August 9th in nerd history: Double the Van Damme, double the fun

Happy National Book Lovers Day! However, it’s also National Rice Pudding Day. The merging of these two holidays could prove disastrous, but we owe it to ourselves to try.

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

August 9th in Nerd History

Here are 5 things that happened on August 9th at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.


Birthdays of honor: Whitney Houston (1963), Bill Skarsgard (1990), Gillian Anderson (1968), Sam Elliot (1944), Melanie Griffith (1957), Dan Levy (1983), Thomas Lennon (1970), Kurtis Blow (1959).


In 1985, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure was released to the joy of kids like me across the country. I don’t need to mention why this year it’s an even more meaningful anniversary.

Pee Wee Herman Rebel GIF

In 1991, we finally solved the problem of how to get Jean-Claude Van Damme into more movies — double him! Double Impact, in which he plays not one but TWO roles, came out today. With a 33% Rotten Tomatoes score, I don’t see how you can’t not watch this movie.

And if you thought Snake was done escaping from places, you were waaaay wrong. Escape from L.A. came out today in 1996.

walking in kurt russell GIF


In 1944 Smokey Bear showed up to educate us on forest fires for the first time. And yeah, that’s right, it’s Smoky Bear, not Smokey the Bear — and yes, that is due to a glitch in the timeline.


Another famous fictional character made their debut today, but this time back in 1930 when Betty Boop appeared for the first time in the short “Dizzy Dishes”.


In 1969 some kind of awful, horrible, mass death must have taken place at Disneyland, because today’s the day The Haunted Mansion opened its doors. It’s pretty full with 999 happy haunts, but hey, there’s always room for one more.

haunted mansion disney GIF