May the Fourth be with you all. Today is the unofficial holiday that children and adults wait for with great anticipation. A time to honor our fictional heroes of old and to blow the dust off of the family heirloom trilogy DVD collection.
While you celebrate this fine fake holiday I wanted to share a bit about how I first heard about the ‘May the Fourth’ pun that started it all.
If you head down the Wikipedia article about the day you will see that they acknowledge the first instance as a clever ad put out by Margaret Thatcher’s party the day she took office on May the 4th in 1979. While that may be true, I expect very few will remember it and some may even say that it was a the start of a new Empire rising, but since this isn’t a political blog I won’t touch that.
If you were growing up in the mid eighties and had cable you may remember Danger Mouse airing on Nickelodeon. I haven’t watched it in a while, but I remember Danger Mouse as having a lot of clever writing and sly humor for a kids show, and that was probably why I was attracted to it. Danger Mouse was a rebroadcast of a British show and a step above the American toy pushing television of the same era.
A few years later Danger Mouse had a spin off show, Count Duckula, which had writing of equal quality for its day. This is where I heard the line during a science fiction themed episode. I was fifteen by that time potentially a little older than their traditional demographic, but I still laughed for forty minutes, seriously, forty minutes. To the chagrin of everyone around me I worked hard from that point on to use the line at every possibility, which logistically worked out to only once per year. My friends and coworkers were probably grateful that this was only an annual event.
It seems like others had the same idea and devotion because as time passed Star Wars Day was born and we see many others in early May greeting each other with puns that are laden with meaning to the earnest geek.
Regardless of your geek affiliation I sincerely hope you enjoy your day and use your puns wisely.