9 of the Most Remarkable Things Famous People Have Said About Utah

Estimated reading time: 6-7 minutes

Every year, millions of people visit Utah. Many come to visit the national parks. Others are here for business or religious events or conferences. For decades, celebrities, movie stars and famous personalities of all kinds have come to attend the Sundance Film Festival every January.

With this continued exposure to Utah, many high profile and famous people have voiced their opinions about the state. Even before Sundance was a sporting event, notable authors and figures commented on Utah. Here are some of the most notable quotes celebrities have made about Beehive State.

Karl Malone

The postman always delivers, whether he’s in the paint coming out of a pick and roll or at the press conference that follows. The Utah Jazz big man was known during his long career for his original and unabashed commentary in the media. Malone gave NBA fans a plethora of “Malone-isms“, usually in her third-person perspective,” Whitney O’Bannon wrote for Deseret News.

About the location of his franchise, Malone said, “A lot of people don’t know where Utah is, but it’s in Salt Lake,” says azquotes.com. File that one under “Karl has to say what Karl has to say.”

Elon Musk

Business magnate, Tesla CEO and perpetual tabloid subject Elon Musk mentioned Utah when talking about alternative energy at the AGU Environmental Conference in 2015.

In the video, he says, “You could power the whole of the United States with about 150 to 200 square miles of solar panels. The whole of the United States. thing there, I went there.” Utahans and outdoor enthusiasts disagree (based on the five national parks located in Utah).

Ty Burrell

The “Modern Family” star and real-life father and husband loves Utah so much he moved his entire family here. According to a People articlehe, his wife and two daughters lived here between filming his hit sitcom. In fact, he owns several restaurants and a bar in the Salt Lake and Park City areas.

The jovial actor told People, “I loved it from the first time I came here. It’s a very humble place, it’s a very humble place.”

Mark Twain

The prominent 19th-century American author and humorist didn’t have many good things to say about Utah. Twain (born Samuel Langhorne Clemens) traveled west with his brother in hopes of exuberant adventure upon seeing Native Americans and wildlife in the harsh country.

9 of the Most Remarkable Things Famous People Have Said About Utah
Photo: Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com

He wrote about his trip in a travel diary – admittedly years later after having forgotten much of his trip – published under the title “Roughing It”. According to a Article from Deseret News, it included many unflattering descriptions of Mormon women as well as his disappointing encounter with Brigham Young. The mountains, however, enchanted him.

“…We arrived at the summit of Big Mountain, 15 miles from Salt Lake City, where all were glorified with the setting sun, and the most stupendous panorama of mountain peaks ever met burst into view. this sublime spectacle under the arch of a brilliant rainbow!”

Post Malone

Lyrics to Post Malone’s hit “Wow”. say, “Wherever I go / Catch me on the block like I’m Mutombo / 750 Lambo in Utah snow.” I hope Lambo has snow tires! Locals are now claiming the millennial rapper with the tattooed face as a Utah in good faith, says an article from KSL Radio. After performing a show near Great Salt Lake, the musician fell in love with the area and purchased a nearly 13,000 square foot retreat in Cottonwood Heights to relax and enjoy the freedom that Utah offers.

“It’s a free country over there,” he said rolling stone. “For example, you can buy suppressors in Utah. You can do open carry. Walk into the grocery store with a handgun on your hip.”

Dirk Nowitzki

Apparently the Dunking Deutschman is not a fan of Utah or American geography. (Perhaps he took the same course as Karl Malone?)

“Utah is a bad city,” Nowitzki told a reporter in 2001.

To be fair, Nowitzki later explained that there was more to the infamous quote, a ESPN Article clarifies. The Dallas Mavericks faced the Utah Jazz in the first round of the NBA playoffs, and their coach decided to take the team home between Game 1 and Game 2.

A local reporter showed up at the airport and asked Nowitzki why the team wasn’t staying in Salt Lake City, and the young Nowitzki – fresh out of Germany and with limited English skills – fumbled and found this answer. Jazz fans never forgot this lack of respect and made Nowitzki pay for it every time he played in Utah!

9 of the Most Remarkable Things Famous People Have Said About Utah
Photo: Reina Lavulavu/Shutterstock.com

beach boys

“In Utah/The guys and I dig a town called Salt Lake/There’s the grooviest kids/That’s why we never get tired of Salt Lake.” The Beach Boys wrote the ode to the city in 1965, which included nods to Lagoon, winter skiing and the cutest girls in the western states.

In fact, the Beach Boys’ hit “Fun, Fun, Fun” was inspired by a woman from Utah! According to a KSL article, the woman’s father owned a radio station at the height of the group’s fame. She told her dad she was going to the library — yes, in her T-Bird — and instead went to a burger stand at 3300 South and around 2700 East. When her father caught her, she was complaining about the incident to staff the next morning at the radio station. The Beach Boys were guests on the radio show that day, heard about the teenager’s adventure, and wrote a song about it. What an ode to Utah!

Catherine Heigl

What would any type of Utah roster be without Katherine Heigl? The Grey’s Anatomy star moved to Utah in 2010 in search of a slower lifestyle.

“We had big dreams of expanding our family, moving to the mountains and having a quieter life,” she said. Good Housekeeping. “Utah is spectacularly beautiful, the people are wonderful and kind, it’s an easy drive from LA and there’s no traffic!”

Heigl then spoke about the Utah lifestyle where “kids can be kids” and described life on her Oakley ranch with her husband, children and myriad dogs, cats, chickens and of horses.

Robert Redford

Actor and conservationist Robert Redford was the original celebrity who made life cool in Utah. Judith Thurman writes for Architectural Summary. He then fell in love with a local Provo girl and lived a rustic lifestyle between film shoots with his young family on the two acres he purchased for $500 in 1963. That land became the Sundance World famous resort when it finally added the acreage.

“I could see the development starting to go down in the state of Utah. I thought I’d better acquire more land to protect it,” Redford told TIME in 2015. “I thought it would probably be my legacy, to protect the earth.”

Redford recently joined with Utah Open Lands to put 300 acres of pristine wilderness land under permanent protection, in addition to the 1,875 acres of resort town Sundance that he placed in bondage years ago.

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