Tony Manero

MICHEL: So, is there no dancing here? I was hoping there’d be dancing.
SOOKIE: You need to strut, Tony Manero?

Anthony “Tony” Manero (John Travolta) is the protagonist of the 1977 musical drama film Saturday Night Fever, directed by John Badham, and based on a 1976 New York magazine article by British journalist Nik Cohn, Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night. In the 1990s, Cohn admitted he’d faked the article on New York disco culture, basing the main character on a man he had briefly seen in a doorway, and an English mod he’d known in the 1960s.

The film revolves around Tony, a young working-class Italian-American man who spends his weekends drinking and dancing at a local disco in Brooklyn. While in the disco, he is the champion of the dance floor, and this helps him cope with a dead-end job, family squabbles, racial tension in his community, and a general restlessness, while he dreams of a better life.

The film begins with an iconic scene where Tony is strutting down the streets of his neighbourhood with The Bee Gees song Stayin’ Alive playing. Both scene and song are referenced in the film’s less-regarded 1983 sequel, Staying Alive.

Saturday Night Fever was a massive box-office success, and the #4 film of 1977. It received excellent reviews, and critics named it as one of the best films of 1977. It helped to popularise disco music, and made John Travolta a household name. The soundtrack, featuring songs by The Bee Gees, is one of the best-selling movie soundtracks of all time.

“Make way for Rory”

BOUNCER: It’s twelve bucks. And it’s eighteen and over.
SOOKIE: Oh, she’s eighteen.
RORY: That’s right. Last week. So it’s a new eighteen, but it’s eighteen, yup.
BOUNCER: You got some ID?
LORELAI: Hey, uh, sir, make way for Rory. That’s her name. And her only name. Rory. Single name, she’s that important. Internationally known international supermodel and sometimes spokesperson for international products.

An in-joke – Alexis Bledel, who plays Rory, was a model before she began acting on Gilmore Girls. She first modelled for Seventeen magazine, and did have to travel as a model.

In real life, it is extremely unlikely that a bouncer would allow a 16-year-old girl without any identification into a nightclub that is 18+, even when accompanied by her parent; the penalties for doing so in the US can be quite strict. Lorelai’s way of getting people to make new rules for Gilmores is really getting quite unbelievable.

Alexis Bledel was almost 20 in this scene, so in real life actually would have been old enough to get into an eighteen and over nightclub.

Max’s Morning Newspapers

 

Rory explains to Luke that Max likes to read three newspapers each morning.

The Hartford Courant is the largest newspaper in Connecticut, founded in 1764 as The Connecticut Courant – because of this, the newspaper claims to be the oldest continuously published newspaper in the US, and its slogan is “Older than the nation”. Once a Republican paper, it is now more likely to endorse Democratic candidates, and has won several journalism awards. It was bought by the Tribune Company in 2000.

The New York Times is based in New York City, with an international readership and reputation. The 17th most popular newspaper in the world by circulation, it has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. Founded in 1851, it has been owned by the Ochs-Sulzberger family since 1896 (the real life inspiration for the fictional Huntzberger family in Gilmore Girls). Its motto is, “All the news that’s fit to print”).

The Wall Street Journal, previously discussed.

VJ Day, New York, 1945

MAX: Wait a minute. I recognize this.
KIRK: Nice photo, huh?
MAX: This is VJ Day, New York, 1945.
KIRK: Right. I include it as an example of the excellence that I aspire to.

The photo is V-J Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt, showing an American sailor kissing a woman in a white dress on Victory over Japan Day in New York’s Times Square on August 14, 1945. The photo was published in Life magazine, and is very famous.

A.J. Benza

LOUISE: Princess Grace didn’t go to college.
PARIS: Thank you for the history lesson, A.J. Benza.

Alfred Joseph “A.J.” Benza (born 1962) is an American gossip columnist and television host. He began as a gossip columnist on the New York Daily News, and in the mid-1990s began appearing on The Gossip Show on E! Entertainment Television, leading to appearances on several chat shows. From 1998 to 2001 he was the host of Mysteries and Scandals on the E! Network.

InStyle Weddings

RORY: What’cha reading?
LORELAI: Oh God, do not sneak up on a person like that.
RORY: InStyle Weddings. Very interesting.

InStyle Weddings is a quarterly periodical put out by InStyle magazine, previously mentioned as one of Lorelai’s favourite magazines. It features celebrity weddings, as well as wedding tips and ideas.

Lorelai is reading the Spring 2001 issue, which featured actress Courtney Thorne-Smith on the cover, who had married scientist Andrew Conrad in June 2000. Famously, by the time the magazine came out, Thorne-Smith had already filed for divorce. This is another sign to Lorelai that marriage doesn’t always last.

In real life, it wouldn’t have been possible for Lorelai to buy the magazine as late as May.

People and Works Referenced More Than Once in Gilmore Girls (up to Season One)

Women

Emily Dickinson

Madonna

Nico

Yoko Ono

Sam Phillips

Sylvia Plath

Britney Spears

Barbra Streisand

The Virgin Mary

Men

Beck

Charles Dickens

King Henry VIII

James Joyce

Ted Kaczynski

Stephen King

Charles Manson

Arthur Miller

Sean Penn

Regis Philbin

Grant Lee Phillips

Prince

William Shakespeare

Mark Twain

Books

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tenneessee Williams

The Bible

Comics

Peanuts

Periodicals

Cosmopolitan

The New Yorker

The Wall Street Journal

Films

Cinderella

The Deer Hunter

Heathers

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Little Rascals

Rosemary’s Baby

The Shining

Sixteen Candles

Sleeping Beauty

A Streetcar Named Desire

Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story

The Wizard of Oz

Bands

98°

The Bangles

The Beatles

Black Sabbath

The Cure

Duran Duran

Foo Fighters

Grandaddy

Grant Lee Buffalo

NSYNC

The Velvet Underground

XTC

Albums

Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) – XTC

Songs

Where You Lead – Carole King

My Little Corner of the World – Yo La Tengo

Television

Charlie’s Angels

I Love Lucy

Jeopardy

Looney Tunes

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom

The Odd Couple

The Oprah Winfrey Show

Star Trek

Wonder Woman