The idea for Sesame Street was conceived by creator Joan-Ganz Cooney after she found that children in poor neighbourhoods were at disadvantage because of the lack of resources to prepare them for school. Since it first aired in 1969, it has been an important education tool in teaching children basic vocabulary, mathematics, and social skills. And it has all those cool characters.
November 14, 1989 and November 13, 1991: The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast Premiere.
The Little Mermaid was the first film in the period of history commonly referred to as the Disney Renaissance. Disney produced multiple highly successful and critically acclaimed animated films. Beauty and the Beast was the first animated movie to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Sadly, it lost to The Silence of the Lambs. Prior to their release in 1989 and 1991, respectively, Disney had tried to adapt them multiple times throughout the ‘30s and ‘40s. Additionally, both films have been adapted into Broadway musicals, Beauty and the Beast in 1994 and The Little Mermaid in 2008.
November 14, 1991: Michael Jackson ‘Black Or White’ premieres on FOX.
The “Black and White” music video caused quite a stir when it premiered on FOX in 22 years ago. People were offended by the last four minutes of the video, which featured Michael Jackson dancing in a very violent and sexually suggestive manner while smashing car windows. In a statement released after it aired, Jackson claimed that the dance sequence was supposed to represent the black panther’s animalistic behaviour. Subsequent airings shortened the video from its original 11 minutes length to 6 minutes, editing out the dance sequence at the end. The music video also starred Home Alone’s Macaulay Culkin.
November 16, 1990: Home Alone invades theatres
Home Alone made Macaulay Culkin a household name and spawned four sequels. Unfortunately, only one of the sequels, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, starred Culkin. The fifth and most recent film was Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, an ABC Family original movie that was released in 2012. We all remember that one (not a true statement). As of 2012, Home Alone is the highest grossing comedy of all time.
November 16, 2004: House premieres on FOX.
House didn’t blow up until it was paired with the once-ratings giant American Idol. By 2008, House had become the world’s most watched television program, reeling in over 81 million viewers. What made House such a blockbuster? British lead actor Hugh Laurie’s outstanding performance as the medical drama’s titular anti-hero, which also garnered him two Golden Globe wins and six Primetime Emmy nominations. Moreover, the show also featured on television’s best bromances: Dr. House and Dr. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). Check out the heart-breaking final moments from House’s superb fourth season finale “Wilson’s Heart.”