1. Alex Borstein (who plays Ms. Swan on MADtv) was the original choice to play Sookie but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with MADtv and Family Guy, on which she plays Lois Griffin. Like Rachel Dratch on 30 Rock (who was the original choice for the Jenna role), Borstein instead makes numerous cameos in the show as different characters — like Ms. Celine, Emily Gilmore’s ambiguously aged, celebrity-name-dropping stylist. Borstein would be replaced with Melissa McCarthy and Borstein’s husband would land the role of Jackson. Lisa Weil originally tried out for Rory and was denied the part, but the producers were so taken with Weil that they wrote Paris Geller for her instead.
2. Gilmore Girls was executive produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, Daniel Palladino, who previously worked on Roseanne and Over the Top (starring Tim Curry, Seinfeld’s John O’Hurley, Annie Potts, Steve Carell and Marla Sokoloff). That show also featured Liz Torres, who would later play Miss Patty on Gilmore Girls. This is one of many examples of the Palladinos re-using actors they’ve worked with before, and Torrez likewise worked with Sally Struthers on All in the Family.
3. While working on Gilmore Girls, Daniel Palladino was also one of the producers and head writers for Family Guy, which often references and lampoons Gilmore Girls’ fast-talking precociousness, despite having a similar pop-culture-reference-heavy style. In one episode, Peter and the Griffins sit down to watch Gilmore Girls, only to see Rory and Lorelai make out. #cantunsee
4. Almost none of the young actors are the same age as their characters. Alexis Bledel was the closest, at the age of 18 when the show started. (Her only previous role was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore the year before.) Liza Weil was 21 when she took the role of Paris and Keiko Agena (Lane) was 25. Agena is only six years younger than Lauren Graham, who plays her best friend’s mom. She will turn 40 next year.