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R.I.P. American popular culture.

October 30th, 2008 by · 52 Comments

When future historians write of this time, they may well pinpoint the video below as the precise moment when U.S. pop culture gasped its last. Oh sure, there will be countless other candidates for final-nail-in-the-coffin, and even radical theorists who insist that pop culture never really died — it’s just resting.

But I say it happened. And it happened just last month, when most of us were reeling from the news that our financial markets were collapsing like a Tokyo apartment building under Godzilla’s right foot.

It happened during the so-called “Emmy” awards, which apparently were the 60th such annual affair. A pleasant young man with a nice voice, who we’ll randomly call “Josh Groban,” wandered out onstage to sing. The Spirit of Pop Culture Itself, haunting the auditorium, floating aimlessly through the air, weary from years of overwork and abuse, made a quick decision: I’m done with this, man. And this very Spirit decided to go out in a blaze of anti-glory, in the equivalent of suicide by cop. It inhabited this Josh Groban’s body, and began blurting out tiny snippets of TV theme songs past and present, lurching wildly and artlessly from one to the other.

For better or worse, there is a record of this kamikaze attack, and it’s directly below. But STAND WARNED: those of you who love irony will not come out of this feeling well, at all. If you’re a fan of the funny and irreverent — i.e., shows like THE SIMPSONS and SOUTH PARK — know that these slayers of pop culture sacred cows are thrown into this stewpot with everything else, resulting in disorientation and nausea. And for our pop culture, of course, death.

STAND (also) WARNED: the reanimated corpse of Ed MacMahon makes a sudden and alarming cameo.

STAND (further) WARNED: judging by the end of the performance, Carol Burnett appears to be dead, as well. So much death… Oh, so much death…

Happy Halloween! (I’m going as a slutty Supreme Court Justice this year!)

And now, already dead things re-killing themselves, for your seasonal entertainment:

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