November 14 will mark 26 years since the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown hit the airwaves. The series, which ran for 10 seasons and won 18 Emmy Awards (including a record-breaking five Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series wins for star Candice Bergen), also happened to be at the forefront of a political firestorm in its heyday. A show about a 40-something single mother and career woman (!) touched such a nerve that the Vice President of the United States singled out the show as an example of the decay of family values in America.
During a campaign speech on May 19, 1992, then-VP Dan Quayle stated, “Failing to support children one has fathered is wrong. We must be unequivocal about this. It doesn’t help matters when primetime TV has Murphy Brown, a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid professional woman, mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice.”
Never mind that we now live in an era where Vice Presidents are pretty supportive of fictional career women (see: Joe Biden and his number one admirer, Leslie Knope, on Parks and Recreation), but one where single parents have been pretty well-represented on television over the past two decades, without much of a fuss about their “lifestyle choice.” (After all, no one really threw up any road blocks about the dad on Full House). If anything, if Murphy Brown were on the air today, it would likely spark a hundred “Can women have it all?” online thinkpieces instead.
But in 1992, Quayle’s comments about the character of Murphy Brown, and her decision to raise a child alone during the show’s fourth season, sparked a nationwide debate. The series was smack dab in the middle of the discussion, and its writers got in on the conversation, too. During the Season 5 premiere — which picked up after the birth of her son Avery — Murphy Brown responded to Quayle’s remarks. At one point Bergen’s character exclaims, “I’m glamorizing single motherhood? What planet is he on? I agonized over that decision.” The fictional TV anchor also addresses the issue on the air, telling viewers, “Perhaps it’s time for the Vice President to expand his definition and recognize that, whether by choice or circumstance, families come in all shapes and sizes. And ultimately, what really defines a family is caring and love.” The episode, which aired on September 21, 1992, and was mockingly titled “You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato” to address Quayle, pulled in an estimated 70 million viewers.
Eventually, Murphy Brown and Dan Quayle made peace, even if “family values” debates still rage today. Right around the time “You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato” aired, Quayle sent a letter and stuffed elephant to the fictional baby Avery. The show’s executive producers Gary Dontzig and Steven Peterman told Entertainment Weekly that even though they were upset with Quayle for condemning the show, it opened a door for them to openly discuss an important issue. Ten years later, Bergen herself called Quayle’s speech “perfectly “intelligent” and revealed that she agreed with his stance on the idea that fathers are not dispensable.
In the 20-plus years since that landmark episode, Quayle’s comments and his footnote as a pop culture punchline still conjure up strong feelings and varying opinions. In 2002, a Washington Post op-ed declared, “20 years later, it turns out Dan Quayle was right about Murphy Brown and unmarried moms,” and in 2013, the A.V. Club‘s TV writers discussed the impact the episode had on them as viewers now, and then.
While Murphy Brown was hardly the first show to explore non-nuclear families, or the first to cause a stir when it came to tackling hot button issues, it was a seminal moment in watching what happens when television and politics collide.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
Tori Spelling Undergoes “Ebola-Like” Quarantine, Bethenny Frankel Returns to Real Housewives + More in Today’s Last Lap
Tori Spelling is hospitalized during a health scare, Bethenny Frankel isn’t quite done with reality TV, Tyra Banks has (yet another) daily talk show coming to ABC, and more in today’s Last Lap.
- Tori Spelling was reportedly hospitalized and quarantined for pneumonia, not ebola. [US Weekly]
- Tyra Banks’ new show The F.A.B. (Fun And Beautiful) has been cleared for a fall 2015 launch by ABC. [Deadline]
- Bethenny Frankel announced she’s officially returning to The Real Housewives of New York. [Huffington Post]
- Marcel the Shell just made a comeback, guys.
- Marla Sokoloff is expecting her second baby with her husband and musician Alec Puro. [People]
- Jay Leno receives the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. [E!]
- Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn talks late night snacks with the Big Morning Buzz Live crew.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
Let’s face it: Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel’s Sex Tape characters needed a major session with Couples Therapy star Dr. Jenn Berman long before they misunderstood the role of iCloud.
In this exclusive bonus clip, Dr. Jenn explains the difference between what men and women expect when it comes to intimacy, as well as gives her take on this summer’s comedy. Sex Tape is available on Blu-ray and DVD on October 21.
Want to watch more of this hilarious duo? See Diaz and Segel flaunt their knowledge of sex positions (and yoga poses), below.
Tamar Braxton is known for her catchphrases, and apparently the gift of gab runs in the family. Braxton stopped by Big Morning Buzz Live today to chat about her 16-month-old son Logan, and how she plans on keeping him a “mama’s boy” for as long as possible.
After gushing about her little man, today’s guest joined host Nick Lachey for a round of “Rhyme Time.” Playing off the title of one of Braxton’s reality shows, Tamar & Vince, our BMBL host shouted out clues to words that rhyme with her husband’s name (Vince). How many correct guesses did Braxton make in 60 seconds? Watch the video above to find out.
In addition to being a reality star and co-host of the weekday talk show The Real, Braxton is fully rooted in the music business. She recently finished headlining the tour for her 2013 LP, Love And War, after opening for major artists like R. Kelly and John Legend. In the clip below, watch Braxton describe why her latest album was her most personal yet.
This weekend the uber handsome Rob Lowe proved that he is both ageless and fearless — literally.
The former Parks and Recreation star showed off his beach body, as well as a nasty cut on his leg after a surfing adventure gone wrong. For those concerned, fear not: Lowe also updated his Instagram feed with a snapshot of his leg getting stitched up, so rest assured the 50-year-old DILF will be back to normal in no time. Meanwhile, North West turned that frown upside down, Khloe Kardashian debuted a new hairstyle that may be just as controversial as Beyoncé‘s bangs, and Lindsay Lohan has us thinking she can throw down in the kitchen… for now.
Find out what The Gossip Table has to say about Khloe’s new ‘do.
[Photo Credit: @rhl64]
The ’80s were a time of questionable fashion trends. This is a fact. Though many of the looks ended up being recycled (like neon and ripped jeans), there are some that have no business ever seeing the light of day again. One of the worst? Perms. In every incarnation — be it the poodle perm, the body wave, crimped coifs, hair metal manes, Designing Women helmets — the perm was hilarious at best, criminal at worst (seriously, Whitesnake’s David Coverdale deserves a fine).
Break out the Aqua Net and the mousse — here are 10 of the worst permed hair offenses of the 1980s!
[Photo: Getty Images]
While we’ve pretty much established all Nicholas Sparks films are the same, the one factor that truly sets them apart is the chemistry between the lead actors. Sure, we could watch attractive people kissing in the rain, hair blowing in the wind during a slow embrace on the sandy shores of North Carolina all day, but if the passion isn’t there, we ain’t buying it.
As the author’s latest book-to-film venture The Best of Me is currently in theaters, only time will tell where James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan fall on the spectrum of believable couples in Sparks’ movie repertoire.
Of course, not all silver screen couples can be up to par with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams‘ perfectness in The Notebook. The two couldn’t stand each other at first on set, and they were still the most heart wrenching on screen. Take note from these two and bring your A-game, people. Zac Efron got us pumped for The Lucky One with his bra-removing skills, but left us nothing short of disappointed after watching his awkward attempt at intimacy with Taylor Schilling. Not to mention we’re still shocked Miley Cyrus‘ face isn’t permanently pouting after doing so for 1 hour and 48 minutes straight in The Last Song. Needless to say, ranking all of these couples was necessary, since some are painfully hard to watch and others make us drown in wine and tears over living the single life.
8. Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron, The Lucky One (2012)
When people think of The Lucky One, they generally automatically recall the sex scenes. This is because they were the brief moments of the movie that allowed us to be momentarily entertained thus forgetting about how weird Schilling and Efron were as a pair. It’s amazing what nakedness can do. And Efron in tight, black boxer briefs. Anyway, the two feel mismatched as a romantic couple mostly because Schilling seems so much older than him. It would be more fitting if she was his older sister or cousin seeing as how she has an ex-husband and kid. Since it feels like Efron was in High School Musical two minutes ago, taking in a child basically young enough to also dance in the halls of East High just doesn’t feel right.
7. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, The Last Song (2010)
Miley Cyrus is like every other moody teenage girl swept off her feet by a nice guy way too good for her — but unlike Kristen Stewart‘s Bella (of Twilight) and the others, we don’t secretly root for Cyrus because she’s just plain annoying and not that good of an actress. While a handsome and charming Hemsworth gives a genuine performance and pours his heart out, Cyrus has a continual look of being completely dumbfound, disappointed or sometimes both simultaneously. While Hemsworth carried the weight of the couple’s on-screen believability, looking back, it seems like the movie was foreshadowing what would eventually be the real-life crash and burn of their romance.
Let’s face it: Style has become so fluid these days that it’s no surprise to see ladies borrowing from the fellas and vice-versa. So what happens when the lines become blurred and the looks overlap gender?
We rounded up a list of our favorite celebrities who cross gender lines and embrace unique style with artistic freedom. From crop tops to open blouses and dudes in skirts, we must remember this: It’s just fashion, bro!
The Crop: Kid Cudi vs Pop Divas
What is old always becomes new again, so it was no surprise — well maybe a little — when rapper/actor Kid Cudi donned one of the biggest trends during Coachella 2014: the crop top. Can you imagine the look on all those hipsters faces when he graced the stage in a barely there t-shirt, perfectly sculpted abs, tiny waist, and fitted jeans? It probably was the same reaction of those who watched a young and tender Madonna flaunt the same blouse in the mid-’80s video for her song “Lucky Star,” or when Prince drove his “Little Red Corvette,” arrived at the venue and twirled on stage wearing a similar fitted number. In recent years Janet Jackson, the Spice Girls, and Christina Aguilera have followed suit and embraced this belly baring t-shirt and most certainly any man, with nerve and talent, can do the same. Kudos to Cudi and his enormous confidence!
Open Shirt, No Bra Needed Season
First Marilyn Monroe, J-Lo, Kim Kardashian, and now Kanye West! What do they all have in common? You’ve guessed it: All have gone out in public sans undergarment, more specifically under support (is that even a word?). While attending the shows during Paris Fashion Week, the newlywed twosome decided to coordinate their outfits even ditching the bothersome and sometimes pesky undergarment known as a bra (or in his case, a soft cashmere tee); in their defense it can be pretty warm wearing all those layers of clothing. Never ashamed to flaunt what they have, Kanye’s oversized, open shirt rivaled Kim’s customized, fitted black blazer. Is this a revival of the ’60s Bra Burning Movement? Maybe they decided to switch clothes at the last minute? Maybe it was planned? Who really knows? *inserts Kanye West shrug*
Stars: They’re just like you and me. They go to the beach, they order pizza on Fridays, and — you know — get 10 plastic surgery procedures in one day. OK, maybe that last one isn’t so relatable, but it’s definitely worth talking about.
One major difference between celebrities and us earthlings is that Hollywood’s finest can completely transform their looks at the drop of a hat. Or better yet, with a needle full of Botox. Let’s take a look.
Now, it’s not just plastic surgery that reinvents celebrities’ bodies. Some stars like Jennifer Hudson transformed through diet and exercise. On the flip side, Star Jones lost a staggering 160 pounds after a gastric bypass surgery. And who can deny the drab-to-fab power of a new hairdo (and nose-job)? NeNe Leakes certainly can’t.
These star transformations are about to rock your world. Take a look at the gallery, and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Find out how Chris Pratt — one of the biggest transformations of 2014 – felt getting into top shape for his role in Guardians of the Galaxy, below.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
If there’s one sexy offspring of a famous actor turned prolific director, it’s Scott Eastwood, son of Clint Eastwood. The budding actor first sparked a frenzy when he was photographed shirtless for Town & Country magazine in September of last year. Since then, everyone’s been paying attention to Eastwood’s sculpted abs and pecs as he started making more media appearances, picking up new movie roles, and enjoying life in the sun on Instagram.
This weekend, Eastwood is appearing in his most high profile film to date. Opening in theaters is the military drama, Fury, co-starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf. Eastwood is rounding out the trio of hunkiness with his square jaw and disarming grin.
While we hope for a long and successful film career — his next role is the Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Longest Ride — for Eastwood, we can’t help but enjoy his social media updates. Let’s hope he never stops posting sexy shirtless pics for the duration of his ab-tastic moment in the sun.
- Feminism Flashback: Remember When the World Freaked Out About Murphy Brown?
- Tori Spelling Undergoes “Ebola-Like” Quarantine, Bethenny Frankel Returns to Real Housewives + More in Today’s Last Lap
- EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Jenn Gets Intimate with Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel’s Sex Tape
- “Lies!” Tamar Braxton Says Baby Logan Is Officially “Tamarized”
- Rob Lowe Surfs Until He Bleeds and More of What You Missed on Instagram