2019: ‘Joker’ is No Joke
DC Comics sort of surprised movie audiences when the dark movie, Joker debuted in theaters on this day in 2019. Todd Phillips directed, produced and co-wrote this psychological thriller screenplay with Scott Silver. Based on Batman’s nemesis’ known as “The Jocker”, this movie shared a whole different perspective on the supervillian which starred Joaquin Phoenix and didn’t even feature the caped crusader. Set in 1981, Joker told the story of Arthur Fleck, a failed comedian who slowly goes insane and takes his pain out on the people Gotham City. It was the first live-action Batman film to receive an R-rating and the first R-rated film to earn $1 billion worldwide. It also earned 11 nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards and winning for Best Actor and Best Original Score. It also won a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award. (Image: Warner Bros.)
1971: The World’s First Commercial Single-Chip Microprocessor
Originally founded in 1968 by Gordon E. Moore and Robert Noyce, Intel was the brainchild of a chemist and a physicist. At first, Moore and Noyce rejected the notion that they should call their company “Moore Noyce” as that is a homophone for “more noise.” They chose Integrated Electronics and “Intel” for short. Intel was created the first commercially available microprocessor (Intel 4004) on this day in 1971, but things didn’t really heat up for the company until the late 1980’s when the company became the primary hardware supplier for the PC industry. In 1991, the company began its “Intel Inside” marketing campaign, making the company a household name even if many people had no idea what the company actually did.
1981: The Movie Based on a Coke Commercial
It was on this day in 1981 when NBC aired the made-for-TV movie, The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid, which was based on a commercial Mean Joe Greene did for Coca-Cola two years earlier. In the ad, a young boy offers the football player a Coke after he loses the game. As a thank you, the player tosses his sweaty jersey to the kid. Considered one of the best commercials of all time, the film expanded the story so that Greene and some of his teammates adopt the boy which was played by Henry Thomas, who would later star in E.T. The Extraterrestrial. While it may be the only movie to be based on a TV commercial, it wasn’t the only commercial that made an impact on the small screen. The short-lived sitcom, Cavemen, which aired on ABC in 2007, was based on a few GEICO insurance commercials.
- 1887: Georgia O’Keeffe (artist)
- 1916: Bill Melendez (animator)
- 1929: Ed Asner (actor)
- 1932: Petula Clark (singer)
- 1951: Beverly D’Angelo (actress)
- 1952: Randy Savage (wrestler)
- 1954: Randy Thomas (singer)
- 1957: Kevin Eubanks (composer)
- 1980: Ace Young (singer)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.