22 Things You Might Not Know About Gilmore Girls

warner bros
warner bros

Gilmore Girls, which featured a young mother-daughter pair who lived in a small town where everyone seemed to talk a mile a minute, began airing on the WB in 2000. Seven years of pop culture references and family drama later, it finished its run on The CW on May 15, 2007—10 years ago today. Though it would return nearly a decade later via Netflix, here are 22 things you might not know about the original series.

1. The show was inspired by a trip that creator Amy Sherman-Palladino was on.

The trip took her through the small town of Washington, Connecticut, where she stayed at an inn. “We're driving by, and people are slowing down saying, 'Excuse me, where is the pumpkin patch?'" she recalled. "And everything is green and people are out, and they're talking. And we went to a diner and everyone knew each other and someone got up and they walked behind the [counter] and they got their own coffee because the waitress was busy.” Within 24 hours, she had worked out the show and written some of the pilot's dialogue.

2. Alex Borstein was originally cast as Sookie.

She had to turn down the role due to her work on MadTV. She ended up making a few appearances as the harpist Drella, though. Borstein is also married to Jackson Douglas, who ended up playing the Jackson that dated Sookie on the show.

3. Liza Weil, who played Paris, originally auditioned for the part of Rory.

She was told that if the show got picked up, Amy Sherman-Palladino had an idea for a part that she wanted to write specifically for Weil. She struggled with the part at first, saying, it “was scary to be a judgmental, mean girl.”

4. Alexis Bledel had never acted before she was cast.

Before she played Rory, Bledel's only role was as an uncredited extra in Wes Anderson's Rushmore. She was a student at NYU who was modeling part-time when she decided to try her luck and audition for the show. Other jobs she was applying for at the time: waitress and census-taker.

5. Keiko Agena, who played Lane, was 27 when the show premiered.

That makes her a mere six years younger than Lauren Graham (Lorelai), though their characters had a 16 year age difference.

6. The score was composed by famous songwriter Sam Phillips.

It was Sherman-Palladino’s husband and co-producer, Daniel Palladino, who thought to approach Phillips. The Palladinos had used some of her songs as placeholders in the pilot before it went to air. So they decided to contact Phillips, who accepted.

7. One of the show’s hallmarks was fast-talking.

The production had to completely adjust to accommodate this style of dialogue. Normally, one page of a screenplay accounts for one minute of screen time. But for Gilmore Girls scripts, a page was about 20 to 25 seconds. There were also fewer close ups than on shows with regular pacing, and they often re-shot scenes to lose a mere few seconds of time.

8. The cast didn’t always understand the pop culture references, but they went with it.

Bledel told Entertainment Weekly that “We’d have to look them up on our own typically. There were no explanations written in the script.” Graham recalled Bledel asking her who The Waltons were and thinking, “I’m so old.”

9. In the first season finale, Lorelai received 1000 yellow daisies as part of a marriage proposal.

But the shot required many more flowers than that. “A thousand yellow daisies actually sounds like a lot," Sherman-Palladino told EW, "but when you put a thousand yellow daisies in a big room, like our set, it’s kind of like a table arrangement. Three or four times we had to send people back to get yellow daisies. I think we wiped out yellow daisies on the West Coast.”

10. Chilton student Brad Langford disappeared toward the end of season two through much of season three.

His character explained his absence by saying that he had been starring in Into the Woods on Broadway. It turns out that wasn’t much of a stretch—Adam Wylie, who played Brad, actually had been starring in that show during that time.

11. Sherman-Palladino wrote Jess onto the show so that Lorelai and Luke had yet another reason to not date yet.

“We're dealing with two people who, if they just opened their eyes and stared across the table at each other, would go, 'Oh sh--, it's you," she said. "So when you're playing that game, you have to find obstacles that are real to put in their way.'”

12. One season after Jess first appeared on the show, there was talk of a spinoff for his character.

The third season episode “Here Comes the Son” was a kind of pilot for the show, which would have been called Windward Circle. But the WB found that it was too expensive to shoot in Venice Beach, where the show would have taken place.

13. Graham’s favorite scenes to shoot were the Friday Night Dinners.

Especially when they involved Kelly Bishop, who played Emily, arguing with her. But the shoots were long, involving multiple camera angles, and, she said, “The food was always terrible.”

14. In season five, Norman Mailer made a cameo for the episode, “Norman Mailer, I’m Pregnant!”

Originally, the script just called for a well-known author. They asked Mailer, who initially said no until the show asked his son to take a part as well. According to Mailer, “I told them I couldn’t memorize any lines; it had to be improvisation. The hard part was having to repeat things over and over.”

15. Another unexpected star on Gilmore Girls: Sebastian Bach of Skid Row.

He played Lane’s bandmate, Gil. How’d he get the gig? He said, “When I got the call, I was like, ‘Do you guys have the right phone number?’ They wanted a ‘rock star’ to [play] the guitar player [in Lane's band] and [the casting director saw me on] VH1's I Love the '70s.”

16. In 2006, Sherman-Palladino and Palladino announced that they would not return to the show for season seven.

They released a statement that said, “Despite our best efforts to return and ensure the future of Gilmore Girls for years to come, we were unable to reach an agreement with the studio and are therefore leaving when our contracts expire at the end of this season." Later, Sherman-Palladino would explain that she was particularly frustrated by The CW network not allowing the pair to hire more writers.

17. David Rosenthal took over as executive producer in the final season.

Of the new gig, he said, “I spent a terrific year last year working with Amy and Dan, and she was incredibly supportive, and she told me from the beginning that this was a distinct possibility that she would be moving on and I would be running the show. When she brought me in at the beginning of last year, that's one of the things she told me. She brought me in as an executive producer for that reason.”

18. Graham was also given a producer role in the final season.

According to Scott Patterson, who played Luke, there was a very different vibe on set after Sherman-Palladino left. He said, “There was a little more leeway in how things were shaped. The actors had more input than in the previous six years.”

19. Graham requested that changes be made to the series finale script.

She thought the episode was “too light.” Rosenthal listened to her and found a way to give more characters a moment to shine.

20. After it was clear that the show wasn’t going to continue beyond season seven, a spinoff with Rory was considered.

Graham had officially told the producers that she would not be returning, but discussed the possibility of producing a show about Rory. Eventually, they deemed the whole thing too complicated.

21. Sherman-Palladino has her own ideas for how the Gilmore story was supposed to end.

In 2009, she told Entertainment Weekly, “I wanted different things for Rory. I wanted her to follow a different sort of path… [go] off on her own adventure, which I guess she sort of did. I haven’t [actually] seen the last season, but I heard about it from other people.”

22. Sherman-Palladino had four words planned for the final words of the show.

But she still hasn’t revealed those words. She has said, “I feel like now I’ll let people down because it’s been so built up. ‘Really? That’s what we waited all these twelve years for? Well, thanks so much.’”

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K-Swiss Has Cooked Up an Entire Line of Breaking Bad Sneakers

Breaking Bad lives on in sneaker form.
Breaking Bad lives on in sneaker form.
K-Swiss

Breaking Bad has been off the air for nearly seven years, but there’s no sign that AMC’s breakthrough drama is showing any hints of slowing down. On the heels of their success with a limited-edition Breaking Bad sneaker in October 2019, K-Swiss has returned to the seedy underbelly of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with an entire line of shoes.

The company announced a joint venture with Sony Pictures Consumer Products for three new sneakers based on the popular drug-running series starring Bryan Cranston as Walter White, a chemistry teacher-turned-unlikely drug kingpin. All of the K-Swiss x Breaking Bad Classic 2000 varieties are based on the K-Swiss Classic 2000 low-top design and take inspiration from different elements of the show.

The Cooking shoe has a yellow color scheme that takes after the protective suits worn by Walter and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) during meth cooks. K-Swiss will make 1144 pairs available:

The K-Swiss x 'Breaking Bad' Classic 2000 Cooking sneaker is pictured
The K-Swiss x Breaking Bad Classic 2000 Cooking sneaker.
K-Swiss

The Cleaning shoe (1162 pairs) is patterned after the jumpers worn by the two during the cleaning of their elaborate underground lab built by drug lord Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito):

The K-Swiss x 'Breaking Bad' Classic 2000 Cleaning sneaker is pictured
The K-Swiss x Breaking Bad Classic 2000 Cleaning sneaker.
K-Swiss

The Recreational Vehicle design, with a stripe that looks like the exterior of White’s mobile meth laboratory, resembles the October 2019 shoe release. K-Swiss will make 1396 pairs available:

The K-Swiss x 'Breaking Bad' Classic 2000 Recreational Vehicle sneaker is pictured
The K-Swiss x Breaking Bad Classic 2000 Recreational Vehicle sneaker.
K-Swiss

The Cooking and Cleaning shoes have “Heisenberg,” Walter’s alias, written on the sole:

The K-Swiss x 'Breaking Bad' Classic 2000 Cooking sneaker sole with 'Heisenberg' printed on it is pictured
The K-Swiss x Breaking Bad Classic 2000 Cooking and Cleaning sneakers have 'Heisenberg' printed on the sole.
K-Swiss

All the sneakers come packaged in a Breaking Bad periodic table box. Men’s sizes retail for $80 to $90. No women’s sizes have been announced. You can find them in limited quantities online at KSwiss.com, FootLocker.com, Footaction.com, and ChampsSports.com beginning February 20.

8 Surprising Facts About Andy Kaufman

Andy Kaufman in 1981.
Andy Kaufman in 1981.
Joan Adlen, Getty Images

For fans of the late comedian Andy Kaufman (1949-1984), the debate over whether Kaufman was more interested in antagonizing audiences or making them laugh still rages. During a career that saw him appear on stage and on television (Taxi), the performer often blurred the lines between his real persona and the characters he inhabited.

For more on Kaufman, keep reading. Thank you very much.

1. Andy Kaufman got a letter from his doctor that kept him from being drafted.

Born in New York City on January 17, 1949, Kaufman was raised in Great Neck, Long Island and displayed an interest in performing from an early age, entertaining children at their birthday parties when Kaufman himself was only 8 years old. After graduating from high school in 1967, Kaufman though he might be drafted for military service but didn’t wind up serving. His doctor wrote a letter explaining that Kaufman seemed to have no basic grasp of reality, let alone the Vietnam conflict. Joining the Army, the doctor wrote, might cause Kaufman to completely lose his mind. The letter, which likely contained a good measure of hyperbole, earned him a permanent 4-F deferment from service. He went on to attend Grahm Junior College in Boston.

2. Andy Kaufman’s stand-up act was very, very bizarre.

Kaufman got his start in the early 1970s performing at comedy clubs in New York and Los Angeles. Unlike most comics of the time, Kaufman didn’t write a conventionally-structured act. Instead, he would take on the role of performance artist, confusing audiences with stunts like reading from The Great Gatsby and threatening to start over if they complained. He would also drag a sleeping bag on stage and climb into it or do his laundry with a portable dryer. These appearances were sufficiently provocative that Kaufman sometimes hired off-duty police officers to break up fights in the crowd or intercept people trying to attack him.

3. Andy Kaufman once opened for Barry Manilow.

Before Kaufman got television exposure, it was easy for bookers to assume he was a polished and conventional performer. As a result, Kaufman got a number of gigs in the early 1970s opening for established musical acts like the Temptations and Barry Manilow. Appearing onstage in 1972 before the Temptations came out, Kaufman wept and then shot himself in the head with a cap gun. Similarly bizarre behavior was also displayed before a Manilow concert, with irate members of the audience having to be calmed down by Manilow himself.

4. Andy Kaufman was once voted off of Saturday Night Live.

Kaufman succeeded in drawing attention to himself on stage, which led to being invited to perform on Saturday Night Live beginning in 1975. During these appearances, Kaufman would take material from his act, including his lip-syncing of the theme to the Mighty Mouse animated series. Such stunts drew a mixed reception from viewers. From 1975 to 1982, Kaufman made a total of 14 appearances on the show. Then, producers decided to offer viewers the chance to “vote” Kaufman off by calling in to cast their ballot. On the November 20, 1982 broadcast, 195,544 callers asked that the show not permit him to come back on. They outnumbered the 169,186 viewers who called in support of him. While the bit was intended to be humorous, Kaufman honored the results and never appeared on Saturday Night Live again.

5. Andy Kaufman once took his entire audience out for milk and cookies.

Kaufman eventually took his show to Carnegie Hall in 1979, where he was greeted by 2800 people who had come to appreciate his eccentric approach to performing. At the show's conclusion, he invited the entire audience to board buses waiting outside the building. Kaufman took them to the New York School of Printing in Manhattan, where he served the nearly 3000 attendees milk and cookies. He later gave them a ride on the Staten Island Ferry.

6. Andy Kaufman thought about franchising Tony Clifton.

One of Kaufman’s great ruses on the public was dressing as the abrasive lounge singer Tony Clifton, complete with prosthetic chin and torso padding, all while insisting Clifton was an entirely different person. Kaufman sometimes enlisted associates, including his brother Michael and his writing partner Bob Zmuda, to put on the make-up. In 2013, Michael told Vice that Kaufman’s plan was to have Clifton become a roving character. “Andy had been talking about franchising Tony Clifton before he died,” Michael Kaufman said. “He was going to have one in every state.”

7. Andy Kaufman insisted on an Andy Kaufman stand-in for Taxi.

When Kaufman agreed to appear on Taxi (1978-1983) as Latka Gravas, a version of the “Foreign Man” character he had been performing on stage, he had a peculiar request: He wanted to be expected on set for only two of the five shooting days for each episode. While Kaufman didn’t seem to want to do it at all, the paycheck allowed him to pursue his more experimental brand of comedy. Producers agreed. In 2018, co-star Carol Kane, who played Kaufman's love interest, told The Hollywood Reporter that the cast “would work with a fake Andy who wore a sign around his neck that said ‘Latka.’”

Kaufman also showed up to shoot an episode as his alter ego Tony Clifton, insisting that he was not Kaufman. Star Judd Hirsch got so angry that he had Clifton thrown off the set.

8. Andy Kaufman broke character for Orson Welles.

While there were certainly times Kaufman spoke from the heart, it was rare to see him break any one of his myriad characters in front of an audience. That happened—fleetingly—when Kaufman appeared on The Merv Griffin Show in 1982 on a night it was being guest-hosted by legendary film director Orson Welles. Sporting a neck brace from his stint in professional wrestling, Kaufman didn’t keep up appearances for long. After Welles told him he was “fascinated” by his characters, talk turned to Kaufman’s “Foreign Man,” his Elvis Presley imitation, and his “third character,” Tony Clifton. “Well, he wasn’t a character,” Kaufman said, correcting himself. “There’s a lot of debate over whether it’s a character or a real guy, and that’s Tony Clifton, but that’s a whole other story.”

“That’s metaphysics,” Welles replied.

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