August 31st in nerd history: We can call it the MCU

August 31st in nerd history: We can call it the MCU

Happy National Trail Mix Day! Personally, I’m a fan of the classic peanuts, cashews, raisins, and M&Ms. And here’s a little tip — you don’t even have to be on a trail to enjoy this tasty snack. I wonder exactly what makes a nut mix for trails, anyway?

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

August 31 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on August 31st at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.


Birthdays of honor: Chris Tucker (1971), Richard Gere (1949), James Coburn (1928), Van Morrison (1945), Debbie Gibson (1970), Buddy Hackett (1924).


In 2009 the entertainment landscape shifted dramatically when Disney announced it was acquiring Marvel Entertainment for $4.24 billion.

Today there’s a lot of debate over superhero fatigue and yada yada yada, but there’s no question this was one of the smartest and most lucrative acquisitions in entertainment history, ultimately spawning the MCU and all of the related properties, attractions, and content.

Karen Gillan Marvel GIF


Look, I always feel weird bringing up Michael Jackson. Let’s just get that out of the way. But the dude was a pop icon. There’s no way I can do what I do and not have him come up from time to time.

In fact, he was so big that his music videos didn’t premiere on cable (e.g., with MTV) — they premiered on broadcast TV.

Today in 1987 the music video for Bad premiered on CBS, and it wasn’t just a video but a full-on TV special called Michael Jackson: The Magic Returns. The director of the video — whose full version is a mini-movie in and of itself — was none other than modern-day MCU skeptic, Martin Scorcese.


In 1999 video games got a little bit more awesome when Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater came out for the PlayStation.

As someone whose greatest accomplishment in skateboarding is ollying over a crack in the sidewalk, I have no idea how accurate the game was to the sport. But it was damn ass fun.

It also featured a killer soundtrack and multiplayer mode. This game made afternoons fly right by, and helped to push skateboarding — and Tony Hawk — further into the mainstream.


We try to keep things pretty light around here, but sometimes there’s an event that’s such a huge part of pop culture that it just finds its way in. Today is one such day. 26 years ago in 1997, Princess Diana, her partner Dodi Fayed, and their driver Henri Paul were killed in a car crash in Paris.

While some speculated that overeager paparazzi were to blame, an investigation found that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs, and was solely responsible.

Princess Diana Hello GIF - Princess Diana Hello Hi GIFs

While British Royals are always a huge draw in popular culture, I don’t have to remind you that Diana was even bigger than big. The biggest Royal. Her fantasy wedding, subsequent scandals, and death were followed by pretty much everyone around the world. The tragic deaths inspired tributes, songs, TV shows, you name it.

And really, it’s a moment that won’t ever be forgotten for those who lived through it, whether you followed Diana or not.