Lucy, I’m Home!

Nobody loves Ethel.

If you love Weird Al like I do, or even if you don’t, then get ready for the next hilarious masterpiece from the Yankovic collection in The Nest’s Top 30 Weird Al Parodies countdown!  This week’s entry looks back at Weird Al’s early days, which itself looks back at the early days of the small screen…

#24. “Ricky”(Parody of “Mickey” – Toni Basil)

When I was growing up in the 1980’s, if you didn’t care for Bill Cosby, Michael J. Fox or Max Headroom being in your living rooms every evening… there were always channels showing reruns of the shows your parents watched when they weer your age.  Being one of those contrarians, who liked the older stuff, I was actually more familiar with the likes of “The Honeymooners,” “Mr. Ed,” “My Three Sons,” and “Gilligan’s Island” than I was “Cheers,” “Dallas,” or “Cop Rock.”

I’d rather watch shows about real families like this wholesome clan.

Among the shows that was in endless repeats forty years ago was one of the first television sitcoms ever, “I Love Lucy.”  The exploits of comedienne Lucille Ball and her real life hubby Desi Arnaz were one of the most watched television shows of the 50’s….. and 80’s.  And a year after dance choreographer turned singer Toni Basil had a #1 hit with the perky song “Mickey” in 1982, Weird Al pounced to poke some fun at Lucy and friends….

You’ll want to watch the video here, which (GRRRR) is exempt from embedding, but here’s the audio…

“Ricky” was the first music video Weird Al ever made, and is the one that first exposed him on MTV, where he’d make quite a few regular appearances in the mid 80’s.  “Ricky” was the lead cut off Al’s self-titled debut album in 1983, and like all of the other parodies featured on that album, Al’s accordion playing drives the melody.  While Al never gave up his association with the accordion (or polka music in general), it was probably a wise decision for him to abruptly stop using it so much on his second album and much more closely recreate the sounds of the original songs and artists he was paying homage to…

Nobody wants to hear Gangsta’s Paradise on accordion.

I love when I learn things I didn’t know before while researching for my music posts.  My Weird Al series thus far has been especially enlightening, and I discovered two things I never knew before in checking up on “Ricky!”  First off, it’s Weird Al’s only parody that’s technically a duet, since lines alternate between Lucy and Ricky.  Singing Lucy’s lines in this song was up and coming voice actress Tress MacNeille, who would go on to voice the female leads in two of my favorite cartoons of the 90’s, Tiny Toon Adventures (Babs Bunny) and Animaniacs (Dot Warner).

Hopefully she didn’t have to really finger Prince

Second, in what will probably come as a huge surprise to most casual American music fans, “Ricky” is actually a parody of a cover!  Not that that was very unusual (four of the five parodies Weird Al did for 1988’s Even Worse were parodies of hit cover songs at the time), but I’ll bet most of you had no idea “Mickey” was a cover!  The British songwriting duo of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn actually wrote the song for a band called Racey in 1979…. only it was written from a male perspective and named “Kitty.”

Racey was one of those British pop groups who never made it big, or really at all across the Atlantic… and are essentially unknown in America.  But just like Quiet Riot turned an obscure British song into a huge 80’s hit in the US, so apparently did Toni Basil a year before them…

Thanks for snitching on me! Now I’ll get kicked off the cheerleading squad!

Ricky, Mickey, Kitty, Toni, Nicky, Racey?  Geez, who can keep them all apart?

Join me next week for the next song in my Weird Al countdown!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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18 Responses to Lucy, I’m Home!

  1. mydangblog says:

    I had no idea the “original” was also a cover—very cool!

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Ricky is so much fun!

  3. Who knew the background on that song?! I know I sure had no idea. Whichever one you like, it’s a good toe-tapping way to begin the week. Cheesiness aside…Happy Monday.

  4. defaultsim says:

    I really like “Tacky” the parody of happy hah. Also I freaking loved the Animaniacs growing up such a good cartoon!

  5. Juliette Kings says:

    That was fun. A little annoying but fun. OK it was extremely annoying. I don’t think I ever heard that one. If I have it is because some of the dusty archive file drawers in my brain are jammed.

    When my daughter was doing competitive roller skating the song Micky was used by so many girls for their routines. It became a major ear worm for everyone. I always thought more of the kids should have skated to Weird Al songs. Seriously, it was roller skating – that was perfect for Weird Al. Then my child skated to music from Pulp Fiction there were a few raised eyebrows. Weird Al would have taken the tops of their heads off.

  6. ghostmmnc says:

    That one was really good, except the lady (Lucy) got to sing way more than Weird Al did. Fun to watch. I kind of liked that original one, too. 🙂

  7. Kismet says:

    You grew up?????

  8. draliman says:

    Quite amusing but not one of his best I don’t think.

  9. I agree with Draliman but then I’m not qualified to judge as apparently that rock I was living under kept me from enjoying a LOT of Weird Al’s best work (if “best” is the right adjective?).


    • Had he done this one a few years later in his career, I think it would have been more widely liked. Too much accordion, and there will be one more accordion-heavy song from this first album to appear later on….

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