Since completing my first 5k a couple months ago, I’ve continued to run and am now training for a 10k in the fall. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, though, and I might have quit running all together if it weren’t for gloriously cheesy music videos from the Eighties.
Let me explain.
One of the things that really helped me start running was the fact that each treadmill at my gym had its own TV screen build into it. This meant that I could watch whatever I wanted as I ran, and at first I found this to be a great motivator to hit the gym. After a few months, however, I was bored with the political shows, reality shows, and re-runs of old sitcoms that aired when I went, and going to the gym became a chore – until I stumbled upon channel 87.
Channel 87 plays nothing but music videos from the Eighties, and the unadulterated goofy/cheesiness of these relics has me laughing my head off as I run atop the treadmill. The people at my gym must think I’m crazy, but hey – at least I’m motivated to run again! Here are my three favorite wacky videos from channel 87:
Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
In 2013 we all know about this song through being rickrolled, but has anyone actually watched this video all the way through lately? Rick sounds like Barry White, but looks like he’s just started puberty, and the funniest thing about this video is that he wears about four or five different outfits, each of which is way too big for him. Did they not have a costume fitting? He seriously looks like Tom Hanks’ character at the end of “Big” after he turns back into a kid. And no, Rick, the dark glasses don’t help you look more grown up. Even I looked older than Rick in the Eighties:
There’s also a guy in the video who seems bored with the song at first, but then, by the end, is doing back flips and break dancing. In the Eighties it was pretty much required that a video had some dude break dancing.
Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer
Anyone who lived through the Eighties remembers this theme, but the video is pure awesome. It stars the composer of the theme (that’s right, composer), a paunchy, balding middle aged Czechoslovakian named Jan who wears a Hawaiian shirt and plays the theme on his keyboard while clips from the show are projected onto a screen behind him. The fact that anyone thought Jan should star in his own video makes me deliriously happy. Back then you didn’t have to be nineteen years old and gorgeous to get your videos played like you do today. Nope, in the Eighties half the videos starred unattractive dudes pushing fifty, and it was glorious.
Private Eye – Hall & Oates
This video might best personify the utter lack of creativity (and budget) videos from the Eighties tended to have. The ENTIRE VIDEO consists of Hall & Oates and their band miming the song while wearing trench-coats and sun glasses. It’s as if the entirety of the creative meeting for the video consisted of the following conversation:
“Hey, the song is called ‘Private Eye’, so why don’t we just get the guys to dress up like private eyes!”
“Brilliant. Where are we having lunch?”
Oh, Channel 87… you are the best. I can’t wait to hit the treadmill again and see what gem from the Eighties you’ve excavated for me next!