19 Pop Culture Facts
Taylor Swift’s favorite song lyric of all time is “I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee” from Carly Simon’s 1972 hit “You’re So Vain.” Swift is a huge admirer of Simon, so much so that she brought her out on her Red tour in 2013 to perform “You’re So Vain.” It was an iconic moment in music herstory, and a performance I will never, ever get out of my noggin.
Carrie Fisher and Penny Marshall, who became best friends when they dated Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel in the ’70s, were known for throwing a legendary joint birthday bash every October. They celebrated their birthdays together (both in October, both Libras!) and had some of the most wild experiences with A-List celebrities, like David Bowie and Barbra Streisand. On The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Fisher and Marshall revealed that David Bowie crashed one of their parties and that the guest list started out at 60 people but gradually went up to 400 as the years went on.
Whitney Houston was a producer on The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagementand she treated everyone on set (especially those younger than her) with genuine love and respect. BuzzFeed Community user dianaquinn recalled her wholesome encounter with Houston on the set of The Princess Diaries 2. “My mom worked on set for the sequel and happened to mention that it was my birthday,” she said. “Whitney took some of the balloons that can be seen on screen during Mia’s bachelorette party and told her to give them to me as a present. It was the best birthday ever!”
Harry Styles wrote the very creepy “With You All the Time” for Don’t Worry Darling in just 5 minutes. The song, which Florence Pugh’s character Alice hums over and over again in the movie, has an eery melody that personally made me feel uncomfortable in the movie theater! In an interview with Variety, director Olivia Wilde said she had a phone call with Styles about the “trigger song” Pugh’s character would sing. “Five minutes [after our first call]he sent me a demo from his piano and it was what ended up in the film. He called me and said: ‘What about this?’ And I was like: ‘Yeah, that’s it — and that’s really insane that you did that in five minutes.'”
Jennifer Lopez has a personalized (usually bedazzled) Swarovski cup made for whatever project she’s working on at the moment. On Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers’ podcast Las CulturestasYang recalled this when he worked with Lopez on Saturday Night Live. “She was in Ego [Nwodim]’s office, and her and I were just talking. We were like: ‘Oh my god, J.Lo, we love your cup!’ and she was like: ‘I do one for every project.’ It’s full Swarovski crystal. ” D’Arcy Carden, who was a guest on the episode, said Lopez had a “small grenade” on her cup when they filmed the upcoming movie Shotgun Wedding together.
Lily Tomlin, the ultimate queen of comedy, the legendary Frankie Bergstein from Grace and Frankieis the voice of Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus! In an interview with Vanity Fair, she said, “I was very happy I did it because it was wonderful to [play] a woman science teacher. People in our family had small children at the time, and they would sit in the living room with me and they’d see Ms. Frizzle come on. They’d listen to it, look at me, look back , and say: ‘Now you say it!'” In the 1996 episode “Holiday Special,” Tomlin’s 9 to 5 costar Dolly Parton even guest-starred as Ms. Frizzle’s cousin, Murph.
Tyler James Williams, who plays Gregory on Abbott Elementaryis actually the star of the 2000s TV show Everybody Hates Chris. His iconic, frustrated stares on Abbott feel so similar to the ones he made when he was a kiddo. Another Abbott Elementary actor from your favorite childhood movie/TV show, you ask? Lisa Ann Walter, who plays Melissa, is Chessy from The Parent Trap (this brilliant beyond brilliant casting makes me love the show all the more).
When Zoë Kravitz was a kid and ran errands with her mom (the iconic Lisa Bonet), Lisa would embarrass her by scream-singing “The Sound of Music.” “My mom used to do this really embarrassing thing when I was a kid where we’d be leaving a grocery store and we’d be in the parking lot, and she would start singing ‘The Sound of Music’ in [an] opera voice,” Kravitz told Rolling Stone. “She just loved how embarrassed I got. She would do something she’d think was embarrassing, and if I told her I thought it was embarrassing, she would start to belt: ‘The hills are aliveeeeeee’ and I’d be like: ‘Noooooo!'”
Actors Nicole Kidman, Katie Holmes, and Mimi Rogers were at one time or another married to Tom Cruise. Fun fact: They were all 34 years old when they got divorced from Cruise.
James Avery, aka Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Airhad a deep admiration for jazz music. He had posters of Billie Holiday and Charlie “Bird” Parker displayed in his dressing room. He gave DJ Jazzy Jeff a bunch of jazz CDs, and they spent hours together in Avery’s dressing room listening to music .
Ernest H. Shepard, the renowned illustrator of the Winnie the Pooh books, had a daughter who was just as famous in the publishing world. His daughter, Mary Shepard, was best known for illustrating the Mary Poppins book series (talent did indeed run in the family!!!).
When Julie Andrews won the Oscar in 1965 for Mary Poppinsshe brilliantly thanked Warner Bros. director Jack Warner in her acceptance speech. Andrews was available to film Mary Poppins because he cast Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (the role Andrews originated on Broadway in 1956).
Here’s Andrews as Eliza Doolittle in the Broadway production of My Fair Lady (1956) vs. Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in the movie version of My Fair Lady (1964):
Carlos Santana was so high on LSD during his performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, he thought his guitar neck was a snake. In an interview, Santana recalled, “The neck of the guitar started wavering like a snake, and I was like: ‘Uh-oh.’ I just started making faces because I was trying to keep it tame, you know?”
In the 2022 TV series A League of Their Ownthere was a recurring gesture that D’Arcy Carden leaned into. Carden’s character, Greta Gill, was seen slapping her teammates’ butts whenever something exciting happened. According to A League of Their Own writer Desta Tedros Reff, Gill’s butt slaps were completely improved by D’Arcy Carden (her MIND!).
Queen Latifah believes the premise for Friends was taken directly from her ’90s sitcom that aired just the year before, Living Single. In a 2016 interview, Queen Latifah (who played Khadijah James) said: “When Living Single came out, Warren Littlefield — who was the president of NBC — [was asked] if he could have any show on television, which one would it be? And he said Living Single. The next thing you know, here comes Friends — which was an amazing show, and they did a great job with it. So if you’re gonna rock it, that’s the way to do it.”
In Big Sean’s home (which used to be owned by Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash), he has a custom nightclub in the basement. It was already there when he moved in, and he made some slight changes from Slash’s original setup. He kept the black interior, the stripper pole, and the skull-shaped lights, but redecorated most of the space. He even replaced the couches because he “didn’t know what the fuck [Slash] was doing down here.”
In 2018, Lauryn Hill was the most sampled artist of the year. Cardi B sampled her 1998 hit “Ex-Factor” for her song “Be Careful,” and Drake sampled the same song for his hit “Nice for What.” About a month after Drake’s “Nice for What” became a major hit thanks to sampling her, Hill gave a hat-tip to Drizzy in one of her concerts. She remixed her own version of “Nice for What” at the Apollo Theater (where she was once booed as a teenager in 1987), and rapped these lyrics: “See, this is ‘Ex-Factor,’ he took the sample. My shit is classic, here’s an example.”
Oprah absolutely loved The Mary Tyler Moore Show when she was in her 20s, and she wanted to be Mary Tyler Moore’s character — Mary Richards — when she grew up. She even had an “O” hanging in her apartment, just like Mary’s legendary “M.”
And before every Sex and the City episode, Kim Cattrall always came in prepared with a variety of different angles and suggestions to see what would fit better for Samantha and the man she was having sex with. She said, “In the sex scene with the fireman, I suggested: ‘Let me do an orgasm with the sound of a fire engine, let me try different things.’ You don’t know if one’s going to be too much or not enough, so it’s nice for [the SATC crew] to have a few choices.”
All of the men who ended up filming sex scenes on Sex and the City wore a cup so nothing would actually show on screen. The cups were labeled “KC,” Kim Cattrall’s initials.
What’s a pop culture fact most people don’t know, but you have up *your* sleeve? Let us know in the comments below!