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A History Of How We Get Pop Culture

Now that we have the Internet at our disposal, it's pretty easy to keep up with pop culture. But staying informed about our favorite celebrities used to mean we had to read and watch TV. Check out the sources we previously relied on to satisfy our fixes for culture, and then head over to the new E! Online so you never miss a beat again.

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"American Bandstand" (1952)

Andy Farnsworth / CC BY-ND http://2.0 / Flickr: farnsie

"American Bandstand" was one of the first performance-based television shows in America. It featured teenagers dancing to famous musicians performing various Top 40 songs.

"The Tonight Show" (1962)

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"The Tonight Show" allowed celebrities to come on and talk about themselves and their personal lives without ever giving up control of the conversation. They never had to reveal more than they wanted to, and the chit chat was meant to enhance the celeb's likability amongst the show's viewers.

"Tiger Beat" (1965)

ryan.dowd / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: rdowd

"Tiger Beat" was launched with the goal of giving readers (namely teenage girls) the latest gossip about musicians, movie stars, cultural idols and fashion. But let's face it, everybody wanted to read about Sonny and Cher.

"Rolling Stone" (1967)

Bobbi Bowers / CC BY-ND http://2.0 / Flickr: b_2

"Rolling Stone" started out as a medium devoted to music, politics, and pop culture. In the 70s, it steered more towards politics, but in the 90s it changed its focus to television, movies and music to attract younger readers. Today, it is known for printing controversial articles about the American military and the collapse of the financial system.

"New York Magazine" (1968)

dennis crowley / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: dpstyles

"New York Magazine" has come a long way from just focusing on the ins and outs of New York City. It was the way we connected with icons like Gloria Steinem, Tom Wolfe, Nora Ephron, Kurt Andersen, John Heilemann and Jimmy Breslin. Today, in addition to its national coverage, it's famous for its outstanding Approval Matrix.

"People Magazine" (1974)

jon rubin / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: jonrubin

Richard B. Stolley created "People" because he wanted to focus on the individuals "who are causing the news and who are caught up in it, or deserve to be in it." Today, we know it for its extensive and revealing profiles of celebrities and their personal lives, and for definitively answering the question of who the sexiest man of the year is.

"Saturday Night Live" (1974)

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Just this past may, "SNL" became one of the longest-running television programs in United States history. Though the actors constantly change, the show has (thankfully) remained dedicated to mocking the country.

"Us Magazine" (1977)

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"Us Magazine" is strictly concerned with celebrities, their beauty regimens, their relationships and their fashion choices - all essential and relevant information, of course.

"MTV" (1981)

Alberto Garcia / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: bertogg

MTV's original goal was to have VJs (or video jockeys) play music videos. The network became the best place for artists to showcase their new work, and for fans to stay on top of any new developments in the music industry. Since then though, MTV has shifted and is now more concerned with reality television and its own scripted shows.

E! (1990)

E! started out as a cable network that focused on music, film, television, gossip, and fashion. It later launched E! Online, so the pop culture-obsessed could get live updates about their favorite Hollywood stars. But recently, they completely revamped the site so that we can always be in the know about what the people who have it all are doing.