Bob Odenkirk recounted the catastrophic 1979 baseball promotion Disco Demolition Night in a clip from Drunk History‘s “Shit Shows” episode. The Better Call Saul actor narrates the hilarious segment, which stars Colin Hanks as a disco-hating DJ and Patton Oswalt as a demolition expert/Vietnam veteran.
Disco Demolition Night, which took place July 12th, 1979, found disgruntled music fans handing in their disco records to be blown up at Chicago’s Comiskey Park during a double-header between the White Sox and Detroit Tigers. Odenkirk says the story started in 1977 and “the massive success of fucking disco, which is a terrible form of music.” Steve Dahl, a DJ at Chicago rock station WLUP, said “fuck you” to the genre by simulating the destruction of disco record on-air. Taking his hatred one step further, he organized the on-field disco destruction.
“The first game is nuts,” Odenkirk said. “Kids in the stands have records – they’re throwing them. Record albums come flying out of the stands, cutting into the grass. Harry Caray’s kind of liking it – you can tell: ‘Hey, alright, everybody calm down!’ And Jimmy Piersall’s taking it way too seriously: ‘These kids. Look at this – this is a disgrace!'” The second game never occurred, as “a fucking disaster” broke out, with fans rushing the field and police arresting 39 people.
Odenkirk, an Illinois native, was happy to see disco die off. But he has a specific theory about how fans killed it: “This event was like one massive tweet sent out by a generation of kids, and they pressed a button and said, ‘We don’t like disco that much, OK?’ That’s essentially what the vent was. If it killed disco, it just sent a message that said, ‘Maybe everybody doesn’t love this shit 24/7.”