2014: A Year in Pop Culture

"Get Lucky" at the Grammys

Daft Punk reunited with “Get Lucky” collaborators Pharrell and Nile Rodgers and recruited Stevie Wonder to produce an epic Grammy moment. (Photo property of The Recording Academy & CBS)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

We are in the final weeks of 2014!

As we get closer to both Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Jake’s Take is remembering some of this year’s biggest pop culture stories.

Daft Punk “Gets Lucky” at the Grammy Awards

The French electronic music duo kicks off our 2014 retrospective as they cleaned up at this year’s Grammy Awards for their fourth studio album: Random Access Memories. After winning Album of the Year, Best Dance/Electronica Album and Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical), the duo reunited with  “Get Lucky” collaborators Pharrell and Nile Rodgers, plus recruited music legend Stevie Wonder to perform their Record of the Year-winning song at the award show. The performance got all of the attending artists at the Staples Center on their feet!

Jimmy Fallon’s $100 “Tonight Show” Bet

When Jimmy Fallon made his hosting debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he was awarded a dozen $100 bills from celebrities who “lost a bet” with the newly minted host. Audience members screamed as Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Joe Namath, Rudy Giuliani, Mariah Carey, Joan Rivers (her first appearance on the show in 30 years), Mike Tyson, Lindsey Lohan and Lady Gaga each came out of the curtain to deliver their end of the bet. However, the most hysterical moment of the sketch was when future Late Show host Stephen Colbert delivered a bucket full of pennies and poured them onto his future competitor. Before leaving, he uttered the infamous phrase: “Welcome to 11:30, Bitch!”

 

The "Once Upon A Time" family welcomed "Frozen" Princesses Elsa and Anna to the ABC drama earlier this year. (Photo property of ABC)

The “Once Upon A Time” family welcomed “Frozen” Princesses Elsa and Anna to the ABC drama earlier this year. (Photo property of ABC)

“Frozen” mania takes hold of the world

It has been over a year since Disney’s Frozen made its impact on the global box office! It’s theme song, “Let It Go,” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song earlier in February. The song exploded on YouTube as numerous performers including Alex Boye & The One Voice’s Children Choir, Collabro, Kat Perkins, Lauren Platt, Majesty Rose and Pentatonix delivered their own memorable renditions of the Disney hit! Even Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and the nasty Hans showed up on the first half of Once Upon A Time’s fourth season.

Batman celebrates his 75th Birthday

The Caped Crusader celebrated a huge milestone this year! Batman’s 75th birthday highlights included the first teaser trailer for 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and the premiere of the highly successful TV series: Gotham. In the comics, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo wrapped up their massive “Zero Year” story arc and brought back the Clown Prince of Crime to haunt his archrival in the pages of Batman. Meanwhile, old foes such as Hush, Carmine Falcone and Deacon Blackfire made their presence known in Batman: Eternal. Plus, Lego’s version of the Caped Crusader played a central role in The Lego Movie and starred in the third chapter of LEGO Batman video game: Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.

 

All past and present "The View" co-hosts pose together on Barbara Walters' second-to-last episode of "The View." (Photo property of ABC's Lou Rocco)

During Barbara Walters’ final week on “The View,” all past and present co-hosts posed together as they did one final round of “Hot Topics” as a group.  (Photo property of ABC’s Lou Rocco)

Barbara Walters’s retirement

Earlier this year, one of the greatest reporters of all-time retired! For six decades, Barbara Walters asked the questions everyone wanted to know. She has interviewed controversial world leaders, beloved (and hated) celebrities, music icons and “fascinating” people. In addition, she helped launched several programs including 20/20 and The View. For Ms. Walters’s final appearances on the show, all of the past and present co-hosts gathered for one final round of Hot Topics and several of the biggest names in media gathered to paid tribute to the woman who broke every boundary in news.

Changing “Views”

Just as Barbara rode into the sunset, “The Times Were A Changin’” at the House That She Built! Both Jenny McCartney and Sherri Shepherd left to start new chapters in their careers, leaving Whoopi Goldberg as the remaining co-host from the 2013-14 season. The ABC Powers-That-Be brought Rosie O’ Donnell back to the show and welcomed Nicolle Wallace and Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez into their ranks. Since the show returned to air, many tabloids reported about potential bickering several co-hosts and multiple show sources have denied the claims.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” rules the Box Office!

When Guardians of the Galaxy was first announced as a movie, many people stated: “Who the Hell are the Guardians of the Galaxy?” The Guardians of the Galaxy went from an unknown superhero group to superhero rockstars thanks to the blockbuster starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper. The film earned $771.5 million worldwide and fans were ecstatic to learn that the sequel will come to screens on May 5, 2017!

 

It is hard to believe that we lost both Robin Williams and Joan Rivers this year! (Photo property of FilmMagic's Bruce Glikas)

It is hard to believe that we lost both Robin Williams and Joan Rivers this year! (Photo property of FilmMagic’s Bruce Glikas)

RIP Robin Williams & Joan Rivers

Tragically, the world lost two of the greatest entertainers of all-time! The world was shocked to hear that Robin Williams committed suicide on August 11. We will miss hearing him sing “Friend Like Me” as Aladdin’s Genie, laughing at the hysterics of Mrs. Doubtfire and Flubber and cheer as he faced danger as Peter Pan in Hook and in Jumanji. Three weeks later, Joan Rivers died from cardiac arrest! This woman changed the comedy world as blazed a trail with her controversial jokes, witty books and iconic TV shows that included Fashion Police, Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best, The Celebrity Apprentice, the revolution of Red Carpet shows and her Emmy-winning talk show!

Bill Cosby’s Fall from Grace

While Robin and Joan are currently headlining in heaven, another comedy legend came under fire for his past actions. Dr. Bill Cosby, who has won four Emmys, nine Grammys and a Kennedy Center Honor, is currently facing rape allegations from 26 different women. Among some of the women that accused him include legendary supermodel Janice Dickinson, former Playboy playmates Victoria Valentino and Sarita Butterfield, actress Michelle Hurd and more. While these allegations have destroyed Mr. Cosby’s legacy, many celebrities including Debbie Allen, Raven Symone and Whoopi Goldberg have questioned these allegations. Who is right? Hopefully, we learn the truth soon enough!

Ebola: A Tale of Two TV Doctors

Another huge news story that everyone talking this year was when Ebola had arrived on American soil. Two of the most recognizable names in television medicine: ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser and NBC News’ Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman traveled to Africa to learn more about the disease and took viewers inside the overcrowded hospitals. While Dr. Besser was praised for his work, Dr. Nancy Snyderman made headlines when she violated quarantine by going to get takeout at her favorite restaurant.

Taylor Swift’s “1989” rocks the music world!

Taylor Swift became a strong candidate to challenge Madonna, Janet, Whitney, Britney and Beyoncé as the next Queen of Pop! As her Red Tour ended earlier this year, Ms. Swift announced her latest studio album, 1989, was a huge departure from her country roots. With the help of Max Martin, Shellback, Ryan Tedder, Jack Antonoff and Greg Kurstin, the synthpop album peaked at number one in 12 countries and spawned three singles: “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space” and “Out of the Woods.” She has also taken the TV world by storm by appearing on Ellen, The View and Good Morning America, plus was The Voice: Season Seven’s Knockout Round advisor for all four teams. Currently, she is nominated for three Grammys for “Shake It Off.”

 

Kansas City Royals celebrate

The Kansas City Royals celebrate their entrance to the 2014 World Series! (Photo property of Getty images)

The Comeback Kids of Kansas City

For YEARS, the Kansas City Royals were the laughing stock of the Major League Baseball! However, all that changed…when the Royals found themselves challenging both the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to the American League Wild Card Game and American League Division Series respectively! After defeating both teams, Kansas City erupted with joy as the Royals made their first World Series since 1985! While the Royals lost a hard-fought battle to the San Francisco Giants, the team received a lot of love from their loyal fanbase…who is expecting another World Series appearance next year.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar