September 29th in nerd history: Where everybody knows your name

September 29th in nerd history: Where everybody knows your name
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Happy National Coffee Day! Please don't make me go into all the reasons why we love this drink that is essentially a psychoactive drug, because, you know, pumpkin spice and stuff!

We think coffee is wonderful in all its forms, and as soon as we're done writing this we'll be heading out to find whatever free cup of coffee we can get our hands on to celebrate this very important holiday.

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

September 29 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on September 29th for those of us who know to tune into the same Bat-channel at the same Bat-time.

I.

Birthdays of honor: Jerry Lee Lewis (1935), Gene Autry (1907), Andrew Dice Clay (1957), Bryant Gumbel (1948), Les Claypool (1963), Stan Berenstain (1923).

II.

Some call it the day hair metal died.

In 1991 MTV played the music video for Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for the very first time. It was initially relegated to the legendary late-night 120 Minutes but quickly moved into daytime rotation.

By January of 1992 the single hit no. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 — the same week that Nevermind hit no. 1, and death had been declared to all other music genres besides the new Alternative sound. Turns out, it was just a trend, but certainly one that the combination of MTV + Nirvana helped to usher in.

It was made for about $30,000, which in the '90s was nothing — the '95 Michael Jackson track "Scream" cost over $13 million.

III.

Today in 1977, a song by these guys hit no. 1:

Of course, that's not really fair, because "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" was actually composed and recorded by Meco. Working mostly as a session musician, upon watching Star Wars he became inspired and wanted to record a jazz/funk fusion album that built upon the film's score.

Incredibly, the project got approved and the resulting album was a smashing success, selling more than the actual Star Wars soundtrack and going platinum.

IV.

September 29 was another day for TV premieres, but we're going to spend the most time on the Richard Dean Anderson classic, MacGyver, which debuted today in 1985.

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Angus MacGyver is a secret agent working for the Department of External Services (DSX) and later for the mysterious Pheonix Foundation. His main skill? You guessed it, using his knowledge of science to solve almost any problem just by using the tools and materials at hand.

Besides setting the bar for working with what you have, MacGyver ran for seven seasons, 139 episodes, and two TV movies. Produced by none other than Henry Winkler, the show never received much more than moderate ratings, but gained a loyal fanbase. So loyal that a reboot ran for five seasons from 2016-2021 — but as you may have guessed, I refuse to watch it.

Other notable TV premieres on September 29 include:

  • My Three Sons in 1960.
  • Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Show in 1962.
  • My Favorite Martian in 1963.
  • Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories in 1985.
  • Designing Women in 1986.

And a shout out to Cheers, which debuted tomorrow, September 30, in 1982. We had a whole thing we were going to write for that before we realized it was on a Saturday. Sure would be nice to go where everybody knows our name(s).

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V.

Today Netflix will send it's last DVD.

Netflix sign on a building at sunset.
Photo by Venti Views / Unsplash

At its peak, the DVD-by-mail service saw over 20 million subscribers with over 100,000 titles to choose from. Today there are less than a million of those subscribers left — but it's not all bad news. Those diehards will get to keep the final DVDs that land in their mailboxes.

The first DVD Netflix sent was a copy of Beetlejuice in 1998, 25 years ago.