Phil Spector

JESS: Oh, great, what else does she think I did? Start the fire, put Phil Spector up to it?

Harvey Phillip “Phil” Spector (1939-2021), record producer and songwriter, best known for his innovative recording practices and entrepreneurship. He developed the Wall of Sound, a production style that is characterised for its dense orchestral sound. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in pop music history, and one of the most successful producers of the 1960s.

In February 2003, Phil Spector shot actress Lana Clarkson while in his mansion in Alhambra, California after meeting her in a nightclub only hours before. Her body was found slumped in a chair with a single gunshot wound to her mouth. The emergency call from Spector’s home, made by Spector’s driver quotes Spector as saying, “I think I killed somebody.” The driver added that he saw Spector come out of the back door of the house with a gun in his hand.

This is what Jess is referring to.

The murder went to trial in 2007, and Spector was eventually found guilty in 2009. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison, and died of Covid-19 while in the Californian state prison system.

Ed Wood

LORELAI: Home? I have no home. Hunted, despised … It’s from Ed Wood, the movie.

Ed Wood, 1994 American biographical comedy-drama film directed and produced by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Ed Wood, the cult filmmaker, and Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. The film proved financially unsuccessful, but was met with critical acclaim upon release, with particular praise for Depp, Martin Landau’s performances, and the makeup. It eventually became a cult classic.

Lorelai is a fan of Tim Burton, finds Johnny Depp attractive, is into cult films and loves quirky biographies, so this movie is a natural fit for her.


LORELAI: Oh, I’m a Bedouin. I’m homeless!

The Bedouin, nomadic Arab tribes who have historically inhabited the desert regions in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, the Levant, and Mesopotamia. Originating in the Syrian Desert and Arabian Desert, they spread across the rest of the Arab world in West Asia and North Africa after the spread of Islam. The English word Bedouin comes from the Arabic badawī, meaning “desert dweller”.

Hank Williams

LORELAI: Hank Williams would be too sad to write a song about me.

Hiram “Hank” Williams (1923-1953), singer, songwriter, and musician. He is regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century. Williams recorded 55 singles that reached the top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western chart, five of which were released posthumously, including 12 that reached No. 1, three of which were released after his death.

Some of his sad songs include “Lovesick Blues”, “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, “We’re Getting Closer to the Grave Each Day”, and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”. Perhaps the one closest to Lorelai’s situation is “A Tramp on the Streets”.

Proust Wrote in Bed

RORY: I hate that you’re torturing yourself like this, in bed like this.
PARIS: Proust wrote all three thousand pages of In Search of Lost Time in bed.

Marcel Proust, previously discussed as the author of In Search of Lost Time. Proust had lifelong poor health caused by severe allergies and asthma, and rarely left his apartment. He wrote much of In Search of Lost Time sitting up in bed, and was completely confined to bed for the last three years before his death.

The New Justin Timberlake

PARIS: I might as well record the new Justin Timberlake over this.

Justin Timberlake (born 1981), singer, songwriter and actor, previously mentioned. He rose to prominence in the 1990s as one of the lead vocalists in the boy band NSYNC, and began a solo career in in the 2000s. His latest single at this point was “Rock Your Body”, released as a single in March 2003 from his 2002 debut solo album, Justified. The song went to #5 in the US, and #1 on both the Dance Club and Mainstream Top 40 charts. It was most popular in Australia, where it went to #1.

Mira Sorvino

RORY: Well, you not moving out might be a tip-off [that you didn’t get into Harvard].
PARIS: I’ll get an apartment in Cambridge, buy a Harvard sweatshirt, talk about Mira Sorvino a lot.

Mira Sorvino (born 1967), actress who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the 1995 film Mighty Aphrodite, and is also known for the 1997 cult classic comedy, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. She graduated from Harvard in 1989 with a degree in East Asian Studies. Apparently this alumna from more than 14 years ago is considered to still be a hot topic among Harvard students.

Howard Hughes

PARIS: I’ve had Nanny hold all my calls, and the mail. My parents are away, so I’ve been totally Howard Hughes-ing it.

Howard Hughes (1905-1976), business magnate, record-setting pilot, engineer, film producer, and philanthropist, known during his lifetime as one of the most influential and richest people in the world. He first became prominent as a film producer, and then as an important figure in the aviation industry.

Later in life, he became known for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle—oddities that were caused in part by his worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic pain from a near-fatal plane crash, and increasing deafness.

Ricardo Montalbán

MISS PATTY: I was Ricardo Montalban’s receptionist for six months and he never complained.

Ricardo Montalbán, born Ricardo Montalbán y Merino (1920-2009), Mexican-American film and television actor. Montalbán’s career spanned seven decades, during which he became known for performances in a variety of genres, from crime and drama to musicals and comedy. He starred in Fantasy Island, previously mentioned.

Here we get another insight into Miss Patty’s past life, this time as receptionist to an actor. This may have been in the 1970s or ’80s?

Michel is ignorant of Ricardo Montalbán, even though he was a surprisingly extensive knowledge of American television.

Shari Lewis

LORELAI: Hey Shari Lewis, how’s the show going?

Shari Lewis, born Phyllis Hurwitz (1933-1998), award-winning ventriloquist, puppeteer, children’s entertainer, television show host, dancer, singer, actress, author, and symphonic conductor. She was best known as the puppeteer of the sock puppet Lamb Chop. Although she had been on TV since 1956, Rory might remember her from Lamb Chop’s Play-Along, which was broadcast on PBS from 1992 to 1998 (when Rory was aged 7 to 13).