August 29th in nerd history: DVDs in the mail? Shy'a right!

August 29th in nerd history: DVDs in the mail? Shy'a right!

Happy National Sports Day! That’s right, just sports — any sport you can think of. Basketball, football, bowling, cricket, polo — if you like it, today’s the day to celebrate it.

As for myself, I assumed this was actually a day to honor the classic album from Huey Lewis and the News. So you can guess how I’ll be celebrating…

This is The Reset Button from Classic Nerd, resetting your day.

August 29 in Nerd History

Here are 5 things that happened on August 29th at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.


Birthdays of honor: Richard Attenborough (1923), Michael Jackson (1958), Ingrid Bergman (1915), Charlie Parker (1920), Elliot Gould (1938), Rebecca De Mornay (1959), Joel Schumacher (1939), GG Allin (1956), Robin Leach (1941).


In the late ’90s two dudes had an idea — instead of having to schlep yourself all the way to the local Blockbuster, send those state-of-the-art DVDs directly to people’s homes. Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings founded Netflix today in 1997.

At launch, they carried 925 titles, which accounted for nearly every DVD title available at the time. This September they will send their last DVD, but I hear they’re still doing alright. Blockbuster, on the other hand…


It’s that time of year when we begin to transition from summer blockbusters into spooky season, as evidenced by the release of the slasher film He Knows You’re Alone in 1980.

It’s generally seen as a not-so-great horror movie that was one of the first to really follow in Halloween‘s footsteps, but is mostly notable as it marks the film debut of Tom Hanks, who plays a minor character.

Yep, looks like a future Forrest Gump to me.


In 1966 The Beatles played their last concert for paying fans. Sure, they’d play on a roof and do a few TV things, but this was really their last real concert.

They played Candlestick Park for about 25,000 fans — about 7,000 short of a full sellout. It’s hard to believe, but the band was still dealing with boycotts and backlash from John’s salty mouth. But the fans that were there were, you know, crazy people from the ’60s. Plus, the sound technology at the time couldn’t even break through the screaming fans. This was no Eras tour, people.

So, they did what no other band has really ever done, like ever — stopped playing shows and instead focused only on studio work for the remainder of the band’s lifespan.

You would have paid about $5 to attend.


The finale of “The Fugitive” aired today in 1967. Spoiler alert (hopefully 56 years is enough time): It ends with Dr. Richard Kimble finally catching up to the one-armed man and getting him to admit to being the real killer — and just as this shady character is about to gun Kimble down, the man who’s been chasing him this whole time saves his life, Lt. Philip Gerard. The show ends with a silent handshake between the two men. Hell yeah!

Look, I know there weren’t nearly as many choices back then, but this was still one damn historic moment in television. The final episode of the two-part series finale drew 78 million viewers and a 72% market share of viewers — the third-best TV ranking of all time.