Gift Rap


"Okay. Here's the situation."

To a large swath of Generation X, at minimum, it's danged near impossible to hear those words and not feel the urge to reply "My parents went away on a week's vacation."


Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd as police detectives looking into camera

To a decidedly smaller segment of the population — we few who recall the music
video for "City of Crime", a track played over the closing credits of the 1987 movie Dragnet — a similar trigger is provided by an even simpler and more mundane phrase: "Excuse me."

You didn't know there was a Dragnet movie in 1987? It falls in the Tom Hanks canon after Bosom Buddies and right before Big, when Hanks had broken out as a leading man in Splash — having shown real dramatic chops with guest appearances as the kids' alcoholic uncle on Family Ties as well — but Philadelphia and Forrest Gump were still a ways down the road. Hanks played the new partner of Dan Aykroyd's Sgt. Joe Friday, nephew and namesake of Jack Webb's character in the classic radio and TV series. The movie was part homage to and part parody of the original, written by Aykroyd, fellow SNL grad Alan Zweibel, and director Tom Mankiewicz.

On the occasion of my sister's birthday, as we quote it often, I dug the video up online with the maximum possible affection and surprisingly minimal effort. It features the stars rapping and dancing gamely engaged in choreography. It would be so bad it's great if it weren't just so bad. It can of course be found on YouTube.

"Excuse me / Excuse me
"Don't use, abuse, or refuse me..."

You're welcome.



Updated and revised July 2019
Screencap from "City of Crime" video © 1987 Universal Studios.

No comments:

Post a Comment