Let me preface this with saying that my taste in musicals is probably radically different from most people who claim a love of musicals. I’ve actually never seen musicals like Cats or The Phantom of the Opera or even The Sound of Music. Take my joy of musicals to be lighter hearted. Less having to do with talent and story and more to do with sheer ridiculousness. I’ve been a little depressed this week and as soon as I started writing this and listening to these songs/watching these scenes my mood was instantly improved. So I hope no one takes this too seriously and instead you let it lighten your mood as well. This would have worked better as a video and I apologize for the barrage of youtube videos, but I don’t have the editing talent to pull that off.
1. Christian Bale in Newsies singing “Santa Fe”
When I was a preteen I had Christian Bale MM… If you allow yourself to take this movie seriously this is actually kind of a sad song. Christian Bale plays Jack “Cowboy” Kelly who is an orphan, to survive he works as a newsboy in 1899. He meets another newsboy, David who is just starting out and helps him. In return David takes Jack to have dinner with his family. Afterwards Jack is feeling a little lost and lonely and he sings “Santa Fe”. “Santa Fe” is a song about dreaming of a better place, starting over and improving his status in life. What I find to be ridiculous about this is actually the dance number during the song sequence. It’s classic bad angry dancing at it’s best. Plus he jumps on a horse.
2. Kevin Bacon dancing in Footloose
If you’ve never seen Footloose shame on you. To sum it up Kevin Bacon moves to a small town that has outlawed loud music and dancing. He falls in love with the girl who’s father hates him and it all culminates in the best and the original angry dance. A dance that has been parodied many, many times. Watch it again and you’ll enjoy it just as much as the first time you saw it and feel free to join in when that saxaphone starts playing. You know you want to. (I had to watch this video like 3 times before I finally forced my eyes to look away long enough to copy and paste the HTML code… it’s addicting.)
3. Steve Martin singing The Dentist song from Little Shop of Horrors
Not to sound like a giggling school girl or anything, but Steve Martin in this song is freaking gorgeous. He is supposed to be the bad guy and be despised and everything but this is easily my favorite song in the movie. The song itself is just an introduction to his character, a sadistic dentist. He is Audrey’s love interest during the first part of the movie and he is generally an awful human being up until and during his transformation into plant food. I love that this song is done in a rock and roll style and Martin really pulls off the whole evil thing. He’s so bad ass he can stop his motorcycle on the street just by pointing at it. NOW SPIT!!!
4. Michelle Pfeiffer singing “Cool Rider” in Grease 2
I know sacrilege it’s not the original Grease. If I must tell you again this is not a list of best musicals. I chose this song from the Grease franchise because when I think of Grease this is really the song that stands out in my head and really it’s one of the only songs I enjoy singing out loud. Michelle plays Stephanie an extremely cool yet superficial high schooler (ya right) that is the love interest of Sandy’s cousin and main character Michael. Michael is kind of a nerd and Stephanie blows him off in this song about how she only wants a bad boy on a motorcycle. Was I the only one screaming at the TV? He’s cute, he’s Australian and he’s got an adorable accent! Lower your standards already lady! As a side note I can’t go up on a ladder without subconsciously doing the “ladder dance”.
5.“Please Mr. Jailer” from Crybaby.
Yes! A John Waters movie made this list. And Yes Johnny Depp was in a musical before Sweeney Todd. This is not a good musical in any way; it’s not even a very good movie. Johnny Depp plays a 1950’sesque greaser “Drape” named Crybaby Walker who falls in love with a Square and the typical makeover plot line happens, she falls in love with him as well. At some point he gets arrested, can’t remember why but he does and at the end of the movie squares and drapes unite to sing a song begging the judge to release Johnny from prison. The main actress, Amy Locan and Johnny Depp do not actually sing any of the songs in the movie, which was pretty disheartening to find out.
6. Rik Mayall singing “King Harod’s song” from Jesus Christ Superstar
Here’s another sacrilege moment; I prefer the 2000 version of Jesus Christ Superstar OVER the original. I enjoy it because it is way overblown and the attempts at modernizing it made it silly. I’m not saying that technically it’s a better movie I’m just saying that it’s more entertaining. Plus I don’t get hippies. So what is the most overblown song in an overblown movie? The actor who played Drop Dead Fred and Rick (the anarchist) from The Young Ones singing as King Herod in a story about the crucifixion. Rik Mayall does not have a singing voice but he does have charisma leaking out of every pore in his body. He makes this song fun and evil all at once. Add in a full on stage production with evil back round dancers and what you’ve got is gold.
7. Matt Berry singing “The Innkeeper’s song from AD/BC: A Rock Opera
As a follow up to talking about Jesus Christ Superstar I wanted to talk about a little known parody production called AD/BC: A Rock Opera. This was aired as a special in the UK and released on DVD it’s about a half an hour long and you can find it on youtube. It’s the story of the nativity told in song from the viewpoint of the Innkeeper of the INN where Joseph and Mary stopped to give birth in the stable. Everything that happens in this special is hilarious. The song I’ve chosen to highlight is the Innkeepers song. It takes place when the innkeeper is at a turning point he’s going to lose his business and his wife has left him. He’s waiting for a prophesized King Herod to show up to his Inn and solve his problems. He sings this song in the cheesiest way possible and on top of a sheet covered faux mountain.
8. Ewan McGregor singing “Your Song” in Moulin Rouge
This is the point in the movie where in Ewan McGregors character can express his love for Nicole Kidman. The visuals along with the song are just incredibly stimulating. Not much else to say except that it makes me almost instantly happy the moment Ewan McGregor starts to sing. It’s really one of my most favorite romantic moments in any movie. I also think my Dad used to play that on his guitar for my Mom but I could be remembering that wrong.
9. Neil Patrick Harris singing “Brand New Day” from Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog
First off can I say that I think it is incredibly lame that MS Word doesn’t recognize the word “blog” as being an actual word.
I think it’s pretty universally accepted that Dr. Horrible is a work of genius. If you don’t think so then I hate your face. This song occurs just as Neil Patrick Harris has taken enough abuse from the so-called “Hero” of the story and has finally decided to take a serious swing at solving his problems. It’s epic and Harris does an excellent job with it.
10. Zach Efron singing “Scream” in High School Musical 3
This song and dance number is a culmination of every cheesy, overdone and teen angst ridden anything that has ever been recorded. It’s so dramatic what with the lightening and the balls flying everywhere! I mean he’s just trying to decide whether to sing or play basketball. This isn’t the end of a marriage or a death in the family. I love this video watching it makes me go back to the days of Kevin Bacon and his angry dance. Ultimately that is what this is trying to emulate. It’s the ultimate in teen anger dancing.
Hopefully you enjoyed the list and watched a few videos that will make your day a little bit brighter. Honorable mentions also go to the Buffy episode “Once More With Feeling.” Because I know at least one person that will give me endless amounts of shit for not mentioning it. High kicking demons FTW! Bad YouTube video’s fail. I couldn’t post such horrible grainy videos it doesn’t do the program justice.
Anyways thanks for reading! If you know any overdone musical moments feel free to comment! (It validates my existence :))