Here Are At Least 7 Pop Culture References to Kalamazoo
People often say that they're surprised that Kalamazoo is a real place. But, honestly, it shouldn't be a surprise. As it turns out, there are a ton of pop culture references from songs, tv shows, and even books all of which mention Kalamazoo.
A recent Reddit post from u/King_of_Uranus (gotta hand it to Reddit) asked,
What's your favorite pop culture references to Kalamazoo? From music and books to movies or TV shows and everything in between, what have been your favorite surprise mentions of your hometown?
With over 40 answers, I did my best to track down a few of them. So, here are at least 7 pop culture references to Kalamazoo:
1. Gotta Get Away by The Black Keys
From their album, Turn Blue, The Black Keys has a song called Gotta Get Away. Within the first minute of the song, you can hear them sing, "I went from San Berdoo to Kalamazoo, Just to get away from you, I searched far and wide, hopin' I was wrong, But baby all the good women are gone." Listen to the full song below:
2. Horton Hatches an Egg by Dr. Seuss
The book, Horton Hatches an Egg by Dr. Seuss, tells the story of Horton, a kind elephant who decides to sit on an egg in a nest in a tree as a favor to a bird that needed a break. But, the bird never comes back and things start to go wrong for Horton. He's eventually discovered by hunters who decide to take him back to America to show off the elephant sitting in a tree. One section of the book reads,
Sold to a circus! Then week after week, They showed him to people at ten cents a peek. They took him to Boston, to Kalamazoo, Chicago, Weehawken, and Washington too.
There's a read-aloud of the entire book on Youtube. See it below:
3. Continental Divide (1981)
This one was suggested by u/lance4re who wrote, "The downtown train station is in the movie Continental Divide, and Ron White mentions the rib fest because he had to get "coopens." Now, I tried my hardest to find this scene but it proved impossible since it's from 1981. However, IMDB does list Kalamazoo as a filming location for this movie. See the trailer below:
4. Home Improvement Season 5 Episode 10
Since Tim Allen is a Michigander, it should be no surprise that Michigan and the Kalamazoo area are often mentioned or hinted at. Tim Taylor is often seen wearing WMU sweatshirts and there was an entire episode revolving around the fact that he was receiving an honorary doctorate from Western Michigan University. Check out a clip below:
6. Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny
If you haven't seen this movie, I would definitely recommend watching it at least once. Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny follows two wanna-be rockers who decide to steal a legendary guitar pick that, apparently, gives those who use it guitar skills. It's silly. It's hilarious. It's Jack Black, for crying out loud. How could you hate it? But, in a scene where Black's character is dreaming, Kyle Glass comes on stage wearing a shirt that clearly says Kalamazoo, Michigan:
7. I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo - Glenn Miller
Perhaps the most well-known reference to Kalamazoo is the song I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo by Glenn Miller. Originally recorded in 1942, this is a song that people always ask me about when they've learned I've recently moved to Kalamazoo:
That's just a few of the many references listed in the comments of the above-mentioned Reddit post. See them all here.
As you're getting ready for the holidays (or maybe you just want to watch a holiday film) make sure you check out these 5 that were set in Michigan: