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Thursday Three: Julie Brown, comedy goddess!

July 8, 2010

Many centuries ago, in an era known as “the 80s”, there was a fabulous comedienne/actress/singer known as Julie Brown. Ms. Brown still lives today and is as fabulous as always, but the 80s (and early 90s) were her heyday. She had a seriously hilarious show on MTV called Just Say Julie, a sort of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse-esque comedic romp wherein she made fun of various popular music videos (long before Beavis & Butthead ever did), had zany guest stars and often mocked mega pop stars like Madonna and Sheena Easton. It was my favorite MTV show by far. She also released a variety of comedy albums and singles, the likes of which produced some chuckle-tastic music videos. She was like a bitchier, sexier Weird Al Yankovic and I still love some of her songs to this day. So let’s listen to a few of them and watch the accompanying videos, shall we?

“The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Gun”: Back in 1984 I became obsessed with this song via The Dr. Demento Show, a wacky radio program I’d tune into to hear songs like Frank and Moon Unit Zappa’s “Valley Girl”. It was where I was first introduced to Julie Brown’s oeuvre, as it were, and officially became obsessed. In this video Julie sings from the point of view of a girl remembering a horrifying school shooting perpetrated by, you guessed it, the homecoming queen. She also portrays said homecoming queen! So versatile! The video features some censored lyrics, so here’s a link to the real lyrics for you to substitute and sing along with while you watch the video.

“Cause I’m a Blonde”: In 1988, Julie had a co-starring role as Candy Pink, a stylist at the “Curl Up & Dye” hair salon in the awesomely cheesy b-movie, Earth Girls Are Easy alongside Jeff Goldblum, pre-fame Jim Carrey and Geena Davis (who I always forget is an Oscar winner given her filmography and all. But I digress). The movie is full of musical numbers, several of which Julie Brown wrote. Including this gut-bustingly funny song about one of our culture’s most overly worshiped creatures: the blonde. Lyrics such as “I know lots of people are smarter than me, but I have this philosophy: so what!”,  “Right now I’m a freshman in my fourth year at UCLA but my goal is to become a veterinarian because I love children” and “Cause I’m a blonde, b-l….I don’t know!” continue to crack me up decades later.

“Party In My Pants/Vague”: In 1992 Julie co-wrote, co-directed and starred in a seriously fucking genius, hilarious, fantastic mockumentary, Medusa: Dare To Be Truthful, a dead-on parody of Madonna’s 1991 tour documentary Madonna: Truth Or Dare. In the film, Ms. Brown plays Medusa, a questionably talented, seriously delusional pop star embarking on a doomed world tour that starts out in the Philippines during volcano season (she pronounces it “Pah-hilli-peens”) and features her demonstrating fellatio on a watermelon, rolling around on her dead dog’s grave and many performances of hysterical parodies of Madonna songs. In this video she does a medley of two songs: “Party In My Pants” and “Vague”. The first track sounds a bit like Madonna’s “Holiday” but parodies her live stage show at the time for “Like a Prayer”. It’s a funny song but the real gem is “Vague”, a piss-take on “Vogue”, all about a host of dull, charisma-free, perplexingly famous celebrities. Julie Brown has cracked me up in a number of ways, but nothing will ever top the pure genius of the lyric “Kelly LeBrock thinks she’s great, she’s just cold boogers on a paper plate.” Ahhh, now that is quality comedy. Feast your eyes and ears on the wonderment. And if you look closely you may see a pre-fame, pre-face work Kathy Griffin as one of her backup singers/dancers.

And for all of you fans of JB from back in the day like me, go check out the store at her official website where you can order her music as well as DVDs of Medusa: Dare To Be Truthful and volume one of “Just Say Julie” (sadly sans most of the music videos due to licensing rights but still totes hilarious!) Oh, and hell, I love Ms. Brown so much I’m giving you a bonus fourth video on this Thursday Three! Here’s the video for her fabulicious 1987 single “Trapped in the Body of a White Girl” from the album of the same name.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2010 9:34 am

    Do you follow her on Twitter? Her tweets make me giggle (and I’m a brunette!). She was campaigning to be on “Dancing w/ the Stars,” and she’s working on a sitcom for Joey Lawrence! *swoon*

  2. July 8, 2010 9:35 am

    Totally satisfying blog post. I remember her ongoing stalker obsession with Jon Bon Jovi. Good times.

  3. July 8, 2010 9:39 am

    I can’t believe they censored passing lyrics about cocaine and the “monthly visit.” Golly, how different MTV’s Standards & Practices dept. was back then…

  4. July 8, 2010 10:36 am

    Took a blood test and I failed of course, I can’t spell VW, but I’ve got a Porsche.

    Oh how I love Julie Brown and Just Say Julie. I adore the epic Sheena Easton smackdowns, and Easton’s graciousness about the whole thing. Best ep was when Easton guest starred.

  5. John Morton permalink
    July 8, 2010 2:15 pm

    You just brightened my day… I’m now sitting on my deck waiting for the mail-person to deliver my copy of “Dare To Be Truthful”

    • July 8, 2010 7:10 pm

      Sweet! You will be so happy you own the DVD when you get to watch her deep throat that watermelon again and again and again.

  6. mazda permalink
    July 9, 2010 12:49 am

    How can I get a copy of the episode in which Sheena Easton appeared? I’ve been looking for it for years but haven’t any luck. Help!!!

    • July 9, 2010 1:44 am

      Not sure if I can help you out there. The one volume of Just Say Julie that you can buy from Julie Brown’s site is all that I’ve seen of the show that is available. I met Julie Brown a few years back and she said a big problem with getting the show out is clearing all sorts of rights with MTV and various celebs. So that probably has a lot to do with why that and other episodes are so hard to find!

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