Home Alone…With Michael Jackson?!

What do you get when you cross the plot of a then-popular movie, Michael Jackson, and In Living Color? You get a movie parody, of course!

And not just a movie parody, but the sequel we all would have wanted!

A Little Backstory…

The thought of writing about this crossed my mind several weeks ago, when I was watching another In Living Color sketch featuring Jim Carrey as Don Rickles (which I wrote about for my blog), but I had another Great Idea to write about first.

Why Not a Movie Parody Special?

In Living Color did a great (but hard to find) episode of their music videos, they had a live Super Bowl show, and contributed many hilarious parodies, all on top of their regular lineup of characters. Why they didn’t include a movie parody compilation among their accomplishments is beyond me, but what they interspersed throughout the series is indeed worthy of notice.

I remember seeing this one parody of Home Alone involving Michael Jackson trying to “play” with Macaulay Culkin. The sketch came up at a time when allegations came to light that he was having “sleepovers” with young kids, including Macaulay Culkin. Now, we always knew MJ was a bit odd, but there was a time before his infamous trial that we were hearing about this. That time was 1991, and Home Alone Again was the sketch that made light of the allegations.

“Macaulay, Can I Come In and Play?”

Macaulay Culkin (as played by Jonathan Taylor Thomas) finds himself home alone, but he’s got someone who wants to change that…

Michael Jackson!

Oh noes! A Michael Jackson impersonator is trying to woo Randy from Home Improvement!

And he is persistent in his attempts – the parents aren’t home, he’s got naked pictures of his sister (I think this was a reference to Latoya Jackson), they can play with his monkey, they can blow bubbles…

Wait…what kind of bubbles were you thinking?

But Not Macaulay is also persistent in keeping MJ out – there’s a Webster reference, a hot door handle, and a blowtorch to the head.

As well as a reference to the Pepsi commercial. Because that happened a few years earlier, and In Living Color wasn’t around to make fun of it then.

Dated references, people. It’s funny!

“Come on, Macaulay!”

MJ finally succeeds in “coming in to play,” but decides that perhaps they can play at his house – there’s the Elephant Man, naps in the oxygen chamber…

“I wanna see you Moonwalk.”

Insert closeup of Not Macaulay doing the famous Kevin McCallister scream, and you’ve got yourself a movie parody!

And you can see for youself why topical newstories make great In Living Color parodies by clicking play!

Uploaded by sbzro

For some reason, Tommy Davidson declaring “I wanna see you Moonwalk!” is as funny now as it was in 1991.

WOOOOOOOO!

Oh, and that “blowing bubbles” reference, did you think…

Ohhhhh.

EWWWWWW!!!! He meant SOAP BUBBLES!

Does Jason Scheff Remember To Be “Young”?

You know, because when you’re one of the lead singers of a band whose average age (in the mid-1980s) was at least 40, you may forget how “young” you really are. I wonder if Jason Scheff ever actually had that problem…

Fangirl Love And College Acceptance

I write about Chicago alot.

I’m aware of my obvious fangirl love, and it is something I will never deny.

That said…

For me, college feels like a lifetime ago, and in reality, it was actually 16 years ago when I received my acceptance letter. The nail-biting and worrying from the time the application goes into the mail to the time the determination letter arrives is the pits, but it is worth it when the hard work pays off.

My high school gradation photo – class of 2001.

A few days after I graduated from college (in December 2005), I was job hunting, when a movie came on HBO that sounded interesting enough to take me away from my job-hunting for a little while. Ironically, it was about the end of high school life struggle of getting into the college of your choice. I appreciated the movie then, but liked it even more a few years later while watching Fox Movie Channel. That movie was How I Got Into College, and is the 100%* relatable story of what we do, and how we stress out, while trying to get into the college we want to attend.

*It is a bit overdramatic.

Me graduating from the college I wanted to attend. College graduation photo from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (now Stockton University), class of 2005.

The Theme Song

While I was watching the movie, I took notice of a song that played during the Obligatory Montage Scene that the best 1980s movies are, by law**, required to have.

**Absolute truth.

I also took notice of the song used during said Obligatory Montage Scene, which sounded like someone very familiar, singing a song about staying young. Of course, I wasn’t really well-versed with Chicago vocalists at the time, so it was almost mind-blowing that Peter Cetera would be involved with a song about youth. I mean, he was clearly 40-something in 1989, right?

The truth cracks me up to this day. Silly girl, that’s not Peter Cetera singing about youth, that’s an incredible sound-alike!

“But He Sounds JUST LIKE HIM!”

I forever got Peter Cetera and Jason Scheff’s voices mixed up years ago. As it turns out, that isn’t difficult. Turns out that this “misstep” can be forgiven. For instance, I’ll forgive you for your mistake. It is ok, you are allowed to make that mistake. You are human.

But all that aside, Jason Scheff was the youngest member of a group who had not only been around since the late 1960s, but took over as one of their lead vocalists at the age of 23. That’s a big job – a group that had been together for almost 20 years, you’re barely older than that, and you’ve got an impressive catalog of songs to sing?

He handled himself well. For 31 years.

As a solo artist, Jason Scheff provided the vocals to the Obligatory Montage Scene from How I Got Into College, and while I can’t find that montage on You Tube (probably because the movie is from 20th Century Fox, and I don’t believe their stuff can be posted on You Tube), I can find you that song. And what looks like a music video to go with it.

Uploaded by Sai Guzman

And this is the full song, without any kind of music video attached.

Uploaded by Music 80s AOR

Movie Availability

As for How IGot into College, this movie is as difficult to track down as this song was for years!

I did find the DVD of this movie on Amazon, but it is expensive (as of this writing, the DVD is $26.85). Your best bet would be to track down a used copy. I ran into this problem in 2009 when I wanted to buy the DVD of it, and couldn’t even get it. I wound up recording (almost wrote “taping”!) the movie from Fox Movie Channel to a DVD that year. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth the watch.

And as for Jason Scheff, he’s not “young” anymore, but he did continue to make a name for himself as the bassist and lead vocalist of Chicago until leaving the group in October 2016. But during his tenure, he made beautiful music, and even made “Street Player” sound like a halfway decent Chicago song. So he was obviously doing something right, even after he was trying to be “forever young.”

Yeah, I’ll stop.

Allison’s Note: I’ve had this song on my iPod for a few years (since about 2010), but didn’t know at the time who Jason Scheff was. It was actually several years before I really started listening to Chicago and made the connection. I was inspired to write this article after listening to this song the other day, and remember how hard the song (and movie!) were to come across at the time.

They’re Fly (Girls)… And They’ve Got the Moves!

I had this crazy ambitious dream that I, Allison Venezio, had what it took to be a Fly Girl.

Childhood is awesome for building up such lofty ambition, wasn’t it?

We all had dreams and ambitions, folks. Mine was to dance in a bra and jeans with Jennifer Lopez on the same stage, and it not be deemed weird.

Fly Child

No lie, when I was eight years old, I wanted to be a Fly Girl. And not just a “fly girl,” but an actual Fly Girl, as in the dancers who performed at the beginning and before commercial breaks on In Living Color. In reality, my talent early 1990s dance life pretty much proved that would never have happened. As the many videos on You Tube have shown me (not to mention the actual watching of the show), those girls have more talent in their pinky toenail than I had in my uncoordinated, awkward child body in the 1990s.

Me in 1991 (age 8 1/2), not being so fly.

As an adult taking Hip Hop for six-and-a-half years, all that awkwardness was extinct, and I really did get my “dream” to be the Fly Girl I wanted to be. And then I busted my ankle and took up writing about nostalgia. I now live the dream doing something I didn’t realize I loved until I had the opportunity to really work on it. At night. And before work. And during my lunchbreak.

I have a day job, folks. The writing thing, like the dance thing, is not that day job. And I’m kinda depressed for even admitting any of this.

Anyway, childhood ambition, I knew it well. And I did get to live it for a little bit.

Those Girls Are Fly!

Every decade had its dance troupe of sorts. Whether it was the teenagers on American Bandstand, the Golddiggers on The Dean Martin Show, Goldie Hawn in a bikini on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, The Solid Gold dancers, or anyone who got in the Soul Train line, there were plenty of shows that spotlighted people hoofin’ it up to trendy music. There is a perfectly good cable access show on some obscure local network that offers this kind of entertainment, except the dancers look like Soul Train grandparents. I have no clue what it is called, or even if it is still on. All I know is that I saw it while clicking through channels one night. I may have watched it.

Again, tangents…

The Fly Girls were the dance group that introduced episodes and danced before commercials during the entire five-season run of In Living Color. The dancers were a diverse group of younger women, all clad in costuming of early 90s glory. I mentioned bras as tanks with jeans, right? Oh, they wore them. The girls also got involved in sketches, usually as extras or as part of gags.

Their moves came at a time when Hip Hop (as a dance form) was not mainstream like it is today, and the dancers themselves were classically-trained and technical dancers.

Could’ve fooled me.

The Girls (And Choreographers Who Make Them Fly!)

The girls were choreographed during the first four seasons by Rosie Perez (who herself had danced the Soul Train line in her dance life. Perhaps you’ve seen her in action?

Uploaded by MrBo131

In the fifth and final season, choreography was done by Arthur Rainer, with Lisa Joann Thompson (herself a Fly Girl during seasons four and five) and Diedre Lang (a veteran of all five seasons) as Assistant Choreographers.

While most of the faces may not be familiar to you, you obviously know Jennifer Lopez, and if you watch a little show called Dancing with the Stars, you’ve seen Carrie Ann Inaba.

Inaba (far left), with Deidre Lang (a veteran of all incarnations of the Fly Girls) on the right.

And if you’re a MSTie, or have just seen Hobgoblins, Cari French was not only of the original Fly Girls, but she did this in Hobgoblins.

From this move every little kid did in their dance recital to introducing Keenan Ivory Wayans. I wonder what ever happened to Cari…

…and I just looked up Hobgoblins. The spelling of the first name is different. PLEASE tell me this is the same person! This HAS to be her!

Seeing Them Fly!

I hunted around for some “fly” videos of the girls in action, and You Tube, it turns out, does not disappoint.

If you really want to see how amazing the Girls are, this unbelievable 20-minute video pretty much sums it all up.

Kudos to You Tube User Jim Leonard for this unbelievable editing job!!!

After watching this video (and logging all these hours of Very Important Research), I’d like to think that I finally did live my dream of being a Fly Girl, even if that opportunity came many years after the actual Fly Girls were a part of pop culture history.

Impact

The Fly Girls were of a time when Hip Hop dance was not mainstream, and we have Rosie Perez to thank for bringing this style of dance to the forefront.  in 2017, kids love taking Hip Hop classes in dance school, and the studio I went to offers master classes and workshops.  My former dance instructor, Sam Chisholm, has his own Hip Hop group, L3gacy, and the videos…just wow. I am truly lucky to not only have a group of dancers I just happened to love watching growing up, but also to have an instructor who helped me “live my dream” for seven years.

Me in 2011, in what I believe is my best “Fly Girl” costume. :-)

Lofty ambitions…I lived them well.

Have You Ever Heard This Song Richard Dean Anderson Composed for a “MacGyver” Episode?

Guess what?  You’re going to hear it, as well as see copious amounts of Richard Dean Anderson as MacGyver. :-)

You’re welcome.

Love At First Sight…

I first started watching MacGyver in the early spring of 2009, while on a seasonal layoff from my job at the time. The first episode I saw was season three’s “The Negotiator,” The episode involved a planned building site for a marina, Mac researching the wildlife in the area to prove that the project is not a good idea, and a beautiful woman hired to persuade Mac to change his mind, by any means necessary.

I can guarantee there are plenty of women out there who would have tried #3.

Facebook, circa 1988.

I’m not exactly sure if it was great “first episode ever” material, but I bought the season one boxed set pretty soon thereafter. Does that give you an idea of how much I liked it?

And at least it wasn’t the last episode ever made. I’ve made that mistake before…

Anyway…

He’s Got Mad Guitar Skills!

There was a scene in the episode where the “Negotiator,” Deborah, has bugged his house. As she listens to his going-abouts, she is entering information about him into her computer. And it is during this time that we hear him break out his guitar. Because we’ve never seen him do this before so…no time like the present?

Uploaded by Mary-Kate

But this, of course, is a little preview of what is to come later…

An 80s movie-style montage, complete with romance music!

In this case, it is a different arrangement of this same song, which I later found out is called “Eau d’Leo.” The song has the distinction of being composed by Richard Dean Anderson, thus adding another facet to the man I fell in love with from this very first watching.

Ok, well, I fell in love with this Everyman of a character he played, but still, love.

Ladies and gents, sit back, relax, and let the Adult Contemporary smoothness take you away!

Uploaded by MacGyver Online

But Wait, There’s More…

Because well enough means more clips of Mac for your viewing pleasure, You Tube user kitfu choong made this lovely video possible. It is a montage of clips from other MacGyver episodes, and I’d like to think it is the perfect way to close this article out.

Let’s see if New MacGyver can do anything quite like this.*

*Allison likes New MacGyver. But she prefers Original MacGyver.