March | 2019 | J.LO | The Johnny Lopez

A major plot point in Jordan Peele‘s new horror blockbuster Us is the often ridiculed 1986 charity spectacle Hands Across America (HAA).

For those that have blocked it out (or weren’t born yet), HAA consisted of over 6 million people joining hands to form a human chain from coast-to-coast for 15 minutes on Sunday, May 25th, 1986, in an effort to raise money to stop hunger.

Due to the success of celebrity benefit singles like Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” and USA For Africa’s “We Are the World,” HAA organizers tried to drum up publicity for the flash mob by creating a theme song in a similar vein.

But while Band Aid & USA For Africa featured A-list talent like Sting, Bono, George Michael, Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen, the HAA anthem only managed to cull together studio session singers, the New Jersey Mass Choir and a few members of Toto (cue”Africa” & “Rosanna“), who were then credited as Voices of America.

Although the song only reached #65 on the Billboard charts, a freaking amazing music video was made with some of the biggest celebs of the day singing along to the the track’s ridiculously basic & sappy lyrics.

Included in the patriotic gem were Oprah, Barbra Streisand, Robin Williams with C3POMiami Vice stars Don Johnson & Philip Michael Thomas, a four-year-old Nicole Richie and, believe it or not, Andy Warhol.

Now whether or not you’ve already figured out all the easter eggs, metaphors and symbolism in Us, the HAA music video stands on its own as an underated goldmine of glorious ’80s cringe that you simply have to see/re-watch to believe AND to spot the 31 celebrity cameos.

WARNING: YOU CANNOT UNSEE THIS VIDEO

ICONIC.

Now please take another moment to honor the sacrifices of this random assortment of celebrities, who, despite their best intentions, paid a price for unknowingly serving SNL digital short realness in this glorious video masterpiece. #haaHaaHAA

1. Kenny Rogers


This video was such a turkey that five years later the country singer got the idea to launch Kenny Rogers Roasters. In 1998, the company filed for bankruptcy.

2. Don Johnson & Philip Michael Thomas


When the video was released in April 1986, Miami Vice was one of the highest-rated shows on the air. By the fall, the series plummeted to #26.

3. Michael Douglas & son Cameron Douglas


At the time, we were told no children were harmed in making this video.

4. Robin Williams & C3PO (& Candice Bergen)


The Robin, Candice and C3PO romcom was doomed from the start.

5. Diahann Carroll


Blink and you miss her! One year after Dominique Deveraux survived the Moldavian Massacre, she barely got out of this video alive.

6. Lily Tomlin


The closet makes you do terrible things.

7. Kathleen Turner


And she thought appearing in Billy Ocean’s When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going video alongside her Jewel of the Nile co-stars was a career low.

8. Yoko Ono & Sean Lennon


This is what you get for breaking up the Beatles!

9. Jane Fonda


Fonda, Raul Julia & Jeff Bridges all appear in this video, which means someone at 20th Century Fox thought it would be good press for their soon-to-be released film The Morning AfterAbort!

10. Raul Julia


Gomez Addams deserved better. Snap, snap!

11. Barbra Streisand


We still need Babs to apologize for this!

12. Lady Liberty


The Statue of Liberty debuted her new & improved look after being shrouded in scaffolding for two years during renovations. This was no way to treat a lady.

13. Michael, Cameron (again), Diandra Douglas


Michael & Diandra divorced in ’95. No doubt part of her $45 million settlement was for punitive damages suffered from the video.

14. Robin Williams & C3PO again


Despite having more sexually chemistry than Mork & Mindy, there’s was the love that dare not speak its name.

15. Nicole Richie


Nicole was just trying to live the simple life of a four-year-old normal here.  Later she would be notoriously undermined by Paris Hilton, heroin, a DUI, Ugg boots, & several reality shows.

16. Andy Warhol & maybe Brooke Adams (left)


Warhol was a genius & knew HAA would be an instant camp classic once the video’s 15 minutes of fame were over.  Sadly, he died ten months later.

17. Whoopi Goldberg & Mickey Mouse


The EGOT winner would later go on to be contractually bound by Disney to tolerate Elisabeth Hasslebeck for six seasons on The View.

18. Alfonso Ribeiro & Drew Barrymore


Parental guidance was strongly suggested.

19. Roberta Flack & Nona Hendryx


Killing me softly with THIS song!

20. Jon Cryer


The video came out two months after Pretty in Pink‘s release. It would be another 17 years until “Duckie” found success again on Two and a Half Men.

21. Glenn Close


At this point in her career, Glenn had only lost three Academy Awards. #Cursed

22. Father Guido Sarducci


On second thought, maybe it really was a SNL digital short!

23. Mikhail Baryshnikov


More unforgivable than what he did to Carrie Bradshaw!

24. Dyan Cannon


After this video, Cannon – who was once married to Cary Grant & has received three Academy Award noms – repented by becoming a born-again Christian. SAVED!

25. Jeff Bridges


Dude, no.

26. Susan Anton


‘Memba her? While the singer/actress’ height-challenegd relationship with Dudley Moore came to end prior to this video, Anton’s most recent credit is Sharknado: The 4th Awakens. You do the math.

27. Shari Belafonte-Harper


Harry Belafonte’s daughter dropped the Harper when she divorced her ex-husband, which coincedentally was about a year after the video.

28. Oprah Winfrey


Oprah’s meteoric rise is historic, but the fact that her talk show was nationally syndicated just five months after agreeing to be in this music video is suspect &, quite possibly, diabolical.

29. Lily Tomlin again


Tomlin is a lesbian icon & has been absolved of any wrongdoing. Don’t @ me.

30. Kevin Bacon


On a positive note, this video does level up everyone’s six degrees of Bacon game. #FTW

31. Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas again


Crockett & Tubbs signing off. #RIP

While the HAA video may be way more frightening than anything in Us, I definitely recommend seeing it if for no other reason than to witness an amazing dual performance by Lupita Nyong’o. She’s scary good!

Hands Across America
Hands Across the land I love
United we fall
United we stand
Hands Across America
Mother and Father
Daughter and Son
Learn to live as one
I can not stop thinking again and again
How the heart of a stranger
Beats the same as a friend
Learn to love each other
See these people over there?
They are my brother and sister
When they laugh I laugh
When they cry I cry
When they need I’ll be there by their side
We are the river of hope
That runs through the valley of fear
And there is a lady whose smile shines upon us
Saying all is welcome here.
Learn to love each other
See the man over there?
He’s my brother
When he laughs I laugh
When he cries I cry
When he needs me
I’ll be right there, right by his side
The kiss never felt so sincere
Full of countless dreams
This earth, it never smelt so sweet
Cradles a song in it’s great heartbeat
Learn to love each other
See the man over there?
He’s my brother
When he laughs I laugh
When he cries I cry
When he needs me
I’ll be right there by his side

ICYMI: WHO WILL PLAY LORI LOUGHLIN & FELICITY HUFFMAN ON THE BIG SCREEN, HBO & ON LIFETIME?

Now that Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman have been exposed, indicted and charged in The Great College Admissions Scam of 2019, the big question is who will play them on screen.

In a perfect world Aunt Becky and Lynette Scavo would play themselves ala Joan & Melissa Rivers in the 1994 NBC TV Movie Tears & Laughter: The Joan & Melissa Rivers Story, but the chances of that happening in 2019 are next to impossible.

The right actresses must not only look the part and be of similar age, but also deliver the needs of the production in terms of talent, star power and believability.

Here are my casting choices should the project land on the big screen, HBO and Lifetime.

If the amazing caper were to be turned into a big budget film for theaters, the casting would require A-list talent that could portray Hollywood versions of girls next door gone bad.

COMING TO THEATERS THIS CHRISTMAS … SANDRA BULLOCK & JENNIFER ANISTON in:


Rated R.  Under 17 requires accompanying parent or $500k.

If producers wanted to go in depth with a seven-part limited series on premium cable, then the roles would necessitate well-respected character actresses with multiple Academy Award nominations each.

HBO PRESENTS … MARISA TOMEI & LAURA DERN in:

Marisa Tomei & Laura Dern
The truth set them free … at a cost.

But if the story is rushed into production for a quick turnaround to air on basic cable, then the roles could be filled by anyone with even a sliver of a resemblance and the ability to keep a straight face while chewing up cheesy dialogue.

LIFETIME MOVIE EVENT OF THE WEEK… CHARISMA CARPENTER & CELINE DION in:

Charisma Carpenter, Celine Dion
Sometimes being a good mom is a crime.

Who do you think should play Lori & Felicity?

Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman

 

ICYMI: RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE SEASON 11 PREMIERE – CELEB REALNESS

 

The premiere of a new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race always leaves my head spinning.

So many kweens, so many names, so many attempts at being memorable!

Especially after Miss Vanjie‘s (Welcome back!!!) now-legendary turn flaunting all them cookies in just one episode last year, every girl came into season 11 with a bible of catchphrases, one-liners and shtick. I’m talking to you Silky Nutmeg Ganache!

Silky was my fave kween …for the first five minutes of the episode. But by the commercial break, her thirsty AF antics left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Gurl, breathe & simma down. Nobody ever wants that much dessert, evah. TRUST!

And finally, there’s our eliminated queen Soju. While pulling off another Vanjie-style star-making coup after sashaying away in the first episode is nearly impossible, bequeathing the world with her unforgettable “taint cyst” is quite the valiant effort. Annyeonghi gaseyo, Miss Soju. Miss Soju.  MISS …SO JU!

Now while I go change my last name to Davenport, check out the celebrity dopplegänger realness from episode 1.

 

MISS VANJIE – LA TOYA JACKSON

The children love Miss Vanjie so much you’d think we were at Neverland. #TooSoon

BROOKE LYNN HYTES – PINK

Brooke Lynn is starting on such a high that we may be seeing some aerial gynmastics soon.

NINA WEST – HEAT MISER

It’s the year without a Santa Claus for Nina. She’s too much!

SILKY NUTMEG GANACHE – OPRAH

No standing O for Silky’s thirsty behavior, but we are gonna need a sitdown interview.

SUGA CAIN – MEGHAN McCAIN

By the looks of it, Suga’s dreams won’t be aborted anytime soon.

YVIE ODDLY – SLICK WOODS

I’ve only got one thing to say: You betta werk, Supermodel!

A’KERIA C. DAVENPORT – LIL’ KIM

Something tells me A’keria can make a Sprite can disappear in her mouth.

ARIEL VERSACE – PEG BUNDY

Every big haired gurl from Jersey wants to be married with children, okrrrrr.

SCARLET ENVY – TAMMIE BROWN

Proof that being Pearl‘s daughter is not the weirdest thing about Scarlet.

PLASTIQUE TIARA – JESSICA ALBA

We need to be honest about Plastique’s chances.

HONEY DAVENPORT – KENYA MOORE

This New York queen is gone with the wind fabulous, hunty!

RA’JAH O’HARA – RUTH POINTER (SISTERS)

I’m so excited to see what Ra’jah can do this season, sis.

MERCEDES IMAN DIAMOND – J.LO

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that she’s got, she’s still early ’90s Jenny from the block.

KAHANNA MONTRESE – EVE

Kahanna’s skills are the talk, so I’m hoping Ru will let her blow ya mind.

SOJU – BETTE MIDLER

The power of Drag Race means a cyst on your taint can still lead to outrageous fortune.

Who are you rooting for? So far, it’s still all about Vanjie for me.

 

ICYMI: RPDR ALL-STARS 4 PREMIERE – CELEB LOOKALIKES

 

The sudden death of Luke Perry from a massive stroke at the age of 52 today has been devastating.

It’s been a rough day in the 90046 for me, and for boys and girls of a certain age that grew up crushing on Dylan McKay.

Ever since Beverly Hills 90210 premiered on October 4, 1990 – the day after my 19th birthday – I was hooked.  An adult show about teenagers was a rare commodity in those early days before Dawson, before Felicity, even before the Salinger 5.

Dylan McKay was also my first crush when I finally began to realize (yet not fully accept) I was gay. Sure I liked others before, but never like this.

From the get-go you were either Team Dylan or Team Brandon (Jason Priestly).  And for me there was no contest. I was a skinny closeted recovering New Waver easily drawn to the sexy brooding loner with the pompadour, to say nothing of the jeans, the motorcycle & THE SIDEBURNS.

I grew out mine and watched 90210 every week. Back then it wasn’t cool to like a teen show in college, but me and a few close girlfriends would gather every Thursday night (it moved to Wednesdays in Season 3) to indulge in our secret obsession.

To this day, Sophie B. Hawkins‘ “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” always brings back memories of the summer Dylan cheated on Brenda with Kelly …and how we all wanted to be Kelly.

Years later, when Dylan left the series for two seasons, so did I.

And while I crushed on Dylan, I was equally taken with Luke.

He was why I went to see Buffy the Vampire Slayer in theaters, rented 8 Seconds the day it came out and still have the shirtless July 1992 Vanity Fair shot by Annie Leibovitz. So hot!

My crush on Luke is why I was genuinely happy to see his career renaissance as ‘the dad’ on Riverdale. While at the same time, horrified at the realization that I too could be the father of an extremely goodlooking twentysomething teen. Yikes! How did that happen?!

And that’s the thing, Luke was just five years older than me.  The man that gave this closeted teen life is now another reminder of his mortality. 

I didn’t know Luke and never met him, but he always seemed like one of the good guys.

I read that Luke died surrounded by his two children, fiancée, ex-wife, mother, siblings and other friends & family.  He was so loved, but we all knew that.

Luke Perry & Dylan McKay are gone, but neither will ever be forgotten.