15 Best Boozy Pop Culture Moments of 2016
It’s fair to say that 2016 wasn’t the most stellar year on record. The general consensus felt by the world was that this year was a rough one. But it wasn’t all bad—there were plenty of fun moments that made us appreciate life in 2016, and it just so happens that all of those moments involved alcohol. Here, a look back on the 15 best booze-fueled pop culture moments of 2016.
People Flood to Bars for Pokémon GO
This past summer was the summer of Pokémon GO. It took over nearly every facet of our lives, including where we went to get our drink on. Many bars were inadvertently made “Pokéstops, which attracted more Pokémon and therefore players, inspiring bar owners to capitalize on the trend by buying “lures” in the game that would spawn more Pokémon on the premises. Bars also offered specials for trainers and participated in Pokémon bar crawls. One pub in Wales even changed their name to the Pokémon Arms—which, thankfully, was not permanent.
Bill Murray Bartends and Takes a Champagne Shower
Beloved actor Bill Murray celebrated 2016 in true Bill Murray fashion: with lots of alcohol. First, he christened the opening of his son’s new bar in Brooklyn, 21 Greenpoint, by getting behind the bar to pour shots for thirsty customers. Then later in the year, the Illinois native and lifelong Cubs fan celebrated the Cubs’ curse-breaking World Series win with a Champagne shower with the team in their locker room.
Chili’s Endorses the Margarita Party
While there were countlessmemorablemoments during the world’s longest election, one of our favorites involved Chili’s response to Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s night out at the restaurant. After being criticized by the public for attending the national chain instead of supporting a local business while in New York City, Chili’s responded to the backlash with one perfect tweet:
Game of Thrones’ The Mountain Releases Hilarious Ad for his Vodka
“Everyone loves Icelandic Mountain Vodka. Everyone!” Or at least that’s what Hafþór Björnsson proclaims in his ridiculously funny promo video for his newly launched Icelandic Mountain Vodka. In the video, Björnsson walks us through his daily routine as a professional strongman and vodka brand owner, which apparently includes torturing people “Mountain style” until they admit to liking his brand. Don’t worry, we promise you’ll like the vodka without the duress of torture—it was named one of our favorite new vodka releases of 2016.
Tom Cruise Reenacts Cocktail With James Corden
As part of a regular segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden called “Role Call,” Tom Cruise reenacted famous scenes from his extensive film career, including our favorite ‘80s bartending movie, Cocktail. After flipping bottles back and forth with Corden while singing “Hippie Hippie Shake,” Cruise proved that he’s still got it.
Leonardo Dicaprio’s Dopplegänger Sells Vodka
It was a big year for Leo after he finally won an Oscar, but it was also a good one for his slightly-more-rotund dopplegänger, Roman Burtsev. The pseudo-famous Russian lookalike cashed in on his appearance by endorsing Russian vodka brand Pyat Ozer. In a particularly meta moment of the ad, Burtsev gazes at a picture of the real Dicaprio longingly.
Lin Manuel Miranda Boozily Narrates Hamilton’s Story on Drunk History
While 2016 was far and away the year of Hamilton, our favorite thing to come from the play was Lin Manuel Miranda, creator and original star of the show, stepping in as host for a special episode of Drunk History to tell us the history of the real Hamilton while completely sloshed. Alia Shawkat and Aubrey Plaza starred as Hamilton and Aaron Burr respectively, and the results were nothing but total hilarity.
Jason Momoa Becomes our #PartyGoals
Former Game of Thrones and upcoming Aquaman portrayer Jason Momoa, showed us in 2016 that he really knows how to have a good time. The actor posted on his Instagram a video of him drinking beers and throwing Tomahawks—like you do—and delighted us with photos of him downing beer at the Justice League wrap party with his cast members.
Late Night Talk Show Hosts Comfort Canceled Larry Wilmore With Alcohol
Regardless of how you feel about Comedy Central suddenly canceling The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, you can appreciate how Wilmore’s late night pals rallied in his support: with booze. The Late Show host Stephen Colbert sent Wilmore dozens of tiny liquor bottles, arranged to look like Wilmore’s face, while Full Frontal host Samantha Bee sent the staff cases of wine.
Matthew McConaughey Becomes Wild Turkey “Chief Storyteller”
While celebrity endorsements of booze brands are nothing new, Matthew McConaughey appears to be taking his role as Wild Turkey’s new creative director, excuse us, “chief storyteller,” quite seriously. The actor wrote, directed and starred in an ad campaign for the bourbon, and even created a short film—which led to Stephen Colbert mocking the actor’s earnestness by trying to “out-authentic him.”
Celebs Play Roomba Beer Pong and Musical Beers With Jimmy Fallon
Always one for crazy new drinking games, Jimmy Fallon and his guests on The Tonight Show played games like Roomba Pong (beer pong in which the cups are on a moving Roomba), and Musical Beers, in which contestants compete musical chairs-style to claim Solo cups of beer. This year, some of the celebrity Musical Beers players included Ryan Reynolds, Katie Holmes, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Paul, Tig Notaro and, of course, The Roots.
Lebron James Downs Vodka Shots With Ellen DeGeneres
The Roomba made another drinking-related appearance when Lebron James joined Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show. The two tried to shoot crumpled balls of paper into baskets, which were moving around on Roombas. If DeGeneres made a basket, James had to take a shot of vodka. If James missed a basket, DeGeneres had to take a shot. Since James wasn’t as great at the game as he is at real basketball, DeGeneres got the short end of the vodka-soaked stick.
Lady Gaga Goes Back to Her Roots With Dive Bar Tour
After nearly a decade of selling out stadiums, Lady Gaga returned to the place where she got her start for her latest tour: the dive bar. Gaga’s Bud Light-sponsored mini tour took her to small bars in Nashville, Los Angeles and New York City, where she performed songs off her new, fittingly stripped down album Joanne to intimate (and packed) crowds.
Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg Team up for Potluck Dinner Party
An unlikely duo if we ever saw one, not-so-secret BFFs Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg teamed up this year to launch their own cooking show on VH1, Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party. The show pairs Martha’s cooking and hosting expertise with Snoop’s drinking and partying experience, creating a wildly entertaining show. From popping Champagne in promo videos to mixing Snoop’s official Gin and Juice recipe on Ellen, these two proved they belong together.
Nick Offerman Drinks Whisky Solo
Last year, a video of Nick Offerman drinking scotch by himself silently for an entire hour in front of a roaring fire was our favorite version of the ubiquitous yule log. This year, the man of few words reprised the role by drinking Lagavulin alone, in front of a boat full of loud New Year’s Eve revelers. Watch it while contemplating your own favorite boozy memories from 2016.