January 23 in nerd history: The day Hulkamania was born

January 23 in nerd history: The day Hulkamania was born

Happy National Handwriting Day! Someday, when all the AIs have realized humans are stupid and boring and they take all our technology and leave the planet for somewhere else more interesting, we’ll have a need for writing by hand once again. But that probably won’t happen until way after I’m dead, so whatevs.

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

January 23 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on January 23rd at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.

I.

Birthdays of honor: Tiffani Thiessen (1974), Randolph Scott (1898), Rutger Hauer (1944), John Hancock (1737), Django Reinhardt (1910), Lead Belly (1888), Richard Dean Anderson (1950).

II.

40 years ago today, the golden age of professional wrestling was born when Hulk Hogan defeated the Iron Sheik to win his first WWF title at Madison Square Garden.

video preview

Hogan, aka Terry Gene Bollea, was filling in for an injured Bob Backlund. I wonder what the script had originally called for, and how it ended up that they decided to give this rising yet largely unknown character his shot at the title, but hell, I’m betting Vince McMahon and co. are glad they did.

The match set off Hulkamania in earnest, skyrocketing Hogan to superstardom — probably because he was the first person to escape Shiek’s deadly Camel Clutch. But more than that, it kicked off an era of bigger-than-life personas, awesome video games, and pay-per-views that my parents definitely couldn’t afford.

III.

In 1983 children everywhere learned what it really means to be a team — and that you should try to escape prison if you’re wrongfully convicted — when The A-Team premiered on NBC.

Featuring George Peppard, Mr. T, and Dirk Benedict (among others), the show ran for five seasons and 98 episodes. It was a surprise hit, which itself is surprising to me. It featured Mr. T dropping hilarious sayings, lots of rockets and explosions, weapons being made out of random items, and a kick-ass theme song. I love it when a plan comes together.

I also have a vague memory of seeing an A-Team stunt show at Universal Studios, and I swear to you that it was the actual actors from the show. That would, of course, be shocking, but try telling that to five-year-old me.

IV.

If you were looking to spice up your life today in 1998, you were in for a treat: Spice World, the universally panned “movie” featuring the Spice Girls, was released in theaters in the United States.

Say what you will, but plenty of people saw this movie, including you, probably — it broke the box office record for a Super Bowl weekend and remains the highest-grossing movie of all time made by a musical group.

V.

Today in 1988 Tiffany’s persistence at malls paid off when her debut, self-titled album, went to number one — and at 16, making her the youngest female artist to achieve that feat.

video preview

The AI-generated Image of the Day

The prompt: Inspector Gadget is stressed out.

This is… a surprisingly accurate, realistic depiction of how I imagine this prompt. Creepy.

You might also like…

Which is NOT a Garbage Pail Kid?

The ’80s were truly f***ed up. Case in point, the collectible trading cards/franchise based upon the hugely successful Cabbage Patch Kids — whose entire premise was strange enough (cabbages that give birth to dolls) — that provided some of the strangest, most grotesque artwork you will ever see.

That’s right, we’re talking Garbage Pail Kids. You may have even been one of those kids that dealt GPK stickers on the black market (aka your cousin’s locker), considering they were banned from many schools in the late ’80s.

And then, there was the live-action movie in 1987 … once you’re done shuddering from that memory let’s see how deep your GPK knowledge runs.

Between the originals, reboots, and even a new series, there are A LOT of Garbage Pail Kids out there … but not every name has been taken.

Your horoscope for the rest of the day:

Follow us on the socials.

Classic Nerd is human-powered and free. We rely on sponsors to keep the lights on. See one you like? Please check them out.

Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe to never miss the day in nerd history, nerdy news, and rad giveaways.