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Today in Nerd History | May 19

Prepare for wrestling history, an epic galactic saga, high school melodrama, and the strangely satisfying joys of pressure washing! Today, we’re diving into a diverse mix of pop culture milestones, from “The Kliq’s Curtain Call” in 1996 to the splashy debut of “PowerWash Simulator” in 2021. Let’s explore some “Nerdy Facts” about these iconic moments in entertainment.

Inclusion on this list does not imply that the entry is family friendly, only that is was a nerd culture milestone. Parents should, of course, use discernment.
1996: The Kliq’s Curtain Call (WWE)

The infamous “Curtain Call” by The Kliq rocked the wrestling world as Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H broke character in the ring at Madison Square Garden, blurring the lines between wrestling personas and reality.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Breaking Kayfabe: The Curtain Call broke “kayfabe” (wrestling’s illusion of reality), as Hall and Nash, who were leaving WWE for WCW, celebrated with Michaels and Triple H despite their on-screen rivalries.
  • Consequences for Triple H: Triple H took the brunt of the backstage fallout because he was the only member of the group not established enough to be untouchable. As a result, he lost his planned King of the Ring push, which eventually went to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
  • Historical Impact: Despite initial backlash, the incident helped usher in the Attitude Era, a time known for its edgier content and greater realism, significantly influencing the direction of professional wrestling.
1999: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (Theaters)

“Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” reintroduced fans to a galaxy far, far away, telling the story of young Anakin Skywalker and setting the stage for the rise of the Galactic Empire.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Digital First: “The Phantom Menace” was among the first major films to be shot and screened digitally, pioneering the use of digital filmmaking in Hollywood.
  • Podracing Fun: Anakin Skywalker’s podracing sequence was inspired by the chariot race in “Ben-Hur” (1959), bringing high-speed thrills and cutting-edge CGI to the Star Wars universe.
  • Duel of the Fates: The climactic lightsaber duel between Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Maul is regarded as one of the best fight scenes in the franchise, set to John Williams’ iconic score “Duel of the Fates.”
2005: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Theaters)

“Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” brought the prequel trilogy to a dramatic close, chronicling Anakin Skywalker’s transformation into Darth Vader and the fall of the Jedi Order.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Epic Lightsaber Battles: The film features a staggering five lightsaber duels, including the intense final confrontation between Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustafar, making it a treat for fans of Jedi combat.
  • Record-Breaking Midnight Screening: “Revenge of the Sith” set a new record for midnight screenings, grossing over $16.5 million, highlighting the feverish anticipation surrounding its release.
  • Darkest Star Wars Film: This installment is considered the darkest of all Star Wars movies, showcasing the tragic fall of Anakin Skywalker, the betrayal of the Jedi, and the rise of the Sith-dominated Galactic Empire.
2009: Glee (Fox)

“Glee” premiered on Fox, bringing musical numbers, high school drama, and an eclectic mix of characters into millions of homes, redefining musical TV series for a new generation.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Soundtrack Sensation: The show produced over 700 musical performances, with over 200 singles entering the Billboard Hot 100, making it the most successful TV soundtrack series of all time.
  • Guest Stars Galore: “Glee” featured a host of guest stars, including Britney Spears, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Neil Patrick Harris, adding extra star power and entertainment value to the series.
  • A Cultural Phenomenon: The show inspired real-world “Glee Clubs,” reigniting interest in high school choirs and musical performance across the globe, leaving a lasting impact on teen pop culture.
2021: PowerWash Simulator (PC)

“PowerWash Simulator” took the gaming world by storm, offering players the strangely satisfying task of cleaning grime and dirt off various surfaces using high-powered hoses.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Oddly Relaxing: The game quickly became popular due to its relaxing gameplay, where players methodically clean everything from cars to entire amusement parks with precision and care.
  • Viral Sensation: Gameplay videos and streams of “PowerWash Simulator” cleaning techniques went viral, as viewers enjoyed watching the satisfying transformation from dirty to pristine.
  • Expansive DLC: The game continues to expand with additional levels, challenges, and DLC packs that include everything from new cleaning equipment to outlandish environments.

May 19 is a day to celebrate the quirky, adventurous, and satisfying corners of pop culture. Whether you’re following wrestling rebels, exploring a galaxy far, far away, belting out a show tune, or blasting away grime, there’s something for everyone. Happy Nerd History Day to all who embrace the diversity and creativity of these unique stories!

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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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