July 27th in nerd history: Mario goes to med school, cartoon debuts, and John Ritter has a problem (with a child)

Happy Gary Gygax Day! In case you didn’t know, Gary Gygax was the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons and is often thought of as the father of modern-day role-playing games. So gather your party and thank this man for his contributions.

Players Handbook Books GIF by Dungeons & Dragons

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

July 27th in Nerd History

Here are 5 things that happened on July 27 at the intersection of nerd and pop culture for those of us who know that all you need for a good breakfast is a toaster.


Birthdays of honor: Gary Gygax (1938), Triple H (1969), Donnie Yen (1963), Jerry Van Dyke (1931), Yahoo Serious (1953).


In 1990 Nintendo decided Mario being a plumber was not enough, and after a somewhat questionable stint in medical school, he donned a white coat for Dr. Mario, released in Japan for the NES.

Dr Mario GIF


In 1940 Warner Bros. introduced their new cartoon character, Bugs Bunny, in the cartoon “A Wild Hare”.

It featured a smart aleck bunny antagonizing a hunter named Elmer Fudd.


John Ritter really had his hands full when Problem Child came out today in 1990. But if you ask me, this kid’s biggest problem was his haircut.

And in 2001, what would become an unlikely cult classic with multiple future Oscar nominees and megastars was released in the summer camp send-up Wet Hot American Summer.

Put together by the crew from MTV’s short-lived but beloved sketch comedy show, The State, it somehow featured everyone from Paul Rudd to Bradley Cooper to Elizabeth Banks. Hell, even Michael Showalter went on to direct The Big Sick. Yeesh! Seriously though, I love this movie.

wet hot american summer GIF

Finally, we should mention that today in 1984 Purple Rain was released in theaters, starring Prince as The Kid. It’s regarded as one of the best musical films ever made, maybe because Prince himself insisted that everyone in the movie take acting classes.

Purple Rain Movie GIF by Bounce


On this day in 1983, Madonna released her debut, self-titled album. Despite the fact Rolling Stone called her voice on the album “irritating as hell,” it peaked at no. 8 and featured the classics “Lucky Star”, “Borderline”, and “Holiday”.​