There will be three more actual substantial posts after this, but for today, I’m just going to get a few things tidied up
First, the videos from Larryoke 2!
And I think I forgot to post the videos from Larryoke 1 a couple years ago!
In some ways, I’m as proud of the 26 songs I wrote for both Larryokes as I am of the blog itself.
Larryoke started as a joke between myself and Philip J Reed (who wrote “Windy Chicagoan Nights”), and it seemed too fabulously nutty an idea not to do. And it turned out to be hugely rewarding. It let me push the boundaries of the review blog format, irrevocably setting the bar higher for the poor soul who just wants to make Thighmaster jokes while writing about She’s the Sheriff; it achieved some resonance with Perfect Strangers‘s own regular inclusion of songs; and it scratched some itches I wasn’t fully aware I had.
I grew up listening to “Weird Al” Yankovic, ever since I saw him in 1991 on Square One Television. Though I miss his earlier look and musical style (he was a pastiche of oddities specific to the United States of the 1970s and 1980s), I’ll follow his career as long as he makes songs. Along with MAD Magazine, “Weird Al” was my teacher when it came to subversion and recognizing the hollowness at the core of consumerism. But his was an empowering message in the vein of Frank Zappa: fetishizing Cuisinarts, SPAM, cable television, or infomercial products was obviously brainless, so the stuff I was into was fine by comparison. So long as it doesn’t cause a murder, etc. I would possess neither the sense of humor, nor the breadth of reference (academic or otherwise), to keep a project like this blog afloat if I hadn’t had a role model telling me I could pursue whatever weird shit interested me.
But… I never thought I would end up publishing my own parody songs.* Writing spoof lyrics is a very different kind of thinking from what I’m used to, because each line ideally needs to do four things at once: be about Perfect Strangers, rhyme with one or more other lines, retain at least one or two words from the original song, and be funny. I understand now how hard it must have been for the prophets to write Bible verses that were about ancient Israel and 20th-Century United States at the same time!
Some songs, like “Mypos Man” or “Sitcom Star”, basically wrote themselves. But others–and I’m primarily thinking of “Twinka ’90” and “I Reviewed Perfect Strangers”–felt like I only managed to finish them through sheer brute force. And I believe that “Where Have All the Good Shows Gone?”, which encompasses both the original and lesser, revived versions of TGIF**, could stand on its own outside the context of this blog. “Dim a Little Dimitri” is the Zappa-est song*** of the bunch, but “Where Have All the Good Shows Gone?” is the “Weird Al”-est. Could someone please get a job at the AVClub and write an article about Larryoke? Thanks.
Writing that many songs about Larry and Balki & co. could have been either a pure exercise of ego, or of madness, so I’m humbled that I had enough friends who also thought Larryoke was a good enough idea to put their time and energy into it. Or they helped out because they’re part of the global conspiracy focused on keeping me busy so I don’t find out about it. Whichever one of those it is, it was a lot of fun! Larryoke, and Larryoke 2, wouldn’t have existed were it not for all of the singers, who each brought their own interpretations to the lyrics, making them something much, much more than silly rhymes about a TV show. If you enjoyed either Larryoke, thank them.
Second, I have some prizes to give away! In February and August of last year, I announced both
PERFECT STRANGERS REVIEWED
Our first prize tonight is these Perfect Strangers promotional slides:
Ain’t they beautiful? They’re going to appear in the mailbox of Jennifer, who captioned this image:
“Mary Anne, I didn’t know your family was also from Mypos. It turns out you are my sister!”
This one makes me laugh because it would mean Balki is more attracted to her.
The other prize is a set of Impel LAFFS trading cards. Since it consists entirely of promotional images of ABC sitcoms, it’s very likely the cheapest trading card series ever made!
You won’t get the exact ones pictured, because I put those right in that toilet after taking the photo. But AN actual set of 80 cards will permanently bring down the resale value of John D‘s house because he submitted the winning caption for this image:
“Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten into me.”
This one makes me laugh because water is going up Larry’s butt.
Jennifer and John D, please comment with your email addresses, and then I’ll delete the comments. Or you can contact me through the Perfect Strangers Reviewed Facebook page.
One more thing: I truly do only plan to put up three more posts after this one. Now, maybe someone finally gets back to me and gives me an interview, or maybe the requests I’ve put out there to find a copy of the pilot end up fruitful, or maybe Bronson finally sues me for libel. If anything on that order happens, sure, I’ll write up a post about it. I wouldn’t withhold anything like that.
But I won’t make any more efforts to get interviews, locate rare Bronson Pinchot films, purchase a mint-in-sealed-package Dimitri’s Diner apron, or open a portal to a dimension where Season 8 never aired. And if the show ever gets rebooted, no.
See you next week for the inevitable Top 10/Bottom 10 post!
*”Judy Eatin’ Fries” (John Fred & His Playboys), “Covered in Goo” (38 Special), and “Bennie & Her Boobs” (Elton John) will only ever exist in my Google Drive account.
**Television Ghosts Invoke Fear
***I wanted so, so badly to do a version of Zappa’s “Fembot in a Wet T-Shirt” (“Mypiot in a Wet Cousin”). There was no karaoke track available for it, which is a shame, because the original song has a “50 bucks” line and everything.