Daily Trivia – 5/18/12

Question: What public figure helped announce a 1988 Cubs game saying: “In a few months I’m going to be out of work and I thought I might as well audition”?

Last Question: What apocalyptic 1983 TV movie aired its second half commercial-free, when sponsors declined to run ads after the nuclear war?

Answer: The Day After

Ah, how many of us remember getting “The Talk” in the ’80s? No! Not that “talk”! Not the one that you learned about in NOVA: The Miracle of Life! I mean the talk about nuclear war. In 1983, we were in the middle of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. There had been a huge fear of nuclear war for decades, and that fear was at a fever pitch in the ’80s. Remember these signs:

We constatly felt like World War III could break out at any minute, and did not know what would happen if it did. Then we found out the a television movie was going to show what nuclear war could look like.
So on November 20, 1983, over 100 million of us were glued to our television sets to watch The Day After.

The movie starred Jason Robards as well as newcomers JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, and John Lithgow. The story centered around citizens of Kansas City. The beginning of the movie introduced the characters and their backstories. Then the middle showed the nuclear disaster, and the rest of the movie showed the effects of the fallout.

According to Daily Press, President Reagan himself wrote in his diary that the film was “very effective and left me greatly depressed.” Historians have speculated that the film encouraged Reagan to redouble his push for a missile-defense program despite critics who derided the notion as “Star Wars.”

Here is the nuclear disaster part of the movie:

Luckily we never had to experience this in real life.

2 thoughts on “Daily Trivia – 5/18/12”

  1. …yet. And hopefully we won’t.

    I didn’t have much of a talk about this stuff. I asked Dad a few questions, then kind of shrugged it off and that was that. The only time I was really nervous was when the Russians shot down that jet in the late 80s. I thought that was going to lead to something big.

    If anything, I only saw a few minutes of this movie. Definitely did not see the scene you shared. Today’s kids would probably think nothing of it, given the gruesome scenes they see all the time now, but back then I’m sure this movie really unnerved people.

    Oh, and the answer to question is President Reagan.


    1. You got the answer Jim! I remember being kind of bored with the beginning of The Day After. Then it got intense. I haven’t seen the movie since I was 13, so I’m sure I would see it differently now. The movie is on YouTube, so if I ever have time, I might check it out again.


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