September 4th in nerd history: The price is definitely not right

September 4th in nerd history: The price is definitely not right

Happy Eat an Extra Dessert Day! Yeah yeah, Labor Day too, but this feels much more important.

Great American Baking Show Dessert GIF by ABC Network

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

Editors note: A few readers were quite understandably confused when we listed a certain birthday in last Friday’s newsletter — Engelbert Humperdinck. It’s a name that’s hard to forget.

It’s certainly reasonable to first think of the singer who rose to prominence in the late 1960s and ’70s with hits like “Release Me” — born in May of 1936. However, we listed a birthdate of September 1, 1854.

That’s because Engelbert Humperdinck is actually a stage name. Arnold George Dorsey adopted the name at the suggestion of Gordon Mills, a friend and music impresario. After years of struggling to break through in the music industry, Mills suggested Dorsey adopt the name of a 19th-century composer best known for his opera, Hansel and Gretel. The OG Humperdinck was born in 1854.

I guess it worked.

September 4 in Nerd History

Here are 5 things that happened on September 4th for those of us who shout wrong answers at the TV when Jeopardy! is on.


Birthdays of honor: Beyonce Knowles (1981), Damon Wayans (1960), Linda McCartney (1941), Dick York (1928), Paul Harvey (1918), Dr. Drew (1958).


In 1972, just a hair over 50 years ago, The Price is Right debuted on CBS. And you guessed it, Bob Barker was the host right out of the gate. He’d remain the host for 35 years, finally stepping down in 2007. It’s been said a lot lately, but Bob and this show got a few generations through sick days at home (whether we were faking it or not).

Price Is Right Television GIF by Justin

And no, I have not warmed up to Drew Carey, thank you very much.


Another show, possibly lesser-known but still pretty great, premiered today in 1995 — Xena: Warrior Princess. Starring Lucy Lawless, and produced by Sam Raimi, the syndicated series follows Xena as she travels the land atoning for her past sins.

While it began as a spin-off of another syndicated fantasy series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, it surpassed Hercules by leaps and bounds in terms of popularity and ratings. Thankfully, a planned reboot was canceled.


It’s a big day for TV, apparently, as today marks the anniversary of the very first transcontinental TV broadcast. In 1951 President Harry Truman addressed the nation from a peace conference in San Francisco, announcing a treaty that would end the post-WWII U.S. occupation of Japan.

It was the first time a live event was carried across the coasts in real-time. Today we can not only do that, but show a simultaneous broadcast that’s hosted by teens and superimposes augmented reality slime. Truman would be proud.


The number one song today in 1993, 30 years ago, was UB40’s cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”