November 21st in nerd history: Like the NES, but super

Happy World Television Day! It's about time TV got a little recognition around here. Go ahead and binge your favorite show, or just turn the TV on and let the droning sound lull you to sleep.

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

November 21 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on November 21st at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.


Birthdays of honor: Goldie Hawn (1945), Bjork (1965), Voltaire (1694), Harold Ramis (1944), Christopher Tolkien (1924).


Today in 1990 the home gaming industry took a significant step forward when the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was released in Japan.

After losing significant market share to Sega's 16-bit Genesis, Nintendo knew they had to come out swinging — and they did. Despite the competition from Sega, Nintendo's entry into the 16-bit era proved hugely popular, with all 300,000 of the initial units selling out in a matter of hours.

It was so popular that distributors had to actively schedule deliveries to avoid the yakuza.

The Super Nintendo would go on to become the best-selling console of the era, selling over 49 million units by the time it was officially discontinued in 2003. It's still a hit with fans of retro gaming and collectors, and indie developers are still making new homebrew games for the console.


Today in 1980, we finally found out who shot J.R.

If you think Netflix is good at cliffhangers, you didn't watch Dallas, the prime-time soap opera from CBS that ran from 1978 to 1991.

At the end of the third season, audiences watched as someone attempted to kill oil baron J.R. Ewing — and had to wait the entire summer and into the fourth episode of the fourth season to find out who it was. The catchphrase "Who shot J.R.?" was developed to market the revelation and turned into a global phenomenon.

Over 83 million people tuned in to find out, representing a 76% viewer share. Spoiler alert: Turns out it was J.R.'s sister-in-law/mistress.


Today in 1931 a new era in monster movies was ushered in when Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, was released.

The movie was a commercial success, spawning multiple sequels and more monster movies from Universal, and became hugely influential in pop culture. The archetype of the mad scientist, as well as the quintessential image of Frankenstein's monster, are still with us.


The number one song today in 1980 was "Lady" by Kenny Rogers.