DEVO Performs Live on ABC’s Fridays in 1981


DEVO rocked the ABC sketch show Fridays multiple time, today we look at their 1981 appearance where they performed not one, not two, but five songs! This episode aired on October 9, 1981 and the hosts were Tony Geary & Genie Francis (but of course DEVO were the real stars). This was DEVO’s third appearance on Fridays and would sadly be their last. The show was canceled that year.

Part 1 – Theme From Adventures of The Smart Patrol and Jerkin’ Back ‘n’ Forth – Yes, those are the famous treadmills. They perfectly demonstrate how DEVO can take what is seemingly mundane and make it interesting.

Part 2 – I Saw Jesus and Through Being Cool – Gerald Casale starts us off with an Electronic Revival. That leads straight to “Through Being Cool”, which should be the hymn for all geeks. For those not familiar with “I Saw Jesus”, it can be found on Recombo DNA

Part 3 – Working in a Coal Mine – This is showmanship at its finest. Elaborate sets and choreography. Unlike SNL performances, this is like going to a concert. I wish they would indulge musical guests more often and allow them to take advantage of the medium.

I LOVE DEVO and I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I do.


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

2 thoughts on “DEVO Performs Live on ABC’s Fridays in 1981

  1. iPadCary says:

    I’m a DEVOtee.

    I think Mothersbaugh & the Casales are underappreciated geniuses.

    And with regard to “Friday Night Li–, uh …. “Fridays”, why doesn’t anybody talk about how both Larry David AND Michael Richards started here?

    To think: they went from the literal bottom o’ the heap to the literal top.

  2. Atari Adventure Square says:

    One of my favorite bands…and fave wackadoos!
    One of my favorite TV shows – now all but gone from television history.

    This high-quality (for tv and even video) performance might be an indication as to why the show never surfaced as marketable medium – too many music rights involved.

    Also, iPadCary is right.
    And didja know Richards seemingly originated his Kramer character from the many goofballs he created for that show?
    Just check out some YouTubes of him on it to find out.

Leave a Reply

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