After my post on pop groups who appeared on TV shows - your comments reminded me (or taught me) about a few more examples. Okay, you twisted my arm... here are a few more memorable TV musical moments.
1. The Doobie Brothers figure out What's Happening!!
Here's a plot line that doesn't stretch the imagination much: the Doobie Brothers, one of the hottest bands of the mid-1970s, show up at their old high school to play a concert on an episode of What's Happening!! (When's the last time Madonna played for free at Rochester Adams HS?) Anyway, in this episode a sleazy bootlegger convinces Rerun to hide a tape recorder the size of a lunchbox under his trench coat in order to tape the concert.
The band, who are so upstanding they named themselves after an illegal drug, proceed to lecture the youngsters on morality and righteousness.
2. Anarchy on the TV (How punk found it's way to Quincy, M.E.?)
In the late 1970s, punk rock was the musical genre that TV shows either poked fun at or reviled. A deliciously bad episode of Quincy, M.E. pins a girl's murder on punk music (apparently the ice pick in her neck had nothing to do with her death). C.P.O. Sharkey took a more traditional approach; they arranged for L.A.-based punks The Dickies to play "You're So Hideous" and simply let the shows' characters react to the ridiculousness of "kids today."
3. KISS throws Scooby-Doo a Bone
KISS made a special animated appearance on What's New, Scooby-Doo? to commemorate Scooby's 350th episode on October 29, 2004. The Mystery Machine gang was headed to Banning Junction on Halloween to do some major trick or treating and also to catch a KISS concert in honor of the city's 100th anniversary. They were treated a performance of the classic "Shout It Out Loud." ("And we wouldn't be forced to do twice-yearly "˜farewell' tours if it hadn't been for... you meddling kids.!")
4. Milli Vanilli gets animated
Rob and Fab, collectively known as Milli Vanilli, appeared on the Super Mario Brothers cartoon series (the one without Captain Lou Albano). In an episode entitled "Kootie Pie Rocks," the duo are kidnapped and temporarily turned into accountants.
At one point, Rob states "Ve can't sing for you vithout a band," a statement that ranks right up there with Michael Jackson's confession in the "Thriller" video that "I'm not like other guys."
5. The Beach Boys crash an already Full House
One has to wonder whether John Stamos had compromising Polaroids of Mike Love stashed somewhere. Why else would The Beach Boys agree to appear on Full House three, count "˜em, three different times? We're guessing God only knows.
6. The Nanny gets down with Coolio
Coolio's appearance on The Nanny would've been less cringe-worthy if we hadn't been subjected to Fran and Niles the Butler attempting to get down and funky. Note the plot device at the end of the clip "“ Maxwell Sheffield's business partner, Miss Babcock, having a breakdown. Actress Lauren Lane was about to begin her maternity leave and they needed an excuse to have her C.C. character absent from the next few episodes. Watch the clip here.
7. One Very Brady Monkee
The "Getting Davy Jones" episode of The Brady Bunch is something of an anomaly. It was painful to watch upon its premiere, because The Monkees had been off the air for a few years and Jones was struggling to keep Davy-Mania alive. Viewers knew that by teen heartthrob standards, he was over the hill, and Marcia Brady and her friends would've been far more excited over someone like Bobby Sherman or Donny Osmond. All these years later, it's hip to still love The Monkees, and Davy's rendition of "Girl" has become a cult classic. (I still like Donny too, mind you. Met him once. He kissed my mom.)
The next TVHolic post will be dedicated to holiday-related shows and specials, but in the meantime feel free to comment on the above and also mention any performances I've missed.
Past 'Confessions of a TV-Holic'...
"¢ When Sitcoms Go Global
"¢ 5 Cases of Unwanted Fame
"¢ When Sitcom Stars Start Expecting
"¢ 7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Golden Girls
"¢ We Still Love Lucy
"¢ 6 Backdoor Pilots (and why they belong at the back door)