Video Hangover: “Walk the Dinosaur”

It’s a timeless philosophical debate: What makes a video crappy? What makes a video great? Even the most ill-conceived and poorly executed video can make us nostalgic for a forgotten trend, or remind us of a song we used to love for all the wrong reasons. Twice a week, we dig in the MTV/VH1 archives for videos that we find noteworthy, resonant, or just unbelievably stupid. Is it crap or not? You decide…

“Walk The Dinosaur”
Was (Not Was), 1989

A few items to consider while you?re learning the moves:

$4000 for the night, but you have to feed the roadies
What has two lead singers, one dressed casually and one in a tux, a hammy rhythm section featuring an uncomfortably enthusiastic keyboard player who likes to solo, and a couple of horn players? The answer: every crappy wedding band in the world. The only thing that separates Was (Not Was) from, say, Rare Form (.asx), is that their token, cowbell-hammering female is wearing David Byrne?s blazer instead of a cocktail dress.

Because ?I went home and masturbated? was a bit too obvious
We were always partial to the Divinyl?s direct approach, but ?Walk the Dinosaur? is in the mix with ?Longview,? ?Turning Japanese,? and ?Shock the Monkey,? for a spot in our touchin? yourself top five. Dinosaurs need to be walked, after all ? it?s nothing to be ashamed of.

No, Dancin? on the Ceiling does not count
Quick, name five songs that are explicitly linked to a particular dance. “Macarena”? “The Electric Slide”? “The Hokie-Pokie”? That?s some rarefied air. Trying to start a dance trend from scratch is dubious business, especially when the dance in question combines the technical challenge of walking like an Egyptian with the fun of pretending to open a door. Despite this helpful instructional video, this dance never caught on, and Was (Not Was) paid for their hubris with obscurity. The sexy dino-dancers, however, live forever in our memory.

Got a candidate for Video Hangover? E-mail tips at stereogum.com.