46 years ago today: A wedding made ‘Tonight Show’ ratings history

12.17.15 2 years ago

46 years ago today, history was made on an episode of “The Tonight Show.” Novelty singer Tiny Tim – known for his ukulele playing and falsetto voice – married Miss Vicki on Johnny Carson”s talk show. It was the most-watched episode of Carson”s “Tonight Show” until his finale.

Before televised celebrity weddings became a common occurrence, this was a wholly new spectacle. 45 million viewers tuned in for the event. (Compare that to a meager 4 million viewers watching Kim Kardashian”s much-publicized 2011 wedding to Kris Humphries.)

Other notable December 17 happenings in pop culture history:

• 1965: Judy Garland and The Supremes became first artists to perform at the Astrodome in Houston, Tex.

• 1971: “Diamonds Are Forever,” the seventh Eon Productions James Bond film, opened in U.S. theaters.

• 1976: “Freaky Friday,” starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris, had its theatrical release. The remake of “King Kong,” starring Jessica Lange in her first film role, also opened that day.

• 1979: The sitcom “House Calls” premiered.

• 1982: “Tootsie” and “The Dark Crystal” opened in theaters.

• 1983: Cyndi Lauper made her first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 when “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” entered the chart at No. 80. The song later peaked at No. 2 behind Van Halen”s “Jump.”

• 1984: The soap opera “One Life to Live” changed its opening sequence and theme song, which lasted until 1991.

• 1989: “The Simpsons” aired for the first time with Christmas-themed episode “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.”

• 2003: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” opened in theaters.

• 2004: “The Aviator” opened in a limited release before a Christmas Day wide release.

Birthdays: “Resident Evil” actress Milla Jovovich (turns 40 today), “Ghostbusters” actor Ernie Hudson (70), Yellowcard singer-guitarist Ryan Key (36), “American Pie” actor Eugene Levy (69), “American Horror Story” actress Sarah Paulson (41), “Independence Day” actor Bill Pullman (62), “Avatar” actor Giovanni Ribisi (41), “Paper Towns” actor Nat Wolff (21)

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