This is What 1996 Looked Like: 20 Years Later We Are Definitely Old
With the present being in such a tumultuous state it’s always fun to distract ourselves. Some have chosen Pokemon Go which I will say is a great throwback addiction, but it was recently brought to my attention that we are just passed the 20 year anniversary of the premier of one of my all time favorite kids shows Kenan & Kel. This inspired me to take a walk down entertainment’s memory lane to see what 1996 had that maybe I wish we had more of, and what I am more than glad to be rid of twenty years later. LET US BEGIN!
January 3rd 1996 Morotola Released the StarTAC, the first clamshell flip phone (and lightest cellphone at the time). We were still a few years away from the Nokia Snake game (almost as awe inspiring as Pokemon Go), but this pocket friendly flip phone sure had people saying Hello Moto! These oldies but goodies were also TANKS, none of this $600 iPhone nonsense that you drop as you’re leaving the store and the screen shatters, along with your dreams.
February 28th 1996 Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill takes Album of the Year at the Grammy’s. If you know anything about me, this alone makes me glad we are 20 years later. Every time I hear Alanis needling her way through my stereo into my brain I immediately start yell-whining in an inaudible language to a vague tune of the song, as I assume most everyone does. On a more positive note in February, Pokemon was released in Japan as Pocket Monsters: Red and GREEN (blue came later) for Nintendo’s Game Boy, do you think they knew the revolution they were starting would continue through 2016?
March 25th 1996 was a great night to be Mel Gibson (before all the CRAZY came out) as he took Best Picture and Best Director for Braveheart. This is slightly less exciting to me than the winner of Best Original Song, which went to Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas.
I WAS the wolf crying to the blue corn moon…
April 12 1996 was a great day to be me. One of my favorite books, and an overall fantastic story, became a cinematic gem as James and the Giant Peach flew seagull style into the hearts of children and parents alike. I don’t know about the rest of you but I really love bugs, and this story saved the lives of millions of critters after I saw it (since I never wanted to accidentally squish Miss Spider).
May 1996 brought us some epic movies. May 3rd The Craft released, giving the off beat teens a reason to live again. Chokers and magic aplenty, just remember what you take always comes back! On May 10th Twister threw viewers into the storm chasing dreams of tornado tracking in the mid-west. Then completely overshadowing everything that came before on May 22nd Mission: Impossible broke countless box office records for a Wednesday release. Rocketing Tom Cruise to an entirely new level of stardom. Don’t lie you *gasped* when Tom nearly set of the sensor alarms…
June 7th 1996 back when Nicholas Cage was in good movies The Rock rocked theaters (pun intended) with a great on screen trio of Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage, and Ed Harris. We saw a very different side of Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy on June 14th, and June 28th Eddie Murphy and Dave Chappelle had audiences laughing until they peed with The Nutty Professor. Jay Z also hit the scene in 1996. On June 25th he dropped his debut LP Reasonable Doubt, which was and is to date (even he admits it) his best album.
July 1996 is the month I’ve been waiting for! Movies like Independence Day July 3rd, and Harriet The Spy July 12th (sorry I loved it), hit the screens. “Aw, Here It Goes” opened into the first episode of Kenan and Kel on July 15th, great Odin how I loved that show! But even bigger than all of that on July 7th Spice Girls released their single ‘Wannabe’ in the UK, and that was pretty much all she wrote. From there it was nothing but immense and immediate super star status for those ladies. Dang July 1966, I could do with a repeat here.
August 1st 1966, MTV2 became a reality playing Music Videos non stop! Do artist’s make music videos anymore besides Taylor Swift? Who knows. But the first music video they played was Beck’s Where it’s At! August 2nd Matilda hit theaters, don’t even get me started on how badly I wanted to have those powers. Jack released on August 9th, giving everyone ALL of the feels, and Aaliyah had her debut album One in a Million on August 27th, which was another chart topper and had multiple hit singles. Basically summer of ’96 was bangin’ all around.
Sadly, September 1996 was shadowed by the shooting and death of rapper/actor Tupac Amaru Shakur. On September 13th when he died at the extremely early age of 25 years old, this hit the music world hard. Music is life to many people, it inspires and ignites a person through to their core and while I was never huge into the Tupac scene it didn’t stop me from feeling the weight of his loss. 2016 has already followed in these footsteps, losing some of my favorite musicians and actors, and the countless who have died recently too young due to violence and prejudice, no more repeats please. There was more positive fun in September, like on the 26th the US released the original Nintendo 64. It only had 2 games Pilotwings 64 and Super Mario 64, but C’mon Super Mario is just one of the best games ever.
October 1996 had some interesting things happen. Did you know this was when Donald Trump (yes the one and only DT) purchased the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen beauty Pageants? Yup, I guess paying to be surrounded by beautiful women was his idea of a good time. Good to know about the past interests of the man who may (more hopefully may not) become the leader of our nation. Also the OJ Simpson trial began, not exactly entertainment but it definitely became the spotlight of many T.V./magazine/news paper conversations. October man, no thanks again.
November 1996 was another movie month! But before we talk about that because there were many, Eminem hit the scene on the 12th with his poorly reviewed ‘radio-friendly’ album Infinite. It took a few years for him to realize F*** public perception and slapped everyone in the face with Slim Shady, but does anyone even remember this album? Anywho, November 1st Romeo + Juliet hit screens with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, let the nostalgic swooning commence! This was also the month we got Space Jam with Michael Jordan, on the 15th we got this funny Who Framed Rodger Rabbit style clash of the Loony Toons world vs. the human world. Then of course on the 27th the live action 101 Dalmatians with Glenn Close , and never have I feared a villain more, she was so deliciously evil!
December 1996 was the year of the Tickle Me Elmo frenzy. I kinda get it, but always thought he wanted to be tickled just a little too much. It was another great month for Tom Cruise with Jerry Maguire releasing on the 13th, Tom was on top of the world this year! The original Scream came out on the 20th as a Christmas Holiday horror, which was uncommon at the time, but it looks like that trend stuck with 2015 Xmas having both Krampus and A Christmas Horror Story. On the 13th there was one other movie released and it’s very dear to my heart, the beloved Mars Attacks. I could Ack Ack Ack for DAYS, but that movie changed my life. Ack-ing isn’t just a word, it’s a way of life.
And there we have it! Twenty years ago doesn’t look all that bad, minus the chunky boots/flower hair clips and confusing fancy grunge outfits!!