ENJOY THE GENIUS 9: Keep Your Day Job
My friend’s got a boyfriend. Man, she hates that dick. She tells me every day. He wants more dinero just to stay at home! Well, my friend, you’ve got to say, “I won’t pay, I won’t pay ya — no way-ay-ay-ay! Na-na, why don’t you ENJOY THE GENIUS?”
That’s right, ENJOY THE GENIUS is finally back, mainly because I’ve been saving my other big ETG idea for the 10th-episode special.
Nowadays, just as I posited with the title of the last installment of ENJOY THE GENIUS, anyone can get a record deal. It doesn’t really matter if you can sing or not, especially not in the age of AutoTune and “famous for being famous,” whatever the hell that means. All you really need is to either get enough Myspace friends or already be rich and/or famous, and you’re good to go. This is why people like Kevin Federline and Paris Hilton have been allowed to release albums despite never actually displaying anything resembling musical talent beforehand. And now that the Disney Channel is basically a teen-pop factory, young actors and actresses are more able to flood the airwaves with forgettable pop music than ever before!
But it’s not like this is the first time Hollywood has infiltrated other forms of showbiz. Back in the day, movie stars used to sing in their films all the time. Actors knew how to play instruments too. Hell, Harpo Marx only spoke one line of dialogue in his entire film career, but he could still play the shit out of the harp.
Still, just because Judy Garland and Gene Kelly could sing their hearts out doesn’t mean every A-list actor or actress who wanted to branch out into music could pull it off. And today, we’re going to take a look at some movie stars who probably should have stuck with their day jobs… along with one wannabe musical act so incredibly ridiculous that it took the combined efforts of the Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd to mock it properly.
The fun begins, as always, after the jump!
Before we begin, I’d like to give you all a fair warning. These clips are arranged in a very specific order. Think of it this way: I am Virgil, you are Dante, and I’m about to take you on a guided tour of the Inferno.
We’re dealing with stuff that pales in comparison to movie star singers like J-Lo (master of doing completely different songs, giving them the same titles as her other songs, and calling the new songs “remixes”) and J-Love (master of teasing straight men with pulses and access to MTV by making a music video for a song called “Barenaked” and not getting naked). They can’t all be Zooey Deschanel, after all — her band She & Him has actually earned a pretty nice helping of indie cred.
We begin this edition of ENJOY THE JENNIFER — excuse me, ENJOY THE GENIUS by taking a look at a rock band that features a famous heartthrob actor best known for starring in a number of well-received films as its lead singer and includes the number 30 in its name. And no, it’s not 30 Seconds To Mars. They actually have a few decent songs, so kudos to Jared Leto, who starred in the TV series My So-Called Life and films like Requiem For A Dream and American Psycho before going into rock-star mode.
No, the band in question is 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts, which features Gladiator/A Beautiful Mind/Master And Commander star Russell Crowe as its lead singer.
“The Photograph Kills” is apparently about how to deal with the paparazzi taking unflattering pictures of you doing stupid things. I can tell because the first line of the chorus is “The photograph kills and your fame will destroy you.” Later on he advises the listener, “Don’t even think of fighting.” Huh? “Don’t even think of fighting?” This coming from the guy whose short temper is so infamous that South Park once turned him into a street-fighting parody of Steve Irwin? Also, they put this really weird effect on Russell Crowe’s voice that just doesn’t suit the song at all and makes him sound worse.
And that’s still nowhere near as bad as celebrity music gets. Metalheads, you may want to look away right about now.
Ladies, how would you feel if you were married to a really, really, really nice guy? I’m talking about the kind of guy who writes rap songs about having fun in the summer and likes making movies about “date doctors,” a guy charming enough for people to give him a nickname like… oh, I don’t know… the Fresh Prince. The worst thing you’ve ever heard about the guy is a bunch of rumors that he’s connected to the Church of Scientology. I’m guessing most women would be pretty cool with that. (Okay, the Scientology thing might be a bit of a deal-breaker.)
Apparently for Jada Pinkett Smith, the sheer squeaky-cleanness of it all was enough to drive her to the brink of madness. What else could possibly explain something like this?
Wow. Just… wow. Who would ever have thought that all this time Jada Pinkett Smith wanted to be the next Angela Gossow?
The craziest part about all this is that the worst thing about this band is the very reason why people have heard of them. Jada actually can sing a little, or at least she can in the choruses. Her delivery in the verses, though… that’s another matter altogether. It’s like she recorded dialogue for a movie or something and then someone got their hands on the recording and played it over an instrumental version of a Slipknot song. The second-craziest part is that this band has opened for Britney Spears and played the second stage at Ozzfest. What other band could possibly make the claim that they’ve done both?
So how do we follow a band that apparently had the seals of approval from Britney Spears and Ozzy Osbourne? With a comedian collaborating with the King Of Pop himself, that’s how.
Once upon a time, back in the days before Pluto Nash and Meet Dave and Daddy Day Care and a number of other terrible movies, Eddie Murphy was considered one of the funniest people on Earth. He also tried his hand at a singing career in the mid-to-late-’80s. Everyone remembers his hit single “Party All The Time,” but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who remembers “Whatzupwitu.” I don’t even think Eddie Murphy would want to remember “Whatzupwitu.” Then again, we are talking about the guy who is most directly responsible for convincing Hollywood that POPULAR COMEDIAN + FAT SUIT + WOMEN’S CLOTHING = COMEDY GOLD. Eddie, you’re probably not reading this, but if you are… it’s YOUR fault that movies like Big Momma’s House are allowed to exist. Thanks a lot.
Ten years ago MTV named “Whatzupwitu” the third-worst music video ever made, and while the list hasn’t been updated since, I can’t imagine anything knocking this one off. How do you make a video with the man who revolutionized the music video as an art form and come up with something this terrible? At least Michael was kind enough to let Eddie play an Egyptian pharaoh in “Remember The Time” and show him what a music video is supposed to be like.
But we’re still not done yet, folks. Oh, I wish I could say we’ve reached the bottom of the barrel, but we’re still not there. Brace yourselves, dear readers, for the musical endeavors (that’s putting it as nicely as possible) of action star Steven Seagal.
This song is called “My God,” and it can be found on Mr. Seagal’s solo album Songs From The Crystal Caves. And let me tell you something — this man is a regular poet laureate. The lyrics here reach a depth previously unexplored by musicians everywhere with its humbling message of “My God can beat up your God.”
Wait, that’s not right. Let me double-check the lyrics… oh, okay, it’s actually “My God is better than your God/My God is bigger than yours.” Is this a song about religious bigotry, or is Steven Seagal trying to inspire penis envy in his listeners? Yes, I know he never says anything about any male reproductive organs. So what? Beyonce Knowles never mentions any boy parts in “Ego” either, but it’s pretty clear that every time she says “ego,” she really means…
In the case of “My God,” replace the word “God” with “penis.” Here’s what you get:
My penis is better than your penis
My penis is bigger than yours
My penis is better than your penis
My penis is bigger than yours
Indeed, Mr. Seagal’s record is now widely considered something of an embarrassment. And “My Pe–” er, excuse me, “My God” is just one of the reasons why.
But it’s nowhere near as embarrassing as what you’re about to see. I hope you’re all sitting down for this. And I really, really hope I’m not about to completely wreck your childhood.
I hope you are…
Here it comes…
The musical act that, more than anyone else mentioned in this post, really should have stuck with their day jobs…
WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
And just to assure you that I’m not making this up…
Yeah, so apparently the Ninja Turtles were so huge back in the early ‘90s that someone thought it would be a good – no, great idea to turn them from the world’s greatest reptilian crime fighters into the world’s most generic pop-rock band. I am not making this up. You can’t make this stuff up. Not unless you’re one of the people who, you know, actually came up with this idea.
I never even knew this existed until I read about it a few weeks ago on Sputnik Music. Somebody actually wrote a whole album’s worth of songs about the Ninja Turtles and then hired people to dress like the Turtles and go on tour pretending to play those songs. But wait, you ask – how would the Turtles actually play their instruments if they only have three fingers? Well, all you have to do is give them THREE-string guitars and a ONE-string bass guitar and you’re good to go. Apparently this is supposed to work just as well as a normal person playing a six/seven-string guitar or a four/five-string bass. How? I don’t know, and frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. Sorry, but life is simply too short to contemplate the ramifications of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles playing musical instruments designed for human hands.
Seriously, though… don’t the Ninja Turtles have more important things to do? Like, oh, I don’t know… saving the world from Shredder and his hordes of Foot Clan minions? I mean, you don’t see the Justice League taking a few months off from saving the universe to start a damn band. And no, I’m not talking about the mid-‘80s straight-edge hardcore punk band that I stumbled across while Googling “Justice League band” in hopes of not finding anything involving the Superfriends singing bad pop songs instead of whooping supervillain ass.
You’d think, what with the Turtles pursuing a musical career and all, that Shredder would have had a damn field day. His greatest nemeses are out of the picture! The world will soon plummet into the iron clutches of the Foot Clan because the only ones capable of stopping them decided they had a song in their hearts! Right?
Welcome to the ninth circle, my friends. Please be careful, because if you’re not then Lucifer will freeze you in a block of ice and start chomping on you. I’m still not sure how the Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd made it out of this in one piece.
And until next time, keep on enjoying the genius.