This Was Television On November 26

1989: Two performance showcases debut

An ABC special which mined humor out of home movies sent in from across the country, America’s Funniest Home Videos became a regular weekly series the following January—and has remained one in the 23 years since. The special and first eight seasons were hosted by Bob Saget, then popular as the star of ABC’s family sitcom Full House. A sizable hit in its early years, AFHV specialized in adding wacky sound effects and mocking commentary to amateur video clips which typically featured inadvertent pratfalls and other mishaps.

The same night, MTV premiered another series which has continued to the present, albeit with a somewhat loftier critical reputation. Unplugged placed pop artists in an intimate concert settings with a minimum of frills. Performers played the hits from their catalogs using acoustic instruments almost exclusively. The first episode featured British New Wave band Squeeze, and some of the series’ most memorable installments starred artists ranging from Nirvana to Eric Clapton to LL Cool J. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Scott Adsit, TGS producer (47); Kristin Bauer van Straten, vampire (39); Tammy Lynn Michaels, popular girl (38); Rich Little, impressionist (74); Ryan Robbins, werewolf (41); Charles M. Schulz, cartoonist (d. 2000). 

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