It’s been nearly 20 years since The Golden Girls ended its seven-year run on NBC and, since then, half of its main characters have passed away. But that’s done nothing to dampen fans’ love of the sitcom and the four fabulous elderly women who comprised its core cast. In fact, if anything, Golden Girls love has reached fever pitch on the viral web, out of some strange mix of hipster irony and genuine appreciation. Recently, admirers have gone so far as to successfully campaign to have Betty White host Saturday Night Live — and the tributes to the late, great Bea Arthur just don’t stop coming.
As thrilling as it is to see a whole new generation express its love for a cadre of feisty old ladies — and continuing to prove that there is an audience for good entertainment about women over 40 — the explosion of Golden Girls-themed videos, blogs and merch can become kind of dizzying. That’s why we’ve put together an easy guide to the show’s online fandom. You may want to thank us, you know, for being a friend.
Bea is by far the most Internet-popular of the Girls, even nearly a year after her death. Lately, we’ve been obsessed with Bea Arthur Mountains Pizza, itself an inspired knockoff of the enormously successful Selleck Waterfall Sandwich. But we’d be remiss to ignore another great, recent development in the Bea-osphere: That’s What Bea Said, a collection of the actress’s greatest quotes. (Our favorite so far? “Get me twenty thousand Hebrews and I’ll see what I can do.”)
Facebook: There are a number of smallish Facebook pages devoted to Bea, but our favorite is an 850-ish member group that pissed off about Bea’s omission from the Academy Awards tribute reel. Among its active members is one Isaac Mizrahi.
Twitter: Honestly, we’re a bit underwhelmed at the Twitter presence of The Golden Girls crew. But, if you’re interested in striking up a tweeting friendship with Arthur’s erstwhile character, feel free to follow @DorothyPZbornak. That’s What Bea Said also tweets: @beasaid.
Videos: The Internet brims with great Bea clips, but here are our four favorites.
Gay icons of the world unite! Bea and Rock Hudson sing about drugs:
Bea as Carrie Bradshaw in a Sex and the City parody:
Bea stars in a cheesy ’80s PSA :
Bea reads a dirty scene from Pamela Anderson’s novel at a Comedy Central roast of the busty actress:
Merch: Want to keep Bea close to your heart? Etsy’s got you covered with this “There will never Bea another” T-shirt. Prefer to pray to Arthur, like the goddess she is? Maybe a St. Bea prayer candle is more your speed.