Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How Will I Know?

So the other night I was watching Sportscenter (Motto: "We'll Tell You The Scores, But Not After Bragging That Our 70s Pop Culture Knowledge Is Vastly Superior To Yours.") It cut to commercial - and then, out of nowhere, I saw an ESPN ad with Mike Breen and Shaq. It was a very cute piece. Then I saw another.

It turns out that there are a ton of commercials featuring the two, and in each one they're engaging in a variety of activities: playing Twenty Questions together, riding in a team bus together, performing anti-Kobe raps in nightclubs together, etc.

I decided to look them up on Youtube. But after I typed the query into the search engine, I made an incredible discovery. It turns out that, in the 80s, there was a mulleted Canadian singer with a string of hits on the Canadian pop charts. His name? "Michael Breen."

Here is the video to his power ballad "How Will I Know," which is tragically NOT a Whitney Houston cover. The video is over twenty years old and comes from a very worn recording, so its ambiance is something between "hostage tape" and "last-known footage."

Here's the synopsis: It's very dark. The band is alone in the Canadian wilderness. (Perhaps their hunting guide was eaten by wolves.) Fortunately they have a generator, which powers their guitars and electric keyboard. Also, a band member has an extremely tiny piano. This is not explained. One guy on the film crew has a brand-new leaf blower. He will not turn it off, not even during inappropriate moments.

Meanwhile, the singers are full of angst. We don't know why. Perhaps it's over a girl, or perhaps they had just heard of the hiring freeze at Mr. Mister. Whatver the reason, they are hand-wringing like nobody's business.

Now, there is nothing wrong with a bunch of guys making videos in their backyard. It's a lot of fun, actually. And it's all in good fun...until they start using MARIONETTES. Yes, marionettes. And these puppets COME ALIVE. And they are not cute puppets, either. Scary ones. Think Lady Elaine Fairchild on drums.

So that's the video. Also, if you want to see the commercials with Breen and Shaq (oh, right...that WAS the point of this, wasn't it), then you can watch them here and here.


Al said...

...and that reminds me of a song.

from 1997, Mike Breen replaces Marv Albert..
intro to sports:
SONG: I am woman hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore..

Breen: ..A courageous effort from a lady golfer. Good morning,
Mike Breen with sports. The du Maurier classic, first round leaders
include Kathryn Marshall, who shot a 68 despite a severe migraine

Imus: ..You know, out of every horrible situation, regardless
of how horrible, comes some good..

Breen: ..Marshall said the pain was so intense, she nearly walked
off the course, mid-round..

Imus: ..aren't you interested in what this information is?



Breen: ..but because of encouragement of the other players, she
made it through, and Marshall thanked her fellow golfers..

Marshall cut: all my colleagues, let me just say, to my
girlfriends in particular,..

Bernie: ..hmm..

Marshal cut: ..I love you all..

Breen: ..a special camaraderie on the LPGA tour..

McCord: hmm..

Imus: ..Here we, here we have..

Bernie: (unintelligible under Imus)

Imus: ..this hideous situation with Marv Albert, who is the ah voice
of the Knicks and Rangers

McCord: ..right..

Imus: ..TV voice right?..

Breen: ..Baseball's trading deadline came and went, and the
biggest name to go, Mark McGuire of the A's..

Imus: ..and what, what does that do, it opens up a slot, and who does
it open up a slot for?..

McCord: Well, we know who it opens up a slot for. We're in his

Breen: ..McGuire sent to the St. Louis Cardinals. The tall handsome
red-headed slugger exchanged for T. J. Matthews and two minor league
pitchers. Here in New York, Mets and Yankees failed to make
any trades..

McCord: ..It opens up a slot for, the fellow who we're listening to..

Imus: ..Mike Breen..

McCord: ..Mike Breen..

Breen: ..and that concerned Yankees manager Joe Torre..

Imus: ..ask yourself this..

McCord: ..What's that, Iman?..

Imus: ..If ah, let's just say that Mr. Breen had heard some rumors..

McCord: ..let's say that..

Imus: ..and um, figured well how could we free up this black book that
Mistress Hilda had..

McCord: ..uh hmm..

Breen: ..I hope your name's in a book. Deceased radio legends.

Laree said...

I love those commercials... ah well I like them, you know I care enough to watch them LOL!

cg said...

Hahaha, WOW. That is awesome. Do you have that on tape?

I wasn't listening to the program then, so it's neat to see those moments.

Al said...

Mike Breen is so ridiculously funny...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of commercials...has anyone besides me noticed among the series of Dr. Pepper "I'm a doctor" ads is one featuring Dr. J (76ers Julius Erving) backed by a tune that sounds eerily like the Imus riff?


Al said...

Even Dr. J. listens to the I-Man...

Wow, about 15 minutes of the I-Man railing against Rob, Karith and Tony for not being funny...

Some of us feel your pain, I-Man!

Lay it on 'em, I-man!

CG said...

"She looks young enough to be your wife!" I love that clip.

Frec, you heard correctly - that's the same song! It's called "Sirius" by the Alan Parsons Project. They play it at a lot of athletic events, so I think that's why it was in the commercial.

I didn't hear the program on Friday, so it looks like I missed out... :-O

Anonymous said...

Thank you, CG. I always learn new (and valuable) stuff here. The only place I'd heard the riff was on IITM, therefore I thought it was Imus's. Sadly, from the few clips I've heard of the new year's shows, Imus may have switched to a new tune. I hope I'm proven wrong.


Laree said...

Mike said...

That's Breen in those commercials?! No kiddin'. I thought Bill from White Plains had finally gotten his big break.

CG said...

You're totally right, Mike, Bill from W.P. has definitely hit it big. I'm surprised he was so smooth - he always seems so nervous when he calls into the program. ;-)