The second installment of The Greatest Video You’ve Ever Seen just might overshadow every one to come. This video is so strong I can’t really control its power.
“Into the Night” by Benny Mardones was first released in 1980, the same year this intrepid correspondent was born. It was ALSO released in 1989, the same year this intrepid correspondent discovered the transcendent pleasures of masturbation. It was a hit again. This is all totally understandable because the song is wicked.
I’m not really sure why this happened (the legend is that it experienced a revival due to a caller on a radio station in Arizona, but that seems dubious. Payola, anyone?), but it did, and Benny Mardones is probably in the record books for charting twice with the same song. Or something. I was too lazy to look that up.
This song is also in my annals (and my annals are cavernous) as one of the most respected songs about statutory rape ever, the other being Sam Cooke’s “Sixteen”. At the time, Benny was singing about a love who was “just 16 years old.” At that same time, he was around 34 years old. Let there be no mistake: I am not condoning this practice. However, in the context of the video, it’s hilarious. Still, just say no to statutory rape, kids. Wait, that doesn’t make any sense. Just say no to statutory rape, middle-aged dudes. But hey, all you cougars, just keep doin’ what y’all doin’. Love you.
OK, here’s the video, finally. Let’s get it on. The Greatest Video You’ve Ever Seen:
0:00 – The setting? Probably Syracuse, New York, where Benny feels most at home. If you’re really intrigued, you can read up on his background here. It’s compelling stuff. And I’m only half-kidding.
0:01 – OK, the video starts off on a high note immediately, due to Benny’s appearance. He’s got the long, flowing locks of a Swedish dairy farmer, the pinched face of an aging child star, and the striped tank top of a turned-out prison lifer. And now he’s on the pay phone (clip already dating itself.) We should also mention (just to get it out of the way) his cataclysmic over-acting,
0:30 – First burning question: Where did they get the dude to put in the cameo as the love interest’s dad? That beard looks like it would be right at home at a lumberjack convention or one of those coffee shops where serial killers congregate to discuss implements over apple pie with American cheese melted over the top. This is a hot girl’s dad? And bearded dude is lip-synching to Benny’s voice! Poorly. Also, it is hilarious when Benny just chimes right in. Plus, he turns in a world-class eye roll here. Can you blame him? What dad wouldn’t want his 16 year-old daughter dating a 34 year-old greaser? And…scene.
0:45 – I love the graphic that appears here, like one of those Time Life infomercials for Classic Soft Rock or something. It really classes the joint up.
0:50 – Plot twist: Benny thwarts the impenetrable defenses surrounding the house (by walking around to the side of said house), sheds his faux-suede jacket, and seeks an audience with the object of his desire through her window. It’s just like Zefferelli’s Romeo and Juliet.
1:00 – Surprise! That girl is not 16. However, she sure looks glum.
1:11 – Back at the pay phone. Has anyone tried to find and/or use a pay phone recently? You have a better chance of fucking a mummy. Or making sense of this video.
1:28 – Another all-time eye roll right there. Has anyone ever sold a lower-budget video harder than Benny does here? Debatable
1:34 – This is super creepy. The girl’s disembodied head shows up on the side of the pay phone and he begins stroking it. Factor in the low budget, early-‘80s special effects, and it’s like fantasizing about a sexual encounter with ET. This goes on for an uncomfortable period of time.
1:53 – A note about Benny’s hair, through which he just heart-breakingly ran his fingers: It is one of the all-time manes, on par with Axel Rose, any of the other hair metalers, and those formerly-ubiquitous Troll Dolls. The only difference? None of the aforementioned entities look like they applied a dollop of Crisco to the follicular region before they filmed their breakout music video.
2:20 – ‘80s special effects! Yes! Just wait, though. It gets much better.
2:28 – Just because I’m tearing into this video doesn’t mean I don’t love this song, by the way. Have I mentioned that? This chorus is a BLOCKBUSTER.
2:48 – “Hey, is this the BYOC (Bring Your Own Carpet) Gathering? It is? Cool. Let’s get this party started. MOVE OUT THE WAY, GIRL. CARPET COMING THROUGH.
3:00 – C’mon, baby. It’s a CARPET PARTY!
3:05 – Anyone else think his physiognomy doesn’t match the intensity of his singing? Also, what the hell is going on?
3:07 – Wait a second. That carpet is flying! They have transcended the borders of physics, cheesiness, and 1980s video technology. James Cameron, can we get a 3D remake? Please?
3:08 – Hilarity ensues.
3:25 – Hot pink socks ensue.
3:36 – The girl succumbs to the grainy footage of the Statue of Liberty in the background. Copulation ensues. Just kidding. Cannot confirm this theory. We are only shown the make-out session, as the flying carpet soars over the Long Island Expressway *Note: All locations estimated (poorly)*.
3:50 – Wait, again? Is this supposed to happen like every night? That carpet is going to get mighty stained. Or not. I imagine the girl getting super bored with this ride and ditching out on Benny for a super hot 18 year-old. I imagine Benny not taking this well. I imagine Benny beating off to the “A Whole New World” scene from Aladdin with tears streaming down his face. I imagine many things I probably shouldn’t.
(Side note: I’m going with Jasmine over Ariel narrowly as hottest Disney Princess. Jasmine’s exotic eyes and rockin’ bod get the nod, edging out Ariel’s hot red locks (and rockin’ bod). Plus, due to the tail/fin situation, we can never know if the carpet matched the drapes, not to mention whether or not any action down there would even be feasible. So, um, yeah, Jasmine. That is all.)
(Bonus video: Check out this maniac doing both parts of “A Whole New World”!)
4:00 – Benny is absolutely losing his mind on the vocals right now.
4:18 – That video was fucking epic.
So, there it is, The Greatest Video You’ve Ever Seen. Are you not entertained? Pardon me while I pick up a 16 year-old and take her into the night. Oops, that sounded way creepier than intended.