It’s a good thing none of us are uber-talented models/celebrities. (Or are we? No. We totally aren’t. Unless we are.) If we were, we’d be pretty pissed that we didn’t make Time’s list of 100 most influential people. But you know who did make it? One of our favourite people and the frequent subject of our golden TV moment, Stephen Colbert.
He takes the crown this time for cursing the good name of the guy who outdid him to come in second place on the 100 list (video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto came in first.) See, Stephen can take coming in second to a video game designer, but to come in third to Korean pop-star Rain, whom he’s made fun of for months on his show? Unthinkable.
Last Monday, Colbert was doing his damnedest to pack so much awesomeness into a half hour that we would be unable to resist his late-night boyfriend charms. We admit it, on Boobtube’s list of 100 most influential late night boyfriends, Stephen frequently comes in third as well. Conan and Jon sometimes squeeze him out, see? But Stephen has really stepped up his game lately, and we’ve taken notice. Last Monday, he had one of our favourite authors and curmudgeonly environmentalists, Carl Hiaasen, on as a guest. As if a conversation with the author of some of the best comedic crime fiction books of the last decade wasn’t enough, Colbert topped himself. How?
Oh, just a little thing we like to call a dance fight. Jezebel.com has the live-action version, but here’s a taste:
After soundly defeating Stephen, Dance Dance Revolution style, Rain disappeared into the night, as Rain is wont to do. But our hunger for dance-style fighting was not sated. We hungered for more quick steps and fancy jazz hands. Finger snaps! High kicks! Inappropriate leggings! This golden moment needed to be epic.
The best dance fights of all time . . . let us show you them!
One could scarcely discuss dance fights without discussing the grand daddy of them all. Let’s see if we can’t set the scene: Their mothers all are junkies/their fathers all are drunks/golly Moses/natcherly they’re punks! Yessir, when the Sharks and the Jets get together for a West Side Story, you just know there’s gonna be a rumble! Oh, and also, plies and pirouettes.
We cannot lie. We totally sang that we felt pretty. Oh so pretty. See Also: Charming, oh so charming. It’s alarming how charming we feel. This dance fight scene — and all other dance fight scenes in West Side Story — are truly the ones most people nowadays base their dance fights on. We recall a memorable SNL skit based on this scene. The Cobras and Panthers weird out leader Norm MacDonald with all their happy arm flings, high kicks and skip steps. We feel you, Norm.
We can’t show you West Side Story and its memorable dance fight and not immediately follow it up with perhaps the most famous tribute: Michael Jackson’s Beat It. The title and chorus is lifted directly from the movie when Riff tells Bernardo to “beat it,” setting up the rivalry for the rest of the movie. Michael Jackson’s version sees two rival gangs meeting and dancing in a seedy pool hall – that’s Pool with a capital P and that rhymes with T as in Trouble – to rumble/dance.
No one wants to be defeated indeed. Now, Mikey made a somewhat similar video in Bad, but to tell you the truth, it’s not as good for a variety of reasons. One, we start to see the weird crotch grabs and yells he later became famous for. Two, there’s a bit of an ish in that Mike’s nose has started the race away from his face. Three, there is a distinct lack of wailing guitar solo courtesy Mr. Edward Van Halen. Fall Out Boy recently recorded a cover version of Beat It featuring John Mayer on guitar. He performs what we grudgingly admit is a decent solo. It’s actually quite faithful as far as the song goes, and the video uses some of our favourite people: Tony Hale, Donald Faison and Hal Sparks, to name but a few. But. . . there’s not enough dance fights for our taste. Oh, don’t worry, Fall Out Boy fans. You’ll get yours.
Now. When it comes to dance fights, you should always keep in mind that sometimes, you don’t dance fight a specific person, you dance fight The Man. This is especially effective if you are a woman of the night, which is the case in Pat Benetar’s Love Is a Battlefield.
Rebel teen Pat leaves her comfortable suburban existance, perhaps because dad has told her to stop ripping up her clothing. Totally unfair, man! Soon, she is a desirable undesirable – a “dancer,” no doubt with a heart of gold. But in addition to gold booty, she’s also got brass balls. Still rebelling against her father (note the VERY ripped dress), she is soon faced with a dilemma, the club’s owner wants to get fresh with her gal pal. But he didn’t count on Pat’s dancing abilities! With an exaggerated lift of the knee, a threatening shoulder shimmy and a deleriously stupid “mime stuck in a box” move, she and her stripper companions rise up and strike a blow for underpaid, mistreated dancing girls everywhere! So liberated, they run to the comforting presence of a freeway offramp and do a little congratulatory dancing. In the street, natch.
Of course, if you can’t dance-fight The Man, then dance-fight the system, just like Christian Bale!
Watch as he dance fights newspaper barons!
Thrill as he dance fights the nazis!
He dance fights so much that we half expect him to bat-dance fight the joker in the upcoming Dark Knight movie. Newsies and Swing Kids were pretty much just two very long, metaphorical dance fights. In period clothing.
Taking a break from the soul-crushing poverty of orphans in New York at the turn of the century and the hee-larious hijinks that no doubt occurred during the Second World War, let us adjourn to a less unsavoury time. Or maybe it’s more unsavoury. You tell us. We think you will find this highly improbable, yet sweet tribute dance-off between half the cast of the Drew Carey Show dressed as Rocky Horror Picture Show characters Vs. the other half dressed as Priscilla Queen of the Desert characters . . . a drag. But not that way. The OTHER drag. The fun drag.
Look, we know the Drew Carey show wasn’t really funny, but sometimes, they did shit like this. And it was really well done and we admire Deidrich Bader’s commitment to that ensemble. It takes a real man to wear a corset, fishnets and heels and do high kicks. And if we never see Drew Carey in his underwear again, it will be too soon. You might argue with us on Zoolander, because it ain’t a dance-fight. It ain’t even a dance-off – It’s a walkoff!
But whatever, haters. They totes do the robot. And later, there’s breakdance fighting. Breakdance fighting like the stuff that happens in the video for It’s Like That by Run DMC.
Apparently, one guy in this video popped when he should’ve locked and dislocated a shoulder. Um. Ow. That would hurt. But not as much as the video you are about to see. Oh yes. It’s back. And this time, it’s totally buggin’ mang!
We are so sorry for making you watch Cop Rock. We have never been in the position where we had to look at a lineup. But if we did, we’d want it to be full of criminals who know how to choreograph complicated dance routines, the better to show their macho high kicks. Yo, Esai! They’re the local color with the coppertone skin! Don’t treat them like they’re guilty of some terrible sin! Unless, of course, that sin is being incredibly stereotypical and needlessly hostile. We feel bad for Spanish gangs. It probably takes a lot of hardcore violence to overcome an image like that.
Speaking of image . . . we are suckers for theatric, extravagantly costumed, long-form videos by pop groups. Who isn’t? Fall Out Boy’s A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More ‘Touch Me’ appears to be a little bit Buffy, a little bit Thriller, a little bit Backstreet Boys, a little bit West Side Story and a little bit Dandy of the Underworld. One of us is a big Fall Out Boy fan. One of us loves musicals and opera. One of us enjoys drummers covered in tattoos. But we unite in our love of the genre “Hot guys doin’ stuff.”
We particularly enjoy the bit where Pete Wentz shuffle dance-fights the dandy vampires.
Finally. We saved the best bit for last. Perhaps the gayest dance fight of all our dance fights is this after school special dance fight . . . thing.
Oh, epic battles, we never knew ye! Sharks! Jets! . . . Unicorns? This is like Sweet Valley High: The Delinquent Years. The kid these guys are dance-beating up says “You can take my purple socks!” Actually . . . I think that might do it! These bullies clearly want all items of purple clothing for themselves!
Stay tuned for more Golden Moments! This time, more prompt!