In S1E18, Lorelai is talking to Sookie about Gran offering Rory a trust fund. Lorelai sees that it’s getting late and says, “I have to change and go to tea with Gran and the cast of ‘Gaslight.'”
“Gaslight” is a 1944 movie (based on a 1938 play) starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. The story is about a murderer who marries a woman and then convinces her that she is going insane just to access the woman’s aunt’s fortune. He manufactures strange situations and then tells the woman that she must be imagining things. In the end, the woman finds out what’s happening and tortures her husband briefly before having him arrested.
In S1E18, Lorelai tells Sookie that her grandmother has offered to give Rory her trust fund early to pay for Chilton, but Rory doesn’t know yet. Sookie suggests, “Page her and have her call my cellphone and we can sing the money song from ‘Cabaret.’ You can be Liza, I’ll be Joel.”
Cabaret is a musical that opened on Broadway in 1966. Sookie is talking about the 1972 film adaptation though, starring Liza Minelli and Joel Grey. Minelli’s character is a singer at the Kit Kat Klub in pre-World War II Berlin, and Grey is the Master of Ceremonies at the same club. “Money Money” is the song Sookie mentions.
In S1E17, Paris tells Rory that her mom is making her stay at Madeline’s party until 10:30. Paris says, “She thinks I’m not enough of a people person. Shocking, huh?” Rory responds, “I’m floored.” Paris adds, “Yeah, well, I doubt highly that Madame Curie was voted most likely to dress like Jennifer Lopez.”
Marie Curie was a Polish and French scientist known for her breakthrough research in radioactivity, including the discovery of polonium and radium. She won Nobel Prizes for both physics and chemistry. She died in 1933 from an illness caused by radiation exposure.
Jennifer Lopez is an American singer and actress. She was a dancer on the show “In Living Color” in the 90s, played Selina in the 1997 film “Selina,” and released a chart-topping single, “If You Had My Love” in 1999. Her romantic comedy “The Wedding Planner” was released in January 2001, a few months before this episode of Gilmore Girls aired.
In S1E16, Lorelai is ranting to Rory about how she made a fool of herself in front of Luke’s ex-girlfriend, Rachel. She says, “And he’s looking at her like she’s Miss September, and she’s looking and him like he’s Johnny Depp, and I was just babbling like a moron. What is wrong with me?” Lorelai proceeds to yank on Rory’s hair too hard and gets kicked off “hair duty.”
Johnny Depp is an American actor who rose to fame on the 1980s TV series “21 Jump Street.” He also acted in many successful films in the 1990s, including “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?,” “Benny and Joon,” and “Edward Scissorhands.” Since this episode aired, Johnny has become even more popular through the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, “Sweeney Todd,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and many others.
In S1E15, Christopher is making some nonsense plea to Lorelai about how Rory might be his only child, and Lorelai scoffs, “That’s not true. If Tony Randall can crank one out in his seventies, you have decades left to spawn.”
Tony Randall was an actor, best known for playing Felix in the 1965 television show “The Odd Couple.” When he was 75 years old, he married a 25 year old. The couple had two children together.
In S1E15, Lorelai is describing to Christopher why their evening at her parent’s house had been terrible. She says, “My father almost hit someone! My father has probably only hit a man in college, wearing boxing gloves and one of those Fred Mertz golden gloves pullover sweaters.” Christopher repeats, “Fred Mertz?” Lorelai confirms, “I Love Lucy, Fred Mertz.” Christopher, offering us a brief glimpse into why he and Lorelai ever worked well together, responds quickly, “Landlord to Ricky, husband to Ethel, I know. It’s just a weird reference.”
Fred Mertz is a character, played by William Frawley, from the 1951 television show “I Love Lucy.” Fred is, as Christopher says, Lucy and Ricky’s landlord. His wife is Lucy’s best friend Ethel. Fred is known to have been a boxer in his younger days, and he does indeed wear a golden gloves sweater in one episode.
In S1E15, Lorelai is telling Rory that Christopher’s parents were saying mean things about her, Lorelai, not Rory. Rory says, “They were directing them to you because you had me.” Lorelai responds, “No, they were directing them at me because I screwed up their big ‘Citizen Kane’ plans, that’s all.”
Citizen Kane is a 1941 film directed by (and starring) Orson Welles. The story reveals details about the life of a man named Charles Kane, who was sort of pushed by his mother into becoming a powerful businessman: well-connected, successful, but unethical. He built a newspaper empire, ran for office, cheated on his wife, etc. but in the end, you suspect that all he had really wanted was a normal, quiet life.
In S1E15, Christopher comes to town and runs into Jackson and Andrew in the bookstore. Jackson says, “Boy, I gotta tell you, did they get your description wrong.” Christopher asks, “Really?” Jackson replies, “Oh yeah, much more George Clooney than Brad Pitt. Hey Andrew, don’t you think he’s much more George Clooney than Brad Pitt?” Andrew says, “I’m going with a Billy Crudup comparison, myself.”
Brad Pitt (left photo), born in 1963, is an American actor known for “A River Runs Through It” and “Ocean’s Eleven,” which he starred in with George Clooney. He and his wife Angelina Jolie are also very involved in humanitarian work.
George Clooney (middle photo), born in 1961, is an American actor known for the television series “ER” and the 2001 remake of “Ocean’s Eleven.” He was named one of Time magazine’s “Most Influence People in the World” in 2009 for his humanitarian work.
Billy Crudup (right photo), born in 1968, is an American actor known for “Almost Famous” and “Big Fish.” He was also a theater actor, winning a Tony Award for his performance in “The Coast of Utopia” in 2007.
In S1E15, Kirk is heckling Dean and Luke as they’re playing softball (Kirk is just watching). Kirk makes up some insult about Dean and Luke having a show called “Zero and Zero,” and Luke says, “That doesn’t even resemble clever.” Kirk calls, “I’m dumbin’ it down for you, Alfalfa!”
Alfalfa is the name of a character who originally appeared in the short film series “Our Gang” in the early twentieth century, which was adapted into the movie “Little Rascals” in 1994. He was played by Carl Switzer in the short films and Bug Hall in the 1994 film. The stories centered around the antics and adventures of a group of young children (who act comically grown-up). Alfalfa is usually remembered for his cowlick and off-key singing.
In S1E14, Emily and Richard are making fun of their dead friend’s taste in decor as they plan to rent his old vacation home. Lorelai jokes, “Well, he’s dead now, so he got his!” Emily looks horrified and replies, “Lorelai, you’re being morbid.” Lorelai says, “I’m being morbid?” Rory interjects, “New subject, please,” and Lorelai tells her, “Joan and Melissa Rivers think I’m being morbid!”
Joan Rivers, born in 1933, was a comedian and actress known for her sharp and yes, sometimes morbid sense of humor. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, is also an actress and has appeared in several collaborative projects with her mother. After Joan’s death in 2014, Melissa took over her hosting spot on the show Fashion Police.
A few noteworthy morbid jokes from Joan:
“The fashion magazines are suggesting that women wear clothes that are ‘age appropriate’… for me that would be a shroud.”
“I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw that my bath toys were a toaster and a radio.”