In S1E15, Lorelai and Christopher are talking about their disaster of an evening with their parents. Christopher says, “Next time we get this group together we’re going to have to frisk for weapons.” Lorelai chimes in, “Hand out gags…” Christopher continues, “Employ 6 individual cones of silence!”
The cone of silence is a security device from the 1965 television series “Get Smart.” The cone of silence is a joke because it works the opposite of how it is supposed to: the people inside the cone of silence cannot hear each other, but everyone outside the cone can hear them. Of course, if everyone was in a cone of silence, no one would be able to hear anything.
In S1E15, Richard puts Rory on the spot in front of Strobe and Francine, Rory’s other grandparents. Rory doesn’t know what to say, so to rescue her, Lorelai yells, “I hate President Bush!”
George W. Bush was the newly elected president during the airing of this episode. He attended Harvard and Yale, and belonged to the Republican party. He worked in oil and owned a baseball team before being elected in 2000 and serving as president from 2001 to 2009. Many of his policies and decisions remain controversial, especially his response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, although this episode of Gilmore Girls aired before that.
In S1E15, Emily says to Christopher and Lorelai, “Do you remember when you two were, what, 10? And you put on that adorable show for us?” Lorelai asks, “What show, Mom?” Christopher answers, “Lucy, Schroeder, you laying on the coffee table…” Lorelai finishes, “You pretending it was a piano!” Richard asks Christopher if he wrote the song they performed- “Suppertime.” Lorelai says, “Dad! That’s from ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.’ It’s a famous musical!”
Schroeder is a piano-playing friend of Charlie Brown from the “Peanuts” comics. Lucy has a crush on him. Lucy laying on the piano while Schroeder plays is a classic scene from the comics.
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” is a 1967 musical written by Clark Gesner. It was also adapted into TV Specials in 1973 and 1985. “Suppertime” is a song in which Snoopy dances and rejoices that Charlie has finally brought him supper.
In S1E15, Lorelai and Christopher are talking about what songs Christopher can play on guitar (Smoke on the Water and Jumpin’ Jack Flash) when Richard leans back in his chair and says, “I’m a Chuck Berry man, myself.” Lorelai snorts in her martini and says, “I would never have guessed that that last sentence would ever come out of your mouth.” Richard defends himself by saying Chuck Berry was “all the rage” when Richard was in school. Lorelai says, “Uh, so we’re talking pre-‘My Ding-a-ling?'” Richard, looking confused, says, “I believe I am…”
Chuck Berry is a guitarist who rose to fame in the 1950’s. He was a rock and roll pioneer, heavily influenced by country and rhythm and blues.
“My Ding-a-ling” was actually a live cover that Chuck recorded in 1972, originally by Dave Bartholomew. The song is technically about a toy made of bells, but that is, of course, a double entendre. Many radio stations refused to play the cover, but it rose to number 1 on U.S. pop charts anyway.
In S1E15, Lorelai, Rory, and Christopher are having drinks with Emily and Richard. Emily says to Rory, “I know one thing for sure, you certainly have your father’s musical talent.” Lorelai, highly amused, says, “Oh. wait just a minute. Mom. neither of these two have any musical talent.” Christopher counters, “Hey, I play guitar!” Lorelai responds, “You know the opening lick to ‘Smoke on the Water.'” Christopher says, “And I’ve since mastered the opening lick to ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash.'”
“Smoke on the Water” is a song by Deep Purple, from their 1972 album “Machine Head.” Amateur guitar players are notorious for playing its opening riff over and over… and over and over.
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash is a 1968 single by the Rolling Stones.
In S1E15, Christopher asks Rory what the book of her dreams is, so he can buy it for her. She tells him that it’s the Compact Oxford English Dictionary. Christopher yells to Andrew, “One Compact Oxford English Dictionary, please!” When Christopher sees it, he says, “Holy mother, this is the monolith from 2001!”
“2001: A Space Odyssey” is a 1968 sci-fi film about a mysterious black monolith that exerts power over mankind. It is often called one of the greatest films of all time.
(Also, just for reference, a new copy of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary costs about $350 today.)