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Today in Nerd History | February 14

Nerd culture is a vibrant tapestry of events, releases, and milestones that have shaped the entertainment landscape. From iconic movies to groundbreaking games and significant literary contributions, this article takes a trip down memory lane to explore the notable nerd culture events that occurred on February 14th in history. Let’s celebrate these cherished moments that have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans around the world.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS | 1991

In 1991, The Silence of the Lambs released in theaters. The Silence of the Lambs is an American psychological horror thriller film about a young FBI trainee who seeks the help of a cannibalistic serial killer to catch another serial killer who skins his female victims.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The film is the third in history to win all the “Big Five” Oscars: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, and Screenplay. Anthony Hopkins, who played the cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter, only had about 16 minutes of screen time, but still won the Best Actor Oscar.
  • Jodie Foster, who played the FBI trainee Clarice Starling, was not the first choice for the role. The director Jonathan Demme wanted Michelle Pfeiffer, but she turned it down because of the dark nature of the film.
  • Anthony Hopkins got the idea of dressing Lecter in a white jumpsuit instead of a yellow or orange one, to make him look more clinical and unsettling.
WAYNE’S WORLD | 1992

In 1992, Wayne’s World released in theaters. Wayne’s World is a comedy film about two friends who host a public-access TV show and face challenges to keep their show and their friendship when a producer offers them a contract.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody” car scene was almost cut from the film, as the studio wanted to use a Guns N’ Roses song instead. Mike Myers fought hard to keep the Queen song, and it paid off, as the scene became one of the film’s most memorable moments and boosted the song’s popularity.
  • There was tension between Myers and director Penelope Spheeris, who had creative differences over the tone and style of the film. Myers reportedly did not want Spheeris to direct the sequel, and she was replaced by Stephen Surjik.
  • The film features numerous pop culture references, such as Terminator 2, Laverne & Shirley, The Graduate, and Grey Poupon. Some of them were improvised by the actors, such as the “We’re not worthy!” line that Wayne and Garth say to Alice Cooper.
DAREDEVIL | 2003

In 2003, Daredevil premiered in theaters. Daredevil is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, starring Ben Affleck as a blind lawyer who fights crime as a masked vigilante.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Ben Affleck, who played Daredevil, was a fan of the character and read every single comic book that featured him as preparation for his role. He also wrote the foreword of the collected paperback edition of Kevin Smith’s run on the Daredevil comic book.
  • Jennifer Garner, who played Elektra, had to learn martial arts, stick fighting, and wire work for her role. She also had to wear contact lenses to change her eye color from green to brown.
  • Colin Farrell, who played Bullseye, improvised many of his lines and actions, such as licking the paper clip before throwing it, or flicking the peanuts at the bar. He also had a real fear of heights, which made filming the final fight scene challenging.
  • Michael Clarke Duncan, who played Kingpin, was not the first choice for the role. The character was originally white in the comics, and many fans protested the casting of a black actor. However, Duncan won over the critics with his performance and physical presence. He also gained 40 pounds of muscle for the role.
WARIOWARE: TOUCHED! | 2005

In 2005, WarioWare: Touched! released on the Nintendo DS in the U.S., fully showcasing the capability of the DS stylus. WarioWare: Touched! is a game that features a collection of microgames that are controlled by using the touch screen and the microphone.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The game has a hidden mode called Thrilling that can be unlocked by tapping the bottom-left corner of the title screen 16 times. In this mode, the microgames are faster and harder, and the player has only one life.

  • The game has a special souvenir called Wario Paint that allows the player to draw on Wario’s face using the stylus. The player can also save their drawings to the Nintendo DS’s memory card.

  • The game has a secret ending that can be seen by completing the game with all the microgames mastered. In this ending, Wario is shown flying away on a rocket, but then he crashes into a satellite and falls back to Earth.

YOUTUBE.COM REGISTERED | 2005

In 2005, the domain name YouTube.com was first registered, laying the groundwork for a revolution in entertainment. YouTube was founded by three former PayPal employees who wanted to create a platform for anyone to upload, share, and watch videos online.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The first video ever uploaded to YouTube was a 19-second clip of one of the co-founders at the San Diego Zoo.

  • Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006, just 18 months after its launch.

  • YouTube is available in 100 countries and 80 languages, covering 95% of the internet population. YouTube is banned in 23 countries, including China, Iran, North Korea, and Turkmenistan.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG | 2020

In 2020, Sonic the Hedgehog premiered in theaters. Sonic the Hedgehog is an action adventure comedy film based on the video game series of the same name, starring Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic, who teams up with a human sheriff to stop the evil Dr. Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The film was originally scheduled to be released in November 2019, but it was delayed to February 2020 after a negative reaction to Sonic’s initial design in the first trailer. The filmmakers decided to redesign Sonic to make him more faithful to his original appearance in the games.

  • The original design of Sonic, which was widely criticized by fans and media, made a cameo appearance as a side character in the new Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers movie on Disney+, named Ugly Sonic. The movie featured a lot of references and Easter eggs to other cartoons and video games, and one of them was the “ugly” Sonic with human-like teeth and small eyes.

  • The film was a box office success, grossing over $300 million worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing video game movie adaptation in the US. It also received positive reviews from critics and audiences, who praised the performances, humor, and action sequences.

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Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

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