This Was Television On June 16

1961: Dave Garroway departs Today

As the host of NBC’s flagship morning program since its 1951 debut, the avuncular Garroway helped invent the TV talk show. He combined an amiable, conversational tone with a professorial credibility. Personal and professional demons led Garroway to resign after a decade at the helm of Today, but the format he helped pioneer remains a cornerstone of the network television infrastructure to this day.

Garroway also frequently shared hosting duties with a chimpanzee by the name of J. Fred Muggs. Fifty years later, this would inspire Jeff Zucker’s unsuccessful experiment of naming a Capuchin monkey as NBC’s head of programming development.  -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: John Cho, forward-flasher (40); Eddie Cibrian, playboy (39); Abby Elliot, second-generation SNLer (25); Laurie Metcalf, favorite aunt (57); Missy Peregrym, reaper’s squeeze (30); Joan Van Ark, Knot’s lander (69).

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