Why? | 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?

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Sorry, I ain’t sorry.

Luckily, it’s just for a movie … and I still would.

#MyHusband

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Sometimes it snows in April.

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Where were you during The Great Thirst Crisis of 2016?

10 Things Learned Watching the 88th Annual Academy Awards:

1. It’s apparently absolutely acceptable to joke about the same topic for over 210 minutes.

2. Stacey Dash bombed so hard, the US should consider using her for ISIS drone strikes.

3. So even if you have the best of intentions & address a topic no one else had so far that night, and have the nerve to admit you may be inadvertently misquoting someone during your unexpected acceptance speech, The Gays will eat their own and come for blood. You have been warned. The Writings on the Tweet.

Kate

4. Steven Spielberg has cast his wife Kate Capshaw in the latest Conjuring/Annabelle sequel. #SheBangs

5. In the wake Antonin Scalia’s death, Whoopi Goldberg has very subtlely thrown her name into the Supreme Court Judge nomination ring.

6. Just because you are nominated for a song Oscar doesn’t mean you can’t OVERACT. FOR. YOUR. LIIIIIIFE!

7. From now on, Charlize Theron shall only be addressed as Charice QUEEN.

8. In the Zero Fucks Given category, Frances McDormand’s Tony-winning denim jacket has been usurped by Mad Max costume design winner Jenny Beavan’s Sons of Anarchy motorcycle chic. I hope she made it safely back to the Shire.

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9. Ellen’s 2014 pizza delivery > Chris Rock’s Tagalongs > NPH‘s 2015 briefcase debacle

10. If Leonardo DiCaprio were a woman, we’d be saying he officially has everything … except a spouse. But he isn’t, so we won’t.

This year’s White Oscars are over. Since I’m not about to get into a political argument over Hollywood’s biggest night – that’s what your Facebook feed is for – here are my two cents on some of the show’s biggest highlights.

Enjoy!

Chris Rock – On a very special episode of The Oscars …

Emily Blunt – Nothing against her at all, but shame on the Academy for making any mere mortal – let alone a pregnant woman – present next to QUEEN Charlize.

Charlize Theron – According to Chris, she’s “whiter” than Emily Blunt, but don’t forget she’s also the first African woman to win Best Actress. #QUEEN

Sam Smith – Everyone simmer down! He’s not the first openly gay man to win. He misquoted Ian McKellan who was referring to there being no openly gay ACTING winners (Kevin Spacey, Joel Grey, even John Gielgud were not out at the time of their win.) Elton John, Scott Rudin, Dustin Lance Black etc .. are not acting winners. Sam even mentioned he might have the quote wrong in his speech. Regardless, he said something good about the gay community. Can’t we be happy about that? I know we live in the ‘attack & tweet’ era but breathe, chilrins, breathe. He’s on our side, even if he did rob Mother Monster (or, perhaps the 2 non-pop star nominees who didn’t get to sing their songs!). Oh and if you ask me (which you didn’t but imma tell you any way) Dustin Lance Black‘s catty tweet probably says more about him than 23-year-old Smith.

Kerry Washington – From the looks of her gladiator Kevlar®, she’s at war … with her stylist.

Henry Cavill – Swoon. Superman has never looked so dashing. SLAY me, Daddy.

Alicia Vikander – She deserved the Oscar … for Ex-Machina.

Cate Blanchett – ICON. Thank God someone took a risk. Love it or hate it, it’s a LEWK and she pulled it off like no one else could. Also, she’s the new Meryl.

Margot Robbie – Move over Blanche Deveraux, there’s a sexy new Golden Girl in town. Not content with taking over Jaime Pressly’s identity, she now appears to be gunning for Michelle Monaghan’s. Career Suicide Squad.

Jared Leto – So I’m assuming ’70s wedding groomsmen is now an actual thing in Bushwick/Echo Park/all of SanFran.

Rachel McAdams – She really is BACK!

Michael B. Jordan – LAWD HAVE MERCY! Please tell me the B stands for what I hope it does! No? Dammit!

Andy Serkis – Gollum looked precious. And by precious I mean coked out of his mind.

The Chilean winning directors – Gabriel Vargas (left) & Pato Escala (right) won for something or other. But more importantly “pato” means duck in Spanish. It’s also a derogatory term for gay. But I’ll take it. I mean if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck …

The Weeknd – As long as he’s not singing “Can’t Feel My Face” in a Carhartt jacket then it’s all good.

Kate Winslet – Flawless. I HATED Titanic,  but I LOVE all of this/them.

Mark Rylance – If he goes missing after snatching Best Supporting Actor, check Stallone’s trunk. That is, if you can even recognize him.

Sly Stallone – I didn’t realize he was married to Caitlyn BFF Candis Cayne.

Louis CK – Host of the 2017 Academy Awards.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinay – “Good thing I have two of these.” Even without that read, she gave the best speech of the night after noting her best documentary short, A Girl In the River, is changing laws (honor killings!) in Pakistan. FYI, I think that luxe embroidered cloak cost more than a Honda Civic.

Dev Patel – From Slumdog to the Indian Adam Driver. The Hotness Awakens.

Cheryl

Academy President Cheryl Boone-Isaacs –  We like you. We really, really like you!

Dave Grohl – Why it gotta be a “Blackbird?”

Jacob Tremblay & Kevin Hart – Adorable!

Sofia Vergara – The best chyron/fun fact of the night: Sofia Vergara co-starred with Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon in Hot Pursuit. #shade  Question: If Sofia Vergara doesn’t wear a mermaid dress, is it really Sofia Vergara?

Costume designer Sandy Powell – This is not Tilda Swinton despite all of Kris Jenner & Giuliana‘s hooting & hollering on E! But it could very well be yet another Lady Gaga Bowie tribute.

Lady Gaga – Just sing. Powerful song. Powerful message. Powerful visual. Powerful voice. Just sing.

GagaMadge

But it was respectful of her to honor the 25th anniversary of Madonna‘s Sooner or Later performance from the 1991 Oscars. Brava.

Common – #OscarsSoRight

Alejandro Inarritu – Two years in a row. 4 Oscars total. 7 nominations. With Cuaron’s win for Gravity in 2014, that makes it the third straight year a Mexican filmmaker has taken home Best Director. (Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki also won 3 times in a row) Yet that’s still not enough to stop the band from drowning out your speech — which just happened to be about race and skin color. Where’s Leo when you really need him?!

Soairse

Saoirse Ronan – Gorgeous! She was giving Heather Locklear/Sammy Jo Carrington in Dynasty and that is always a win.

Brie Larson – She won an Oscar and hugged every one of Gaga’s abuse survivors. The new Jennifer Lawrence has been crowned. And as an added bonus, she’s almost as pretty as boyfriend Alex Greenwald. How you doin’?

Matt Damon & Luciana Barroso – It must get annoying being constantly referred to as Matt Damon’s wife. But I guess it beats still slinging cocktails at a bar in South Beach.

Leo

Leo DiCaprio  – It’s about time he finally got the respect he’s deserved. And just like Winslet, he didn’t win for the role he should have. I’d imagine pretending to like Kirk Cameron is a lot harder than wrestling a CGI bear in the wilds of Argentina .

Jake GyllenhaalBrokeback. End of Watch. Prisoners. Enemy. Nightcrawler. If you ask me, we’ve already found Leo’s award snub successor … and my future hubs!

Jon

Jonathan Herman – Quick shout out to my longtime pal for his nomination for writing Straight Out of Compton. He didn’t technically win (Spotlight took it), but he did. Plus sitting between Tobey Maguire & JJ Abrams ain’t too shabby.

Lana_Roper

Hipster high-priestess Lana Del Rey was giving us landlady sadness as she arrived to the Brit Awards in her best Three’s Company Mrs. Roper drag.

#MuuMuuPrada.

Gaga_Hatchet

Fresh off her David Bowie SNL sketch at the Grammys, Lady Gaga once again used her on stage theatrics, but this time it was to give tribute to Hatchet Face from John Waters’ 1990 cult hit Cry-Baby. Mum mum mum mah.

Watch the Golden Globe winner do her best walk walk fashion baby at the Marc Jacobs Fall 2016 runway show below.