On Nov. 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding through Dallas’ Dealey Plaza as his wife, Jacqueline, sat by his side. The country has been trying to piece together exactly what happened, and mourn the event, ever since.
The assassination had a big impact not just on the country, but on authors, filmmakers and writers who have been inspired by the tragedy to make art (and, yes, some of it humorous) based on the event and the repercussions it had for Americans. Below, we list a sampling of some of our favorite Kennedy-related pop culture references:
“JFK”: Oliver Stone’s 1991 take on what really happened starring Kevin Costner as a dogged New Orleans district attorney who uncovers a multi-layered conspiracy to kill the president.
“JFK: Reckless Youth”: How could we possibly refuse a young (“Can’t Buy Me Love” era) Patrick Dempsey as a young John F. Kennedy?
“The Kennedys”: Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes star as Jack and Jackie in a historically inaccurate retelling that was dumped by The History Channel, which had originally commissioned the miniseries. ReelzChannel picked it up and you can see some choice moments on YouTube.
“Slacker”: Okay, so the 1991 Richard Linklater movie isn’t about Kennedy, per se, but there is this great scene in which one character describes his Kennedy assassination theory book, “Conspiracy a-Go-Go.”
Mayor Quimby (“The Simpsons”): Errr-ahhh, the womanizing mayor of Springfield is likely a composite of John, Bobby and Edward Kennedy. His wife wears a Jackie O. inspired pillbox hat and he is possessed of the distinct Kennedy accent.
“Seinfeld’s” second spitter: Did New York Met Keith Hernandez actually spit on Kramer (Michael Richards) and Newman (Wayne Knight) or was there a second spitter? P.S. Knight played a supporting role in Stone’s “JFK.”
Martin Sheen as “JFK” as recalled in “The Goonies”: Sheen played Kennedy in a 1983 TV miniseries. Flash forward to “The Goonies”: Mouth, when he’s holding up coins in the wishing well, goes, “George Washington, Abraham Lincoln… uh, Martin Sheen.” and then Stef goes, “Martin Sheen?! That’s President Kennedy, you idiot.”
“Quantum Leap”: In the episode “Lee Harvey Oswald” Sam (Scott Bakula) leaps into, umm, Lee Harvey Oswald. The upshot? Apparently Sam saved Jackie from being fatally shot that day, too. (Interesting sidenote: According to IMDB, Lee Harvey was played by “Sex and the City’s” Willie Garson.)