Socks in Popular Culture

Inauguration of America's First Democat

Socks permeated the pop culture sphere in a way no presidential pet had before. President Clinton once remarked, “When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the World Wide Web [...] Now even my cat has its own page.” The White House webpage even included an audio file of Socks the cat meowing.

Listen to Socks the cat meowing

Songs and comic strips were made featuring Socks; inauguration merch emblazoned with the “First Cat-elect” playing a saxophone was gifted to President Bill Clinton. 

Socks is Cooler than Most D.C. Cats

Socks even made a surprise cameo in the 1990’s American sitcom Murphy Brown. Starring Candice Bergen as the titular character, the show covers the life of sharp-tongued investigative journalist and news anchor Murphy Brown. In the season six episode “Sox and the Single Woman,” Brown receives an invitation to the White House; while there, Socks ends up in the reporter’s car and is inadvertently kidnapped. Hijinks ensue as the cast attempts to return Socks to the White House. Socks would later make an appearance on an April Fool’s episode of Larry King Live in 1994, albeit in Muppet form, giving Kermit the Frog an exclusive tour of the White House.

Bring Back Socks in '96

Socks the Cat’s level of popularity was so high with the American public, that he even starred in his very own video game. The now-defunct Japanese video game developer Kaneko first began developing Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill for Super Nintendo in 1993. Although the project was canceled due to Kaneko shuttering its US offices in 1994, the game was close enough to completion to garner reviews from several video game publications. One such magazine provided a synopsis of the shelved game, writing, “Socks, the White House cat, discovers the missing portable nuclear launch unit in his favorite napping spot, the basement of a foreign embassy. To avoid mass destruction, he must return to the White House and alert the first family. But, a foreign spy ring has their own political agenda. They want to see Socks run, and not for political office!”  

Boss battles included Presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter fending off Socks with bomb raids and “smile attacks.” In 2012, self-described Socks enthusiast Tom Curtain procured a copy of the game. He teamed up with developer Second Dimension and created a Kickstarter campaign to bring the game to Super Nintendo consoles. Although Curtain was unable to fulfill his goal of bringing the game to consumers, devoted fans can still find video playthroughs of the game online.

Socks in Popular Culture