45 years ago today, BBC viewers first saw Monty Python”s series of Spanish Inquisition sketches, in the second season of “Flying Circus.”
Featuring Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam as three incompetent and unintimidating Inquisitor cardinals, the 1970 sketch remained one of the comedy troupe”s most iconic and most quotable (“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” “The comfy chair?!”).
Other notable happenings in pop culture history from Sept. 22 (which turns out to be a big day in TV history):
• 1958: Elvis Presley, a private in the U.S. Army, departed for an 18-moth tour of duty in Germany.
• 1964: “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” premiered on NBC.
• 1964: The musical “Fiddler on the Roof” opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre. In 1972, it became Broadway”s longest-running musical, before it was overpassed by other shows in the coming decades.
• 1972: American audiences got their first glimpse of Ziggy Stardust, when David Bowie unveiled the persona at a show at Cleveland”s Music Hall.
• 1982: “Family Ties,” with a pre-fame Michael J. Fox in the cast, premiered on NBC.
• 1985: The first Farm Aid, held in Champaign, Illinois, featured performances by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson, who continue to play in the benefit concert every year. That first lineup also included B.B. King, Billy Joel, Foreigner and Bon Jovi.
• 1987: “Full House” premiered on ABC.
• 1994: “Friends” premiered on NBC.
• 1995: “Showgirls” was released. It was the first (and, to date, only) NC-17-rated film given a wide release in mainstream theaters.
• 1995: “Seven,” the second feature directed by David Fincher, opened in theaters.
• 2005: “Criminal Minds” premiered on CBS.
• 2004: “Lost” premiered on ABC.
Birthdays: rock star Joan Jett (turns 57 today), “Happy Days” actor Scott Baio (55), pop singer Toni Basil (71), opera singer Andrea Bocelli (56), musician Nick Cave (57), Her Universe founder and voice actress Ashley Eckstein, “Harry Potter” actor Tom Felton (28), “Jumanji” actress Bonnie Hunt (54), “Orphan Black” actress Tatiana Maslany, “Doctor Who” actress Billie Piper (33), “Smallville” actress Laura Vandevoort (31)