Revenge of the Nerds (1984): Kanew’s Popular Campus Comedy

In Jeff Kanew’s broad comedy, Revenge of the Nerds, some nerds at the fictional Adams College are trying to stop the harassment by the jock fraternity, the Alpha Betas, and the latter’s sister sorority, Pi Delta Pi.

Best friends and nerds Lewis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowe attend Adams College’ computer science program.

The Alpha Betas, a fraternity that includes most of the Adams football team, burn down their house, and take over the freshman dorms. Dean Ulich designates temporary living space in the gymnasium, allowing the freshmen to rush the fraternities. Lewis, Gilbert, and other nerds fail to join fraternities, but are able to repair a campus dilapidated house as their residence.

Led by star quarterback Stan Gable, the Alpha Betas are irked by the nerds’ success, motivating Stan and his mates to pull pranks against the nerds.  But in the end, Coach Harris lambastes the Alpha Betas for losing to the nerds, and Stan leads them in destroying the Tri-Lamb house.

The large ensemble, headed by Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards, includes Chris Armstrong, Ted McGinley, and best of all John Goodman.

Made on a modest budget of $6 million, the comedy was a huge success at the box-office, grossing over $60 million.

Running time: 90 Minutes.

Release date: July 20, 1984.