One of my dad’s favorite TV shows when I was growing up was The Gong Show, which, in retrospect, is about as representative of the ’70s as you could get: it made no sense, and people loved it either because or in spite of it.
For the uninitiated, The Gong Show was ostensibly a talent-based game show where acts would come on and perform to try to impress the three celebrities who made up the judging panel. If any one of the judges didn’t like the act, they could hit the gong to end the performance in its tracks. The result was that you, as a viewer, wanted to see an act tank more than you wanted them to succeed.
The acts were strange, and that was the whole charm of the show: it was off the wall and loved to push the envelope of sanity, probably because the host of the program, Chuck Barris, pushed the envelope of sanity, sobriety, and good taste to its limits all on his own.
But tonight, I was doing a YouTube search for some videos from one of my favorite bands of the ’80s, and found this:
The Mystical Knights of the Oingo Boingo would later simply shorten things down to Oingo Boingo–a hard-charging brass and guitar heavy dance band. And yes, they would move on from this display of … whatever it is to pen a couple of big hits that would be used in several movies, including Weird Science:
But here’s one of my favorite songs of theirs. And apparently it was used in the soundtrack for a Rodney Dangerfield movie…Go figure:
And another one, which apparently didn’t have an official music video:
Oh. And just in case you’re wondering, that lead singer for the band? The crazy eyed and haired guy? It’s Danny Elfman. Still not ringing a bell? He’s scored a ton of movies over the last 20 years, including Chicago, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the recent version of Alice of Wonderland, and just about everything else that Tim Burton has made.
Guess that big break on The Gong Show really helped.
See you tomorrow.