PEOPLE turns 40 this year, and we have to say, it’s looking pretty good for having four decades in the spotlight. Just like any other cultural institution (the White House; The Peach Pit), the magazine has made more than a few appearances in TV and movies. Let’s look at some of our favorites.
Jeff Goldblum in The Big Chill
Goldblum’s performance as a sex-obsessed PEOPLE journalist was dubbed “perhaps the Goldblummiest of Jeff Goldblum’s early performances” by Slate. That said, it’s not all that accurate. Not all PEOPLE writers are self-loathing egomaniacs obsessed over their non-existent novel-writing careers. Just most of them – kidding!
The Sexiest Man Alive in Don’t Trust the B––––
An entire episode (called, appropriately, “Sexy People”) of this show revolves around PEOPLE’s annual naming of the Sexiest Man Alive, and stars Krysten Ritter’s character Chloe infiltrating PEOPLE’s headquarters and hijacking the selection process. We don’t let a woman named Marjory pick the Sexiest Man Alive, though.
Jess Cagle Appears in Nashville
Jess Cagle, PEOPLE’s editorial director, appeared playing himself, asking (SPOILER) Luke and Rayna for an exclusive on their wedding and telling them that if they didn’t give it to him, he’d never forgive them. Trust us, Jess doesn’t do business like that. There’s actually much more chair-throwing.
Raj’s PEOPLE Article Makes Waves on The Big Bang Theory
In “The Griffin Equivalency,” Raj’s inclusion in PEOPLE’s “30 Visionaries Under 30 Years Old to Watch” goes right to his head: He hires an assistant and claims to his parents that Penny is his girlfriend after getting very intoxicated at a reception hosted by the magazine. Fortunately, the cast’s cover story this year didn’t end up the same way. At least, we don’t think it did.
The PEOPLE Cover Pops Up Everywhere
Characters have been spotted reading PEOPLE in Ghostbusters, Christmas Vacation (Chevy Chase’s Clark is reading a copy of PEOPLE in bed, though the person on the cover is Matty Simmons, the film’s producer), and in an episode of Taxi, where Latka shows his mother a copy of PEOPLE and explains, “In America, a man can become another O.J. Simpson!”
• In an episode of the short-lived comedy That’s My Bush, a copy of PEOPLE served as the catalyst for a truly awful pun when the Secret Service attempts to confiscate a copy of the magazine from Charlton Heston. (Yes, he says, “Let my PEOPLE go!”)
•In the “Simpsons Bible Stories” episode of The Simpsons, when Homer and Marge are playing Adam and Eve, a copy of PEOPLE with them on the cover is shown. (Because they’re the only people. Get it?)
•An episode of the Jon Lovitz show The Critic had Lovitz’s character Jay Sherman named “The Unsexiest Man Alive,” though we’d never be so cruel.
•An episode of Family Guy has Brian snap Meg out of an uncharacteristic violent mood by showing her a copy of Teen PEOPLE that describes her as “Far sweeter and kinder than the average teenage girl.”
•The mag even pops up in an episode of Batman: the Animated Series: see if you can spot the magazine’s cover in episode 18, “Beware The Gray Ghost.”
What are your favorite appearances by PEOPLE in pop culture? Let us know in the comments!