Now here’s a fascinating time capsule of a music video! Made in the year 1989, the video for Michael Jackson’s “Liberian Girl” is like an epilogue chapter to the book that was the 80′s. It’s a summary of who was big back then, but watching it now, it’s like visiting a haunted house – a cavernous space filled with dead celebrities from time’s past. But don’t just read my interpretation. See it for yourself…
I’m going to try to list each 80′s celebrity in the order of their appearance, but truth be told, I don’t know a lot of these people because this was still a wee bit before my time. Any help or assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Model-Looking Chick Who Mouths the Opening Line – Probably some big model back in the late 80′s, but is nothing now. Or could just be a random extra plucked from Central Casting who is back in her hometown now working as a middle school art teacher.
Malcolm Jamal-Warner – Ahh, we begin with Theo Huxtable, at the height of his fame. Here, he speaks into an abnormally large cell phone, which was like strange, alien technology back then. This was how big MJW was – he had a futuristic phone, in which he was telling people he was too busy to hang out with them! I bet now he’s still rocking a Razr phone and begging for people to come over and hang out at his two-bedroom apartment in Van Nuys.
Sherman Hemsley – R.I.P. So, right away we get the two biggest, black sitcom stars of the day. This is how fleeting sitcom celebrity can be, which is why all sitcom actors immediately transition from TV to the Big Screen, or else you just end up doing strange gigs like this one. At least he displays some sweet MJ dance moves a little bit later.
Butch Lesbian Girl – She’s talking to someone, and is sporting a sweet, David Bowie-esque hairdo, and I’m sure she was famous back then (because of every shot of this video features a celebrity of the time), but I have absolutely no idea who this is. Anyone? Anyone?
Paula Abdul – Ahh, PA, right at the time “Forever Your Girl” was released and blowing up the charts. Little did we know of then impending craziness that would ensue years down the line. No doubt she spent the day on this video while waiting for the animation to get done on her own, classic music video, “Opposites Attract.”
Whoopi Goldberg & Other Dude – Whoopi was already starting to sense her celebrity mortality, as she is scheming on a sequel to her 1986 film “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” with Michael titled “Jumpin’ Jackson Flash.” Little did she know twenty years later, all her acting jobs would dry up and she’d have to be on a morning talk show where she and three other women yell at each other for an hour everyday. As for this other dude, well, again, I have no idea. Anyone got a clue?
Quincy Jones & Other Chick – Can’t say anything about QJ, because he truly is timeless. Again, no idea who he’s talking to. Anyone? Anyone?
Girl Silently Singing to the Song While Reading the Lyrics – I got nothing here. I want to say Bernadette Peters, but that can’t be right, can it? She also looks like a young Rhea Pearlman, who I am surprised does not make a cameo in this video.
Girl That Looks Like Sarah Michelle Geller & Her Friend – I need serious help here in identifying these two! I have no idea! And maybe “friend” is way too strong of a word here. The Friend is a total bitch, giving unrelenting attitude towards the Sarah Michelle Geller look-alike – as if it’s HER fault that Michael is late. ”Well, Michael asked ME to be in his video…” I’m glad you’re not famous anymore… whoever you are.
Billy Dee Williams & Lou Diamond Phillips – Lando Calrissian and Ritchie Valens, as they are known by their true 80′s names. After they reached their peaks with these roles, they were forever damned to a life of playing detectives on various CBS NCIS-type shows. Although, who could forget Williams’ classic cameo on the Nikki & Paulo LOST episode? If you ask me, this was Billy Dee’s BEST and FINEST performance!
John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – Keep in mind, we are in the Look Who’s Talking era of Travolta here. Pulp Fiction seems so long and so far away when watching this video. Also, what the hell is Travolta looking at before he breaks out into singing? It looks like a jar of pickles.
Corey Feldman – You can’t get more 80′s than this! This might be the ultimate 80′s cameo, even more so than Malcolm Jamal-Warner! Although I know CF more from a classic 90′s movie vs. an 80′s one – as the voice of Donatello in the FIRST live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. I think that was the last big movie he ever booked. (Unless you count his reprisal of the role in the third Ninja Turtles movie, the one in which they time travel to ancient Japan. But I don’t.)
Steven Spielberg – Seems like whenever you need a “Who’s directing this??” joke, there’s ol’ Stevie for a Cut To: reveal.
Blond British Girl – Anybody have any idea?
Ricky Schroder & His Black Friend – Oh, boy, now we’re really getting out of my range of celebrity reference. Ricky was on a show in the early 80′s called “Silver Spoons.” Yeah, I can’t speak to that, or his friend. But these two are merely a gateway to…
Weird Al Yankovic! – Easily my favorite cameo in this video, and in no way do I consider him a “dead” celebrity. Countless ten-year-old boys still buy and listen to his parody albums, and his concerts still sell out. Classic.
Suzanne Somers & Bubbles – Not much to say about Suzanne. She came, she went, and had a nothing-to-shake-at career. But what’s really interesting is this piece on the Adult Bubbles, and his new home. Check it out!
Lou Ferrigno – Now this dude was a major part of my childhood, playing the Incredible Hulk! Poor guy is deaf now, but don’t feel too bad. He charges like, fifty bucks, at every comic book convention everywhere.
Don King – Another classic 80′s icon! I once interviewed Don King on the red carpet many moons ago. You can watch that classic piece here.
Mayim Bialik – Had I written this blog a few years ago, I could heap all sorts of sarcasm on Mayim, but she’s great on Big Bang Theory now, so we move on to…
David Copperfield – I guessed to myself that Davie is probably holding a permanent show in Vegas, and one Google search later, I find I nailed it on the head! He’s at the MGM Grand every night. Maybe they play this video before each show as a warm-up?
Iman – At least, I think this is Iman. I mean, who else could it be? (I’m gonna feel like a loser racist if one of you points out it’s not Iman)
Richard Dreyfuss & his daughter (I assume) – “Exactly which Michael Jackson are we talking about here?” Not sure why this line is here, because at the time, there was only one Michael Jackson. (Unless you count the Cleveland Browns wide receiver)
Danny Glover – Yep. It’s Danny Glover. Singing.
Dan Aykroyd & Steve Guttenberg – Oh, boy. Oh, no. Where do I even begin? I love how the shot starts with Akroyd riding in on a motorcycle, and you’re thinking: “Oh, okay, Aykroyd is kind of a timeless comedian, that’s fine.” Then, Guttenberg rolls up behind him, shades on, looking and acting all very Guttenberg-y. I think MJ, knowing his videos would be watched far into the future, knew that trotting Guttenberg out was the final straw, so he decided to call it. No more 80′s celebrities – we can’t fall any lower than Guttenberg! So Mike finally appears at the end, and when he says, “Okay everybody, that’s a wrap,” it’s like he’s referring to the entire decade of the 80′s, and not just the video.
P.S. How many times do you think they did a take of Aykroyd going, “Aww, Mike!” like a man with Down’s Syndrome? Five, six, seven times? Is the real director of this video still around to ask?
P.P.S. I’m aware I could have easily just looked this video up on IMDB and gotten the names of every celebrity here. But if I had, it wouldn’t have been as fun, or nearly as snarky.
While watching some playoff basketball yesterday afternoon, this gem of a commercial came on, and no amount of blogging will sufficiently quell my sense of outrage. Please watch:
Wow. I mean… holy crap balls. Where do I even begin? When I first saw this, I was so up-in-arms that I couldn’t get my thoughts in any rational order. Now, almost a day later, I can somewhat organize my rage over this. Let’s just go in order of the events that take place in the span of these thirty seconds.
0:02 seconds in – Two little boys come running through the parent’s bathroom door – WHICH IS UNLOCKED – and head to the toilet. Here’s problem #1 with this family – unlocked bathroom doors. Now, leaving the bathroom door unlocked isn’t necessarily a problem for a family that has established healthy boundaries with each other. A closed bathroom door should signify that someone is doing SOMEthing in there. If these parents had their shit together, they would have instructed these boys that a closed bathroom door means someone is probably doing something private inside, and the polite thing to do is knock first. NOT THESE FUCKING KIDS. They just come charging in, guns blazing. This is our first sign that the proper boundaries between family members does not exist with this clan.
0:04 seconds in – The mother – whose eyes are now open, implying she had been relaxing and perhaps in a “special place” – sees her sons barging in and instead of lambasting them for invading her privacy, SHE FUCKING SMILES AT THEM! Like, not only is this an okay thing, but apparently IT’S FUCKING CHARMING! Lord knows I love it when I’m butt-naked in a room and some goddamn little kids come running in. Wait, no I don’t, because I’m a person WHO HAS BOUNDARIES! If my kids came charging in like that, my reaction wouldn’t be to smile lovingly, but to scream: “Get the fuck out of here you little shits! I’ve told you little fuckers to knock when the door is shut!”
0:07 second in – Now, this is truly the most horrific part. The boys proceed to share the toilet and pee at the same time. Now, I guess this isn’t such a big deal – little boys do weird things like this all the time. What disturbs me more is the SWAYING BACK AND FORTH they do while peeing. It looks like they are having a goddam SWORD FIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR MOTHER. (If you’re unsure of the term “sword fighting” in this context, please click here for an education.) WHY ARE THEY PEEING SO CLOSE TOGETHER and IN FRONT OF THEIR NAKED MOTHER?? I don’t have the answer to this, and can only raise the questions.
0:11 seconds in – The boys are fascinated by the two layers of toilet seats. Nothing disturbing, per se, about this, just strange that they act like this is the first time they’ve ever used a toilet. How old are these kids? 6? 7? They’ve seen a goddamn toilet before. Act like you’ve been there before, cripes!
0:16 seconds in – The boys jockey for position at the sink, sparring over whose hands get to go under the running water and which one gets to use the soap. All in good fun, I suppose, but THERE’S ANOTHER SINK RIGHT NEXT TO IT. This is the whole reason two-sink bathrooms were designed – SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO FIGHT OVER A SINK. I know they’re just kids, but goddamn it already.
0:17 seconds in – Dad finally shows up and motions to the kids to get the fuck out already. He seems to be the only one with any sense of boundaries here at all. I just wish he was a little more firm and scolded these kids. His light-natured ease with this invasion is part of the problem. These boys need discipline, and should know in no uncertain terms that barging into a bathroom is unacceptable. Instead, he chuckles like it’s no big deal, and the cycle will repeat itself again.
The rest of the commercial is inconsequential, because we know all we need to know about this family and their lack of boundaries. These boys are going to grow up thinking it’s okay to barge into the woman’s locker room and saddle up next to a naked lady in the shower. They’re going to grow up and think it’s perfectly normal when meeting a woman for the first time to cup her boob instead of shaking her hand. They’re going to grow up and pee in the same urinal someone else is using. All because these fucking parents didn’t teach them any goddamn boundaries!
Okay, I have to end this. I’m getting far too upset over a stupid commercial that the people of Kohler spent a maximum of five minutes planning. I have to go take a shower… WITH THE DOOR LOCKED!!
Recently, I started following M.C. Hammer on Twitter, and after I realized his tweets were nonsensical, I quickly unfollowed him. But that got me to thinking about the Hammer and how big a fan I was at the young and impressionable age of nine. The two albums I had in my collection – Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em and 2 Legit 2 Quit – were released at the height of his fame and popularity. Then I wondered – when and how did the Hammer go from being the biggest name in pop music to broke and the butt of every joke everywhere? The answer lay in his never talked about follow-up album to 2 Legit 2 Quit – The Funky Headhunter.
2 Legit was released in 1991, but the follow-up didn’t come out until 1994. That’s an eternity in the world of pop music. What was Hammer doing during that time? Seems like living life to the fullest and losing millions of dollars while doing it. Also, rappers like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg released The Chronic and Doggystyle, changing the landscape of hip hop to hard lyrics about street life and ghetto living. Rap fans were no longer interested in hearing simple songs about “the way we roll” or The Addams Family. So what did Hammer do to try to win back his audience? He tried to hang with guys like Snoop, Dre and Ice Cube. The result was The Funky Headhunter.
By the time this album dropped, I had far moved on from being in awe of Hammer’s large pants and sliding dance moves, and never picked it up. So I gave it a listen on Spotify, and it’s… not good. It’s not horrible, mind you, but it’s certainly not good. Overall, the word I’d use to summarize the album is “bland.” It’s a weird mix of trying to incorporate the harder beats of west coast gansta rap, while still incorporating the kid-friendly, soft lyrics of the previous albums that made him huge. In the end, it just doesn’t work.
The “big” song that came from this album is “Pumps and a Bump.” You might remember it as a small speck in your childhood memory… (but most likely, not):
This song and video perfectly encapsulates the entire miscalculation that was this album. Hammer – now abandoning his trademark Hammer Pants for street-hard gangsta attire – tries to rap a radio-friendly jam, while attempting to be a badass at the same time – and the combination simply does not work. Watching this video, you can smell the record executives hard at work behind the scenes – “We have to get Hammer back to #1, so let’s hood him up, put some video HO’s grinding around him – (but not too much, this is M.C. Hammer, after all) – and, oh yeah, let’s get Deion Sanders in the video!” The whole thing reeks of desperation, and the few remaining fans saw through it.
Also strange is the fact Hammer has a huge walk-in closet full of women’s shoes. This is never explained. Also, it’s cute to see Deion calling up the homies for a gathering using a landline telephone. Seeing phone calls made not on a cell is like watching the Dark Ages – it’s just so incredibly antiquated.
Hopefully, Hammer has plenty of KFC popcorn chicken to comfort him in… whatever it is he is doing these days.
We all know of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s classic “Baby Got Back” – nary a Karaoke night goes by without some drunkards singing the infamous rap song about luscious booties. But very few are aware of Sir Mix’s OTHER hit song (well, maybe “hit” is too strong of a word). Sampling The Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache” beat and riff, I give you Sir Mix’s “Jump On It”…
Let’s begin with the first shot of the video – Sir Mix gets a page (pagers were the early 90′s version of iPhones, kids) from the phone number 555-6969. You know you’re in for a classy four minutes when leading off with a solid 69 joke. This is followed by Sir Mix taking us on a journey throughout all the hottest party spots in the U.S. of A.
We begin in my home state, Texas, where Sir Mix seems to spend the most amount of time. Dallas, Houston and, of course, Austin are all decent options if you’re looking for a city to party in. We then get whisked away to Arizona, where the girls are “as hot as in California.” Speaking of which, that’s our next stop, but unlike Texas, no individual city is given props, just the entire state. I find this odd, considering California is the country’s most populous state. Then it’s over to Vegas, where it doesn’t take a Stephen Hawking-like genius to figure out that that’s a pretty good city to go to if looking to party. After Vegas, the destinations get a little more far-fetched…
Seattle, hereby referred to as “C-Town” or “See-Town” (not sure which is the proper spelling), gets a long shout-out as Sir Mix dances in the rain at a grunge band concert. Now, I’ve been to Seattle, and it’s fine city, but it’s no grand party. I was instructed by the locals on my trip that Saturday nights are “date nights” in See-Town, and most people are home by 11 (most assuredly to get into the bone-zone with their partners). This was confirmed by my own eyes, as the bars and clubs completely emptied out before midnight. The place is not exactly Las Vegas. And then, Sir Mix takes us to…
Kansas City. We seem to spend a good chunk of seconds of the song in Kansas City. At this point, we’ve partied in Austin, Vegas, and the entire state of California – are we really so desperate to keep the good times rolling that we’re in KC trying to make something happen? Now, I can’t attest to KC’s party vibe like I can Seattle’s, but I can vouch for the final state we visit…
Ohio. Talk about a party dying a sudden, tragic death! I’ve lived in both Cleveland and Cincinnati (both cities get a shout-out in this song, along with Columbus), and I can guarantee you from experience these aren’t the cities you want to wrap up your country-wide orgy in. (To be fair, this is a cut-down version of the song. I have the original seven minute MP3 that takes us to even more places. Let me know if you want me to send you the MP3 file of the extended edition – more than happy to!)
But I guess life can’t really be one big, long, extended party. We all have responsibilities and obligations we must fulfill – bills must get paid, money must be made, and all aspects of life must be lived, not just the partying parts. So, I guess it’s no surprise Sir Mix’s final stop was the swing state of Ohio – if any state in the country will make you sober up to what the realities of an excessive, alcohol-abusive lifestyle can lead to, it’s Ohio. Trust me… it’s Ohio.
Well now, it’s certainly been a while since we’ve explored this topic! As I sat looking out the window and pondering which species of dinosaur to tackle next, the obvious one came to mind – the T. Rex. So, I was all set to bombard you with pictures of T. Rex’s gettin’ it on till the break of dawn. But then I kept coming across this other species – a species I knew by pictures in my childhood, but never bothered to do any research on… till now. You probably don’t know the Iguanodon by name, but you’ll recognize its look, and now, the way it f***s. Interested in what it ate, how it behaved or how long it survive before becoming extinct? Maybe you’re interested in how it evolved into the modern-day Iguana? You can get yourself over to Wikipedia for that. Here, we will focus exclusively on how the Iguanodon got to f***in’.
You recognize these chums now, don’t you? Lumpy, rather plain dinosaurs that didn’t capture your imagination as a child like the T. Rex and Raptors did. Well, here are two of them doing it doggystyle. Apparently, the Iguanodon’s had remarkable balancing skills, as this fellow is able to maintain his forward, thrusting motion all while standing on one leg, with no assist from a nearby tree or third party. Although impressive, what really stands out to me in this artists rendition is the bizarre, purple scarring these dinos have all along their backside. What the hell is that?! Maybe that’s why they settled on this position – too many rolls in the hay, causing crazy dino bacteria to set up shop where the cushion was hitting the pushin’.
First up – I’m not sure if these are technically Iguanodons. They look close enough, so I’m rolling with it. Second – They don’t look like they’re having much fun. It must be a tight squeeze, because both of them look like they’re trying to pinch something out of their cloacas versus trying to thrust something in. Maybe they’re both on the verge of the Point Of No Return, and it’s a magical moment for both of them. Most likely, however, it’s the artist venting his frustrations of his failures from the previous night with his or her own mate. After all, art imitates life.
Again, not sure if these are Iguanodons or not, but they look close enough. I just like that these dinos took it upon themselves to find a truly majestic, romantic place to rub their cloacas together. These two aren’t doing the deed just because their instincts tell them to – they genuingly love each other, and went out of their way to bathe in the cleansing waters of this… lake? River? Stream? Regardless, it’s nice to find an artist draw two dinosaurs making love and not just f***in. Also, look how happy they are! It must be Valentine’s Day.
Poor Iguanodons – they really can’t do it in any other position other than doggystyle, can they? Doggystyle is Missionary for these saps, the ordinary and the mundane. Not a single one of these artist renditions show these guys in any other position, but at least this artist added some mood and atmosphere for these two. The incoming fog makes me think this round of coitus is happening in the early morning, as the fresh fog is being carried in by a light ocean breeze. Nothing beats a day where the first order of business is doing the nasty – it clears the head and focuses the mind. The day instantly becomes more productive, as the mind no longer dwells on physical desires that need to be met. In this case, these dinos can go about their day worried only to feed their bellies and protect themselves from potential predators. If only we could all be so lucky to live so coitus-heavy and care-free.
And for our final image, I’ve saved the best for last. As previously demonstrated, the Iguanodon has an amazing talent for balancing, as this fellow stands on one leg, humping away. But on top of that, he’s adding in a kink not a lot of dinos (or humans, for that matter) are into – biting! If this guy pulls just a little bit more, he’s going to rip a hole in that girl’s flesh (and give her two cloaca’s – hey oh!). You can look at this in one of two ways: 1. It’s fascinating to think dinosaurs – and the animals they may have evolved into – had kinks just like we do, and maybe that’s where we get them from. 2. It’s uncomfortable to think how close we are to raw, animal instinct. I guess it all boils down to your spiritual beliefs and whatnot, which is something a blog about dinosaurs f***in’ doesn’t have the right to delve into. The real lesson to learn from this picture is – if you’re going to introduce something rough into the bedroom, make sure you do it safely. This female Iguanodon looks like she’s in pain, and is probably crying out their “safe word,” but to no avail. Fellas – if your lady has this look of pain, de-fang those teeth and take a second to breathe.
Hope this puts you all in the mood, Ready Readers! Go get some!
Here’s a song I am remiss about not writing about sooner! Ginuwine’s 1996 classic, “Pony.” You might not know it by name, but you definitely know it! I direct you to watch the video here:
The big thing that always stuck with me when during my middle school days when this song first hit was the unmistakable belching sound in the beat. Since I barely knew how to even wipe myself back in middle school, I certainly didn’t understand the audio tricks producer Timbaland was doing (which was actually quite a unique sound back then), and I literally thought it was someone belching in the background. So, every time it came on the radio, I’d go – “Sweet! The belching song is on again!” You can’t listen to this song without thinking someone is burping uncontrollably in the background. It’s impossible. Maybe Timbaland really did record himself belching (presumably after drinking a big can of Diet Coke) and used it in the beat. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case.
The video tells the tale of Ginuwine and his crew taking a trip into a honkey-tonk, white bred country bar for a couple of beers, a few rounds of pool, and for Ginuwine to dance like a stripper in front of a bunch of rednecks with his shirt off. Honestly, I don’t think these country honkey-tonks are upset that a bunch of black guys are infiltrating their bar – I think the source of their ire is Ginuwine flailing in front of them, his crotch thrusting forward, and showing off his chiseled abs. I’m no redneck racist from the south, but I’d be just as upset if a shirtless Ginuwine kept gyrating in front of me while I was trying to knock back a few suds and watch a football game.
Fortunately, Ginuwine’s obsession with his chest and abs isn’t enough to cause a complete riot of blacks vs. whites in the bar, as the two sides come together and become friends in the end. I feel this video best encapsulates what the song “Pony” has done for our society, in general. Seventeen years later, this song still plays on most of the dance floors around the globe, and everybody bumps and grinds to it, no matter your skin tone. I feel if the leaders of Israel and Palestine just got together on a dance floor and bumped to “Pony,” that the conflict between the two would instantly end – at least for four minutes. Even whities who don’t give two shits about R&B or hip hop genuinely enjoy this jam. Never have I seen our country more united than when this song is played.
Does this mean Ginuwine should run for President in four years? Maybe – as long as Timbaland is continuously belching in the background during all of his speeches.
Once every five years or so, I eat a McDonald’s Big Mac. Why? I dunno, something just takes hold of me. An unstoppable force that haunts my every thought and desire until it is ultimately quenched. I’m not sure why this happens. I try to avoid fast foods as much as I can, relying on them soley in times of needing to shove my face with something after a long day and coming home late and just needing to shut my noisy stomach up for the night. And even using this discipline, I still try to only use McDonald’s as a last resort. So it’s not like I’m fighting an unending addiction to America’s Most Popular Restaurant.
And yet, every four to five years, this yearning for a Big Mac overwhelms me. I become moody, short-tempered, and easily distracted, and cannot revert back to my normal self until the craving is taken care of. It’s quite similar to Spock and the Vulcans when they go through Pon Farr:
I even had a dream about the Big Mac the other night. And that’s literally all the dream was – me sitting down and eating a Big Mac. No dragons came in to fight me, no aliens came down to abduct me, and no fine women came in to seduce me. I just sat there and ate a Big Mac. And then, just the other day, a lovely new billboard pops up right outside my apartment advertising the Big Mac Extra Value meal, claiming it’s an “epic meal (with an) epic-er price.” Can’t say that’s false advertising.
So that’s one dream and one well-placed and time-appropriate billboard that’s leading me to think now is the time to settle this most unsettling desire of mine. The thing is, every time this happens, it always ends the same, as I’m sure it does for most people who divulge into a McDonald’s meal. It’s like eating a short stack of pancakes – the first few bites are heavenly bliss, but then the reality sets in – you’re eating horrible, horrible food. So then the stomach begins to reject you, that heavy weight overtakes your body, and you go to bed feeling mad at yourself for putting your poor body through such an ordeal.
This is ultimately what will happen again when I give in to this obsession and eat this silly hamburger. It’ll taste delightful the first three bites, but then I’ll sink into a deep depression, and realize the combination of double meat patties, pickles, onions and special sauce can only temporarily satisfy an illogical obsession. But sometimes you’ve just got to get that obsession taken care of.
And so, stay tuned for a post-Big Mac update. And yes, that does mean I’m writing two blog posts about the goddamn Big Mac!