Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Favorite Scenes: Guest Singers Part I

This is a topic that has no ending. Every show has repeatedly used guest musical stars as a method of cross promotion. However some episodes will remain with you forever. This will obviously have to be part one of the series, because really I could place every episode of New York Undercover under this title and at least one special episode from every season of The Cosby Show. So let's get the party started. As usual, clips at the end if they can be found. There are also several little Michael Jacksons in here.

Of course there are my requisite A Different World references (of which I probably won't be able to find an online clip). But for me three guest star episodes stand out. One of them is of course the En Vogue episode where the talented girl group are incorporated into the script as Mr. Vernon Gaines's nieces that Ron then uses in his night club performance. Then there is the Gladys, Gladys Knight episode. Whatever happened to the opera singer, she could blow? The third is when Kriss Kross performed in yet another classic episode concerning youth violence following on the give back to your community theme propagated by Sinbad's community center. The episode name is "Original Teacher" and yes at one point in my life I considered wearing my clothing backwards "because inside out is wiggedy wiggedy wiggedy wack."

Fresh Prince also had its share of stars even though they didn't always sing. It also is the number one example of lets ignore my career outside of this show. So besides for the fact that it starred Will Smith, Jazzy Jeff and little MJ #1 Alfonso Ribiero, the show produced by Quincy Jones also brought in a few characters. Who can forget the episode where Tevin Campbell comes and sings for Ashley Banks' birthday. She swoons, faints and then ended up in half of his videos afterwards. Then good ol' Philly boy Will of course knows all of Boyz II Men because everyone in Philly knows each other. Vanessa Williams was also on an episode. She mentioned Saving the Best for Last and gave birth to a baby. There was no singing. Sadness. Of course Tatyana Ali's singing career began on the show as well. Sigh, that boy was playing with her mind.

Then there was Family Matters. The place for relatively unknown stars to go and remain relatively unknown. Besides for their constant references to current musicians like Bobby Brown and their 10 second rendition of My Perogrative (which made the show relevant then, but super dated now), I remember two distinct performances. One was by Seal and another was by Portrait. The Seal episode deserves its own, My Favorite Scenes reference: the I'm a teenager sneaking out to a really cool club/music performance even though my parents already told me no. The Portrait episode is also a recurring theme: performance at a school concert. We also can't forget the many times that Eddie Winslow and Aunt Rachel (of Tony and Dawn fame) got an opportunity to sang and Urkel did something like singing and Carl and his friends did a rendition of old jammy jams (it was his h.s. reunion episode that taught me the intricacies of the Mash Potato). There was also that time that Shanice and Eddie had something strange ocurring. So that brings the count up to three. Should also be pointed out that little Ricky was a scary miniature little MJ and I think probably looks just as creepy now.

Sister Sister, with its bevy of shows dedicated to Roger, Tia and Tamera's singing abilities also had its fair share of singing guests. Of these three stand out in my mind. The Brian McKnight Episode, where Tia develops a crush on him as he plays her teaching assistant. Maybe not as much singing as it was playing his song in the background. Tia and Tamera, always open about their faith, also did an episode using Kirk Franklin. Of course they were in the choir, but we can't blame them. There's also another favorite scene reference that emerged with the prevalence of 90s stars having dual careers: the let's forget I have a job outside of the show. Roger, also known as Marques Houston, f.k.a. Batman of Immature/IMX fame outside of the show performs on the show as part of his teenage boy band group. The girls swoon. No one admits that Roger and Batman look exactly the same. It also serves to note that this was probably one of the few jobs that Kid could get post House Party (also serves to note that Immature was in the last installment of House Party ..the black 90s is all one big 6 degrees, which yes starred Will Smith). Sister Sister also took both sides of the rap game showcasing some man that disrespected women in one early episode and then the Goodie Mob/Cee-Lo in another episode. They also went to Freak-nik...not what you generally think of your wholesome teen show.

Following his older sisters, Tahj Mowry also had his own vehicle: Smart Guy. While this show had its fill of never to be realized potential (Omar Gooding, Essence Atkins, Tahj Mowry, and Jason Weaver) it also had its singing moments. How could you not let little MJ (Jason Weaver was in The Jackson Five movie as little MJ) sing? There's also the Destiny's Child episode where they do their rendition of Amazing Grace and Beyonce explains to Marcus (Jason Weaver) that she spent Thanksgiving in a airport eating a turkey sandwich. I failed to shed crocodile tears.

(Go here for full episode: http://youtube.com/watch?v=oYW5f6JVSrY)

I didnt reference this one of The Boys, but since I can't find Kriss Kross I'll supplement.

Family Matters

And I can't find the Seal episode, so here's New Edition. I think they had a love affair with the group and its fall out:

and the Tracy Spencer Episode:


Tatiana Ali in TC vid

Sister Sister

Smart Guy

So yes, this episode of My Favorite Scenes is far from over. There will be plenty more, including more My Favorite Scenes cross references. We haven't even gotten to Queen Latifah/Khadijah and Living Single of the horrible nature of Joey Lawrence and Blossom yet or Moesha. How could we be done?

And now for some more six degrees: Thelma Hopkins (Aunt Rachel) of Family Matters would later play Essence Atkin's father's baby mama on Half and Half. The new (and wacker) Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince is married to Ray from Sister, Sister in Real Life. Of course Tia, Tamera, and Tajh have all starred on each others shows, and were all on Full House. About half of these people are going to be in the greatest resurrection of the black 90s sitcom in soem movie about stepping that I swear me and my friend dreamed up back when drumline came out. If only we wrote a script.


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