Stop Making Sense is one of my favorite albums and concert movies EVER. Listening to the album got me through more shitty data-entry gigs with my sanity intact than I can possibly count. “Life During Wartime” remains one of my go-to songs when I’m depressed. I’ve been known to sit at cafes in Berkeley, listening to that song over and over again. Along with URGH! A Music War, the concert film is one of the best artifacts of 1980s New Wave. The Talking Heads were New Wave at its peak, and Stop Making Sense is the Talking Heads at their peak, on their very last live tour.
To my mind, there’s very little that could be improved about Stop Making Sense. Unless you did it with Muppets. And it turns out, the makers of Muppets Tonight did that very thing in 1996. At least, with a single song: “Once in a Lifetime,” one of the Heads’ most iconic songs, in part because of Toni Basil’s classic video for the studio version.
How did I not know that such a thing existed? I’m amazed that this has been out in the world for an entire twenty years without me having so much as an inkling that I could watch Kermit the Frog doing David Byrne.
But it’s turned out for the best. I really needed this now. This has been a shitty week, defined by racism, murder, anger, and atheists being assholes. I will admit that as much as I love watching this, it does have a bittersweet edge to it. It reminds me that Bernie Worrell, one of the greatest keyboardists of his time, died recently. I first heard of him because of his work on Stop Making Sense. Just one more of the many great musicians that we’ve lost in 2016.
But even with that loss hanging in the back of my mind, this video is a great little break from the mountain of shit that’s been building up lately. A lot of you probably need this, too. Sit back, relax, and check out the Muppet version and the original version.
Thanks very much to my friend Juicy D. Light for showing this to me.