Fine Young Cannibals

I hate this strip the more I look at it. It’s just weak for the most part. I must’ve tried fifty times to draw Richard Dreyfuss and that was as close as I got. He looks more like former NYC mayor Ed Koch. I tried to make him look like Dreyfuss did in Tin Men, which is a movie no one remembers even though it was available for rental at literally every video store in 1988. Before you correct me, I know Tin Men is from 1987. I said “available for rental”. Actually, I should add that in 1989, it was shown literally 14,000 times a day on HBO.

You had to hear those two Fine Young Cannibals songs a lot in the late 1980s, would be my point in this doggerel. 

They were of course “Good Thing (CLAP CLAP) “, and “Social Security”, a.k.a. the b-side everybody forgets about. It’s a languid snoozer that rises up on the soundtrack whenever Richard Dreyfuss starts to cuckold Danny DeVito. There are lots of great antique cars in Tin Men that look much more interesting than the basic box on wheels I drew in panel three. I must’ve had a real lobster on my balls when I wrote this strip.

That trailer makes the movie seem much lighter than it is. Really, it’s a comedy-drama about vengeful aluminum-siding salesmen in early-’60s Baltimore. Directed by Barry Levinson, whom I always confuse with Barry Sonnenfeld for some reason. Barry Levinson did Diner and stabbed Mel Brooks with a newspaper in High Anxiety. Barry Sonnenfeld did the Addams Family and Men In Black movies. I think he’s the one who expressed a horrific cyst on a last-season episode of Jackass, but that may just be legend.

Alright, since you don’t remember what I was talking about, here’s “Social Security”:

I know I left out “She Drives Me Crazy”. There’s a reason for that. Sometimes you hear a song so many times, it ceases to be composed of active vibrations and only registers as silence. And, I probably intended to have “She Drives Me Crazy” being sung in panel 2 instead of “Good Thing”, because its hooting refrain is far more annoying. It sounds good sung by nobody aside from Roland Gift, who returned to performing in 2012 after a long absence, and whom I hope will never be subjected to “carpool karaoke” by some late-night talk-holster. If that’s already happened, I’d rather not know about it.

In panel 3 I’m referring to the fact that random singing interludes, usually in cars, became a padded crutch for a great many comedies in the past 25 years. Step Brothers, Anchorman… I dunno, those are the only two examples I can think of right now. But it’s always padding. It chokes the flow of the film and is better off in the deleted scenes.

That’s better than the Step Brothers sing-a-long in the car was, though. Anyway, you might not have known this, but Roland Gift was hired as the vocalist of Fine Young Cannibals by Andy Cox and David Steele of The (English) Beat, which was breaking up. Gift came from a British ska band called Akrylyks, which was much harder to spell and say. Steele, Cox and Gift went on to tremendous success as Fine Young Cannibals.

The Beat, of course, were the guys who did this beauty, though you may not know it by name:

“Mirror In The Bathroom” and “Save It For Later” are also great (English) Beat singles, even if they never accompanied teenage Matthew Broderick running through suburban backyards, and are thus less commonly known. “Mirror In The Bathroom” is the one I heard through the ceiling (yet still liked) in the (English) Beat strip. Can I just say “The Beat”? Do I still have to put (English) in front of it?

Richard Dreyfuss is fucking hard to draw.

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