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Funny / Todd In The Shadows One Hit Wonderland 2012

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    A-ha - "Take On Me" (1984) 
  • "I'm gonna need a really good one to kick off this project with...[Rustles through papers looking for an idea]...hmm...A-ha!"
  • Todd: Our first act comes all the way from Oslo, Norway. Now, when I think Norwegian bands, generally I'm thinking of the kind of music that never charts even one song.
    Dimmu Borgir:SACRIFICE!
    Todd: And for obvious reasons. But during the height of the MTV Era, three young men hit it back and became music video stars for one brief, shining moment. Those men were lead singer Morten Harket, keyboardist Pål...Waaktaar, and guitarist Fur(u)... holmen."
  • "Now, I'd always heard that 'Take On Me' didn't get big until they'd made their one really good video, which I never understood. Kajagoogoo made it big around the same time, and they didn't have a good video. Or, for that matter, a good song. All they had was stupid hair!"
  • "The failed follow-up" is the song "The Sun Always Shines on TV". The video features a scene with the couple from "Take On Me", where the guy turns back into a rotoscoped comic book character and runs away. The End.
    Todd: The Sun always shines on TV...unless that TV is showing this music video, I guess. Thanks a lot, Steve Barron.
    • Todd also takes issue with the follow-up single's flowery, bordering-on-Word Salad Lyrics, such as "please don't ask me to defend the shameful lowlands of the way I'm drifting gloomily through time":
      Todd: Ya sure? 'cause I was definitely going to ask you to defend the shameful lowlands of the way you're drifting gloomily through time.

    Sir Mix-a-Lot - "Baby Got Back" (1992) 
  • Todd admitting that "Baby Got Back" is so firm in pop culture that when he hears someone say, "Oh my God", he immediately adds, 'Becky, look at her butt.' "I'm told it's really annoying."
  • "But lost in the discussion of 'Baby Got Back''s deeper meaning — and yes, people were actually talking about this in exactly those kinds of terms, I'm not pulling any of this out of my ass... so to speak."
    • "And since I got nothing better to do than contemplate the philosophical underpinnings of a man dancing on a giant ass, here goes."
  • Any time he mentions that he knows the song (and video) by heart.
    • Furthermore, when he mouths along to the words.
  • "Where 'Baby Got Back' was inspired by his love of butts and his disgust with the prevailing cultural attitudes, 'Put 'Em on the Glass', by his own admission, was inspiring by his love of thick, fat royalty checks that he got from 'Baby Got Back'."
  • This is the first episode where Todd can't determine if the subject really deserves better.

    Carl Douglas - "Kung Fu Fighting" (1974) 
  • Todd calmly plays the intro to the song and when the real song starts to play, excitedly strikes a kung fu pose.
  • "This week, we're going back to 1974, a year that I've read many writers describe as the worst year in pop music history. I don't think I'd agree, not when we've got 1980, 1990 and 2001 to compare it to."
  • "Ok, well, let's take a look at [Kung Fu Fighting]. First off, keep in mind that this was put together by a Jamaican singer and an Indian producer in London. I'm gonna guess neither of these people know all that much about East Asian culture, although I heard Carl say once that he had Chinese cousins. Chinese-Jamaicans are a thing, I looked it up."
  • Todd: I read somewhere Carl was hoping that [Dance the Kung Fu] was gonna start a full-on dance craze like the Hustle, and I deeply wish I could see the alternate universe where that plan worked because I don't know what Carl was thinking. That was pretty clearly never going to happen. Like, ever. A song about kung fu? Maybe you could get away with that if you have a really catchy tune. But a dance about kung fu? Well, that's just stupid, right?
    Kung Tai Ted: On the contrary, dancing the kung fu is one of the finest and deepest traditions in all of martial arts. Listen to Carl Douglas's detailed instructions on this ancient ritual.
    Carl Douglas: ♪You swing to your left, then you swing to your right♪
    Kung Tai Ted: First you swing to your left, then you swing to your right.
    Carl: ♪Hand to the hand then you make a little stand♪
    Kung Tai Ted: Hand to the hand then you make a little stand. You jump and dip your back up stiff.
    Carl: This is all you do\ Oh, you dance the kung fu
    Kung Tai Ted: Then you dance the kung fu, dance the kung fu, dance the kung fu, and dance the kung fu.
    Todd: Wow, every move really is poetry in motion. Thanks, Kung Tai Ted!
    Kung Tai Ted: No problem. (Sits down, takes a long drink, falls back)
    • What makes it really funny are some of the ridiculous poses Kung Tai Ted makes when trying to "dance the kung fu".
  • "Honestly, I wish he'd just kept it up and made more songs based on movies he'd seen. That could've been great. Like, he could make a cowboy song or a gangster movie song or a Slasher Movie song. ♪Everybody was...getting killed by a crazy ax murderer♪ Oh, what a waste."
  • "Did he deserve better?"

    Dexys Midnight Runners - "Come On Eileen" (1982) 
  • "They were a success in England almost immediately. And who could be surprised? After all, who better to emulate this genre of music than a guy who sounded like this?"
  • Bugs Bunny: Now, with your kind indulgence, I'll play "Those Endearing Young Charms".
    Todd: Sorry, I just can't hear the intro to this song without expecting Daffy Duck to blow up. Ha! But I digress.
  • Todd: [Come on Eileen] not only brought them their second #1 hit in the U.K.; it broke them into America, and wrestled the top spot away from Michael Jackson for a week. And after all, who could dislike a song with such amazing lyrics as this?
  • "Rowland refused to release a single because it had to be understood as an album statement. You know, like he was fronting Pink Floyd or something."
  • "Did they deserve better?"
    Todd: Yes. The answer to that is yes. I hope I made that clear.

    Gerardo - "Rico Suave" (1990) 
  • "Truly, without Gerardo, we would likely not have the many Hispanic sex symbols that today pervade our culture." (Antonio Banderas, Enrique Iglesias, Angry Joe)
  • "But could a Latino - particularly one from the suburbs and not the streets - ever have enough cred to break into a hip-hop scene populated by black artists?" (Description Cut to a photo of MC Hammer in parachute pants) "Like this guy?"
  • "This song is a terrible, ridiculous, almost Jersey Shore-ian parody of unlikable douchebags bragging unconvincingly about their sexual prowess."
  • Gerardo: ♪My only addiction has to do with the female species\ I eat 'em raw like sushi♪
    Todd: Heh-heh. Hey, funny thing about that—he didn't even come up with the phrase himself. Raw Like Sushi was the debut album of Neneh Cherry. I think she meant "raw" in the sense of 'real', not 'raw' in the sense of Gerardo's oral sex technique being so terrible as to leave painful abrasions. Also, you can't tie him down.
    Gerardo: ♪You pop the question, that's it♪
    Todd: Although I don't know why you'd want to. On top of that, he doesn't want to meet your parents. And if you drag him over there, he will insult your mom's cooking straight to her face.
    Gerardo: ♪I'm used to good old-fashioned homestyle Spanish cookin'\ If I try that, I'll be pukin'♪
    Todd: That doesn't rhyme.
    Captions: *buzzer* NO ES UNA RIMA
  • "Despite his success, he was decried by other Latinos who said that he was perpetuating an exaggerated negative stereotype that further marginalized their culture, and that he might as well have just put on a sombrero and shouted, '¡Andale, andale!'"
  • Todd painting Gerardo as a Casanova Wannabe.
    Todd: Seriously, close your eyes and pretend you don't know what this guy looks like. Does this sound like the man of your dreams, ladies?
    Gerardo: ♪There's not woman who can handle a man like me\ That's why I juggle two or three.♪
    Todd: Or does he sound like this (Shows picture of Jean-Ralphio) to you?
  • "None of these songs are meant for ladies anyway. Gerardo was quite upfront about the fact that he wrote the songs for 'the Spanish male.' Got it, Pedro? This is for you!"
  • Todd pointing out that "Love" is a shameless ripoff of "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" by PM Dawn. And this is right after he'd just found that two of Gerardo's other post-"Rico Suave" singles were shameless ripoffs of Marky Mark's "Good Vibrations" and Tone Loc's rapping style.
    Todd: You've gotta be kidding me. Okay! (talks about "Set Adrift" a little and shows a clip of it) You may notice a few minor resemblances between the two songs. Like the whispered vocals, smooth R&B hook, chord structure, the instrumentation, the fact that one's a complete ripoff of the other in every conceivable way... a few other minor details like that. This is blatant. Heh, his Latino critics were right, he is perpetrating negative stereotypes! Namely, that they steal and that they're lazy!
  • Translating the Spanish with subtitles.
    Girl: Hey, aren't you the moron who sang "Rico Suave"?
    Gerardo: No, that wasn't me. I swear you were thinking of someone else.
    Girl: Yes, you are. I recognize your stupid hair.
    Gerardo: You are correct. I am a ridiculous buffoon.
    Girl: Don't touch me.
    • If you know Spanish and you know the song those subs are funnier because, despite the intentional inaccuracy, he isn't that far off. Explanation 
  • Gerardo later found success as a record executive for Interscope Records, where he discovered, among others, Bubba Sparkxxx, who would later give us "Ms. New Booty".
    So you have Gerardo to thank for that, too. (two thumbs up)
  • Todd finishes by trying to find something positive to say about Gerardo. But even the only thing he could think of—that Gerardo was possibly the first Latino hip-hip artist—can't even be applied to him:
    Todd: In that regard, "Rico Suave" is an important historical milestone, regardless of its actual quality. ...Oh, wait, I forgot Mellow Man Ace. Crap, that guy was first. Ok, Gerardo is a moron of no significance whatsoever. Good night!
  • The stinger is Weird Al's parody "Taco Grande".

    Billy Ray Cyrus - "Achy Breaky Heart" (1992) 
  • The title card. Just...the title card.
  • This bit:
    Todd: [Achy Breaky Heart] was offered to The Oak Ridge Boys, who passed on it because their lead singer thought that 'achy breaky' was a stupid phrase to try and sing. And keep in mind that The Oak Ridge Boys are most famous for this:
    (cut to clip of "Elvira" by The Oak Ridge Boys)
    Richard Sterban: ♪Giddyup, ba oom papa oom papa mow mow♪
  • "It's tempting to call him the redneck Rico Suave, and I have to believe that was part of why he took off the way he did. But what about that big hit single? In retrospect, it's hard to figure out why this was such a big deal. Not to put too fine a point on it, but 'Achy Breaky Heart' is kind of a doofy song. Full disclosure: When I was eight, I thought Achy Breaky Heart was the shit."
  • Todd: It's amazing how much he sounds like Trey Parker's rock voice.
    Trey Parker:America, fuck yeah!
  • "I guarantee that most people wouldn't know that there was a song called 'I Want My Mullet Back' without Hannah Montana."
  • During his summation, Todd notes that a major contributor to Billy Ray falling out of favor was the rise in the early 90s of acts that did the same shtick as him, but far better. Case in point: Tim McGraw.

    Men Without Hats - "Safety Dance" (1982) 
  • The jokes he makes at the band's name, including "Men Without Work" (when he mentions they could have teamed up with Men at Work) and "Men Without Hits".
  • Upon realizing "I Got The Message" is partly in French:
    Todd: Well it's no wonder this didn't become big. No one likes their new wave bands to sing in French! [Cue "Call Me"] Right, anyway...
  • Todd being startled by the woman in the video popping up out of nowhere.
  • "Frosty the Marshmallow Man there is actually Bonhomme Carnaval, the mascot of the annual Quebec Winter Fest and he is awful and I hate him. He became a sort of mascot for the band because having Tingle dance around while you play wasn't creepy enough apparently."

    Wild Cherry - "Play That Funky Music" (1976) 
  • Todd suggests a lot of fridge Self-Deprecation in Wild Cherry's output:
    Todd: The Wild Cherry story basically belongs to their lead singer and songwriter, Rob Parissi. And fortunately for us, he put his own backstory in his biggest hit. So if you don't already know it, here it goes. ♪Once he was a boogie singer\ Playing in a rock 'n roll band\ He never had no problems\ Burning down the one-night stands\ Then everything around him\ Got to start to feelin' so low\ So he decided quickly, yes he did...♪ to break up the band and go back to his day job.
  • The decision to do "Play That Funky Music" was ultimately due to Executive Meddling:
    Todd: To Parissi's eternal regret, he caved in and gave the studio execs exactly what they wanted; and for his obedience, he was rewarded with jack shit in the way of success. He himself called his follow-ups to his big hit the 'What's Happening Now!' of music. Which, for the record, might be the most 70's way he could've put that.
  • But Parissi would finally get his due:
    Todd: By his own admission, he didn't save his money very wisely at first. But then in 1990, he discovered that Vanilla Ice had sampled his song without permission. So of course, he sued the silver lamé pants off of him.
  • "Did they deserve better?"
    Todd: No.
    • After gushing over the song for the whole video, he states that there are far better funk acts than Wild Cherry. They were not as unique as he originally thought, and pretty much got as much as they deserved.

    Bobby "Boris" Pickett - "Monster Mash" (1962) 
  • "I've never done a Halloween episode before. Guess I should dress up. I don't usually dress up for Halloween, but I'm pretty sure I've accumulated some costume shit around here. Ok, there you go: blonde Zorro a mask. Perfect."
  • His commentary on how silly early 60's pop music was, which includes clips from "Witch Doctor, "Hello Muddah Hello Fadduh" and "The Purple People Eater"
    "Yeah, remember that whenever your parents talk about how much better music was when they were kids, alright?"
    • Made even clearer when he points out that the song was produced by a member of the Hollywood Argyles, and plays a clip from their #1 hit "Alley Oop".
  • Todd stating that he actually found a downloadable copy of Boris Pickett's only full-length LP, which features a parody of teen idol Fabian entitled "Rabian, The Fiendage Idol". "I feel like my life is complete now."
  • "The BBC actually banned it that year for being too macabre. And people say the Brits have a stick up their ass. Pshaw!"
  • Todd was only able to find short clips of the Monster Mash movie musical online but that doesn't stop him from declaring his intention to one day find the whole thing, watch it several times and develop a religion based on it.
  • The video ends with a freeze-frame "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue where it says Todd stayed home and watched a Netflix film, which turned out not to be the film he requested.

    Chumbawumba - "Tubthumping" (1997) 
  • "Even if you do know more about them than just 'Tubthumping', you're probably fairly ignorant of the full scope of Chumbawamba's career, which lasted thirty goddamn years. Yes, thirty years of radical shifts in genre, popularity and influences. And I'm gonna try and fit it all into a twelve minute video. ...God help me."
    • (Five minutes later) "Actually, you know what? I'm gonna have to skip ahead, or we're gonna be here all day."
  • "Rest assured, they were pretty far to the left [politically], enough to make Chairman Mao [shows picture of Mao Zedong] look like he could be a Fox News anchor. [shows picture of Sean Hannity]"
  • "Most people didn't know anything about 'Tubthumping', but those who did had to have some serious whiplash. [Tubthumping] was about as bizarre as if Public Enemy had recorded 'Gettin' Jiggy Wit It.'"

    Elmo & Patsy - "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" (1979) 
  • "Yes, today for 'One Hit Wonderland', we are looking at a holiday classic. One of the few post-Baby-Boomer additions to the accepted canon of Christmas music—the jolliest, most festive song about vehicular manslaughter."
  • "Did they deserve better?"
    Todd: (15-second Beat) This episode was a mistake.
    • He remarks that making the choice of going for a pure novelty hitnote  resulted in a torturous run for research, which put him even less in the holiday spirit than he was before. He says he would be fine skipping all the way to Groundhog Day.
  • At the end he declares that there's only one Christmas song he wants to hear ever again: "Mistletoe" by Justin Bieber.
    Todd: Now that song's going to be around forever.

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