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Today in Nerd History | January 9

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 January 9th in history. Let’s celebrate these cherished moments that have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans around the world.

3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN | 1996

In 1996, 3rd Rock from the Sun premiered on NBC. 3rd Rock from the Sun is a comedy TV series about four aliens who disguise themselves as a human family and observe life on Earth.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • French Stewart came up with Harry’s distinctive squint on his own. He did it in his audition and it became his signature look.

  • John Lithgow’s son, Ian Lithgow, played Leon, a dumb student in Dick’s physics class. He appeared in 48 episodes.

  • Jane Curtin agreed to play Dr. Albright without reading the script. She trusted the show’s creators, Terry and Bonnie Turner, who had worked with her on Coneheads.

MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE | 2000

In 2000, Malcolm in the Middle premiered on FOX. Malcolm in the Middle is an American sitcom that follows the adventures and misadventures of a gifted boy and his dysfunctional family.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Frankie Muniz, who played Malcolm, thought he blew the audition because he was too old for the role. He was 13, while the character was originally written to be 9. The producers decided to make Malcolm around 12 and cast Muniz.

  • The family’s last name was never revealed on the show, as a running joke. However, in the pilot episode, Francis’ name tag read “Wilkerson”, which was the only hint to their surname.

  • Bryan Cranston, who played Hal, did almost all of his own stunts, including wearing a bee suit with thousands of live bees in it. He only got stung once, in a very private area.

  • The story for the episode “If Boys Were Girls” was created by an 11-year-old girl, who was the costume designer’s niece. She gave a full two-page outline to Boomer, who loved it and gave her a “story by” credit.

ITUNES | 2001

In 2001, Apple launched iTunes. iTunes is a media player, media library, Internet radio broadcaster, and mobile device management application that revolutionized the music industry by offering a digital platform for buying and organizing music, paving the way for the era of digital music consumption.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The first song ever sold on iTunes was “The Weight” by The Band, purchased by Steve Jobs himself.

  • In February 2006, iTunes sold its billionth song. The song was “Speed of Sound” by Coldplay, and the purchaser received a call from Steve Jobs along with a special prize package.

  • In 2008, iTunes introduced the Genius feature, which could automatically create playlists from a user’s library based on a selected song, showcasing Apple’s early steps into machine learning and personalized recommendations.

BOB’S BURGERS | 2011

In 2011, Bob’s Burgers premiered on FOX. Bob’s Burgers is an American animated sitcom centered on the Belcher family—parents Bob and Linda and their three children, Tina, Gene, and Louise—who run a burger restaurant and often go on misadventures of many kinds.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • The show was originally going to be about a family of cannibals who run a burger restaurant.

  • The cast records together so they can improvise and interact with each other.

  • Tina was supposed to be a boy named Daniel, but the network thought he was too similar to Gene and Louise.





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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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