They say that video killed the radio star. Thirty years later, is that statement true? I’d say that video made the radio star more interesting. Music videos exploded in the 80s, fueled by the advent of a little thing we call MTV, which used to stand for Music Television. Now it simply stands for the ambiguous-sounding “MTV.”
A lof of musical acts have had great videos. A lot have also had bad videos. A music video can do anything from entertain, to enlighten, to make one cringe, to spread awareness, and even get people turned on. One band has consistently had awesome music videos for going on 20 years now. Make the big “W” with your hands everybody, it’s Weezer.
In this space, we’ll look at 10 of Weezer’s greatest music videos and what makes them so.
Buddy Holly (1994)
By itself, a song about a nerdy guy who looks like Buddy Holly and his girlfriend who doesn’t care. Add the video and it has gone on to live in infamy as one of the greatest music videos of all time. Directed by a then-unknown Spike Jonze, the video clip features some neat video trickery that allows Weezer to play at the diner from “Happy Days,” with the 1970s cast watching on. The Fonz even busts out some awkward-in-the-1990s-but-probably-cool-in-the-1970s dance moves.
Beverly Hills (2005)
It wouldn’t be fair to say that this video is responsible for the resurgence of Hugh Hefner and the Playboy brand. But, this video of Weezer performing at the Playboy Mansion came out in 2005 before all of the reality tv shenanigans of the bunnies came debuted. The video premise is simple – Hugh Hefner calls up Weezer and wants them to play their new album for “the girls.” An unusual assortment of Playboy Bunnies and alt-rock Weezer fans congregate at various places at the mansion and proceed to rock out.
Keep Fishin’ (2003)
The Muppets had their recent comeback on the big screen in 2011, thanks to Jason Segel. Jim Henson’s furry creatures had a smaller comeback in 2003, starring in Weezer’s “Keep Fishin’” video. The band is on the set of the old ‘70s Muppets variety show to debut their new single. There’s only one problem: the drummer is missing. We find out that Ms. Piggie has taken him hostage. Use your imagination to find out what she has planned. He escapes. Hilarity ensues. Kermit wears a Weezer shirt. It’s awesome.
El Scorcho (1996)
Allegedly named after a packet of hot sauce, “El Scorcho” sees the band take a minimalist approach to their video and it works. Instead of fancy computer-generated imagery, the band sits in a circle while a revolving camera and flashing lights take the viewer on a musical mind trip. The KISS acronym is in full effect here: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Pork And Beans (2008)
The opposite of the “El Scorcho” video. This CG-heavy video spoofs all of the greatest Internet memes. The video begins with the band members turning on their webcams and they proceed to watch all of the greatest videos, in tune to their music. There’s the excited gopher, the backflipping karate guy, the evolution of dance fellow, the Chocolate Rain guy lipsynching “Pork And Beans,” the Leave Britney Alone guy pops up, the Numa Numa nerd dances to the song, and there are plenty of Mentos and Diet Coke. Celebrity cameos, even more Internet memes, some hot girls, this video has everything you need.
The Good Life (1996)
Groundbreaking camera technique at the time. Three different cameras filmed the band playing and a pizza delivery girl working her mundane job. The three camera angles were then all put on the screen at the same time, so you see the same thing from three different angles. It really hasn’t been done much since then, with the exception of Blink-182’s “Always” video. Inspirational song about wanting to get your life back on track.
We Are All On Drugs (2005)
Frontman Rivers Cuomo gets out of bed and starts his day. Something is wrong, though: he’s on drugs and walks around town in a hallucinatory trance. He wanders around freaking out as townspeople, including a young girl, old woman, construction workers, bus driver, and a barber sing the lyrics of the song to him. A deeper meaning to the song, as it relates to an over dependence on any vice in your life. MTV requested an edited version of the song, which was christened “We Are All In Love.” It used the same video and made absolutely no sense.
Hash Pipe (2001)
According to interviews, the band was told to not make any references to the song’s material in the video. So, there are no hash-smoking transvestite prostitutes in this video. There are plenty of sumo wrestlers, though. Big, semi-nude sumo wrestlers doing what they do best: smacking each other around and trying to knock each other down. Eventually they get tired of wrestling and pick up some instruments and play the song.
Perfect Situation (2005)
If you’ve ever wanted to know how Weezer formed, this is the video for you. According to the video, Weezer was originally known as Weeze, and a female portrayed by the adorable Elisha Cuthbert was the band’s lead singer. Current frontman Rivers Cuomo was a roadie and personal assistant for Cuthbert. Her partying and rock star antics get out of hand and Weeze decides to kick her out of the band. During a concert, Rivers is invited to the stage to sing. The audience is confused at first, but as he belts out the signature Weezer sound, they all accept him as the new frontman.
Island In The Sun (2001)
Spike Jonze makes his way back onto the list. He directed the happiest Weezer video of all time. If the question of “How does a monkey and puppy interact with one another?” keep you up at night, then watch the music video for “Island in the Sun” to find out. An assortment of zoo and domesticated critters play around with the band on a nice, sunny day. Lions, kittens, and bears, oh my!