“Johnny Are You Queer?”

johnny

There’s something charming about early music videos. Before record labels realized they could use them to make art in line with their artists’ music, or great short films in their own right, they weren’t quite sure what they’d be used for, or where they’d be seen, so they didn’t put money or time into them. At all. The result was that they tended to employ very little camera movements and they would be very, very literal. Josie Cotton couldn’t really be too literal in 1981 with a song about having a boyfriend she thinks might be a homosexual, so instead of doing anything that telegraphs as gay, Johnny is just, like, a stereotypical ’80s nerd.

‘Peanuts’ for Met Life

snoopy-metlife

When you’re a little kid, your parents will sometimes let you stay up late, and you’re willing to endure whatever lame, boring adult TV your parents watch, simply to get to stay up until the ungodly hour of 10:00, feeling like you’re getting away with something. For me, that meant sitting quietly through something like Scarecrow and Mrs. King or The NBC Sunday Night Movie. The highlight, however, the thing that made it all worthwhile: a Met Life commercial with Snoopy in it. I didn’t care that it was a bunch of children’s characters incongruously advertising insurance to people even older than my parents—because I was up late, it was Snoopy, and thereby I was the king of the universe.