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Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Rainy Parade on a Wack Holiday Dept.

I REALLY SHOULDN'T have to do this, but there's a certain responsibility that comes with my post of Spokesman for the Internet. Trust me when I tell you that I have conflicted feelings about being the fat guy in the dirty wife-beater than shoos y'all off my goddamn interlawn.

But really, these "Place Anything Here 2: Electric Boogaloo" jokes must end. Right. Now. Period. After. Each. Word. To. Denote. Emphasis.*

We all know that Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo was easily the worst-named sequel in the sepia-toned 1980's. We also know that sequels are usually horrible, and this represents an easy shorthand for their awfulness. We're all sort of embarrassed that we rented it back when it was still available on Beta, and we've probably drunkenly insisted that it was actually pretty sweet.

But, for the love of Paris, Entertainment Weekly made an Electric Boogaloo joke on the back page of the Guide to 2004 issue. In an interview with the Electric Booglaoo of white rappers, Vanilla Ice. And I'm not sure, but I think Jon Stewart sullied himself with the Boogaloo reference in that surreal "breakdancing for the Pope" segment last night.

I don't blame you. Trust me, I know how easy it is to "go there."

I blame VH-1, the All-Talking-Heads, All-the-Time Network. I blame I Love the 80s and I Love the 80s Strike Back and Best Week Ever and 50 Greatest Make-Outingest Onscreen Smooches and 100 Sluttiest Groupie Ho-bags. I would continue to slag VH-1 if I didn't desperately want to be one of those talking heads and expand my empire to basic cable. So let's not get rid of VH-1 quite yet until my fork is stuck in it.

But if I hear Mo Rocca or Michael Ian Black or Kennedy go all Electric Boogaloo one more time, I'm likely to whine about it to everyone in webshot, in fashion similar to what I'm doing now.

In the interest of putting this to bed once and for all, I submit the following:

A List of Other Unfortunate Sequel Titles Utlizing "Electric Boogaloo" as a Punchline

--Judgment at Nuremberg 2: Electric Boogaloo
--2 Fast 2 Furious 2: Electric Booglaoo
--Krush Groove 2: Electric Boogaloo
--Female Genital Mutilation 2: Electric Booglaoo
--Schindler's List 2: Electric Boogaloo
--Gwen Stefani's Totally Trying to be an Actress 2: Electric Boogaloo
--Breakin' 3: Electric Boogaloo

And so on. I'm also going to provide you with an excerpt from "A Brief Interview with the Utter Playedness of Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo as Tired Shorthand for Bad Sequel Ideas"

Bunsen: So how does it feel to be put to death by VH-1?

TUPOB2:EBATSFBSI: I dunno, I kinda like that my name's out there. Nicole Sullivan is kinda cute, doncha think?

Bunsen: I'm sort of partial to that chick that edits Spin.


There, that oughta do it. Dead horse beaten, Dixie Chick silenced.

Excuse me while I go remove the hardened bits of rant-spittle from the corner of my mouth.

And get off my fucking lawn!

Update: It occurred to me that it's easy to tear down, but so very hard to build up. So in place of the "Place Anything Here 2: Electric Boogaloo" tiredness, I submit a new way to sequelize something and illustrate diminishment.

Just add the "2", a colon, and then increase the adjective (where applicable) to a comparative.

The new form is best illustrated by this example:
Cold Mountain 2: Colder Mountain

This also has the added benefit of the implied tagline, "This mountain just got a whole lot colder."

And you know what happens if it rounds out into a trilogy:
Cold Mountain 3: Coldest Mountain

Try it, it's fun!

Of course, this won't work for everything the way that "Electric Boogaloo" did. But we do our best in such an imperfect world.

[*This is also really, really begging for retirement. But that is a story for another day.]

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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