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 Harris’ lively 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.