Talbotts, Deloitte and Touche

EMILY: A mutual friend or something.
LORELAI: You and Dean have mutual friends in common that Rory and I don’t? Who would that be, the Talbotts or that senior partner at Deloitte & Touche?


Possibly referencing Nelson “Strobe” Talbott III (born 1946) [pictured], foreign policy analyst and diplomat from a distinguished family who served as the Deputy Secretary of State from 1994 to 2001, during the Clinton Administration. A Yale alumnus, after leaving government he was briefly the Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Notice that his nickname is said the same way as the name of Rory’s paternal grandfather, Straub Hayden.

Deloitte & Touche

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, commonly referred to as Deloitte, is an international professional services network headquartered in London, England. Deloitte is the largest professional services network by revenue and number of professionals in the world and is considered one of the Big Four accounting firms.

Don Rickles

LORELAI: Yeah, they’re mean.
RORY: Except for Don Rickles.
LORELAI: Totally except for Rickles.

Donald “Don” Rickles (1926-2017), stand-up comedian and actor. He became known primarily for his insult comedy. He was a regular roaster on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, and was the host of the final special, when Dean Martin himself got roasted.

Howard Stern

LORELAI: And the second thing is, you need to tell me why you’re sitting like that.
SHERRY: Maureen told me that Howard Stern said that if you squat, it makes the baby come out faster.
LORELAI: Okay, as long as you have a sane reason from a reliable source.

Howard Stern (born 1954), radio and television personality, comedian, and author. He is best known for his radio show, The Howard Stern Show, which gained popularity when it was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2005. His show attracted a lot of controversy and was considered vulgar and outrageous.

Despite this, and Lorelai’s understandable disdain for Stern as an authority on medical issues, squatting is actually recommended as a safe and effective position to give birth in.

“I really, really like you”

LORELAI: I’ll be right there.
RORY: I really, really like you.

A possible reference to the actress Sally Field. In 1985 she received her second Best Actress Oscar for Places in the Heart (1984), and made an acceptance speech which was both admired for its earnest sincerity and mocked for being excessive.

Its closing words were, “I haven’t had an orthodox career. And I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it. And I can’t deny the fact that you like me … right now … you like me! Thank you!”.

Field was making a humorous reference to her dialogue in the 1979 film Norma Rae, but most people missed the reference, and it was widely misquoted as, “You like me! You really, really like me!’. Field later parodied herself when she delivered the line in a commercial for finance company Charles Schwab.

Sheldon Harnick

RORY: [on phone] So, we’ll see you next Friday at three. And once again, sorry for the short notice. Okay, bye. [hangs up]
SHERRY: Great, who’s next?
RORY: Um, Sheldon Harnick.

Sheldon Harnick (born 1924), award-winning lyricist and songwriter best known for his collaborations with composer Jerry Bock on musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof. His musical Dragons was performed in New Jersey in late 2003, and this is possibly what Sherry is working on promoting.

Sherry says that Sheldon Harnick “hates pregnancy”, so Rory suggests they tell him Sherry has a plumbing issue instead. In real life, Sheldon Harnick is married to actress Margery Gray and is a father, so it doesn’t seem likely he’s really that panicked by pregnancy. In 2011, he was a special guest to a performance of his songs by Kate Baldwin who was seven months pregnant at the time, and they sang a duet together.

Sherry now has Rory handling her business calls at the hospital! Yes, at night! Rory is a people pleaser, specifically an adult pleaser, who genuinely likes to help, so she complies with this obviously terrible treatment.

Sara Moulton

EMILY: Lelaini made a roast before she left and I heated it up … I even added a little wine to the pan to keep it from drying out.
LORELAI: Well, who died and made you Sara Moulton?

Sara Moulton (born 1952), cookbook author and TV chef. She began working with Julia Child on TV in 1979, went on to a regular position with Good Morning America until 1997, and hosted Cooking Live until 2002, after which she began her new show, Sara’s Secrets. Her first cookbook had come out the previous year in 2002, Sara Moulton Cooks at Home. She continues to be a popular author and TV host.

Napoleon III and Chagall

LORELAI: Okay, then, it’s settled. We’re not staying at any place that wasn’t built for Napoleon the Third’s doctor or doesn’t have a Chagall in the bathroom.

Napoleon III, born Charles Napoléon Bonaparte (1808-1873) the first President of France from 1848 to 1852, and the last monarch of France as Emperor of the French from 1852 to 1870. A nephew of Napoleon I, he was a popular monarch who oversaw the modernisation of the French economy and filled Paris with new boulevards and parks. One of his doctors was the surgeon Félix-Hippolyte Larrey; he owned a small castle, but I have been unable to learn if he had a house built for him.

Marc Chagall [pictured], born Moishe Shagal (1887-1985), Russian-French artist. An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in a wide range of artistic formats, including painting, drawings, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramics, tapestries and fine art prints.