Curious about where it all started, a quick internet search revealed that a disk jockey in Ohio, Jerry Healy, coined the term in the early 70’s as “Thank God It’s Friday”. In the later seventies, the movie of the same name was released, disco heavy and sporting big stars including Donna Summer, Jeff Goldblum, and Debra Winger.
The acronym stood for “Thank God It’s Friday!” a reference to Alan Stillman’s, the eatery’s founder, Bucknell University days; however, there are counter claims that it stands for “Thank Goodness It’s Friday”. At any rate, Stillman became a very wealthy man by celebrating Friday and later went on to start another chain, Smith and Wollensky.
Fast forward to the late eighties; ABC seems to stake claim to the whole Friday phenomenon too, but here it stands for “Thank Goodness it’s Funny”. Where’s the Friday? A successful line up was created for that day, including memorable shows Benson, Diff’rent Strokes and Webster. NBC took a hint from ABC and later made Thursday a famous day of the week too.
At any rate, TGIF and Friday at large later became associated with partying, dancing, celebrating and kicking back after work. Did you have a regular place where employees from the company you worked at gathered? My place was at a Marriott in the better weather outside on the terrace.
The popularity of Friday lives on. A savvy teen, Rebecca Black, wrote a song about it, uploaded a video to YouTube and six weeks later had over 30 million views and fame. The “official” video currently has close to six million views. Katy Perry sang about Friday too and the eight minute VEVO version has over 130 million hits (no, that’s not a misprint) and features Rebecca Black to boot!
A far cry from Nancy Sinatra’s somber song about Friday’s Child that reached #36 in 1966 on the pop charts; there are a few hundred thousand hits on YouTube currently. Sorry Nancy, Friday wasn’t popular…yet.
A quick internet search reveals that Friday continues to be an important day and feeling for us:
- TGIF images: over 3 million hits
- Happy Friday images: over 9 million hits
- Thank God it’s Friday: over 5 million hits
- Thank Goodness it’s Friday: 1.7 million hits
- Thank God it's Friday movie: close to 7 million hits
So is it too late to jump on the Friday bandwagon? No, of course not! I’d be happy to sell you a special edition coffee mug; just ask and I’ll make it available for you. Sorry, no discount. TGIF! Happy Friday!