A Brief History of Musical Performances in TV Shows

As the internet’s leading investigative reporter, I like to tackle the assignments that your mainstream “news” organizations are afraid to touch.  I like to get out there and take the pulse of the people to find out what they think needs to be uncovered and exposed.  I could go outside and talk to people.  Or I could sit inside and talk with people over the internet.  But my preferred method of investigation is to sit in front of my tv and watch an assortment of popular entertainments.  And that’s where I discovered this conspiracy, going back almost 40 years.

The key to understanding the conspiracy is to understand the pattern behind it all.  And there’s no better place to start than this.  As you’ll see in the following clip, there are certain conventions that must be followed.  We’ll discuss them after you view the video.  Please, have any children or elderly people leave the room and lock the door behind them.

God have mercy on us all.  Before we talk about what to look for to avoid an unpleasant few minutes on your sofa, we’ll take a look at another clip from a “popular” 1970s drama.  This one may be worse than the previous one, so if you have let the brats and the oldsters out yet, don’t.

Now that we’ve seen two of this blasphemies, let’s examine them for a pattern.

Each clip features a “star” lip-syncing one of their pathetic 1970s “hits”.  During the instrumental break, important dialogue is exchanged between a series regular and a guest star.  And both feature some of the most soul-crushing white guy dances ever committed to film.  And then, of course, we’ve got the song fading out.  I’ve been to quite a few concerts in my time, and I don’t recall any song I’ve ever heard performed live ending with a fade out.  Of course, the producers make no effort to make it seem like either Leif or Shaun are doing anything other than extremely half-assed lip-syncing.  I guess people back then were less demanding in their entertaining.  OR WERE THEY?

Flash-forward to the mid-1990s.  Certainly by that time, people had developed more sophisticated tastes in entertainment.  Well, perhaps.  But one thing is clear.  There was a certain trend from the 70s that refused to die.

All the hallmarks are here.  The painfully-obvious lip-syncing.  The guest star exchanging some meaningful dialogue with the series regulars.  The only thing missing is the fade-out.  So how did the geniuses at 90210 sidestep that minefield?  They just cut mid-song to Ian Ziering.  Why didn’t Ponch and John think of that one?  It’s just too bad that they had the clip removed from Youtube.  Plenty of other Flaming Lips clips on Youtube.  Hmm.  Wonder why they removed this one.

Finally, we arrive in 2008.  We’re the most highly-evolved humans that have ever inhabited the earth.  We’re capable of astonishing feats.  We live in a world of wonders that would make Leif Garrett shit his pants.  But have we finally thrown off the shackles of our in-show musical performance overlords?  *sigh*  Might as well slip a slice of bologna under the door for the kiddies and gramps.

And we come full circle with two titans from the 70s returning to show us how it’s done.  It’s all here.  Do I need to repeat myself?  You have you obvious lip-syncing, your dialogue exchange, and the uncomfortable closing followed by dead silence.  Textbook.

Will we ever rise as one people, the citizens of Earth, to put an end to this decades-old good taste genocide?  I can’t do it alone, people.  The rest is up to you.

Need more incentive?  Watch this . . . if you dare.



You can let the kiddies and the fogeys out now.  But shame on you for bringing a life into a world that allows this to continue on unchecked.

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4 thoughts on “A Brief History of Musical Performances in TV Shows

  1. I debated commenting on the crowds in all of the videos. I think the C.H.i.P.S. one has the most star power, with a couple of the girls from Eight Is Enough, Howard from Bob Newhart, and Joanne Pflug.

    I don’t get the Shaun Cassidy crush. His face looks genuinely retarded. I don’t know if it’s because he played a Down’s Syndrome guy in that one tv movie or if he was cast in the tv movie because he looks sort of retarded. Alas, the world may never know.

  2. That was awesome!!! I knew you would work in your beloved Shaun Cassidy onto your website at some point. Is it creepy that seeing these clips has re-ignited my crush on him? Anyway, you were remiss not to remark on the crowd in the Hey Deanie clip. Where did they get those extras? Check out the blond girl flipping her hair near the end.

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