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20 Pop Culture Anniversaries Coming in 2019 That Will Make You Feel Really, Really Old


It’s true what they say: Time flies when you’re streaming cat videos on the internet!

2019 has arrived, and while the new year promises plenty of fresh offerings — from five different solar eclipses to a brand-new royal baby — it’s also bursting with reminders the world continues to spin faster than any of us would like to admit. For instance, later this year there will be people born after 9/11 old enough to vote, buy cigarettes and star in pornographic films.

The madness doesn’t stop there, either. Here are 20 milestones approaching in 2019 that are sure to remind you of your mortality.

‘Jersey Shore’ Turns 10

Can you believe Pauly D, Ronnie, and the Situation have been G.T.L.-ing for nearly a decade now? MTV’s breakout reality show “Jersey Shore” celebrates its 10th birthday in December and it’s got us all feeling really, really old. We expect fans to pay their respects to the wonderfully depraved show by putting on their favorite T-shirts, heading out the club, and fist pumping all night long—let’s just hope Snooki doesn’t get into another bar brawl.

Michael Jackson Died 10 Years Ago (June 25)

The King of Pop passed away 10 years ago in June and most people still remember where they were when they heard the news because the world came to a virtual standstill. MJ’s death, funeral, autopsy and subsequent wrongful death trial continued grabbing headlines for months (if not years), overshadowing politics, sports, natural disasters and even the deaths of other famed celebrities, including “Charlie’s Angels” star Farrah Fawcett, who died the very same day as Jackson. 2009 was in fact a tough year for Hollywood with several other beloved celebrities joining Farrah and Michael at the Big Press Junket in the Sky. We also said goodbye to Patrick Swayze, Brittany Murphy and John Hughes.

Kanye Didn’t Let Taylor Finish VMAs Speech 10 Years Ago (Sept. 13)

At MTV’s 2009 Video Music Awards, Taylor Swift took home the moon man trophy in the Best Female Video category, besting Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Pink in the process. The real winner, though, was each and every viewer at home who witnessed Kanye West interrupt Taylor’s acceptance speech to declare Beyoncé “had one of the best videos of all time.” 10 years later, it’s remembered as one of the most shocking awards show moments this side of the “Moonlight”-“La La Land” Best Picture Oscar mix-up.

Barack Obama’s First Inauguration Broke Records 10 Years Ago (Jan. 20)

It’s one of life’s great paradoxes: each day of Donald Trump’s presidency seems to last a lifetime, yet it also feels like only yesterday President Barack Obama put his hand on the Bible to take the Oath of Office before what we’re convinced was the largest inaugural crowd Washington, D.C., has ever seen. Would you believe us if we told you a full decade has gone by since President Obama’s first inauguration? Scary how time flies.

Nipplegate Turns 15

90 million people watched Super Bowl XXXVIII on CBS in 2004. Now, all these years later, there’s a good chance most viewers don’t even remember who played in the big game much less which team won. But surely each recalls Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s halftime show which ended with much of Janet’s left breast getting exposed on live television. The wardrobe malfunction and ensuing fallout seem like pearl clutching in retrospect, but “Nipplegate,” as it was called, actually had long-lasting effects on not only the cultural zeitgeist but also Jackson’s career and the way networks approach live broadcasting. The F.C.C. fined CBS $550,000 for violating indecency standards while CBS and its subsidiaries stopped playing Jackson’s music after the incident, reportedly at the direction of Les Moonves himself.

The tables have turned for both parties in recent months, however. Janet will this year be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while Moonves has been ousted from CBS and denied his severance package in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

Facebook and G-mail Turn 15

Google’s totally free email platform G-Mail turns 15 on April 1st, which means there’s really no excuse for Aunt Hilda to continue forwarding you bad jokes from her outdated AOL address. Likewise, Facebook turns 15 in February which means Mark Zuckerberg and company have been collecting data on some users longer than most 9th Graders have been alive.

‘Mean Girls’ Turns 15

If “Mean Girls” were a person it would now be old enough to attend high school, so it could be bullied by Regina George (Rachel McAdams) and her Plastics. The Tina Fey-scripted teen comedy debuted nearly 15 October 3rds ago in 2004 when its young star, Lindsay Lohan, was at the height of her popularity, and the world has worn pink on Wednesdays and been trying to make “fetch” happen ever since. Mercifully, the film hasn’t yet been rebooted, though it was recently adapted into a Tony-nominated Broadway musical.

‘Rugrats’ Aired Final Episode 15 Years Ago (Aug. 1)

Maggie Simpson isn’t the only diaper-wearing baby with a big milestone coming up. August 2019 also marks the 15th anniversary of the “Rugrats” finale. Many fans are still raw over Nickelodeon’s decision to pull the plug on Tommy Pickles and company, but they were relieved to learn last summer that the show is getting re-launched and a live-action movie is also in the works.

‘Laguna Beach’ Turns 15

On the heels of Fox’s scripted teen drama “The O.C.” came MTV’s trailblazing reality show “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.” Debuting 15 years ago in September, the partially scripted series followed a Laguna Beach High School senior named Lauren Conrad as she hung out, hooked up and fought with a rotating cast of her rich, spoiled, friends. In addition to making people like Conrad and Kristin Cavallari household names, the TV show led to an even more successful spinoff, “The Hills,” which starred Conrad alongside the likes of Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt and Audrina Patridge. MTV is preparing to roll out the reboot for that show, which will welcome none other than “O.C.” star Mischa Barton.

TLC and Destiny’s Child Battled for R&B Girl Group Supremacy 20 Years Ago

In 1999, when gas was $1.30 a gallon and Pluto was still a planet, TLC was far more popular than Destiny’s Child. It’s crazy how quickly things change. For those who don’t remember, the TLC had taken over R&B a few years earlier with their multi-platinum album “CrazySexyCool,” featuring hit singles like “Waterfalls” and “Creep.” The all-girl group struck gold again in 1999 with “No Scrubs,” an empowering anthem that hovered around the top of the charts for quite some time. But a challenger would soon emerge in Destiny’s Child and its young star Beyoncé Knowles. The group released several hits of their own in 1999, including “Bills, Bills, Bills” and their signature track “Say My Name.” 20 years later, it’s virtually impossible to remember what life was like before Beyoncé reigned supreme.

‘Cruel Intentions’ Turns 20

An entire generation of boys became men after watching actresses Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair share a sultry, saliva-filled onscreen kiss in this teen-centered adaptation of the infamous French novel “Dangerous Liaisons.” While graphic depictions of same-sex intimacy don’t feel quite so edgy two decades later, several of the film’s subplots remain controversial to this day, including sex-based blackmail, implied incest and teenage drug abuse. “Cruel Intentions” may not have won any Oscars, but it did give birth to a killer soundtrack—anchored by the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony,” as well as a short-lived marriage between stars Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe.

Britney Spears’ ‘…Baby One More Time’ Turns 20

Do not adjust your monitor. This is not a drill. Britney Spears’ debut album “…Baby One More Time” turns 20 on Jan. 12. The multi-platinum album and the scintillating music videos it produced did more than just put Britney on the map, they helped usher in a new era for pop music bolstered by several of the year’s other seminal releases, including Christina Aguilera’s self-titled debut, Backstreet Boys “Millennium,” and 98 Degrees’ aptly titled “98 Degrees and Rising.” Record sales were sky high that year, but soon began to flatline thanks in part to internet piracy and the rise of Napster, which also launched in 1999.

‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Turns 20

We’re not sure if SpongeBob SquarePants put down any money on his pineapple under the sea before moving in, but assuming his credit was decent and he secured a 20-year mortgage he will have finally paid it all off in 2019. That’s right, Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” turns 20 this year, just a few months after the tragic passing of animator, marine biologist and series creator Stephen Hillenburg. The cartoon became a multi-billion dollar property over the past two decades and paved the way for both a feature film and a Tony-winning Broadway musical. Not bad for a sea sponge with a pet snail.

The O.J. Simpson Police Chase Turns 25

It’s hard to believe there are people old enough to rent a car from Hertz who weren’t even born yet when Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were brutally murdered. The two were stabbed to death in June of 1994 outside of her Brentwood home, but when the Los Angeles Police Department sought to question her ex-husband O.J. Simpson, he declined to turn himself in. Instead, the actor, Hertz spokesman and NFL legend fled town in his friend Al Cowling’s white Ford Bronco, leading to one of the most memorable breaking news moments in American history. The police chase, watched by an audience of nearly 100 million viewers, drew better ratings than that year’s Super Bowl. O.J. was eventually arrested and charged with a double murder, of course, but a team of lawyers including Kim, Khloe and Kourtney’s late father, Robert Kardashian, eventually helped him get acquitted.

Kurt Cobain Died 25 Years Ago

You wouldn’t know it from all the Nirvana shirts people still wear, but the 25th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death is just around the corner. The “Smells Like Teen Spirit”-singing grunge pioneer took his own life on April 5, 1994, leaving behind a daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, and a widow, Courtney Love. Kurt and Nirvana’s enduring legacy is all the more impressive when you consider his band only released three studio albums between 1987 and 1994.

‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Friends’ Turn 30 and 25, Respectively

In a letter to a French physicist, Benjamin Franklin famously wrote “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Were he alive today, Ben would likely update his list to include the inevitability of TBS airing late-night reruns of “Friends” and “Seinfeld.” The shows are heavily syndicated, so a casual TV viewer might understandably assume they ended their respective runs not that long ago, but in fact both shows are in fact older than nearly every single member of Fifth Harmony.

“Seinfeld” turns 30 in July but many of the show’s stars and creators still seem to be in the primes of their careers. Larry David re-invented himself with HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won roughly six thousand Emmys for her role on “Veep,” and even Jerry Seinfeld found new avenues of success with his experimental interview series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

“Friends,” meanwhile, turns 25 in September, meaning the show is now old enough to move to Manhattan and share an apartment with Ross’ kid Ben and Phoebe’s Season 4 triplets. Let’s just hope they can find something rent controlled.

‘Saved by the Bell’ Turns 30

There’s bad news for everyone who remembers Jessie’s (Elizabeth Berkley) caffeine pill addiction, Slater’s (Mario Lopez) dead pet chameleon, Casey Kasem narrating a behind-the-music style documentary about the Zack Attack, and the time Bayside High School found oil underneath its campus. You’re old! “Saved by the Bell” turns 30 in August. Although Zack’s (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) wardrobes admittedly haven’t aged all that well, it still feels like only yesterday he was winning over Kelly’s (Tiffani Thiessen) heart with his makeshift, low-budget prom.

‘The Simpsons’ Turns 30

Everyone who grew up watching “The Simpsons” better brace for impact—America’s favorite animated family turning 30 years old in December. The cartoon has aired well over 600 episodes at this point and is probably older than many of its core viewers. The show even pre-dates some of its guest stars, including Ed Sheeran who made a much-talked-about cameo last season but was just a twinkle in his father’s eye when “The Simpsons” debuted back in 1989. Amazingly, Maggie still hasn’t learned how to walk.

The Reebok Pump Turns 30

Rebook stepped up its footwear game in 1989 with the release of the Pump, a uniquely engineered sneaker improvement allowing wearers to pump air into their own shoe by repeatedly squeezing a button on the outer tongue. Endorsed by NBA legends like Dominique Wilkins and Shaquille O’Neal, it wasn’t long before everyone on the block wanted a pair of their very own. While a pumped up sneaker may do wonders for one’s basketball game, there’s no evidence wearing Reebok Pumps can reverse the aging process which means anyone old enough to own a first-generation pair may want to consult a physician before stepping foot on the court.

‘The Cosby Show’ Turns 35

To say “The Cosby Show” hasn’t aged well is the understatement of the century. Bill Cosby’s trailblazing sitcom was a hit at the time, but these days it’s impossible to see the disgraced comedian’s face without weeping for all the women who allege he drugged and sexually assaulted him over the past few decades. There’s simply nothing funny about watching a convicted sex offender portray a goofy, loving father and an OB/GYN doctor with an in-home practice on TV. Still, it’s hard to believe it’s been 35 years since his show first hit the airwaves.

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