Mark Harris Looks Back at 25 Years of Entertainment Weekly

Had he known about the future powers of the Internet, writes Harris, he wouldn't have quite so avidly defended Cop Rock.

At the launch party for the first issue of EW (pictured), Regis Philbin took one look at a blow-up of the K.D. Lang cover and asked, “Who’s he?” It was a time when the magazine, via its first and only public slogan, urged readers to – ‘Kick back. Chill out. Hang loose. Have fun.’

These details and many more are part of EW vet Mark Harrislively look at the history of a magazine celebrating its 25th year. There’s also this anecdote, in the reader comments, from a lifelong reader:

chardyluv82: Anyway long story long, I read EW pretty much ever week through my formative years, I regurgitated back every interesting bit of trivia I read. I gave a speech in class about Edgar Allen Poe and how next up for him was that Michael Jackson was in talks to play him in a movie. My teacher didn’t believe me and I brought in my copy of EW, and in my head I was like, “In your face!!!!”

Harris touches on “Faces of AIDS,” an annual feature launched by EW in 1991, as well as a special LGBT-themed issue published in 1995. He ends with a look at “the minnow that ate the whale,” a.k.a. the Internet.

P.S. Later this month, Entertainment Weekly is hosting a special one-day EW Fest in New York to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Featured interview guests include Tina Fey, Chris Carter and Aziz Ansari.