Sunday Stupid: Carl Lewis Sings!
For a while I’ve wanted to start a new feature here, something called — as you can see — Sunday Stupid. Just random dumb stuff found on the web, which may or may not be related to comics, but is undeniably moronic. I don’t know if this will be every Sunday, or it will be as irregular as the Trading Card Set of the Week, but we’ll give it a shot.
Up first: Olympic track and field legend Carl Lewis doing his damnedest to disgrace himself in the most embarrassing music video ever committed to tape and/or a blocky 240p YouTube embed.
During the peak of his gold-laden Olympic career, Lewis thought it would be a swell idea to branch out into the world of pop music — diversify his fame portfolio, as it were. To that end he and his band — Carl Lewis and the Electric Storm — recorded bland, canned, forgettable tunes that have rightly been consigned to the dustbin of history. But an outgrowth of that detour was a music video for what was, one supposes, intended to be a smash multi-platinum hit: 1987’s “Break It Up.” And oh, what a music video it is. You know those things you’ve done in your life that, decades later, still make you close your eyes and wince every time they poke their ugly heads back into conscious thought? Multiply that by a thousand and you may approach the carnage wrought here.
Get past the primitive video editing software (I might have seen a star wipe in there), the goofy gym setting and the fact that poor Lewis has the natural presence of someone reading from cue cards, and you get to the physical appearance of our crooner himself. He looks to be sporting the same exact hair, clothes, body grease and makeup as Grace Jones did in Conan the Destroyer. (There’s your comic book connection, I guess.) I’m not kidding — they’re twins. Just look at the clip below and try to distinguish the two (though, in fairness, Jones does do a better job filling out a stereotypically male gender role):
It’s all dopey enough, with a dreadful tune over interspersed shots of Lewis working out (with stock bimbos apparently rented from a Poison video shooting across the street) and clips from his track career. And then. You get. To minute two. And the old white lady in giant sunglasses shows up, ogles Lewis, blows bubbles (why, I ask?), gets in the hot tub with him and them drags him into a sauna, on the door of which she posts a Do Not Disturb sign. It’s then it all crosses the barrier between merely humiliating and something truly special. And thank God it ends before we reach the point of coitus, you know?
Lewis has had his share of blunders in public, whether they be unfathomably bad first pitches at baseball games or continuing his flailing attempts at singing by botching the Star-Spangled Banner (the “Francis Scott Off-Key” reaction of the SportsCenter guys evokes tears of laughter every damn time). Perhaps this was some sort of cosmic re-balancing for a man who could do no wrong in his athletic career. Even when he lost, he won — just ask Ben Johnson — and the last two decades may have been about being getting down a peg once in a while, even as he’s transitioned to a life of good works. But the music video is unique. It required logistics and planning, days of work to slap into shape, all the while Lewis was at the Olympic fame mountaintop. And that’s what he and his people came up with. Everyone can fail now and again, but it takes a certain brand of ego to cobble something like this together and put it out to the public as an item to be consumed in a non-ironic manner. Probably an outgrowth of the self-confidence that allows someone to line up alongside the fastest human beings on Earth and think that he can beat them all to the finish line.
But one thing is for certain: it’s Sunday Stupid.