50 Reasons Why We Love Lauren Graham For Her 25th* Birthday

As a lifelong Backstreet Boys fan, I admittedly spent a few years during my teenybopper era celebrating the birth of my favorite member, AJ McLean. One year, my parents even fed into my delusions by purchasing a small cookie cake and we stood around my kitchen table singing happy birthday to him. He was not there.

Is it weird that we celebrate celebrities’ birthdays as if we know them on a personal level? Maybe. Now as an adult, I no longer blow out candles on Wegmans pastries for a stranger I’ve met a few times. When the day comes, it’s become more of an appreciation of those we admire as opposed to a borderline stalker event that could be used against you in a court of law. The idea of fame and celebrity is weird enough, but when you get down to it, you’re attracted to these people in the spotlight because you have similar interests, believe in similar ideals, and hold their professional work in high regard.

So today, on the *second anniversary of her 25th birthday, we’re going to do just that for one of our blog patron saints, Lauren Graham, and note just 50 reasons why she’s worthy of that title (in no particular order). Of course she is known as one of the most iconic TV moms in history, but in addition to her stellar work, we can’t help but gush over someone we admire for who she is as a human being. Happy Birthday, LG. Here’s to another 50.

1) Lauren, a New York Times Best Seller, isn’t just an actress who thinks she can write. She graduated from Barnard College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature.

2) While studying at the selective New York school, she used to sneak on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route the night before and look at all the huge balloons before they were inflated. This is something not only I would weirdly want to see, but apparently, is something her BF Peter Krause did too. Not together. Which is even more of a reason that they’re *~mEaNt 2 B~*

3) And because one degree wasn’t enough, she also earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting Performance from Texas’ Southern Methodist University.

4) She and her dad are IRL Lorelai/Rory.

“We had a special kind of friendship: I came along to dinner and dates. He took me to concerts. We’d go on road trips. I didn’t have a strong idea of how to play a mom—my mom was in my life, but not on a daily basis. I came into it without an idea of how moms “should act” or how it “should be.” I came in thinking of my friendship with my dad–that was my model.” {x}

5) Her appearances on talk shows are always entertaining. Exhibit #1: She’s just as awkward as you at parties.

6) She has to deal with people eating her food creations too:

7) Kelly Clarkson/LG mutual appreciation society (click to read entire thread)

8) And she sings along to KC in the car like us too

9) She respects the art of letter writing – she used to keep in touch with her TV dad Edward Hermann by writing notes to him. She even read an excerpt of one of their letters during his memorial in early 2015.

10) And listens to her TV mom when it comes to the important stuff (finding love):

Lauren’s POV:

“From the start of the show Kelly named herself my TVM, or TV mom, by which she meant she was taking her character’s role seriously, beyond the pages or sets and out into the real world … In a maternal, protective way, she found most of my boyfriends at the time lacking, and once told me I needed someone who was more my equal, like ‘that wonderful actor on Six Feet Under’.” {x}

Kelly’s POV: 

“I was always giving Lauren advice on her love life—from experience to advice to opinion. We had lots of discussions about that… I am so happy (she’s with Peter Krause). She doesn’t remember this, but a long time ago, we were talking about the latest unworthy person. She is a very bright woman, and I always thought the guys she was going out with weren’t smart enough for her because that’s going to bore you after a while! Very quickly, actually. A lot of them weren’t that successful, so that always makes the dynamic really awkward. So we’re talking about her latest problem and the fact that there’s no one out there, and I say, “You know, I’ve been watching this show I love called Six Feet Under, and there’s this guy…” and she says, “I know, Peter Krause.” And I said, “I think you two would make the greatest couple.” She said, “That’s all very nice. We worked together years ago and there was some attraction, but he’s married.” I went, “Oh, OK, that’s it!” All these years go by and I send her a birthday email—”Happy birthday. Love, TV Mom”—and she writes back in March and says, “I didn’t tell you this, but I’ve been seeing Peter Krause since December. We’ve been an item; we’re going together.” I said, “That is so fabulous!” I saw her a couple years ago when she was in New York and reminded her of that conversation and she didn’t remember it. I saw that guy and thought, Wow, he’d be really good with Lauren.” {x}

11) And she’s been able to keep her relationship with PK relatively low over the past seven years.

“I don’t really experience a spotlight. In this case, nobody knew for a while, because we like to be at home, cooking and not going out. I’ve also been really protective of it, because it’s important that you can buy us as brother and sister on the show.” {x}

12) Same goes for the fact she’s not seen out and about in Hollywood 24/7:

“I have the same friends I’ve always had; most of my dear friends are from college [she went to Barnard] or high school. I think with a little bit of effort you can lead a somewhat quiet life in this business. And anyway, I don’t know how interesting people would find it to have the Gilmore girl caught in a brawl. [Laughs.] I’m lying. That would be really cool.”

13) She helps bring the fandoms together:

14) Lauren would’ve been a really good fake talk show host on the pilot that was never picked up, but thank GOD she was able to host for real while stepping in for Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show.

15) Talk Show Exhibit #2

16) Day drinking is acceptable and you can use the excuse of “It’s Christmas!” for it to be totally OK.

“I meet my sister at the hotel restaurant. She’s got to get to an office holiday party, so we quickly share a warm Caesar salad (sounds weird, but it’s good), and a tuna tartare. It’s a little early, but should we have a glass of wine? We decide: Yes! It’s Christmas, after all! Everything is great, and the bill comes to about $1,092. We resolve to meet up later, but decide to branch out and eat somewhere that won’t cost us another Ferrari.” {x}

17) Because she also enjoyed these cameos (#WeLoveYouLaurenComeOnTheShow)

18) She got Amy Sherman-Palladino, and Amy got her back. That’s what made GG magic.

Lauren on Amy: “Reading through the script] felt like two things: One, the idea of someone else doing it made me really mad [Laughs]. It’s just a spark, you read something and you’re like, “Whoa.” I started playing the character from like page one and sometimes it’s not that seamless. I felt like I knew what the writer meant, you know? It was a connection. I just really connected to the material.” {x}

Amy on Lauren: “She talks a mile a minute, and pace is my whole life… Lauren could handle the language and get her mouth around the words and make it mean something. I got her immediately, and I could write for her voice like gangbusters.” {x}

19) She’s fully aware of the dated costumes on GG:

20) She’s really good at cold reading/improv, as witnessed in this bit with Anna Faris on her Unqualified podcast

21) Also on that podcast ep (around :23), Lauren detailed how she understands and truly gets fans’ passion and love for Gilmore: “Something about Gilmore Girls really speaks to certain people… I really appreciate that sense of ‘I know you’ kind of feeling… I never thought this would be the case, but the show stuck around, so (fans) are now watching it with their kids, and it’s meant a family thing to them… I didn’t really grow up with my mom, I grew up with my dad. My mom lived in England for many years and while I was doing that show, they would send it to her – it wasn’t airing there, but they would send it to her. It meant so much to her that they did that and it was such a bonding experience for us, so i have actually had that experience of the show bringing me closer to my mother so I try to respect that.

22) She loved Downton as much as we all did

23) And had the same reaction we did when we first saw the Downton cast in full glam:

“It was a dark day when I saw the Downton Abbey cast in street make-up. I really love to be transported and not to think about how they might shop at Whole Foods.” {x}

24) Talk Show Exhibit #3

25) She could’ve contributed to our Everything’s Coming Up Rosie Week

26) Parenthood boss Jason Katims perfectly details what we love about LG’s acting abilities:

“What impresses me is her ability to not only play the humor that’s inherent in the scene, but to mine the humor, to find more of those moments. Sarah (Braverman) is in an embarrassing situation: she has to move back home as an adult with two children. So you’re looking for somebody who will bring the humor, intelligence and humility to make you really like that person. Those are qualities that Lauren brings so beautifully to what she does.” {x}

27) She steals things from work like all of us:

28) She isn’t the type of actress to leave her co-stars in the dust. E.G.: helping newbie Alexis Bledel on the GG pilot/beginning of season 1:

“The only place where she was so new was technically, and that show – as fun and breezy and light as it is – is technically really challenging because Amy liked to get a master, flawless single take….The camera’s following us and we’d have to curve around at a certain point or pause at a certain point. We have a very delineated path and if, you know, she’d sort of stray, we’d pull her back. We have a lot of scenes in those early episodes where I’m literally gluing her to my side. I don’t know if she noticed or cared, it kind of worked and it served to help make us look like this connected duo because I literally wouldn’t let go of her.” {x}

29) She was in an a cappella group in college called the Metrotones. If there is footage of this, RELASE THE TAPES.

30) Talk Show Exhibit #4

31) Adam Shankman, her director on 2005 film The Pacifier sings her praises for her ability to balance work and friendship: “She’s incredibly smart and incredibly upbeat – always supportive and a great cheerleader, both personally and professionally. As a friend, she is everything you could hope for in this town.” {x}

32) She keeps in real – sometimes being on your fave TV show isn’t all you expect

33) She’s always game to play a prank:

34) She’s really best friends with her TV daughter, Mae Whitman

35) And really close with Miles Heizer (Drew) and Jason Ritter (Should-have-been-husband Mark Cyr). So much so they all got matching champagne bottle necklaces

36) Because #TeamMark forever

37) To reiterate, it’s a family affair when you support your TV daughter’s play

we bravermans gotta stick together #themysteryofloveandsex #supportivefamily #extremelylucky

A post shared by mae margaret whitman (@mistergarf) on

38) Seriously, we adore their friendship:

Mae on Lauren: “When you’re acting with her, I could go in and not have any idea what I was doing and look into her eyes and know that I was going to be taken care of, because she’s truly the most elegant and smart and funny and classy person I know.”

Speaking of a scene in the penultimate episode of Parenthood in which Sarah and Amber have a heart-to-heart and sing Joni Mitchell’s The Circle Game: “They let us improvise a lot on Parenthood. That was one of the last scenes we shot together after six years of building this relationship with our two characters, and so right before we were about to cut — I added, I looked at her and it just came out — I said, ‘You’re my hero,’ and that really wasn’t a line. That came from Mae Whitman to Lauren Graham: So she’s my idol and my hero.” {x}

39) Because LG’s the type of friend who will write break-up texts for you:

Mae: “My first introduction to Lauren’s writing was a poem around Christmastime that was so so genuine and hilarious and so, so smart, without being the least bit manipulative or saccharine. Right then I knew that we would see great things from her in the writing department.I mean, I’ve had her write break-up texts for me for God’s sake! Side note: I do not necessarily condone or recommend breaking up with anyone over a text; but if you’ve got to do it, get yourself a Lauren Graham. Trust me … I think the most amazing thing to me about her writing is that she’s able to be so inclusive and present and so genuinely funny without ever being mean or cutting anyone down. She’s like the Jim Henson of the writing world.” {x}

40) Wise words:

41) Talk show exhibit #5:

42) She’s obsessed with Hamilton too (and bonus Mandy Moore getting in on the action)

43) This is a good time to remind everyone she’s a theater nerd at heart.

44) She truly gets the importance of Gilmore:

“That’s part of the wish fulfillment of this show, is ‘What if?’. What if you lived in this town where getting a traffic light was a major event? What if you were late to the town meeting again and everyone was going to know about it, you know, ‘What if?’ There was a real comfort aspect to living in this world that wasn’t gritty reality and that was part of the joy of it. It’s real but it’s also a break from the real world.” {The Today Show Reunion at the ATX TV Festival, 2015}

45) Friendship Goals AF

46) Writer’s block is real for everyone:

47) She’s with her and him

48) She understands how unique and rare it is to get the opportunity to go back to a show years after it ends, and embraced it fully.

“You hardly get a chance anytime in life to appreciate the moment you’re in while you’re in it,” Graham said. “The fact that it was the people who brought us back, and we got to finish a story we hadn’t gotten to finish, and this character I love so much … I was just walking around like, ‘Thank you so much for being here.’ I was just a freak. I had so much appreciation, it was overwhelming. I’m not a person who cries very easily. I cried almost every day.” {x}

49) As a person who cries at pretty much everything, LG describing her first time back on the Gilmore set is basically me the first time I watched Winter:

“When I walked onto the set for the first time. We had to do a camera test and… the house. [She gets choked up] It’s on a different stage but it’s… the house. Alexis [Bledel] and I walked onto the set together and — I feel super emotional about a lot of it and I’m afraid I’m going to start crying at every turn — but walking onto that set really felt like something. It felt like a lot of time had passed and it felt like we were just there. It felt amazing.” {x}

50) The Future Is Female, and Lorelai Gilmore will never be forgotten: “I can’t tell you what a kick I get out of (hearing from the fans), especially the younger people over the years who have grown up with the show and have (developed) a bond with a family member from a different generation while watching it together. I hope when I’m 55 and I’ve been out of a job for a long time and those girls are running the studios, that they remember Lorelai Gilmore.” {x}

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One Last Time: Obama and Celebrities

It’s been an emotional week, and tomorrow’s going to be even rougher. That’s why today we’re taking a break for a bit of fun. We always get a kick out of celebrities meeting a well-liked president, if only because sometimes it’s hard to guess who’s more excited. Getting to meet the president can be a major perk of success in athletics or the entertainment industry, but it’s got to be a blast for the president, too: you signed up to lead a nation, but you also get to meet all of these varied, talented, fascinating people. Whether he’s cracking up with Olympians or welcoming Broadway actors into his home, it’s a real ‘presidents – they’re just like us!’ feeling. Get ready to smile and relive some of the fun times from the past 8 years!

Barack Obama shed his Obama mask on “Saturday Night Live.” Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler were the Clintons. November, 2007.

Barack Obama shed his Obama mask on “Saturday Night Live.” Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler were the Clintons. November, 2007.

President Obama, Amy Poehler and Saturday Night Live – talk about three beautiful, cherished American institutions, all in one picture.

Usher and Kerry Washington campaign for President Obama during a rally in South Carolina. January, 2008.

Usher and Kerry Washington campaign for President Obama during a rally in South Carolina. January, 2008.

There were a number of early Obama adapters during his first presidential campaign, namely because he had a lot of buzz as a senator in Illinois. Among them were Usher and pre-Scandal Kerry Washington, who campaigned for him in 2008. These folks ain’t bandwagon supporters.

Barack and Michelle embrace next to Oprah during a campaign rally. December, 2008.

Barack and Michelle embrace next to Oprah during a campaign rally. December, 2008.

Oprah is all of us. Also, remember that shining era when we had Obama in the White House AND Oprah on TV? I swear these are the things we’ll be telling our grandkids about.

Two days before the inauguration in 2009, musicians and actors came together for the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, performing songs and reciting pieces for the Obamas, Bidens and 400,000 people in attendance. Among those who took the stage were U2 (as seen above), Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, and Bruce Springsteen, as well as collabos between James Taylor, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles, Josh Groban, Heather Headley, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of D.C.,Herbie Hancock, will.i.am, and Sheryl Crow, and Usher, Stevie Wonder, and Shakira. Not to mention the other stars like Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Carell, Queen Latifah, Forest Whitaker, and Martin Luther King III and more reading historical passages. You can watch the two hour concert here!

Aretha Franklin sings My Country, 'Tis of Thee at the inauguration. January, 2009.

Aretha Franklin sings My Country, ‘Tis of Thee at the inauguration. January, 2009.

For the actual inauguration, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill collaborated on a piece by John Williams called Air and Simple Gifts, and although that was lauded, it was Aretha Franklin who really stole the show as she sang My Country, ‘Tis if Thee. Sure, we all know how great of a singer she is but it was the hat – a grey, Swarovski crystal-studded bow hat, that sparked conversation and memes all over the world. Also getting to see the hat IRL at the ceremony were

That night, the Obamas attended 10 official inaugural balls, where even MORE celebrities attended like Jennifer Aniston, Rihanna, Will Smith – legit the list is too long to type out so read all of them here – and Beyonce showed up again in her iconic romantic serenade of At Last.

Miranda Cosgrove, Matthew Morrison, Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Maxwell, and Annie Lennox at the WH Christmas special. December, 2010.

Miranda Cosgrove, Matthew Morrison, Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Maxwell, and Annie Lennox at the WH Christmas special. December, 2010.

This is just a sample of their annual holiday concert. Just imagine this times 8.

Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca, laughed with President Obama in the Oval Office. Oct. 2011.

Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca, laughed with President Obama in the Oval Office. Oct. 2011.

My favorite is that Will Ferrell and his wife – a person who lives with Will Ferrell – appear to be laughing at whatever OBAMA said.

President Obama meets with over 20 actors for a private Young Hollywood event. June, 2012.

President Obama meets with over 20 actors for a private Young Hollywood event. June, 2012.

Usually the President’s activities during a trip are explicit, but there was no mention of this secret meeting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Barack asked 25 of Hollywood’s hottest stars to get involved in his re-election campaign. Among them were Anna Kendrick, Zach Braff, Jeremy Renner, Zachary Quinto, Jessica Alba, Jared Leto, Kal Penn and Sophia Bush. Obviously, these folks put their photos on social media later for all of us to be jealous of.

May 11, 2012

President Obama takes a break during a basketball game in Los Angeles with some A-list teammates and competitors – Don Cheadle, Tobey Maguire, and George Clooney. Plus two of Clooney’s long-time friends and now ex-girlfriend Stacy Keibler. September, 2012.

Find yourself someone who looks at you like George Clooney is looking at POTUS.

November 15, 2012

President Obama poses with Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney. November, 2012.

I love that Obama fangirled over the 2012 Olympics as much as the rest of us, and also that he’s clearly up on his memes.

Beyonce is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama after her performance during inauguration ceremonies. January, 2013.

Beyonce is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama after her performance during inauguration ceremonies. January, 2013.

Obama’s second inauguration was a star-studded event, and by this point Beyonce was an established White House favorite. Really makes me proud to be an American!

President Obama greets Kelly Clarkson after her performance at his second inauguration. January, 2013.

President Obama greets Kelly Clarkson after her performance at his second inauguration. January, 2013.

Like we said, really fun inauguration. In this photo, Kelly Clarkson is looking at Obama exactly how I would, AND Obama is looking at Kelly Clarkson exactly how I would.

Singer Stevie Wonder is honored Monday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, who said the first record he ever bought was by Wonder.

Singer Stevie Wonder is honored Monday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, who said the first record he ever bought was by Wonder.

The Obamas danced to Stevie Wonder at their wedding and all these years later he’s a regular guest in their home, playing POTUS’s birthday party and getting awards from him. If you look closely you can see all of Barack’s dreams coming true.

Justin Timberlake greets President Obama (with Queen Latifah in the background). May, 2013.

Justin Timberlake greets President Obama (with Queen Latifah in the background). May, 2013.

JT posted the above photo on Obama’s birthday and captioned it “Just showing The Prez how I made a half-court shot on his hoop while he was leading the free world and stuff… No big deal. Happy Bday, Mr. President!!”

They have inside jokes, it’s fine.

This is an Emmy-winning video.

The President and the First Lady meet the President and the First Lady. White House Correspondents Dinner. May, 2014.

Mellie/Michelle 2020?

POTUS strikes a pose with Usain Bolt. April, 2015.

POTUS strikes a pose with Usain Bolt. April, 2015.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how happy Barry looks? That is pure joy right there.

After Cecily Strong's speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. April, 2015.

After Cecily Strong’s speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. April, 2015.

Remember how Cecily Strong absolutely crushed it at the WHCD?! Then, even though he was the butt of some of the jokes, POTUS also acknowledged that she was absolutely hilarious and all of the hits were totally fair. Also, this happened to be the same WHCD where Obama’s Anger Translator Luther (Keegan-Michael Key) showed up.

July 18, 2015 “The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

July 18, 2015 “The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I like to think that this is how everyone looks at you when you get to heaven.

We consider Hamilton a true musical of the Obama era and we get such a kick out of the mutual love between the cast, creatives and POTUS.

Dec. 7, 2015 “Comedian Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the Oval Office window to begin a segment for his series, ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.’” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the window of the Oval Office. December, 2015.

I’m not one who particularly *loves* Jerry Seinfeld, but I do enjoy Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and this one with President Obama is no different. Well, actually it was. Since the Pres has limited ability to drive around in a vintage car with a guy who makes jokes for a living, they could lit’rally only make a loop in front of the White House and the coffee was in some WH bunker. That’s exaggerating – just watch it.

President Obama joined Jimmy Fallon for a second installment of Slow Jam the News. June, 2016.

Since Jimmy had a talk show, the Obamas have been happy to play along with his bits, including Slow Jam the News, which is another reason why President Obama is the coolest. Slick Willy Clinton could probably get away with doing this but can you imagine Dubya saying “Oh yeah” then dropping the mic?

President Obama serenades daughter Malia with 'Happy Birthday.' July 4, 2016.

President Obama serenades daughter Malia with ‘Happy Birthday.’ July 4, 2016.

The 2004 films Chasing Liberty and First Daughter taught me that it can be hard to be the child of the American president … but if your 18th birthday involves Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monae singing you Happy Birthday on the White House lawn, it sounds pretty OK.

Sept. 12, 2016 “After a meeting with actor and human rights activist George Clooney, the President invited him and three of his colleagues to shoot hoops on the White House basketball court. This photo garnered a lot of attention when it was hung on the walls of the West Wing.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

George and Barack back on the basketball court after they met to discuss some human rights policies. September, 2016.

This is also the poster of the 2018 film where Clooney & Obama lead a rag-tag group of international figures in some kind of witty heist.

Oct. 21, 2016 “Bill Murray stopped by the White House to be honored as the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. When the President opened the door to the Oval Office, he laughed that Bill was in full Chicago Cubs regalia just before the Cubs were to begin the World Series. After the presentation, Murray demonstrated his prowess in putting, ‘sinking’ several putts into a White House drinking glass, all while doing a public service announcement to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Bill Murray shows off his putting skills in the Oval Office while filming a PSA to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. It was also just before he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. October, 2016.

Just two Chicago boys casually putting into glass in the Oval Office.

Nov. 22, 2016 “Bruuuuuce! The President reaches out to shake hands with Bruce Springsteen in the Blue Room of the White House prior to the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony. I’m so happy for Bruce, having been a fan of his for almost 30 years during which I’ve seen at least 35 of his concerts.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets Bruce Springsteen before he received the President Medal of Freed. November, 2016.

I don’t think you know how many Bruce Springsteen pictures we had to choose from. There’s probably a small, dedicated guest room where Bruce stays and they’ll have to forcefully remove him on 1/20.

Rather than a photo, just watch the whole video of Obama awarding Ellen Degeneres the Medal of Freedom. It’s definitely a two-kleenex moment.

That face when the President drops by for a visit. Today, the cast of Hidden Figures visited the White House to highlight the stories of Americans who defied stereotypes and broke glass ceilings to advance human space flight, science, and innovation. December, 2016.

That face when the President drops by for a visit. Today, the cast of Hidden Figures visited the White House to highlight the stories of Americans who defied stereotypes and broke glass ceilings to advance human space flight, science, and innovation. December, 2016.

Octavia Spencer, somehow simultaneously so adorable you could imagine being BFFs with her and so talented that it’s intimidating, is the face of America.

WHEN THE WHITEHOUSE BECAME THE BLACK HOUSE. #THEUNION #ORGANIZE

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When your favs are each others favs: I’ve heard that Janelle Monae has been invited to/performed at the White House more than any other musical artist. Also just this whole crowd, in general.

Kendrick Lamar meets President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House. January, 2016.

Kendrick Lamar meets President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House. January, 2016.

Do yourself a favor and run a search of Kendrick Lamar and President Obama at the White House. All of the photos are absolutely delightful.

President Obama teaches Steph Curry a few things about shooting. April, 2016.

 

Y’all – do yourself a favor and watch this entire concert of BET Presents Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration. Partly because BET isn’t going to present a damn thing for the next administration, but mostly because there are star-studded performances from Jill Scott, BFF Janelle Monae, smokeshows Common, Usher and Leslie Odom, Jr. and Bradley Cooper is also there to fill a quota.

Going away party. January, 2017.

What better way to end eight years in a mansion than with your famous friends? The Obamas held one last bash at the White House earlier this month, with a bunch of celebrities who have supported the administration throughout their tenure. Guests weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the party that lasted until 4am, so all the available photos are from the outside, or in performer Solange’s case, during soundcheck. Among those who danced alongside Barry and Michelle were Amal and George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Nick Jonas, Kelly Rowland, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, Chance the Rapper, Jay Pharoah, Usher and Billy Eichner. AND MORE.

Finally, cry your eyes out as you watch celebrities thank the Obamas for their years of service.

Times We Assumed Rosie O’Donnell Was Straight

The world was different in 1996, when The Rosie O’Donnell Show began. The famous Ellen DeGeneres coming out episode hadn’t aired yet, Will & Grace was still years away, and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was only a few years old. As much as the internet loves to act like 2016 is a trash-lined sewer and the ’90s were a hip, inclusive wonderland, things have gotten a lot better in the past two decades. We were different in 1996, too: we were 10 years old. We knew that gay people existed, but in that era we both tended to assume people were straight unless given evidence to the contrary. A LOT of evidence to the contrary. Rosie’s presence as an affable, cool lesbian paved the way for today’s suburban mom fav, Ellen, and her wide-open closet door was probably really inspiring to a lot of kids in the 90s and 2000s… the kids who weren’t too dense to notice all of these clues, anyway.

Exhibit A: Tom Cruise, Lawnboy

The facts:

  • Throughout the course of her show, Rosie talked a lot about her giddy crush on Tom Cruise.
  • She called him “My Tommy.”
  • A specialized soundboard played The Who’s “Tommy Can You Hear Me”
  • The whole thing read less like a legitimate infatuation, and more as a fun running gag
  • To that end, Rosie even TOLD everybody that she had no adult desire for Tom Cruise:

My crush on him has nothing to do with anything that is adult. It’s a prepubescent girl desire to have his picture thumb-tacked to my bedroom wall. It doesn’t have to do with a thirty-five-year-old woman’s adult desire.

  • On Tom’s first appearance, he brought flowers and didn’t respond like someone at the receiving end of a real and genuine crush. Rosie commented “it’s not like I want the marriage to break up. I just want you to, like, live in my house and mow my lawn. That’s all I want. I want you to do yard work around my house.” As a single lady who hates lawn mowing, I feel that.

  • Rosie, referring to Nicole Kidman, lightheartedly commented “isn’t her husband beautiful”

  • The Rosie O’Donnell Show ended with Tom mowing Rosie’s lawn and offering her a lemonade.

Can you blame us?: I mean. As adults of 2016 we realize that having an opposite-sex crush doesn’t make you straight any more than having a favorite Orange Is The New Black inmate makes you gay. However, this one is less about the cultural milieu of the 90s and more about what it was like to be ten years old. If you told somebody you had a crush in fifth grade, it was SERIOUS BUSINESS. It’s more that we couldn’t understand flippant celebrity crushes, which are now the mainstay of our internet presence.

Exhibit B: And They Called It Puppy Love

The facts:

  • Donny Osmond’s poster was on her bedroom wall “for eight years” when she was a tot
  • Rosie was a member of the Donny Osmond Fan Club. Like the kind where you pay a fee and you get a sticker with his face on it.
  • She owned a Donny Osmond doll. Her brothers wanted to play GI Joe, she wanted to play Donny and Marie.

Rosie: Me and my brother Danny would do Donny & Marie in my backyard with wooden spoons. My mother would be screaming…

Donny: Ok, but hopefully, you were Marie.

Rosie: Most times. But ya know, hell, I’ll be you if you let me.

Can you blame us?: Like Tom Cruise, we kind of just expected that because Rosie had googly eyes and a laminated Donny Osmond Fan Club membership card in her wallet, it meant she was keen on the gentlemen type.

I remember one time around this era I was talking to an older male family friend who was at the time probably in high school, and while a group of us were watching TV, Rosie came on the screen and he said, “You know she’s gay, right?” and being a staunch fan and a 12 year old who believed “gay” was an insult, I came to her defense. “No way. She loves Tom Cruise and Donny Osmond! How do you explain that??” But again, that was just a sign of the times. Obviously as a tween in the mid-90s, I couldn’t delineate between celebrity crush to real life romantic feelings crush, so my points sounded valid at the moment.

But this is kind of all a moot point since Ro and Donny got into a brief feud after he suggested she was fat by saying a helicopter “couldn’t take that much weight.” She turned that Donny doll into more of a Donny voodoo doll, and made him apologize by singing Puppy Love in a puppy get up. Don’t all great straight relationships work like this?

Exhibit C: Lebanese-American

The facts:

  • For a period of time in 1996, there was a long lead-up to Ellen DeGeneres’s character, Ellen Morgan, coming out on the sitcom Ellen. I still remember thinking it was cool, but also consistently thinking it had happened already because it had been in the media for so long. That’s how big a deal it was.
  • Before the episode aired, Ellen appeared on Rosie. Later on, Rosie said that she didn’t want Ellen to be completely alone on this new TV frontier, so they came up with the Lebanese bit and “the people that got it, got it.”
  • We didn’t get it.
  • Watch it and let Rosie explain here:

  • “I pick up sometimes that you might be Lebanese”

Can you blame us? This is the kind of joke that would be hard to understand if you were new to the English language. Lebanese and Lesbian sound sort of similar, Ellen’s quip about dropping hints that character was “Lebanese” (baba ganoush, Casey Kasem, etc) is an analogy to Ellen winking at her character’s orientation, but the punchline was implied. And implied punch lines are one of the last things you understand when you learn a new language, right? Except… we were NOT new to the English language when this aired, we were natives like 10 years deep in it. Even as kids, we should have picked up what Rosie was putting down here.

Watch the Brangelina Throne

Our long national nightmare is over Love is Dead! Ok, on the real, how are we all feeling about the Brangelina split a week later? Did we see this coming? Or were we completely blindsided? Are you choosing a team? Do you even care? I’m personally on the side of, *meh*. Is it because Friends is one of my all time TV shows and I spent some of my formative years seeing Brad and Jennifer as the Hollywood ‘IT’ couple then he made a movie with the sexiest woman alive and did an oddly cozy faux family magazine shoot pre-Jen divorce? Perhaps. But I know for a lot of people, Brangelina was one of the last A-list couples still left standing. So who can replace them? If you fall in the latter category, the answer is ‘no one’, but if you’re willing to open your heart and let in another couple to be the next Brangelina, I’ve got a few suggestions.

Chrissy Teigen + John Legend

If you don’t follow these two on social media, do so now. It’s one thing when they take the red carpet (looking smokin’ hot all the time), but it nudges them up a bunch of notches when you see them interact on social media, as seen in the above Twitter exchange. Plus they’ll post cute and not annoying PDA pix and vids, and share posts of their adorable baby daughter Luna. They’re hilarious, smart, and socially active – in the way they speak out about social issues and politics, not necessarily social media. And again, they’re nice to look at, which doesn’t hurt.

Ellen DeGeneres + Portia DeRossi

I feel like every two and a half months, there are rumors these two are breaking up. I never believe the gossip – BECAUSE THESE TWO ARE NEVER SPLITTING UP. NOT ON MY WATCH. Ellen always speaks the loveliest words about Portia in a way that makes me think I, TOO, am in love with Portia. Also, Portia’s wedding dress continues to be one of my favorite celeb dresses ever.

Emily Blunt + John Krasinski

Preface: John Krasinski is my boo. He has been my boo since The Office, and when he started dating Emily Blunt, I was all, ‘yeah, that makes sense’. They seem so compatible with each other and just laid back and not all about the fame. So I guess if you liked Brangelina for the movie star/untouchable quality, Emily and John may not be your cuppa tea. I like that they’re open about their relationship and family, yet secretive in the sense they’re not pushing it into our faces like Kimye is wont to do. Plus they just seem like good people.

Beyonce + Jay Z

In terms of superstar quality and elusiveness, I think Bey and Jay are the closest thing to Brangelina. They don’t share too much of their personal lives online and social media, but B will occasionally post a few sweet snaps of them together. She’s certainly gotten more lax with it over the years (see: Lemonade) but they still have an air of mystery to them that leaves you wanting more. Even the On The Run tour was a lot for me to handle – so much Bey and Jay time I didn’t know what to do with myself. And this Forever Young/Halo video montage FORGET IT.

Kristen Bell + Dax Shepard

If you’re looking for a couple that you most relate to, it’s probs KBell and Dax. They’re just two Michigan kids who found love in Hollywood, but continue to be sweet and strong midwesterners (is Michigan the midwest?). From this Africa video to their Samsung commercials to the famous sloth surprise video, they are one of the most laid back couples in La La Land.

Rita Wilson + Tom Hanks

Do I really need to explain this? Well, Rita may need to explain her wedding dress, but other than that, you get it.

Lin-Manuel Miranda + Vanessa Nadal

If you aren’t #HamilTrash like us, you probably don’t know how much Lin-Manuel (the creator/star/writer/literal genius behind Hamilton) loves his wife. Like truly is in love with his wife in a poetic way. And we might be too. She’s gorgeous, witty (per Twitter) and equally as smart as Lin – she has a chemical engineering degree from MIT, and when she got bored with that, decided to get her law degree from Fordham. When I’m bored, I stalk the Kardashians on Instagram. Anyways, when he gets the chance to gush over Vanessa, Lin jumps at the opportunity. It’s probably because he’s a master of words, but he makes it seem like their relationship is a great love that cannot be compared. I believe it.

Michelle Obama + Barack Obama

Do I really need to explain this? Part two.

Confusion, Boredom, Disgust: Faces Of Adults At The Teen Choice Awards

A lot of things stood between me and the Teen Choice Awards. Mainly adulthood, which meant I was watching full of questions: why was everyone screaming so much? Who were these people? Why are some people wearing shorts and others wearing semi-formalwear? Another problem was my rip-roaring “Sunday night in my late 20s” schedule – how would I fold laundry, take a shower, dust the downstairs, do crunches AND eat half a box of Kashi sea salt crackers while watching this mess?

So I may not have watched the entire show, but I was heartened by the solidarity  I felt with the non-teens in the audience, whose faces betrayed them: their choice was to be anywhere but at these awards.

Josh Peck, a 28-year-old, exhorted the children in the audience to look up from their phones. When Josh Peck and I were teens (shoutout to the 1986 babies!) the only reason you’d be looking down at your phone is if you were in the middle of a particularly long game of Snake.

Scott Earnestwood, an adult man, is perplexed. Our face exactly, Scott.

John Stamos, a famous uncle, gives side-eye to his younger self – something I often do figuratively but never IRL.

Sarah Hyland, who can vote and drink in all 50 states, tripped… then dropped an f-bomb, because she’s an adult and she can.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi, a married couple, celebrated their seven-year anniversary at the Teen Choice Awards … because see, when you’re a full-fledged grown-up you get stuck doing work stuff on your birthday or anniversary a lot of the time.

Britney Spears, a mom, brought her cute kids and niece along because “mom, we don’t HAVE a bedtime on summer vacation” and also because her sons are now closer in age to Baby One More Time-era Britney than Britney is.

Nina Dobrev, former teen/ current 26-year-old, delivered a big “see ya later, suckers!” to the teen vampire genre.

And finally, Gabourey Sidibe, not a girl not yet a woman, decided to just go with it:

Woman Crush Wednesday: Sofia Vergara

It’s Woman Crush Wednesday again, and today it’s all about the muy linda Sofia Vergara, who you might have seen a lot of the past few weeks. She and new BFF Reese Witherspoon are on a mega press tour for their new movie Hot Pursuit (this is not a sponsored ad, btdubs), so the two have been everywhere. Pretty much every talk show has been covered, every premiere, celebrity event and radio show – they even presented at the ACM Awards – that’s the Academy of Country Music Awards. Yes, Sofia was wondering what she was doing there too.

But it wasn’t until recently that I realized just how deep my love ran for Sofia Vergara. The moment came when I caught myself smiling through an entire interview. I started to question my sanity, then figured out it was all because Sofia was saying the most ridiculous, funny things and I couldn’t help but smile. Anyone who brings that much joy into your life deserves to be crushed on, and here are just a few reasons why.

Single Mom Respect

Although she’s currently engaged to one of the hottest men on the planet, Sofia was previously married to her high school sweetheart at the age of 18, had her son Manolo at 19, and divorced her now ex-husband at 21. She had Manolo right when her acting career in Colombia was taking off, and anyone who can handle both life as an actress and a mom – let alone being a mom by herself – is worth commending.

She’s Gone Through Shit

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Sofia was just two semesters away from graduating college with a degree in dentistry (that’s right, she could’ve been all up in your mouth), but she was discovered on the beach by a photographer that noticed she was special. Slowly but surely, she got a lot of jobs in her native Colombia, but she broke into the American market through Univision shows and being, you know, hot.

But Sofia moved to Miami not only to try her hand at becoming famous in the States, but also to leave a troubled Colombia behind. In 1998, her older brother Rafael was murdered during a kidnapping attempt, and it’s just one of the many deaths that plagued the country during the 90s.

By 2000, she had scored a few minor roles on U.S. TV, but she was sidelined when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 28. She had her thyroid removed and underwent chemotherapy, and thankfully made a full recovery. She is a big advocate for organizations like Stand Up To Cancer, but you won’t see her playing the ‘I had cancer/Woe is Me’ card any time soon.

She Knows She’s Hot

I find it annoying when hot girls play off their hotness in order to attract more attention to them. Like, ‘Oh, I look horrible in that dress, you can see all my fat!’, said Hollywood actress. No. You’re freaking beautiful, stop it. Sofia has grown up knowing she has assets (lit’rally) that work to her advantage, and she embraces it. Just like you should love your imperfections, you should also love the great parts of your body too. Confidence is believing in yourself – every bit of you.

She’s A Great Comedic Actress

Even if you think Modern Family is played out by now, you have to appreciate that she is still one of the best parts of the show. It’s why she’s received four Emmy Award nominations. Sofia plays a Latin mom, who’s married to an older white man, and integrates into a family as an “outsider”. On paper, it’s funny, and she makes Gloria even funnier. Plus, if you’ve seen any of her movies or even hosting SNL (HUNGER GAMMEESSS) , you know she’s just got natural comedic timing, that’s – dare I say – reminiscent of Lucille Ball. Sofia’s getting a Hollywood Star on the Walk of Fame on Thursday, and while it takes some actors decades to be honored with the coveted prize, it’s taken her just a few years, because honestly, she’s just that good.

She’s Straight Up Comedic

Honestly, if you’ve got time to kill (or don’t), just search Sofia Vergara talk show interviews on YouTube or go to her Modern Family co-stars’ social media accounts. You find her playing hidden camera pranks on Ellen, starring in German makeup commercials with Ellen, sleeping with tissue on her face, and even serenading the Modern Fam crew with a “Christmas Carol” while handing out presents. Just yesterday she appeared on Jimmy Fallon and played Catchprase. You could tell the press tour had worn her out, but it somehow provided an even more entertaining version of the game, because when she gets tired, her English slowly fades away. Bless you Sofia.

 

Seven Minutes in (Comedy) Heaven

With three (soon to be four) SNL cast members not returning this fall, Lorne and co. is on the hunt for the next big sketch comedians. A few names have been released, but most importantly among them is Mike O’Brien – or as he’s being listed now, Michael Patrick O’Brien. Irish much? Mike/Michael has been a part of SNL since 2009, when he audition to be a player on the show, but was ultimately hired to be a writer. Seems like Lorne is changing his mind and putting Mike in the forefront just like he did Tina Fey. So if you’re not already, let’s get acquainted with this guy.

Don’t know who Mike/Michael is? Maybe if you’ve got a keen eye, you’ve seen him on SNL before:

Screen shot 2013-08-24 at 1.03.29 AM

Or you might know him as the guy who hangs out with celebrities in closets and tries to make out with them in the hilarious web series, 7 Minutes in Heaven. He started in 2011, and it’s slowly become popular over the years. He’s interviewed everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Patricia Clarkson to a Juggalo from the Insane Clown Posse. Here are just a few to get you pumped up for his (reported) debut as a featured player on SNL this September. And yes, kissing is involved…22famous1-articleLarge

Kristen Wiig

In another life, Kristen Wiig makes soup in California.

Amy Poehler

Honestly, some of Amy’s best hat work she’s ever done.

Jason Sudeikis

Jason was Mike’s office buddy at SNL (bc NBC can’t afford to give EVERY cast member & writer their own office), and it looks like that they proved the unimaginable – they got even closer than ever before.

Ellen DeGeneres

Still can’t believe Ellen agreed to do this.

Jack McBrayer

In another world, Jack McBrayer and Mike O’Brien are brothers. In this world they’re two guys who awkwardly kiss in a closet.

John Hamm

Ron Draper is Dick Whitman’s alter ego.

Seth Meyers

In which Mike quizzes Seth in alllll the movies he’s been in and his lines in the said movies.

Paul Rudd

Rudd’s got a lot of experience in kissing men – especially thanks to the Vogelchucks sketch from SNL.

Tina Fey

I know the queen Tina Fey is in this video and everything, but Mike’s pornstache is wayyy too distracting.

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Six Feet Under

Welcome back to another installment of Whatareyoudoinghere! Today we will explore the wonderful/dreary world of Six Feet Under. I patiently waited for this series to come on Netflix instant, and since it still wasn’t available by the time summer came around last year (when I do most of my TV marathoning), I illegally streamed it online (judge all you want). Over all, I’d say it was worth all the hype and awards it received, especially since it had one of – if not the best – series finales I’ve ever seen. Anyways, here’s a list of some of the people I didn’t expect to see when I watched SFU for the first time.

Rainn Wilson

Just before he was Dwight K. Schrute, Rainn played a loner type mortician’s apprentice for the funeral home, and had a thing with Frances Conroy’s character. He actually had a lengthy story line, and ended up in 13 episodes. Still a weirdo.

Jenna Fischer

Speaking of The Office, Jenna Fischer had a two episode arc in season 5, when she went out with Rico, the family funeral home’s mortician. Rico didn’t get the hint that she wasn’t that into him… maybe he shouldn’t have invited her to his best friend’s wedding after one date.

Adam Scott

I realize the image above might be jarring if this is your first time learning about Adam’s appearance on SFU. It was to me when I first saw it and I still can’t get over it. Adam clearly played a love interest for Michael C. Hall. Yeah, Dexter and Ben Wyatt mackin’ it. And jury’s still out if I find this hot or not… (UPDATE: I watched their scenes again, and the verdict is I am uncomfy.)

Bobby Cannavale

Per usual, Bobby played a tough guy who Keith meets while they’re body guards for pop star Celeste (who is featured below). I loved the interaction Keith had with Bobby’s Javier, especially because it’s a good reminder that Keith isn’t your “typical” gay man, and Javier, a typical Alpha male, doesn’t care that he’s gay at all.

Michelle Trachtenberg

Spoiler alert: Harriet the Spy grows up to be a pop star! Here is Celeste, the stereotypical rich, bitchy, superstar. She believes she can get anything she wants… even sex with a gay man. Oops.

Justin Theroux

Contrary what you may think from this picture, Mr. Jennifer Aniston was not a band geek living in central Mississippi. He plays Brenda’s (Rachel Griffiths) charming neighbor, but his presence poses a problem for both of them since she’s a recovering sex addict… so I mean… good luck Brenda.

Ellen DeGeneres

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Saved the best for last! Celeste has an appearance on Ellen’s show, and Keith gets into a bit of trouble for using her bathroom while Celeste is taping. But in his defense, he did do his job when Ellen tried to go into Celeste’s dressing room after she said no visitors allowed.