LORELAI: Why’d you get new menus?
LUKE: It was time.
LORELAI: But I had made little doodles with my name hidden in them on each one of the old ones just like Hirschfeld.

Albert “Al” Hirschfeld (1903-2003), caricaturist best known for his black and white portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars, in a career spanning nearly eight decades.

Hirschfeld had a daughter named Nina, born in 1945. Hirschfeld is known for hiding Nina’s name, written in capital letters (“NINA”), in most of the drawings he produced after her birth. The name would appear in a sleeve, in a hairdo, or somewhere in the background. The number of NINAs concealed is shown by the number written to the right of his signature. Generally, if no number is to be found, either NINA appears once, or the drawing was completed before she was born. Originally done to amuse his friends, the public quickly noticed and became obsessed with this little gimmick, sending angry letters when he tried stopping it.

Al Hirschfeld had died not long before this episode aired, so this mention feels like a little tribute to him.

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