This Was Television On October 17

2005: The Colbert Report debuts

Popular Daily Show correspondent Stephen Colbert spun off his “character” in this companion to the acclaimed Comedy Central late night news satire. Modeled largely after Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly, but taking aim at personality-driven cable news programming more generally, The Report stars Colbert as an arch-conservative blowhard who wears his jingoism and ignorance as badges of honor. Its ninth season beginning in fall 2012, the nightly program also features more straightforward comedy segments, as well as  interviews (sometimes combative, sometimes faux-combative) with prominent politicians, scholars, and media figures. -A.D.

Also on October 17

1966: The Hollywood Squares premieres. The star-studded take on tic-tac-toe originally ran until 1981, mostly on NBC, and went through a series of syndicated revivals in the 1980s and 1990s.

Today’s Birthdays: Julie Adams, character actress (86); Beverly Garland, stepmom (d. 2008); Wood Harris, Avon calling (43); Sharon Leal, Boston teacher (40); Chris Lowell, private practitioner (28); Norm MacDonald, Saturday night anchor (49); Michael McKean, rock star (65); Tom Poston, handyman (d. 2007); Irene Ryan, Clampett kin (d. 1973); George Wendt, barfly (64).

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