Pop Culture Madness!
Pop Culture Madness!

2008 Trivia, Facts & History

<< - 2007

2008 History Snapshot

  • Politics: During a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at then-president George W. Bush.
  • Politics/Sports: For the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese government announced that people could apply for permits to protest in designate areas. None of the permits were granted, and many of those who applied disappeared or were arrested.
  • The Top Song was Low by Flo Rida with T-Pain
  • The Big Movies included The Dark Knight, Iron Man and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Price of a gallon of gas in 2008: $3.32
    Chevrolet Trailblazer: $25,705.00
  • Minimum Wage in 2008: $6.55
    *some states higher
    Price of a movie ticket: $7.00
    Price of an X-Box game: $49.99
  • The World Population was ~ 6,700,000,000
  • In 1987, Steve Rothstein bought a lifetime unlimited first class American Airlines AAirpass for $250,000, plus a companion ticket for $150,000 more. He flew over 10,000 flights costing the company $21,000,000. They terminated his ticket in 2008.
  • And... a 4chan user made a prank about how Steve Jobs "died of a heart attack", after the prank went around social media, Apple's stock dropped around $5,000,000,000 because of the joke.
2008 Books

World Series Champions

Philadelphia Phillies

Superbowl Champions

New York Giants

NBA Champions

Boston Celtics

Stanley Cup Champs

Detroit Red Wings

U.S. Open Golf

Tiger Woods

U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies)

Roger Federer/Serena Williams

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Rafael Nadal/Venus Williams

NCAA Football Champions


NCAA Basketball Champions


Kentucky Derby

Big Brown

FIFA World Cup (Soccer)


Sex Symbols and Fashion Icons

Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Michelle Geller, Christina Aguilera, Charlize Theron, Megan Fox, Jessica Biel, Beyonce, Marissa Miller, Eva Amy Adams, Christina Aguilera, Elizabeth Banks, Mischa Barton, Victoria Beckham, Julie Benz, Beyonce, Jessica Biel, Rachel Bilson, Jordana Brewster, Rose Byrne, Kari Byron, Emilia Clarke, Penélope Cruz, Elisha Cuthbert, Alexandra Daddario, Natalie Dormer, Hilary Duff, Shannon Elizabeth, Jenna Fischer, Megan Fox, Sarah Michelle Geller, Karen Gillan, Jessica Gomes, Maggie Grace, Amber Heard, Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Scarlett Johansson, January Jones, Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum, Avril Lavigne, Evangeline Lilly, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jaime King, Padma Lakshmi, Adriana Lima, Lindsay Lohan, Eva Longoria, Demi Lovato, Eva Mendes, Maria Menounos, Marissa Miller, Heidi Montag, Hayden Panettiere, Eva Longoria Parker, Rihanna, Amanda Seyfried, Shakira, Ashlee Simpson, Molly Sims, Britney Spears, Kristen Stewart, Yvonne Strahovski, Charlize Theron, Ashley Tisdale, Carrie Underwood, Sara Jean Underwood

Time Magazine's Person of the Year

Barack Obama

Miss America

Kirsten Haglund

Scandals, RIP and Odd News

There was a sushi-gate in 2008, where two students proved through DNA testing that many NY restaurants would switch the fish in their sushi from high-end (like white tuna) to low-end (like tilapia).

Shanon Matthews' disappearance in 2008 triggered the biggest manhunt in the UK for 30 years and TV appeals from her mother. She was found weeks later: her mother and an accomplice kept her drugged under a bed in order to claim reward money.

Dominic Owen Mallary always said he wanted Andrew W.K. to play during his funeral. So when he died in 2008 Andrew W.K. went to the wake, and played classical piano the entire time after paying his respects.

Since 2008, more than 44 BILLION dollars has been spent on gift cards that were then never used.

In 1988, actor Gary Busey was in a severe motorcycle accident. Busey, not wearing a helmet, was in a coma for 33 days. In 2008, a psychiatrist determined that the accident caused brain damage and that is why he is considered to have an eerie and bizarre persona.

Nebraska implemented a law to allow parents to drop off unwanted newborns at safe havens; the law didn't state an age limit, and nearly all the children abandoned were over ten years old.

Special care was taken while restoring Shakespeare's grave in 2008, to ensure that his bones remained untouched as the epitaph on his tombstone reads: "Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, and cursed be he that moves my bones."

A stage actor, Daniel Hoevels, slit his own throat onstage after his prop knife, for his suicide scene, was replaced with a real one. He survived.

A Brazilian priest, Father Adelir Antonio, as part of a fundraiser, strapped 1000 balloons to a lawn chair and sent himself up. Weeks later, he was found dead at sea, earning him a Darwin Award.

Walmart paid employees of "Walmart de Mexico" in company scrip vouchers usable only at Walmart stores until a court ruling in 2008.

In 2005 the Italian Prime Minister, Berlusconi, insulted Finnish cuisine and joked that Finns ate "marinated reindeer". In 2008, Finland won an international pizza contest, beating Italy. The name of the winning pizza was "Pizza Berlusconi" which was made of smoked reindeer.

In 1987, Steve Rothstein bought a lifetime unlimited first class American Airlines ticket for $250,000. He flew over 10,000 flights costing the company $21,000,000. They terminated his ticket in 2008.

According to a 2008 study published in the journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science, the most aggressive dog breeds are Dachshunds (wiener dogs), Chihuahuas, and Jack Russell Terriers; not the Pitbull, Rottweiler, or Doberman.

The United States was ranked the 18th most obese nation.

Polish composer André Tchaikowsky donated his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company in hopes that it would be used as a prop for the skull of Yorick. In 2008, the skull was used in a series of performances of Hamlet at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Every restaurant Gordon Ramsay visited in Season 2 (2008/9)of (US) Kitchen Nightmares closed.

In 2008 Louisiana became the last state to ban cockfighting.

SSHHHH! Kelloggs made their cereal boxes thinner in 2008 but kept the price the same so that buyers wouldn't perceive the smaller size box when viewed from the front.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, Comcast customers were billed for unreturned equipment that had been destroyed by the hurricane. Customers were charged as much as $1000 for failing to return modems, DVRs, and other equipment that had been lost or destroyed.

In 1957 journalist Drew Pearson claimed that John F. Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize winning book Profiles in Courage had been ghost-written by his speechwriter Ted Sorenson. JFK's father sued and ABC retracted the statement and apologized. In 2008 Sorensen admitted he wrote most of the book.

2008 Pop Culture News

In April 2008, Prince covered "Creep" at Coachella. This version was captured on a video and uploaded to Youtube. However, it was quickly taken down at Prince's request. After finding out about the blocking, Thom Yorke was quoted as saying: "Well, tell him to unblock it. It's our song."

2008's Tropical Storm Marco is the smallest tropical cyclone ever record; yielding a 18.5km wide core which became the smallest in recorded history.

Jessica Cox became the world's first licensed armless pilot in 2008.

An asteroid weighing ~80 metric tons expolded above the Nubien desert in 2008 with only 19 hours notice.

The NOAA no longer recommends crouching to avoid lightning, and as of 2008, instead recommends walking to safety.

The cost of the financial crises in 2008 cost $2,800,000,000,000 ( $2.8 tn ) to the worlds financial institutions.

During a world-wide hops (needed to make beer) shortage in 2008, Sam Adams brewing company sold craft brewers their hops at cost to keep them in business and has given over 3 million in loans to small breweries to spur competition.

For The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger designed the look for The Joker with makeup he got from a drug store.

Norway knighted a penguin this year. He is the mascot and Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian Royal Guard, and his full name is Sir Nils Olav II.

The highest score ever done in a video game was on a ROM of a cancelled Garfield game for the Atari 2600, by Tom Duncan on June 19 2008, the score was 23,418,862,404,272,676,864 points.

Lindsay Lohan tied with Lindsay Lohan for the worst actress Razzie award for both her roles in the movie I Know Who Killed Me.

George Eyser, an American gymnast with a wooden leg, won six medals, including three gold, in a single day at the 1904 Olympics. He was the only Olympian to have competed with a prosthetic limb for the next 100 years, until 2008.

Daniel Craig finished writing the Bond movie Quantum of Solace because of the 2008 Writers Strike.

Only one time in the 45 yr running of the Price is Right game show has a contestant "guessed" the exact value of prizes in the Showcase showdown and his name was Terry Kniess.

Kung-Fu Panda was so successful in China that it caused a national debate on why Westerners made a better film about Chinese culture than the Chinese themselves.

The 2008 Constitution of Ecuador recognized nature as an entity with legally enforceable rights, making it the first country in the world to do so.

Dr. Pepper had an ad campaign that promised every American, except Slash and Buckethead, a free can of Dr.Pepper if the Guns and Roses released their long awaited album, Chinese Democracy.

The year 2008 was declared the International Year of the Potato by tne UN.

When Barbra Walters interviewed Miley Cyrus in her home in 2008, the camera crew managed to clog all of Miley's toilets. Instead of getting angry, Miley and family later sent Barbra a golden toilet figurine reading "So you'll always remember the Cyrus family."

The last surviving Civil War widow, Maudie Hopkins, didn't pass away until 2008. She married an 86 year old veteran when she was only 19.

On 1st April, 2008 YouTube rickrolled its viewers by redirecting every featured front page video to the original song video, Never Gonna Give You Up.

Michael Jackson went casually to a club and people watch but was surprised when he heard the DJ play his songs and said "Wow, I didn't know that they still played my music".

Joel Waul set the Guinness World Record with a 9400 lb rubber band ball comprised of 700,000 rubber bands. It was purchased by Ripley's Believe It or Not in 2009.

The first literal music video uploaded - Take on Me

In 2008 Monty Python decided to start their own Youtube channel. They uploaded HQ videos of their sketches which in only a few days resulted in a 16,000% increase in DVD box set sales.

Lead singer and bassist of Rush, Geddy Lee, had one of the largest collections of Negro Baseball League memorabilia and formally donated it all to the Negro Baseball League museum in Kansas City, MO.

2008's wealthiest person, Warren Buffett still lived (lives) in a 5 bedroom house he bought for $31,500 in 1957.

Michael and Xochi Birch, the founders of Bebo, sold Bebo to AOL for $850 million in 2008 only to later buy it back for only $1 million in 2013.

For one day in 2008 there was an app in the App Store that cost $999.99 USD and did nothing. 8 people bought it.

A 4chan user made a prank about how Steve Jobs "died of a heart attack", after the prank went around social media, Apple's stock dropped around $5,000,000,000 because of the' joke'.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 2008: $2,700,000

Every resident of Alaska gets an annual "oil royalty check" - a payment representing their share of revenue from Alaskan oil. In 2008 the payout was $2,069, or $8,276 for a family of four.

The Picture

Bruce Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore and her new husband Ashton Kutcher went sailing and fishing together, and this oddly disturbing, unretouched photo is proof of the event!

The Habit

Reading The Appeal by John Grisham

2008's Most Popular Christmas Gifts

Wall-E toys, Elmo Live, Hasbro's U-Dance, Transformer Movie Action Figures, Air Hogs Havoc Heli Laser Battle, Kota Triceratops, Monopoly Here and Now, Ripstick Caster Board, Webkinz, Lego City, Lego Mindstorms NXT, Rubik's Revolution, Littlest Pet Shop

Video Games: Mario Kart Wii, Grand Theft Auto IV, Call of Duty: World at War

Popular Movies:

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Cloverfield, The Dark Knight, Dr. Suess' Horton Hears A Who, Gran Torino, Get Smart, Hancock, The Incredible Hulk, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Iron Man, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Mamma Mia!, Marley and Me, Quantum of Solace, Sex and the City, Slumdog Millionaire, Twilight, WALL-E, Wanted

The Big Movies

(according to boxofficemojo)
1. The Dark Knight
2. Iron Man
3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
4. Hancock
6. Kung Fu Panda
7. Twilight
8. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
9. Quantum of Solace
10. Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!

2008/09's Most Popular TV

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. American Idol (FOX)
2. Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
3. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)
5. The Mentalist (CBS)
6. Sunday Night Football (NBC)
7. Desperate Housewives (ABC)
8. Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
9. Criminal Minds (CBS)
10. Two and a Half Men (CBS)

Popular Music

The Biggest Pop Artists of 2008 include
AC/DC, Adele, Alicia Keyes, Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Jonas Brothers, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Mariah Carey, Metallica, Pink, Rihanna, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, T.I.,

(Data is complied from various charts including: Billboard's Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 2008

December 1, 2007 - January 4, 2008: Alicia Keys - No One

January 5, 2008 - March 14, 2008: Flo Rida featuring T-Pain - Low

March 15, 2008 - April 4, 2008: Usher featuring Young Jeezy - Love in This Club

April 5, 2008 - April 11, 2008: Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love

April 12, 2008 - May 2, 2008: Mariah Carey - Touch My Body

May 3, 2008 - May 23, 2008: Lil Wayne featuring Static Major - Lollipop

May 24, 2008 - June 27, 2008: Rihanna - Take a Bow

June 28, 2008 - July 4, 2008: Coldplay - Viva la Vida

July 5, 2008 - August 22, 2008: Katy Perry - I Kissed a Girl

August 23, 2008 - September 5, 2008: Rihanna - Disturbia

September 6, 2008 - September 26, 2008: T.I. - Whatever You Like

September 27, 2008 - October 17, 2008: Pink - So What

October 18, 2008 - October 24, 2008: T.I. featuring Rihanna - Live Your Life

October 25, 2008 - December 12, 2008: Britney Spears - Womanizer

December 13, 2008 - January 16, 2009: Beyoncé - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)

More Pop Culture Resources

Popular Music in 2008
# 1 Hits of 2008
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