Did you think Adele Modesto’s name on the song “Wild Wild West” from her new album “30” was cool?
It’s undeniable. But references to Modesto in television, film and music date back almost 60 years. The city of Central Valley has appeared in pop culture in all kinds of unexpected places.
The following is a list of a few mentions of Modesto, from the most important to the most obscure.
1963: âIt’s a crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy worldâ; Jonathan Winters’ trucker character drives the Modesto-to-Yuma race.
1965-1965: âLa Grande VallÃ©eâ, television series; Western starring Barbara Stanwyck and Lee Majors takes place and mentions the Stockton / Modesto area.
1972-1977: series âThe streets of San Franciscoâ; Michael Douglas’ detective in San Francisco was originally from Modesto.
1972: Holiday Hotel; song ; The single from Loggins and Messina includes the lyrics “Intended for Modesto”.
1973: âAmerican Graffitiâ, film; His native son George Lucas’s ode to cruise is based on Modesto, but shot in Petaluma, and the town is only mentioned by name in the epilogue.
1980: âMake-Up and Faded Blue Jeansâ, song; Merle Haggard’s bachelor mentions working at a Holiday Inn âdowntown Modestoâ on the front line.
1982, advertisement for Henry Weinhard’s beer: The TV spot for the Oregon Brewery shows two employees in the cab of a delivery truck, driving through a California city. The guy in the passenger seat marvels, âBoy, Los Angeles is a big city, isn’t it? “To which the driver replies:” It’s Modesto “.
1985: Murphy’s Romance â, film; Sally Field’s divorced mother character is from Modesto.
1994: “Modesto”, song; Beck’s track from his album “Stereopathetic Soulmanure” vaguely refers to “contaminated lawns” and “surfing the city of supermarkets.”
1996: âBigger than lifeâ, film; Bill Murray’s motivational speaker character misses his date with Modesto on a trip across the country to deliver an inherited elephant.
1998: “Celebrity Skin,” rock album cover: Courtney Love’s band Hole used a black and white photo of the Modesto Arch in cover notes for their album.
2001: “The man who was not there”, film; Billy character Bob Thornton accompanies his wife to a wedding reception for a cousin who just married a “winemaker near Modesto” in the Coen brothers’ film noir.
2002: Saturday Night Live; series ; The season one episode hosted by Matt Damon features the actor as the ranger at “Shawndale Ranch in Modesto, Calif.”
2003: series “The Simpsons”; Krusty the Clown shows up at Congress and blackmails another congressman, who says he will be broke if they “hear about this in Modesto.”
2003: âAnimal house: where are they now? Â»DVD; a mock documentary to accompany the âDouble Secret Probation Editionâ DVD release of the 1978 cult classic reveals that Bruce McGill’s D-Day character lives secretly in Modesto.
2004: “The Perfect Husband: The Story of Laci Peterson”, TV movie; the American network film starring Dean Cain on real crime was shot in Modesto but was primarily shot in San Diego.
2004: âCSIâ, series; main character Sara Sidle searches for a court case on her abusive mother and the records are from Modesto.
2004: âModesto Is Not That Sweetâ, song; Brooklyn-based indie band The Hold Steady released the song with bitter lyrics about an ex-lover who ended up in Modesto.
2004: “Retro Dance Record”, song; Oakland hip-hop artist Mac Dre rapped âFor you, Id walk to Modestoâ in his song âThe Game Is Thick, Vol. Album 2 “.
2005: âSupernaturalâ series; a character’s âModesto unclesâ are introduced in the pilot episode.
2006: â7th Heavenâ series; one of the stars of the show must decide between going to college and playing minor league baseball with the Modesto Nuts.
2006: âJeez Louiseâ, song; Modesto’s indie band Grandaddy included lyrics about being “locked up in Modesto Inn” in their song from the album “Just Like the Fambly Cat”.
2007: âZodiacâ, film; The actual Bay Area serial killer drama features a scene set on “Highway 132, near Modesto” and shows The Modesto Bee on screen.
2008: âCriminal mindsâ series; an episode of the CBS show opens with a murder in Modesto and the FBI profiling team travels to town to capture “The Highway 99 Killer,” which actually murdered victims across the Central Valley along railroad tracks.
2008: âJerichoâ, series; after a nuclear apocalypse, The Modesto Bee is now âCalifornia’s second largest newspaperâ.
2008: âSt. Modesto,â song Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla releases the song with lyrics that include references to the Valley and Altamont.
2008-2014: âSons of Anarchyâ series; The FX crime drama about an outlaw motorcycle club takes place in the fictional town of Charming in the Central Valley, but references the events of Modesto throughout its run.
2009: âMonsters against extraterrestrialsâ, film; DreamWorks’ animated 3D feature opens in Modesto when a meteor hits the city and kicks off the action.
2009: film âIn the airâ; George Clooney’s downsizer says he’s in “Newark on the 12th, Modesto on the 13th,” when he’s trying to coordinate schedules.
2009: âJanky Promotersâ, film; The comedy starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps as two inane music promoters trying to put together a Young Jeezy concert takes place in Modesto.
2009: âThe Mentalistâ series; The Sacramento-based criminal proceeding on CBS has the main character berating the wife of a Modesto city councilor that she is in “the big city” now.
2009: âEntourageâ series; The HBO show The Ins and Outs of Hollywood mentions “40 Idiots from Modesto” who didn’t like a TV pilot.
2012: âUp All Nightâ series; Maya Rudolph’s TV host character shows a somewhat positive (âThey said they’ve seen a lot worse.â) Review of The Modesto Bee on screen and says, âThank you, Modesto Bee.â
2013: The internship, film; The Vince Vaughn / Owen Wilson comedy takes its characters on a tour of a retirement home in a town called Modesto Colony.
2015:, The HBO series about a group of gay friends living in San Francisco has characters taking a road trip to Modesto for a family funeral and was filmed in town for some scenes.
2017: “Glorious” Music Video: Rapper Macklemore came to Modesto, where his grandmother lives, and recorded the music video with her in and around town.
2020: âStar Trek: Lower Decksâ series; Paramount + is the first animated comedy in the “Star Trek” universe and stars the character Brad Boimler (voiced by Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan’s son Jack Quaid) from Modesto.
2020: âRatchedâ series; The Netflix drama based on the infamous Nurse Ratched from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” features Sarah Paulson as the main character who goes on a trip with his girlfriend (played by Cynthia Nixon) who stops in Modesto to watch a performance by puppet entitled “Lew Klassen’s Marionette Theater”.
2021: âWild Wild Westâ, song; Adele’s name drops Modesto in a bonus song about her move from London to Los Angeles on her acclaimed new album “30”.