This Month In YesterYear History

Monday, April 4, 2022

Here's a fun new topic that I thought I'd try out for the site.  Based on a suggestion I saw on social media, I've decided to take a brief look back at the "best" or "top" of pop culture from 20 (2002), 25 (1997), and 30 (1992) years ago!    


Using film website Box Office Mojo, The Billboard Top 100 music list, and a conglomeration of television rating websites, I've pieced together a little time capsule of what was significant in life during those days.  I'd be happy to run it monthly if you folks like this topic.  As you know, I enjoy researching the past!  

Hopefully, as you read these brief synopses from the past, you'll remember the whens, wheres, and who's of your memories from that time period.  That's what this site is all about, after all!

So, get into those time machines, my friends!  We're headed back to 20, 25, and 30 years ago!

Just for a point of reference, some major news or event headlines during April were:

2002:  The funeral of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, brings millions to the streets of London surrounding Westminster Abbey on April 9.  Tiger Woods became the 3rd golfer to win back-to-back Masters Tournaments on April 14.  

1997:  The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, debuts on Animal Planet on April 5.  In hockey, on April 7, Mario Lemieux played his last NHL game, while on April 17, Martin Brodeur became the second goalie in NHL history to score a goal.

1992:  On April 6, Microsoft announced the debut of the popular operating system, Windows 3.1.  Euro Disney (now Disneyland Paris) opens in France on April 12.  The Trump Shuttle between New York, Boston, and Washington DC was purchased by U.S. Airways and renamed the U.S. Airways Shuttle on the same day.  An all-star concert takes place on April 20 in Wembley Stadium in London, celebrating the life of Freddy Mercury.  

TOP MOVIES


2002:  The Scorpion King - WWF's The Rock stepped out of the wrestling ring and launched his film career with this prequel to the 90s editions of  The Mummy.  On a budget of $60 million, The Scorpion King beat out The Matrix to take the number one spot at the box office during the first week of April.  While dropping over 50% in its second week, the film remained number one while eventually bringing in $180 million worldwide and launching the career of one of Hollywood's biggest stars.


1997:  Liar, Liar - Jim Carrey stars as an attorney who has built his entire career on successfully lying but finds himself cursed to speak only the truth for a single day.  During this day, he struggles to maintain his employment and reconcile with his wife and son, whom he alienated with his pathological lying.  The second in a series of three collaborations between Carrey and director Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura and Bruce Almighty), Liar Liar was released to critical and commercial success, grossing over $302 million on a $45 million budget.  


1992:  Basic Instinct - This erotic crime thriller stars Michael Douglas as San Francisco police detective Nick Curran, investigating the brutal murder of a wealthy rock star.  During the investigation, Curran becomes involved in an intense relationship with the prime suspect, Catherin Trammell (Sharon Stone).  Despite negative reviews and public protests of the overtly sexual nature of the film, Basic Instinct was a smashing success, grossing $352 million, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 1992 behind Disney's Aladdin, The Bodyguard, and Home Alone 2.  This film is infamous for a leg-crossing interrogation scene, especially among teenage boys of the 90s.


TOP SONGS

2002:  "Ain't it Funny" by J-Lo, featuring JaRule


1997:  "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" by Puff Daddy featuring Mase


1992:  "Save the Best For Last" by Vanessa Williams



TOP TV SHOWS

2002:  The top show for this month was CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, with over 22 million viewers per episode.  Notably, on April 29, the children's show Blues Clues debuted a new host, Donovan, who replaced the long-time original host, Steve.  On April 17, General Hospital aired its 10,000th episode.

1997:  NBC had the top 4 of 5 shows this month with E.R., Seinfeld, Friends, and Fired Up.  E.R. was the most often watched, aside from the last week of April, with an average of 34.5 million viewers.  Fired Up was a short-lived sitcom starring Sharon Lawrence and Leah Remini that had early success based on its Seinfeld lead-in.  On April 30, the ABC sitcom Ellen became the most-watched show of the month, with over 36 million Americans watching as Ellen Degeneres came out of the closet in prime time.

1992:  The most-watched program in April was Roseanne, which averaged 31 million viewers.  A personal favorite program, TBS' Saturday evening wrestling program World Championship Wrestling is renamed WCW Saturday Night on April 4.  On April 30, The Cosby Show airs its series finale on NBC.

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