Thursday, January 13, 2011

Looks Like We've Made It, We're Kids Incorporated

Before the creation of Kidz Bop, if you wanted to hear children bastardize your favorite pop songs with their creepy, high-pitched voices, you had to watch Kids Incorporated.
The show aired from 1984-1993 and the ever changing line-up of incorporated kids included Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson, Jennifer Love Hewitt (who went by "Love" in those days), and Eric Balfour--who was somehow cast even though he couldn't sing, dance, or pantomime "guitar playing" believably. 
Mario Lopez was a back-up dancer in the late 80s and occasionally "played" the drums--he would later go on to perfect his "drumming" as a member of The Zack Attack. Like Menudo, the kids would "age-out" of the cast once they hit puberty (because "Pubes Incorporated" just doesn't have the same ring to it).


The premise of the show is perplexing, to say the least, but on the most basic--but still incomprehensible--level, it's about these five (sometimes six) kids who perform for their peers at what appears to be some kind of children's nightclub/cabaret called "The P*lace." There wasn't a parent to be found. 


(I hope that someone who lives in Brooklyn--where the show is supposed to be set--can tell me if kiddie nightclubs are popular out there.)


As children, I think that we were into this show because it was about a group of independent kids. This is the same reason why a movie like Home Alone was so cool to us. We like to see kids running things. But watching it now, I have all these financial questions that make it impossible for me to suspend disbelief. Like, what were their overheads?


How--as children--were they able to fund these elaborate performance numbers? They couldn't have been charging for admission because kids don't have money--I don't remember ever having more than $4 at any given moment when I was younger than 18--and selling sodas and milkshakes ain't gonna keep that fog machine running, my friends. 


Even if there were, say, a $4 cover, there's no way that they'd be able to keep that place so jam packed full of pre-teens every day. Whose parents are going let them see Kids Incorporated daily? I have this image in my head of some 9-year-old's intervention. Her parents telling her that she's spending too much time at "The P*lace" and that they refuse to continue supporting her Kids Incorporated habit.


Anyway, let's take a look at some of the Kids Inc. gold I dug up over at the youtubes.


In this video J. Love plays the saddest girl to ever rock a sweatband.
Since I couldn't find the entire episode on youtube, I have no idea what brought about this state of utter desolation and world wariness. 


Nevertheless, I just want to shake this kid and say, "Girl, you'd better buck up! How can you be that sad with bangs that fly?"
The best part of this video, aside from all of the soulful head-shaking, is the sullen-girl tableau--chin rested in palms, eyes tilted up toward the heavens, wristbands hiding self-inflicted wounds.


I think this cover is a prime example of why 10-year-olds should never sing this particular Peter Gabriel song...actually, no one, not even Peter Gabriel should ever sing this song, or at least should never be filmed singing it. Case in point: The original video for the Gabriel-Kate Bush collaboration, in which the two embrace/fondle each other for six disturbing minutes.

Here, little Fergie sings Lionel Richie's hit "Say You, Say Me."
I could try to come up with some mildly amusing commentary about this video, but I think it speaks for itself.

  WHAT. IS. HAPPENING?

Finally, we have the whole 1991 Kids Inc. gang covering Rod Stewart's "Forever Young." And when you watch this grainy video, I want you to pay attention to the little boy in the front row of the audience. 

Bet you didn't know that "Forever Young" was a club jam. That boy was breakin' it down! I have so much respect for him, because when I tried to dance to this song, I almost had a heart attack. I don't know if that kid was on speed or pixy sticks or what.

video

30 comments:

The Shanner of Attention said...

OMG - I don't think I've ever laughed this much at a blog, well - - ever. Your attempt to jam to "Forever Young" was the highlight of my day. Know that.

Simon said...

I love how serious you look in the video. Like, you're not fucking around.

Well, anyway, let's comfort ourselves in knowing that Eric Balfour--which sounds like a dinosaur--never did anything worthwhile.

Roxanne and Lorraine said...

I had to stop that video Peter Gabriel video pretty immediately. That hug was entirely way to long. NO HUG should go on that long unless it is being used as a torture device to extract information. Awkward.

Your dancing was amazing. You tried and you tried your damndest.

Lor

Leonnie said...

I don't know what to say, except that no part of that show should ever have been aired, though I guess the worst part is the song choices. Where are these kids finding so much pathos? I guess if you're running a business that's probably on the verge of bankruptcy as a 10 year old...

Also, don't feel bad about not being able to dance like that kid, he was a kid, they have way more energy than they could ever need. Plus, the song is not meant to be danced to like that. But serious kudos, for managing to do the running man on beat for a full minute

beanditch said...

Oh my gosh, I LOST IT watching you dance. My mom said "What's so funny about that??" Parents just don't understand. ;)
I LOVED KI, by the way! Love Hewitt was my idol.

MJenks said...

First...thank you SO much for getting Rod Stewart stuck in my head. That'll take days of mental bleach to wash out.

However, I'm hoping that it doesn't take the sweet, totally awesome dance-o-rama that you were putting on. That was some...well, whatever a hyperbolic expression for good dancing is.

Terpsichorean. That's right. That's what it is. The Muse is strong with this one.

C said...

Oh. My. God.

That was f*-ing fantastic. Thank you for the most serious-faced, frantic dance sequence ever.

One Blonde Girl said...

I LOVED this show! You forgot to mention Martika though, of "Toy Soldiers" and "I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet" fame. She was on during the first season.

I remember this show being much cooler when I was a kid. I wanted ALL their outfits.

*Sigh*

Megs said...

I know that I watched the episode where Fergie sang "Say You, Say Me". Because I watched all of the episodes. More than once.

But I don't actually remember it. I'm pretty sure the trauma from Unexplained Clown Surprise! probably caused me amnesia in order to preserve my psyche.

Fear Street said...

That clown. That damned clown. I don't know whether to vomit or cry. Theoretically, I could do both. But that's a lot of energy wasted. And I NEED that energy for NOT dancing to Forever Young. And contemplating the wasteland that is my life...

Mia said...

There are some full episodes of Kids Inc on Youtube...not that I ever watched them or anything.

I was more then a little in love with Ryan (except I was even more in love with him in the Monster Squad.)

michelle said...

LOL you're awesome

that clown is fucking creepy though. i blame kids incorporated for my deep seeded fear of these supposed bringers of happiness

Purtle said...

Can we get some "You can't say that on television" up in here?

Ashton King said...

Now I know where my fear of clowns came from...

Tabs A. Geek said...

I vaguely remember this show. Bits and pieces of it anyway.

soft nonsense said...

This. Was awesome.

The only thing missing was some lower body action, because the only thing that kid's hips weren't doing was lying.

Christina In Wonderland said...

I don't think I ever watched this show. For starters, when IT started, I was three years not born. When it ended, I was, like, six, so yeah...

But this was tragically funny. Yes, I said tragic. Any nostalgic cheesy kids stuff is going to count as tragic. Lol.

And you rock on, you wonderful person you... PS: the serious was part of the awesome in your mad attempt at rocking out. ;)

I can just never express adequately how much your posts make me smile. :D

TbR said...

YET ANOTHER THING I MISSED OUT ON THROUGH BEING BORN OVER HERE!

We're just too reserved.

I was totally unimpressed with clown's yo-yo skills, until he pulled Rock the Baby out of the bag. Then I was like whoa.

Ak Sağlık said...

Thanks a lot!!!!
So good Page..
NIce post
TüpBebek

Sara said...

I am so ridiculously happy that this is the first thing I read when I sat down at my desk today. Today is officially starting off wonderfully.

I love how you can tell by the comments that a lot of us actually watched all of these videos all the way through. Except for that creepy hugging one, though. I'm with Lorraine... there was NO WAY I was making it through that awkward-fest.

And that kid was INSANELY COOL. My God, I wish he was my boyfriend.

Semaj said...

love the video

Sara said...

I just watched the video again with my fiancee, and I think that's the best laugh I've had all month.

Ak Sağlık said...

Site's character and a great color match .. I will recommend your site to the other platforms.
Göğüs küçültme Ameliyatı

Ak Sağlık said...

I enjoyed this site. Çene Cerrahisi I will recommend your site to other places. Saç Ekim Everyone does not show care. Estetik But you were preparing a site so rich in content. Estetik Burun Ameliyatı Everyone who helped, thank you.

Hair Transplant in turkey said...

I vaguely remember this show. Bits and pieces of it anyway. fue

Kulak Zari Ameliyati said...

I was like album of "Forever Young". Thanks for sharing and remembring of it...

Kulak Zari Ameliyati

Cari Lehigh said...

I randomly stumbled across your blog starting with this page and I have to say, your jamming to "Forever Young" really made my day.

I will be following your posts from here out because you are awesome and super funny. I love it. Cheers!

Lonely said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lonely said...

The sad Love Hewitt episode is Karate Kids, featuring Billy Blanks of Tae Bo fame.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPXNaCqdF9c

orjinkrem said...

I enjoyed this site. Burun estetiği ameliyatı I will recommend your site to other places.
Saç ekimi Everyone does not show care. But you were preparing a site so rich in content.
Kaş ekimi Everyone who helped, thank you.