Puttin on the Ritz

Who doesn’t love Taco’s Puttin On the Ritz?

The thing I liked about music video television was the act of discovery. Yes, sometime it is lame, but sometimes it could be magical. I was sitting in front of the TV one day in the 1980s when Taco’s Puttin on the Ritz came on. The experience was mesmerizing.

I had heard the song before in older movies and of course in Young Frankenstein, but no way did I ever expect it to “updated”. Nor did I expect to enjoy it as much as I did. The update was catchy and odd. Just the type of think I like and the music video was in heavy rotation. Whenever it was on, I would run into the living room to watch it.

Still, even then I would scratch my head and wonder, “how is this successful?” Then Taco would start singing and I would get a glimpse of that amazing neon cane of his and switch was flipped. I would start smiling and before you knew it, I was singing along.

Really only one way to explain it, “Pure Taco magic.”

Watch the music video for Taco Puttin On the Ritz

Just want to re-state my love for that neon cane. As a kid I was obsessed with canes and would pull them out of the neighborhood trash cans. Eventually I had quite a collection. I would have traded all of them for one night playing with Taco’s neon cane. It was and still is the king of light up canes.


The Retroist

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

Never Miss an Episode

Stay up-to-date on the latest from the Retroist Podcast. Sign up and receive email notifications when there's a new episode of the Retroist Podcast or when we launch new podcasts.
* indicates required

3 thoughts on “Who doesn’t love Taco’s Puttin On the Ritz?

  1. zelig says:

    I love this song but it’s super jarring and disappointing to see the blackface in the video. This prompted me to read about the history of the song. Up until now I wasn’t aware that the original song was about African-Americans, with the humor in the lyrics deriving from the imagery of black, lower income New York residents sprucing themselves up for a night on the town. The song’s setting was eventually changed from Harlem to Park Avenue. So I guess the underlying racism of the song came full circle with Taco.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.