Hanna-Barbera’s two-toned toons, based on a series of Belgian characters, capped a run of eight years and over 250 episodes on this date. The NBC Saturday morning cartoon, one of the most popular of the 1980s, starred the diminutive blue denizens of Smurf Village, whose ubiquitous eponym acted as species, clan name, and all-purpose filler word. Like any good 1980s cartoon, The Smurfs became a highly marketable franchise with multiple spin-offs and a recent CGI-powered film adaptation. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Dan Butler, talk radio host (58); Brendan Coyle, valet (49); Bill Erwin, character actor (d. 2010); Joe Lo Truglio, Statesman (42); Lucy Liu, attorney (44); Stone Phillips, anchor (58); Rena Sofer, Melrose Placer (44); Ray Walston, Martian (d. 2001).