J. Fred Muggs Awards - Before the
TV Guide Awards, there was the J.Fred Muggs
Awards, an in-print booby prize that premiered in the 1/9/82
issue of TV Guide magazine. The J. Fred Muggs Awards honored the bleeps, blunders and monkey
business seen on television. As they put it, "Here is our salute to
the foot-in-the-mouth utterances and other minor disturbances of the
past TV season."
Named after J. Fred Muggs the chimpanzee who shared
the morning spotlight with newscaster/host Dave Garroway on NBC'S
TODAY SHOW in the 1950s, the award (pictured as a "golden
banana") was discontinued and replaced by the Annual Zap Awards
introduced in January 6, 1990. The award (named the "Zapper" a.k.a.
the "remote control"), was the video equivalent of "thumbs down."
January 7, 1989 TV Guide Magazine Cover
TRIVIA NOTE: During the 1950s,
comedian Steve Allen presented the "Lousy Awards" on his comedy
variety series THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW/NBC/ABC/1956-61. The Lousy Awards
poked fun at lousy persons, places or things.
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