In S1E16, Lorelai is questioning her mother about the man she invited over for Friday night dinner, Chase Bradford. Lorelai asks, “Is this a setup?” Emily innocently replies, “What?” Lorelai says, “Connecticut Ken in there, is he my invited escort for the evening?”
Lorelai is making a reference to Ken Carson, the male companion of Barbie. Ken dolls were first released by Mattel in 1961. Like Barbie, Ken has been manufactured with many different themes, or “occupations.” Notable versions of Ken include “Superstar Ken,” “Earring Magic Ken,” “Malibu Ken,” and “Jewel Secrets Ken.” There has never been a “Connecticut Ken,” although if there was, I think we can all agree it wouldn’t be Chase Bradford.