“I’ll Give You my Wallet if You Just Shut the Hell Up!”: A Comparative Look at the “We Are the World” Videos.

16 02 2010

It’s all there in the title, folks. Two terrible disasters abroad, two disastrously terrible songs here at home. The editorial staff here at Unhipster (i.e. me), has decided to be optimistic for once. Instead of brutally attacking the performers in the “We Are The World” videos, we’ve decided to bestow awards and accolades upon them according to their relative merit.

Before I go any further, I’d like to note that the earthquake in Haiti is no joke.  Even the conservative casualty counts are staggering, and the level of human suffering is impossible to quantify. Donating money to a cause like this is one of the most compassionate, worthwhile things a person could do. I encourage you all to donate as much as humanly possible. Check out the Daily Beast’s roundup of charity NGO’s and take note of where your money is going.

Submitted for your disapproval- the videos in question. You may want to cover your home computer in plastic sheeting so the keyboard doesn’t get drenched with bile.

And now- on with the award ceremony! The winners in each category will be awarded a YouTube video embedded in this prestigious blog. Please keep your acceptance speeches short. I’m looking at you, Busta Rhymes.

The “Wait, Steve Perry Got a Solo?” Award for Most Underused Talent

  • 1985: This was a tough call. Both the consummate outlaw Waylon Jennings and the super-smooth Smokey Robinson were relegated to singing in the chorus while Huey Lewis and Kenny Loggins got to belt out their own lines. But I’m going to give this one to Harry Belafonte. Did Quincy Jones seriously think that Harry “King of Calypso” Belafonte is somehow less deserving of a solo then Kenny “Did That Song From Caddyshack” Loggins?
  • 2010: Another difficult decision, but for different reasons. The 2010 version of “We Are the World” featured an absolute bevy of no-names, so it’s difficult to establish who’s theoretical “talent” was “underused.” I’m awarding this one to Harry Connick Jr. The man’s got a good voice, and he strikes me as way too classy to take part in this overblown schlockstravaganza.  I’m not sure I want to live in a  world where the vacuous 17-year-old bubblegum singer Miley Cyrus gets a line to herself, while modern-day crooner Connick Jr. gets to be a voice in the rabble.  The “Wait, Steve Perry Got a Solo?” award conclusively proves that Quincy Jones has it out for Harrys of all types and descriptions.

The “I’m With Huey Lewis. No, My Name’s Not ‘The News’” Award for Best Second-Bananas

  • 1985: You might expect me to give this Mario Cipollina, Johnny Colla, Bill Gibson, Chris Hayes, Sean Hopper who had to sing backup while bandmate Huey Lewis got all the attention. But I’m giving this to poor old John Oates, who will forever live in the shadow of Daryl Hall. I have no idea how the public decided that Daryl Hall was more worthy of adoration than John Oates, since they’re both insignificant and interchangeable, but c’est la vie.
  • 2010: I’m awarding this one to Joe and Kevin Jonas, who got to play second and third fiddle to brother Nick. Too bad they didn’t let two of the brothers sing solo lines, just to give the third one an inferiority complex. (WARNING: Clip will emasculate you beyond belief)

The “The Dude will Cannot Abide This” Award for Waste of a Talented Non-Singer

  • 1985: In a period where one-time comedy giants like Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy have demolished their fanbase with terrible kid’s movie after terrible kid’s movie, Dan Aykroyd manages not to offend me very much. It’s really a shame that he ended up appearing in “We Are the World.” And this was 1985-era-ghostbustin’ Dan Aykroyd, which somehow intensifies my disappointment. Come on, Dan, just stick to selling vodka, saying funny things very quickly, and hunting for UFOs.


  • 2010: No one will ever be able to explain why Jeff Bridges took time out from being awesome to take part in this travesty. Never.

That’s just a taste of what we have in store for you, dear readers. Tune in next time, where we’ll not only be handing out awards, but taking a deep analytical look at these two landmark moments in popular music .

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