On Sunday night E! aired their highly publicized Keeping Up With the Kardashians 10-year anniversary special in advance of the show’s 14th season, which premieres next Sunday. While the rumored pregnancy of Kylie Jenner, the youngest member of the original “cast,” was unmentioned during the awkwardly staged event (as it was filmed months ago), host (and the show’s executive producer) Ryan Seacrest asked just enough probing questions to make the 90-minute event feel worthwhile for fans of the series—myself included.
The first thing to note here is that while the live studio audience and soundstage setup may suggest something resembling a Real Housewives reunion or Women Tell All moment from The Bachelor, this was a considerably tamer and more hushed affair. Seacrest, bless his heart, is no Andy Cohen, and the Kardashian-Jenner-Disicks were in no mood to start shit with each other. Family, as they remind you every 10 minutes on the show, is the most important thing in the universe.
The cast was brought out in waves reflecting the familial hierarchy, beginning with Kris, followed some five minutes later by Kim, then by Khloe and Kourtney, Kendall and Kylie, and, finally, Scott. (It appears Kanye, Rob, Caitlyn, and Chyna’s invites got lost in the group thread.)
Kris and Kim offered few insights in their introductions, save for their shared surprise that the show has lasted as long as it has. After watching the sizzle reel the family used to sell the show to E!, Kim remarked that she hadn’t seen it in 10 years—back when she thought her claim to fame would be closet organizing.
As expected, things got interesting (and considerably more entertaining) once Khloe walked onstage. After listening to Kris’s over-rehearsed musings about the show’s cultural impact and Kim’s nervous enthusiasm, it was a relief to have Khloe’s trademark good attitude onstage. She even managed to loosen up Kourtney, who is perhaps the most preoccupied and mature elder sibling.
With Kendall and Kylie came the bleak reminders that they began filming this show when they were children (Kendall was 12, while Kylie was just 9), and that there will always be a younger member of the Kardashian Klan to maintain their reigns over American popular culture. Once Disick showed (he plopped onto a chair on stage right and appeared to have no idea why he was asked to join them), the gang was all there. Or, the invited ones anyway.
Here’s everything they revealed that was news to me:
- Khloe’s relationship with Tristan Thompson is “serious.” A level 5 “out of 6,” but I’m not sure if that was a joke.
- Kourtney said that while filming she often “[goes] through moments where we’re like ‘cut the kids back.’”
- Mason calls the video crew “the filmers.” He used to enjoy their visits, but doesn’t like them anymore.
- Kourtney and Scott have never “been back together” since breaking up two years ago. Any time they have been photographed together since has just been the result of co-parenting.
Kourtney: I guess we’re co-parenting out kids and just trying to get along.
Kris: I think you [and Scott] have the most amazing relationship possible...”
Kourtney: I mean we’re definitely psychotic.
- Scott on Kourtney: “She’s the only person I’ve ever loved in my life.”
- Kylie doesn’t remember life “before Keeping Up.”
- Kendall is stressed out by the family group chat, so she keeps it on Do Not Disturb. This surprised her sister.
- Kylie, on the other hand, thinks the family group chat is “lit.”
- Kim was getting ready to freeze her eggs when she “randomly got pregnant” with North. While on the phone with Kanye to tell him the news, she was “so hysterical” he thought a family member had died.
- The first people who knew about Kim’s pregnancy were Khloe and Kylie.
- Kendall was told “a month later,” which she didn’t know until filming the special.
- Kris is proud of the footage of a 9-year-old Kylie dancing on a stripper pole in first episode. Of it, she said, “That’s an example of leaving the footage alone and letting it breathe. Letting it speak for itself.”
The most revealing moments of the special came in the final half hour, when Seacrest asked for each cast member to share their “toughest” days of shooting.
- Kris: “Probably the whole Caitlyn transition. To have someone have a camera, you know, on you and recording your emotions and your moments. I think that’s probably mine.” They then showed a “never before seen” clip of Kris sobbing with her head on her kitchen table. “If I remember correctly, one of the camera guys started crying [too]. That was a rough day.”
- When Scott was asked, his response was interrupted by Kourtney and Kim, who praised his willingness to show up for work even if he knows he’s done something awful. “I think it’s respectable...that you care,” Kim said.
- Kim: The day she realized nude photos of an underage Kourtney that she had been “holding hostage” as a sisterly joke had been stolen/leaked. She said she feared Kourtney would “never speak” to her again.
- Khloe: When Lamar was first hospitalized after her overdose and she had no idea “what she was and wasn’t allowed to say” to his children.
- Kendall: Also the Lamar saga. “I landed in London and the first text that popped into my phone was from Kim and it had said that Lamar had passed away. And I immediately started sobbing on the plane. Then the next text came through and said actually he’s okay, he’s alive, but he’s not doing well.”
- To this Kim adds that “someone” made a “fake account” soon after Lamar’s overdose, and emailed Khloe with “wrong information” claiming he had died. Khloe adds: “To go through the motions as if someone has passed away is the most traumatic thing to do. And then to know that they were really alive? It was too many emotions...to handle.”
- Kylie: “The hardest thing I’ve had to film was probably my dad. Everything that went on with my dad. I’m so happy my dad is finally living her true self. I am completely supportive. She did it at the right time, when Kendall and I were older. I feel like it all happened at the right time.”
At this point, the E! crew rolled out some cake and champagne for the audience, and they toasted to 10 years of success. How horrifying it is that I will probably still be watching at year 20.