Pop Up Video came up in a conversation today at work, and it will come as absolutely no surprise to long time readers that I was the one that brought it up. What happened was that someone used the words “pop up” in a sentence, I hummed the music, made the pop up noise, and then trotted out a semi-obscene “fact” about the speaker, hinting that maybe they’d had sexual intercourse with a llama. I think. It’s hard for me to tell what really happens at work since they stated forcibly medicating me. But morphine and jimson weed aside, I definitely started talking about Pop Up Video at work today, which makes the entire day a success in my book.
Most of you probably remember Pop Up Video, but for those of you who were in a coma during the 90’s, it was a half hour show on VH1 in which they’d show popular videos and every ten or fifteen seconds, they’d “pop up” an interesting bit of related trivia, such as the fact that Phil Collins has 27 cock rings, all of them named Pete. Actually, that’s the kind of salacious gossip you were always hoping for, but never got. Instead, it was always some bullshit about how Cher used a stunt double in this one video so that she wouldn’t be exposed to “commoners”.
Not that Pop Up Videos was averse to making you think there was something really smutty coming up. They’d always tease the next video with a sentence like, “Coming up next, find out how many plumbers Madonna can take in the rear!” And when you’d come back, they’d have some stupid factoid about a giant jacuzzi Madonna had installed in back of her trailer on set. (For the record, Madonna can take four plumbers in the rear.)
Not that I really wanted to know more about Madonna at that point in my life. Look, people like Madonna, I get that. And she certainly took charge of her own career, and showed how women can be empowered to, I dunno, smear their crotch on religious icons if that’s what floats their boat. Good for her. I just got sick and fucking tired of seeing her all the goddamn time, drumming up some new scandal to shock the squares.
Remember the time she french kissed Britney Spears on stage? People talked about that for fucking weeks, and I was thinking to myself, “Big deal, I bet she finger-banged a couple of Olsen twins backstage to warm up.” People actually went as far as to say that she was “brave” for doing this, and maybe it was in the sense that exchanging bodily fluids with that particular piece of trailer trash without wearing a full body condom is risky. But, please. It was 2003. You want to be brave? Try that shit in the 50’s, when magazines ran ads such as this:
If Madonna tried her act out in the 50’s, the Rat Pack would’ve shown up at her door, and ring-a-ding-ding, Sinatra would’ve given her five across the chops for wasting a perfectly good piece of ass on a bull-dyke. No kidding, those guys had some fucking issues. One time Sammy Davis Jr. burned down an orphanage because, as he put it, “The chicks really dig it, baby.”
Anyway, Madonna had an entire episode of Pop Up Video dedicated to her, and I remember being spectacularly bored by it. Madonna is like the female Marilyn Manson, willing to do anything to stay in the spotlight. But whereas Marilyn Manson will take on organized religion, Madonna will show up at your house and start blowing your dog.
Madonna: I bet you didn’t think a woman could be empowered enough to own her sexuality like this, huh?
Me: Not twice in one week, anyway. I thought I told you not to come back here!
Doing a little research just now (don’t laugh, it happens!) I discovered that Sting apparently had some sort of problem with one of his videos and complained. And somehow this resulted in the video being pulled from the Pop Up Video rotation, which is mind blowing because I can’t think of many people less threatening than Sting.
Production Assistant: Ummm, Sting just called to complain about one of the factoids we used about him in our last video.
Production Assistant: And then he cried in a bouquet of posies for twenty minutes.
If I had been running Pop Up Videos in the 90’s (and I think we can all agree that I should have been), I would’ve stuck it to Sting fucking good. The video for Soul Cages would’ve come on, and the first minute alone would have contained some very interesting pop up “facts”:
- Sting enjoys unprotected sex with ring-tailed lemurs
- The original title of the album The Dream of the Blue Turtles was I Hate Mexicans!
- Sting is the fourth largest producer of orphan-porn in Europe
- Sting’s real name is Hitler Gacy Dahmer
- Sting once wore Emmanuel Lewis as a hand puppet.
Look, the Police were a wonderful band, and Synchronicity was an astoundingly good album. But what did Sting do? He shut the Police down. “Oh, we’ll never top that. I’m going to go solo and get into smooth jazz, then I’ll beat off in the rain forest for a while, and in 25 years we’ll reunite and charge people $700 a seat to listen to me miss the high notes on Roxanne!”
Meanwhile, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers were probably freaking the fuck out. “Listen here, meal-ticket! You get your ass in the fucking studio and start working on Synchronicity II, or Every Breath You Take will be increasingly likely to be your fucking last!”
Sting is terrible. But you’d watch him on Pop Up Video, because you were only minutes away from another video, and who knows? The next one might be a Led Zeppelin video! That would be the Holy Grail of Pop Up Videos, because back then, if you were good enough, you were Above The Law. They would have the best facts in the history of Pop Up Video, by a long shot:
- Led Zeppelin once fucked a chick with a shark.
- Jimmy Page’s girlfriend in LA was only 14 years old
- Robert Plant once rode Bea Arthur like a horse from New York to Atlanta
I’m pretty sure all of those are true, but with all of this morphine and jimson weed in my system, again, it’s hard to tell.