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Scranton, PA

I was born and raised in the Scranton, PA area. During my childhood I didn't think the city was well known outside the region because I never heard any references to it in movies or television programs like some other cities. The only Pennsylvania areas referred to were Phildelphia, Pittsburgh and the Poconos, and the now well known Larry King cry "Helloooooo Altoona". However later in life I began to notice a few references and started collecting the details.

The references tended to be divided into two categories: the coal mining history of the valley and random usage. Since it was in the heart of the anthracite coal mining region, it got the reputation as the home of the "coal-crackers". In fact by the late 19th century, Scranton was quite prosperous, with many important firsts in the nation. (The first electric streetcar in the nation was used in Scranton) Because of this prosperity, and its proximity to New York, it was big in the vaudville era, being an "off-off-off-broadway" for acts destined for the bigtime.

Here is my collection of references to Scranton in movies, TV, comics, cartoons and songs.


"California Suite" ('78)
Walter Matthau's dauther says, "We just passed through Scranton. It's nice if you like fast food".
"That Championship Season" ('82) by Jason Miller.
A story about a group of men returning to their high school reunion reliving their basketball championship, and also their personal lives.
"Fear Strikes Out" ('57)
The Jimmy Piersall Story. Scranton was his first minor league town.
"For Lovers Only" (TV'82)
Pilot about a bunch of couples that go to Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos. ? (Katherine Helmond) mentions she's flying into Scranton to get there.
"Home Alone" ('90)
Mom, Kate McCallister (Catherine O'Hara) supposedly lands in the Scranton airport on the way back home to Chicago to bring Kevin (Mcaully Culkin) to Paris for Christmas. Kevin's mother at the airport, " I've been awake for almost 60 hours. I'm tired and I'm dirty. I've been to Chicago, to Paris, to Dallas, to ... Where the hell am I?" Ticket agent, "Scranton"
Later in the airport, John Candy tells her "We're in Scranton ma'am".
"In-Laws, The" ('79)
Peter Falk is flying from New York to South America, but tells Sheldon (Alan Arkin) they are going to Scranton. Sheldon asks: "The Ocean? It's over the ocean to Scranton?"
"Hunt for the Unicorn Killer, The" ('99TV)
Ira Einhorn, accused killer of Holly Maddox, upon hearing Arlen Spector is not going to represent him because he is running for the senate from PA, is not surprised saying: "That (Einhorn's representation) will never play to the voters in Scranton"
"Kingpin" ('96)
Woody Harrelson's character ends up in Scranton after he loses his bowling hand.
"Never Been Kissed" ('99)
Drew Barrymore as an undercover reporter in school tells herself "I'm a transfer student from Scranton".
"School Ties" ('92)
Brendan Fraser is reminded by his classmates, "This isn't Scranton anymore".
"Serpent Island" ('54)
An office secretary from Scranton, Pennsylvania (Rosalind Hayes) sets out to find her great-grandfather's hidden treasure.
"State Fair" ('62)
The singer girlfriend of Pat Boone (Anne-Margaret), argues why she can't stay with him because she has always been on the road at places like "Little Rock, Ackron, Scranton".
"There's No Business Like Show Buisness" ('54)
While the Donahues are in the train station at the beginning, the announcer says "Westerner on track 2, all aboard for Scranton"
"Wonder Boys" (2000)
Toby Maguire, talking with his professor (Michael Douglas), describes Scranton as a place with "not much more than factories".
"Y2K, the Movie" ('99TV)
Ken Olin leads a small cast in a weak attempt to raise fear for the impending world collapse due to computers in this terrible disaster of a disaster movie. As the new milleninum approaches the Eastern standard time zone of the US power starts to go out. A power company controller exclaims: "We lost power in Philadelphia, Scranton too!"


"60 Minutes" 10/18/98
Andy Rooney reads a few head lines from the Scranton newspaper. One is the cost of homes, the other is about there being no garbage pickup on Columbus day.
"All in the Family" ('?)
Episode about the change of life.
Archie:"We're going to fly to Florida"
Edith: "Florida? No, I want to go to Scranton."
Archie:"Scranton? What's in Scranton?"
Edith: "My cousin Emily".
Archie:"The only way you'll get me to fly to Scranton is if some screwball hijacks the plane."
"Charles in Charge" (?) Episode ?
The episode where Charles mentions that it was his home town.
"Friends" ('?) Episode ?
One involving the monkey. (Marcel) When trying to find a home for him, one of the guys says something like, "What, we didn't even get in at Scranton? Scranton was our safety zoo! They take anything. They take dogs and cows!"
"Law and Order"
A character from Waverly (nearby) mentioned that her home town was the "Greenwich of Scranton"
"The Monkees"
One episode mentioned Scranton in passing
"My World and Welcome To It" (70s)
There is a reference to Scranton in the summer being a kind of hell.
"The Sopranos"
One of the characters called Boston "Scranton with crabs".
"The X-Files" (?) Episode "Colony" Part 1
Mulder refers to three abortion doctors involved in some mystery, one from Scranton.
"Twilight Zone " Episode "What You Need"
Lefty, an young ex-pitcher sitting at a bar,is approached by an old man. Mr. Padott, the old man: "I think I know what it is you need." Lefty: "A bus ticket? A bus ticket to Scranton Pennsylvania? Now what's in Scranton Pennsylvania old man?" Bartender: "Coal mines. That's what's in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lovely beautiful coal mines" Lefty then gets a call from an old manager who offers him a coaching job with a minor league baseball team in ... Scranton, Pennsylvania!


"?" (?)
Looneytoon Cartoon where a grasshopper sings a song to Porkey Pig with the phrase "I slayed them in Scranton" while auditioning for a vaudville act.
"?" (?)
another cartoon showing a vaudville act on a stage playing to an audience of coal miners actually digging in a mine (I don't remember if there was a sign of or a verbal reference to Scranton)


Batman "Mr. Wayne Goes to Washington"
Gotham is in trouble. There's an earthquake and a plague is sweeping the city. Supervillan Nick Scratch calls it "Scranton with Gargoyles".
Marvel comics
Nitro refers to Scranton as his hometown.


"30,000 Pounds of Bananas" by Harry Chapin
It was just after dark when the truck started down
the hill that leads into Scranton Pennsylvania.
Carrying thirty thousand pounds of bananas.
Carrying thirty thousand pounds (hit it Big John) of bananas.

See the full lyrics
"The Pennsylvania Polka" by Lester Lee and Zeke Manners
Strike up the music the band has begun
The Pennsylvania Polka
Pick out your partner and join in the fun
The Pennsylvania Polka
It started in Scranton, it's now number one
It's bound to entertain ya
Everybody has a mania to do the polka from Pennsylvania

See the full lyrics
"Send My Picture To Scranton, PA" by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Send my picture to Scranton, PA
Write them and say I'm the kid they used to laugh at
Send my picture along with the news
Of all the good things I've done
See the full lyrics


"Cold Fire" by Dean Koontz
The main character talks about and in the end moves to Scranton.
"A Trick of Light" by Karen Blomain
A quick reference to Scranton.

George Burns - Once asked if he was afraid to die said: "No, I already died in Scranton"

Other Scrantons
There are Scrantons in: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnisota, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina and Texas! All were founded by residents or companies from Scranton, PA!!

Scranton Links

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