Happy Birthday, EW!

27 Feb

In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, which hit newsstands and my mailbox yesterday, Managing Editor Jess Cagle notes in his editor’s letter that the magazine celebrated its 20th birthday this month.

It’s a significant milestone, and even though my only connection to the magazine is as a reader, I still feel like celebrating.

In fact, I’ve been an EW reader since that very first issue in February 1990, and have read every single issue mostly cover-to-cover (all 1,092 of them).

During these 20 years, I’ve spent some summers away from home, and I changed my address or bought duplicate copies during those times so I could stay in the loop and wouldn’t miss anything. At one point, about 10 years ago, when I was in my hoarding days, I had actually saved every issue of the magazine, and the day my parents asked me to get rid of them (i.e.: to throw them out) because they were selling their house and couldn’t lift the heavy boxes, was a real bummer.

I do, however, still own issue No. 1, with k.d. lang and Nena Cherry on the cover, and a few others I just couldn’t part with.

Reading the issue on a Monday was one of my favorite parts of commuting to work, so now that I don’t have a commute during which I can read, I’ve made it a bit of a habit to spend my Saturday lunches sitting at Finagle a Bagel reading the latest issue.

In short, I’m a bit of an obsessive fan when it comes to Entertainment Weekly.

In the summer of 1996, shortly after my graduation from college, I actually had an interview for a job at EW. To say I was excited is an understatement, and unfortunately, I let that get the better of me. (Perhaps the fact that I didn’t watch ER or The X-Files, the mag’s obsessions at the time, also did me in. It’d be like if I interviewed now and didn’t know what Twilight is.)

From time to time, I wonder about the ways my life would be different if I had gotten that job. I’d likely be living in New York now, and perhaps I’d even be an editor there (or at some other magazine). Maybe I wouldn’t like the magazine as much if had to work there, and was reading it as a job instead of a hobby.

Who really knows.

One thing is for sure: My life would probably be less fun if EW had never come along. Sure, I’d probably find some other way to channel my entertainment passions, and I’d never know what I was missing. But EW makes being a fan of entertainment more enjoyable, and for that I say thank you to all the writers, editors, photographers, and designers who have worked for the magazine all these years.

Congrats on this exciting milestone.

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