The Rocky Horror Picture Show gets tagged as a “cult” movie whenever it’s mentioned. After 45 years, though, it might be time to retire that adjective when talking about Richard O’Brien’s science-fiction rock ‘n’ roll parody turned ultimate midnight movie. While it may not be everyone’s cup of fishnets, when Fox broadcasts a remake in prime time and programs from The Simpsons to Sesame Street have dropped allusions to Brad (“Asshole!”) and Janet’s (“Slut!”) salacious sleepover at Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s castle, it’s safe to say that Rocky has officially gone mainstream.
If you still haven’t popped your cherry (“Virgin!”), be sure to grab your fishnets, tighty-whities, or six-inch high heels, and celebrate 45 years of absolute pleasure by checking out these 10 times The Rocky Horror Picture Show totally crashed pop culture.
Recently late director Alan Parker tapped into a lot of truths about teenagers in his 1980 musical drama about students at a New York City performing arts high school. One of those happened to be the value in taking a break from the pressures of the real world now and again by letting down one’s hair and pulling up one’s fishnets. Less than five years into the famous midnight movie’s never-ending run, Parker’s character Doris learns that she can be it and not just dream it by hopping on stage with a Rocky shadow cast. It’s one of the earlier examples of a Rocky reference in a movie, with members of the audience participating much as they still do today. The White Castle joke hasn’t gotten any better either.
Sesame Street (1989)
Almost all of those involved in bringing The Rocky Horror Picture Show to life on film have a special place in their heart for the movie. So, while it might be surprising to see a sketch based on the movie pop up in a children’s show — even one as hip as classic Sesame Street — it’s not at all shocking that Susan Sarandon was willing to revisit her early days of running around on screen half-naked. And while Count von Count may not exactly be Brad Majors, we find out in this skit that he sure can be an asshole.
The Drew Carey Show (1997)
In its nine seasons on the air, The Drew Carey Show made no secret that its pot-bellied, spectacled, buzz-cut star loved any excuse to break into a song and dance number. During Season Two, Drew convinces the gang to blow off steam after a disasterous trip to New York City (where they bumped into Donald Trump and Carol Channing … and Trump actually turned out to be the kinder of the two) by going out to a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. To their dismay, Rocky has been replaced by The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, with archenemy Mimi and boss Mr. Wick (Craig Ferguson) attending in full costume. A dance-off ensues, and we can only hope “The Time Warp” can pelvic thrust Priscilla right back to the desert.
That ’70s Show (2000)
We may not know exactly where our favorite foreign exchange student, Fez, comes from, but we do know where he spends his weekends. Donning his Frank costume in this third season series of Halloween spoofs — and having the legs to pull it off nicely — Fez would’ve been among the first generation of Rocky fanatics. Given Kelso’s reaction and Forman’s oddly erotic feelings towards his foreign friend in fishnets, the gang might have to devote some time in the pot circle to Fez’s take on Frank.
Gilmore Girls (2001-2002)
As a connoisseur of everything pop culture, it’s no shock that Gilmore mom Lorelai drops a Rocky reference in back-to-back episodes. However, it’s a bit of a stretch to believe that Luke will actually acquiesce by losing the backwards hat and donning a corset. Oy with the poodles already!
Click ahead for more Rocky references…