It is perhaps tribute to Lady Gaga’s sprawling, spot-the-references “Telephone” video that, even after we published a fairly comprehensive Pop-Culture Cheat Sheet on Friday, there was still enough ephemera left over for a second piece.
Seems there was plenty we missed in our first go-round, so we’re back for round two, with special note of thanks to the intrepid readers who pointed out many of the following to us. Without further ado, here’s our Pop-Culture Cheat Sheet, Part II. Once again alphabetized and cross-referenced for your perusal.
Blue, Alektra: American porn star. A former Penthouse Pet of the Month with credits to her name like “Housewives Hunting Housewives” and “Tease Before the Please 2,” Blue shows up as a leather-clad inmate welcoming Gaga to lockup with a suggestive roll of her eyes.
“Chicago”: Musical based on a sensational 1924 murder trial. The play’s “Cell Block Tango” number (and its “Six Merry Murderesses of the Cook County Jail”) are nodded to in the “Telephone” prison dance sequence.
“Command & Conquer”: Long-standing video game series with both real-time strategy and first-person shooter iterations. One of three fictional ingredients in Gaga’s Cook ’N’ Kill lunch special is a cup of Tiberium, a valuable yet toxic resource within the series’ gameplay.
Dalí, Salvador: Surrealist painter, sculptor, iconoclast. While much of the aesthetic of “Telephone” owes a debt to the bizarre and conformity-busting imagery of surrealism, the appearance and use of a French baguette during the cooking scene is a witty nod to Dalí’s 1933 sculpture, “Retrospective Bust of a Woman.”
“Dune”: David Lynch’s 1984 sci-fi tripfest. In her recipe for diner disaster Gaga needs only half an ounce of meta-cyanide, a nasty poison made famous in Lynch’s film based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel.
GO SM Anarchy: We still have no idea what this means, but those are the words on the back of Gaga’s leather jacket in the prison sequence. Any clue, readers?
Honey Bun: Delicious glazed breakfast pastry tossed from the “P—y Wagon” by Beyoncé. Perhaps also a nod to Amanda Plummer’s character in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.”
Manson, Marilyn: Terrifying shock rocker. When Gaga is reclining in her jail cell, wrapped only in police tape, she bears an uncanny resemblance to Manson, circa his glammy, asexual Mechanical Animals period.
McQueen, Alexander: Late, great fashion designer. The date on the prison security cameras (February 11, 2010) is the same date McQueen’s body was discovered in his London home. Gaga famously wore a pair of his space-aged heels in her “Bad Romance” video, and following his death, tweeted a photo of the two embracing.
“NCIS”: Short for Naval Criminal Investigative Service, one of approximately 143 crime procedurals currently airing on CBS. The outside of the diner in “Telephone” is the same one at which Jenny Shepard (Lauren Holly) was killed in season five.
“One Piece”: Long-running Japanese manga and cartoon about a teenage pirate who has supernatural powers. We can’t tell you what the animated graphic reference to “One Piece” has to do with Gaga’s video … but it’s there, right after Tyrese pats a diner’s rump. So, now you know!
“Paparazzi”: The first part of Gaga’s presumed video trilogy (“Telephone” is part two). There are several references to the “Paparazzi” video in “Telephone,” including the pair of flip-up sunglasses Beyoncé wears, the whole poison subplot, and the fact that the ring Gaga is wearing on her left hand when she takes B’s phone call in prison seems to be modeled on the “mouse-ears” print dress she wears at the end of “Paparazzi.” Jonas Åkerlund also directed both videos.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: Hugely influential 1967 album by the Beatles. During the motel-room sequences in “Telephone,” Beyoncé is wearing an outfit that looks very much like the ones the band wears on the cover of the album, albeit updated for the 21st century.
“Star Wars”: George Lucas’ colossal sci-fi opera. Gaga takes a tip from bounty hunters like Boba Fett when she mixes a bit of Fex-M3 nerve toxin into her mass-murdering feast.
Swedish: During the WNS newscast following the duo’s diner massacre, the lyrics to “Telephone” are seen translated into the Scandinavian tongue on the crawl at the bottom of the screen. Perhaps a nod to Åkerlund’s heritage.
Trcka, Jayne: Bodybuilder and actress. Until Trcka got the call to escort Gaga into jail, she was best known as the panty-sniffing, genital-revealing Miss Mann in the Wayans brothers’ “Scary Movie.”
Warhol, Andy: Pop-art trailblazer. From Campbell’s soup cans to bottles of Coca-Cola, Warhol was famous for tweaking imagery of iconic American brands — a tactic Gaga appropriates with her Wonder Bread-based banquet.
“Wizard of Oz, The”: Fantastical 1939 film starring Judy Garland as Dorothy. As Gaga and Beyoncé drive off into the unknown, Gaga turns to her fellow fugitive and says, “Let’s go far, far away from here” — echoing Dorothy’s pre-“Over the Rainbow” musing about a land where there is no trouble.
Are we still missing something? Let us know in the comments below!