Milton Berle, familiarly known to audiences as “Mr. Television” or “Uncle Milty,” became one of the earliest TV stars in American history as the host of Texaco Star Theater, which launched its small-screen incarnation on this date on NBC. Like most early TV programs, the comic variety show began life on radio. Berle was the show’s first host, but as part of a rotation; he would take the reins permanently later in its first season. After Texaco bowed out as sponsor, the program was renamed with the host in mind as much as the new sponsor: The Buick-Berle Show. Soon thereafter it was retitled again as The Milton Berle Show, which it remained until its conclusion in 1956. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Colin Baker, Doctor (70); Mark Feuerstein, doctor (42); Julianna Margulies, lawyer (47); Joan Rivers, comedian (80); Jerry Stiller, dad (86); Keenen Ivory Wayans, sketch comic (55); Kelli Williams, lawyer (43).