Yacht Rock was a popular online mockumentary series that took aim at soft rock superstars like Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins and Hall & Oates. These caricatures were often taken to the limit with such plot devices as kidnappings, aliens, and harpoon impalements.
Sail Away: The Oral History of ‘Yacht Rock’
Crash was not supposed to win Best Picture at the 2006 Oscars–the heavy favorite was Brokeback Mountain. Vulture has the behind-the-scenes story of the win and the Brokeback team’s catty response.
How “Crash” Crashed The Oscars
This is a wide-ranging but text-heavy account of American servicewomen’s experience in Vietnam.
Unarmed and under fire: An oral history of female Vietnam vets
The Plastics (and Tina Fey) reunite to talk about casting drama (Rachel McAdams as Cady?!?!), production hyjinks, and what their characters would be doing today.
EW’s ‘Mean Girls’ reunion: The cast looks back on the 2004 hit
This piece is excerpted from the book Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal and provides some choice nuggets from an age of American music many of us wish we could forget.
Welcome to the jungle: The definitive oral history of ’80s metal
When Bikini Kill and their riot grrrl successors burst on the scene in the early 90s they showed that girls could be as punk rock as the boys, and a legion of combat-boot-wearing teenage girls was born.
Sisters Outsiders: The Oral History of the ‘Bikini Kill’ EP
In 1981 some headstrong kids tried to start a music TV station, trumpeting low costs and an advertising pipeline to American youth culture. In general the establishment yawned, but the iconic “I Want My MTV” ad campaign was a sensation, and the cable operators had to fall in line, soon to be followed by the advertisers.
Birth of an MTV Nation
Over a seven-year run “Boy Meets World” developed a devoted audience that continues to this day.
‘Dream, Try, Do Good’: The Oral History Of ‘Boy Meets World’
In some ways Mad Men was about secrets: Don’s true identity, business dealings, the unending infidelities. In a well-done piece the Hollywood Reporter goes deep on the secrets behind the show itself. THR also published a follow-up where the stars talk about their most memorable scenes.
The Uncensored, Epic, Never-Told Story Behind ‘Mad Men’
‘Mad Men’: Blackface, Fat Suits, Severed Nipples and More Untold Stories From THR’s Oral History
Industrial Light & Magic was born out of necessity–20th Century Fox didn’t have a special effects department and 1975’s Star Wars clearly needed one. The unrelenting drive for innovation led the small startup to eventually work on 317 movies and it remains at the forefront of its industry.
The Untold Story of ILM, a Titan That Forever Changed Film
The Atlantic provides a “Best Of” for the Miller Center’s online oral history of the Clinton presidency.
The Secret History of the Clinton White House
It was near the end of a blowout win by the Pacers on Detroit’s home court, and a few hard fouls resurrected the animosity from the previous year’s rough Eastern Conference Finals. The blood was running, so to speak, and that’s when a punk fan threw a Diet Coke at the infamously volatile Ron Artest. The ugliest brawl in modern U.S. sports history was ignited and the NBA was changed forever.
Malice at the Palace: An oral history of the scariest moment in NBA history
It’s one of the most replayed clips in sports history: Gibson leaning low over the plate to swat a looping liner into the right-field seats, then hobbling around the bases with his famous fist pump.
‘That was a cool feeling’: An oral history of Kirk Gibson’s iconic 1988 home run
Everyone knows about the American’s “Miracle on Ice” victory over Russia in the 1980 Olympics, but it was a miracle because the U.S. was not an international power in the support. It would take another 16 years before American hockey was ready to regularly compete with the world’s best, and their coming-out party was magical: rallying from 2-1 down in the third period of a decisive game three, scoring four goals in the final 3:18.
‘They had a swagger to them:’ An oral history of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey
The premise behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 was simple: “People say shit when they’re watching movies.” When it premiered in 1989 nerdom was securely in the periphery of the cultural zeitgeist. “D & D” was synonymous with hopeless loser. MST, however, showed that nerds could talk aggressive smack about things they cared about, and they often had an encyclopedic knowledge of their target, thus paving the way for the Patton Oswalts of today.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Definitive Oral History of a TV Masterpiece
Seattle’s population exploded by 50% during World War II as Boeing and other local industries scrambled to meet huge production benchmarks. More than half the workforce was women, and their proficiency had both immediate and long-term ramifications. This well-done piece includes a number of period-specific advertisements and announcements.
Seattle’s working women of World War II: An oral history
Cheers, about the neighborhood bar where everyone knew your name, was great because it stayed simple. The focus was on regular working-class guys with relatable issues. The aristocratic mannerisms of Frasier, Lilith and Diane are presented as alien, and worthy of [friendly] condescension. Amy Poehler calls it the best TV show ever, and who are we to disagree?
“The Best TV Show That’s Ever Been”
Tahiti’s Teahupo’o surf spot has only been surfed intensively since the turn of the millennium, but has already reached near mythical stature in the world of pro surfing, largely because the wave rises dramatically upon hitting a dangerous reef. In 2014 Kelly Slater and John John Florence, two of the best pro surfers in the world, went head-to-head in competition at this newly famous beach, a setting for one of the most discussed surfing duels in recent memory.
Kelly Slater V. John John Florence: An Oral History Of The Greatest Heat In Surfing History
The homicidal odd couple of 49-year-old John Allen Muhammad and 17-year-old Jamaican immigrant Lee Boyd Malvo captivated America in the fall of 2002 when they shot 13 people through a modified trunk over the course of 23 days.
Terror in October: A Look Back at the DC Sniper Attacks
The March coincided with the centenary of the “Emancipation Proclamation” and came soon after President Kennedy’s announcement of the upcoming Civil Rights Act. Martin Luther King Jr. became a shining star that sweltering day as he discarded prepared remarks to deliver “I Have a Dream.” The Smithsonian‘s piece is excellent and includes images and video.
An Oral History of the March on Washington
SmithsonianMag.com, July, 2013