Lehigh Valley Pop Culture Connections (From Star Trek to Hey Dude to xkcd)
January 29th, 2014 posted by Jason Stershic
Lehigh Valley is connected to many many people, places and things. Steel from our area has held up the Golden Gate and George Washington Bridges, Alcatraz, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center and the Hoover and Grand Coulee Dams. Players from our high schools have excelled in many sports and there’s just as many business success stories that can be traced back to our area and three Lehigh Valley natives have become Governors in other states. But I’m not here to talk about them, I want to focus on different connections.
- The Nickelodeon show Hey Dude has a Lehigh Valley connection that also includes a few credits on Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
- The Enterprise can boldly go where no man has gone before, but it also has a Lehigh Valley connection.
- The Devil Wears Prada has a Lehigh Valley connection.
- Cartoon Networks Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies, The Venture Bros and Chowder, G4TV’s Code Monkeys and Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans all have the same Lehigh Valley connection.
- Adult Swim has another Lehigh Valley connection with Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
- Web comic xkcd has been widely recognized and nominated for many awards and has been translated into a number of languages, but this too has a Lehigh Valley connection.
Who they are:
- Christine Taylor, born in Allentown, grew up in Wescosville and attended Allentown Central Catholic High School, starred in Hey Dude as Melody Hanson. She was also in The Brady Bunch Movieand it’s sequel. If you’re unfamiliar with her professional career you may know who she is married to: Ben stiller.
- Commander William T. Riker, played by actor Jonathan Frakes was born in Bellefonte, Pa, but grew up and and when to high school in Bethlehem, he graduated from Liberty High School. Incidentally, those of you Lehigh University Alumni, might have run into his father, James R. Frakes, who was a professor of English literature there. Jonathan was not limited to the Enterprise, he also made appearances on The Waltons, Eight is Enough, The Dukes of Hazzard, Matlock and Hill street Blues.
- Lauren Weisberger, the author of The Devil Wears Prada, may have been born in Scranton, but she graduated from Parkland High School. If you haven’t read the book, you’re probably familiar with the film adaptation starring Maryl Street and Anne Hathaway. Also, you may be interested to know that last year, Weisberger released the sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, titled Revenge Wears Prada.
- Dana Snyder, was born in Allentown, though he did not grow up here. He is the voice of Master Shake on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Gazpacho on Chowder he is Todd and Benny on Code Monkeys and has lent his voice to a plethora of other characters and shows.
- Tim Heidecker was also born in Allentown, but he stuck around to attend Allentown Central Catholic. Heidecker has teamed up with Eric Wareheim to create Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
- Randall Munroe is the creator of webcomic xkcd and he was born in Easton. He didn’t start out in comics, fresh out of college he worked as a roboticist for NASA and to top that, the main-belt asteroid (4942 Munroe) was named after him
Some you may have known, some you may not, but there are plenty of Lehigh Valley connections and ties in all walks of life.