March 9, 2013 - Joe Franklin Day

It was the first talk show ever. And it was one of the longest-running TV shows in history, with more than 28 thousand episodes and more than 300 thousand guests!

And I've never even heard of The Joe Franklin Show!

Joe Franklin started in the entertainment biz when he was just 17 years old—on the radio. In 1951, he began his long-running talk show on television. Finally, in 1993, he retired from TV and went back to radio, playing old records and interviewing celebrities. He's still at it, still entertaining people at age 87!

Franklin was born (with the name Joseph Fortgang) on this date in 1926. In addition to being a radio and TV personality, he has written 23 books and is an expert on silent films. His super-sharp brain is filled with knowledge (even trivia) about entertainment, which is why guests and audiences enjoy his show so much.

Another reason is his show would combine up-and-coming stars (Woody Allen, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, and Bill Cosby are just a few of the mega-stars who got their first TV exposure on his show), legends such as Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon, and people who were not and never would be stars such as balloon folders and unknown punk bands.

Franklin has been called the King of Entertainment and the King of Nostalgia. I wonder if he scratches his head in wonder at the way talk shows have grown and evolved—with mega-hits like The Oprah Winfrey Show, late-night shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The David Letterman Show, morning shows such as Good Morning America, shows that combine the talk format with comedy and fake news such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and current daytime hits such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The View. There are talk shows about politics, entertainment, issues, cars, sports, and many other topics.

A Collector of Celebrity...

Apparently, not only has Franklin been collecting knowledge and trivia for more than half a century, he's also been collecting memorabilia from his beloved celebrities.

Apparently, his collection of star stuff eventually got out of hand.

Check out this old article from a decade ago. I wonder if Franklin really did put his collection in storage? 

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