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Today in Nerd History | February 16

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 16th in history. Let’s celebrate these cherished moments that have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans around the world.

HAPPY GILMORE | 1996

In 1996, Happy Gilmore premiered in theaters. Happy Gilmore is a comedy movie about a hockey player who becomes a golf sensation to save his grandmother’s house from foreclosure.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The film also inspired a generation of golfers to try the sport, and even influenced some professional golfers, such as Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy, who have imitated Sandler’s swing.

  • Bob Barker, the famous TV host, made a cameo appearance in the film, and had a hilarious fight scene with Sandler. Barker did his own stunts and actually punched Sandler in the face.

  • Christopher McDonald, who played the villainous Shooter McGavin, initially turned down the role twice, but changed his mind after meeting with Sandler.

MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND | 1996

Also in 1996, Muppet Treasure Island premiered in theaters. Muppet Treasure Island is a musical comedy film that features the Muppets in a swashbuckling adventure based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Gonzo and Rizzo were supposed to be the main characters, but they were changed to Jim Hawkins’ sidekicks.

  • Tim Curry copied his grandfather’s voice while playing Long John Silver.

  • The makers of Spam sued the production company for naming a warthog character “Spa’am”, but they lost the case.

ECW OFFICIALLY COMES TO AN END | 2010

In 2010, WWE’s ECW program comes to an end, after being purchased in 2003. The final night of Extreme Championship Wrestling was a disappointing farewell to the once-revolutionary brand, featuring a lackluster tag team match, a chaotic brawl, and a predictable main event between Christian and Ezekiel Jackson, proving it was time to kill the brand.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • WWE’s ECW was never intended to replicate the original ECW, but rather serve as a developmental brand for young talents and a platform for veterans to reinvent themselves. It was essentially a prototype for NXT.

  • WWE’s ECW was influenced by Syfy, the network that aired it, to feature some of the worst and weirdest characters in WWE history, such as The Zombie, Kevin Thorn, and Ariel.

  • Early days of WWE’s ECW was the launching pad for many future WWE stars, such as CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, The Miz, Sheamus, and Jack Swagger, who all won the ECW Championship at some point.

BLACK PANTHER | 2018

In 2018, Black Panther released in theaters. Black Panther is a superhero film that follows T’Challa, the king of Wakanda, as he faces a challenge from his cousin Killmonger, who seeks to overthrow him and start a global revolution.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The language spoken by the Wakandans is Xhosa, a real language spoken by 8.3 million people in South Africa. Actor John Kani, who plays T’Challa’s father T’Chaka, suggested using his native tongue for the film.

  • Black Panther was almost made in the mid-1990s with Wesley Snipes, but the project never came together due to script, director, and technology issues.

  • T’Challa has a PhD in physics from Oxford University, making him one of the smartest characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

YOUNG ROCK | 2021

In 2021, Young Rock premiered on NBC. Young Rock is a sitcom that follows the life of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as he grows up in different stages of his life, from Hawaii to Pennsylvania to Miami, and his journey to becoming a wrestling and Hollywood star.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The show is based on true stories from Johnson’s life, and he sat down with the co-creator to recall many unbelievable events from his childhood and youth.

  • The show features three different actors playing Johnson at different ages, plus himself in the future. The actor who plays the 15-year-old Johnson, Bradley Constant, is actually 22 in real life.

  • Johnson’s grandfather, Peter Maivia, was also a wrestler, and he was friends with Andre the Giant, who used to babysit Johnson when he was a kid.

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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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