October 11th in nerd history: There's a man on the wing!

October 11th in nerd history: There's a man on the wing!

Happy National Pet Obesity Day! My understanding is today is the best day to shove as much food as you possibly can right in your pet’s face so they get way, way too big. Go ahead, feed ’em from the table, give ’em a whole steak — today is the day!

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October 11 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on October 11th at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.


Birthdays of honor: Luke Perry (1966), Jane Krakowski (1968), Eleanor Roosevelt (1884), Joan Cusack (1962), Dusty Rhodes (1945), Daryl Hall (1946).


In 1975, just shy of 50 years ago, Saturday Night Live made its debut on NBC.

Simply called NBC’s Saturday Night upon its premiere, the core of the long-running comedy sketch show was quite intact from the outset — the celebrity guest, the sketches, and of course, the fact it’s all performed live.

The first episode was hosted by George Carlin, who at the outset was part of a rotating set of guest hosts that also included Lily Tomlin and Richard Pryor.

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Developed to replace reruns of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, the original cast consisted of Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, Garrett Morris, and George Coe. In other words, pretty damn stacked.

SNL has gone on to launch numerous a comedian’s career, put out movies that have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars, and offers an anything-can-happen tension in every episode that seems to keep viewers coming back decade after decade.


We all know the legend of Deion Sanders and how he just may stand above all other two-sport athletes — and on October 11, 1992, that legend grew immensely.

Sanders was playing for both the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and the MLB’s Atlanta Braves that year, which is pretty damn impressive in and of itself. But on that fateful day, he saw an opportunity to do something no one had done before or has done since — play in two pro leagues not just in the same season, but on the same day.

You’d think it would go down in Atlanta, but instead, both teams were on the road. The Falcons were playing the Miami Dolphins. As soon as the game wrapped up, Deion flew by helicopter to the airport and then by private jet to Pittsburgh, where the Braves were taking on the Pirates that night in the National League Championship Series.

He made it in time to suit up, which is still historic, but contrary to popular legend he never did play in that NLCS game. Sanders is notoriously tight-lipped about why he didn’t make it in the game, chalking it up to unnamed “mistakes.”

Nonetheless, he’s the closest who’s ever come to the feat, and there’s a good chance no one ever get that close again.


60 years ago today, in 1963, an up-and-coming actor by the name of William Shatner starred in one of the most iconic episodes in Twilight Zone history, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”

Playing Mr. Robert Wilson, a husband and father who recently recovered from a mental breakdown, the episode tells the story of the only man who sees a gremlin on the wing.

The episode has been remade and parodied countless times, weaving its way into pop culture history; and of course, Shatner went on to an iconic career. But this was actually his second Twilight Zone appearance — he also starred in 1960’s “Nick of Time,” in which a newlywed couple discover an eerily accurate fortune teller machine.


Today in 1978 most people hitting the movies were there to see Animal House, maybe for a second or third time.

The movie had just returned to no. 1 after briefly being knocked out for a week by Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke. The prototypical college comedy was backed by National Lampoon and inspired by producer Matty Simmons and writer Harold Remis’ personal experiences.

It led the box office for a total of 8 weeks between the two runs and left us with such cultural gems as chanting “toga,” stuffy deans who just try to ruin a good time, and the unlikeliest misfits coming out on top.

In other news

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