This Day in Death

5.4.15: Ellen Abertini Dow, aka The Rapping Granny – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:38 am May 7, 2015

ELLEN_ALBERTINI_DOWAnd still only slightly less street cred than Snoop has had since Soul Plane.


The 90s were great. Wait, sorry, I phrased that wrong. The 90s were awful. But, as I’ve said before, at least back in the day the entertainment industry and our appointed representatives knew that we really didn’t wanna hear about any of that depressing stuff going on in the world and wisely kept it out of our theaters and televisions. Sure, Slick Willy was dropping bombs on the Sudan, but we were able to avoid having to give a tug as long as it didn’t preempt Big Willie dropping weapons-grade laughs on our 900-pound tvs. We bought shitty Mexican food from dogs that spoke for no reason and called it brilliant entertainment. Hell, I bet you still consider The Wedding Singer to be a classic film, don’t you?

Well, you’re wrong. It was stupid, not least of all because one of its most beloved moments featured then-79-year-old Ellen Albertini Dow singing “Rapper’s Delight.” That really was the extent of the joke, that it didn’t make sense for this old woman to be singing this song, and we had zero qualms about rewarding this kind of behavior with untold gobs of currency. You see, for some reason a lot of people find it hilarious when one kind of person does something that is typically associated with a different kind of person. Allow me to illustrate the point using the most intuitive way of communicating information (as well as the most intuitive way of communicating how awesome you are at Halloweening): The Venn diagram:


As the diagram suggests, by appealing to those who enjoys all three major types of shitty comedic juxtaposition, you hit the surprisingly lucrative tender zone of people with impaired cognitive function and endless disposable income. For years an old white woman engaging in an activity typically associated with young black men was the gold standard of lowbrow pandering. But, to be fair, the artistic validity of these things can change with time. Someday when death is cured and we cease to age we’ll look back at footage of the rapping granny via the latest build of Wikipedia Synaptica downloaded onto our Brainstream and, like a fossil preserved in timeless amber, marvel at its beauty, alien yet somehow impossibly relatable all at once. And if none of that sounds believable to you, keep in mind that the Mona Lisa was originally commissioned to be used as toilet paper for the pope. I wouldn’t lie to you people.

Tags: , , , ,