January 8 in History

Although the program ran for “only” two seasons in the 1960s on American television, F Troop developed one of the most remarkable second lives in television history: re-run episodes started to appear on local television stations across the country that same decade, and by the 1970s, a little boy in Poughkeepsie, New York, thought the show was brand-new and hilarious. Much of the hilarious part came from the mugging of Larry Storch, “Corporal Randolph Agarn,” who turns 94 today.

(The youngster, also named me, was truly perplexed at what appeared to be an equal number of color and black-and-white episodes, randomly distributed on his family’s new color TV. It was because the show’s two seasons straddled the proliferation of color production: one season was shot in black-and-white and the next was filmed in glorious small screen color.)

Mr. Storch will be celebrating his 94th in grand style: with a show (a surprise guest not yet announced) at the Metropolitan Room in New York City. Tickets range in price from $15 to $115. His family maintains an active Facebook account for the actor to keep in touch with his fans, and he has been performing live stand-up in New York, Florida, and California in recent years.

Last year, the city of Passaic, New Jersey, hosted him, even though he is not from New Jersey, nor had he ever set foot in that city: one day when someone on the set of F Troop asked Cpl. Agarn where his hometown is, Storch in character blurted out “Passaic,” which became a plot detail in a couple of episodes. Storch visited Passaic finally last fall, which Passaic took advantage of by naming him an honorary citizen:

 
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The final episode of the music show Shindig! aired on ABC on this ate in 1966. The network cancelled it and ultimately replaced it with Batman. Among the guests the last week: The Kinks and The Who.

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Norton 1, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, died on this date in 1880. Kenneth Patchen died 45 years ago today. Zhou Enlai died on this date in 1976. Terry-Thomas died on this date in 1990. President François Mitterrand died 21 years ago today. Dave Thomas (Wendy’s) died 15 years ago today.

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Ron Moody was born on this date in 1924. Soupy Sales was born on this date in 1926. Elvis Presley was born on this date in 1935. Graham Chapman was born on this date in 1941. The late David Bowie was born 70 years ago today. (He died January 10, 2016.) “Sound and Vision” live:

 
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Sander Vanocur is 89. Charles Osgood is 84. Dame Shirley Bassey is 80 today. “Diamonds Are Forever” from 2016:

 
Bob Eubanks is 79. Stephen Hawking is 75 today. Yvette Mimieux is 75. Vladimir Feltsman is 65 today. Kim Jong Un is 33 today, it is believed.

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2 comments

  1. loisajay · January 8

    F Troop was only on for two seasons? I loved that show!

    Like

  2. Relax... · January 8

    🙂 Who doesn’t love Cpl. Agarn?? I think our household may’ve even pronounced the “r” in his name. Perhaps we all know just such a person. And Shindig (and the others) — we young people who knew all lyrics to all songs and lived for the next song, wow.. an awesome mind-saver!

    Like

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