Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Growing weary of Leary

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob Zinn on May 24, 2009

If you type “Denis Leary MTV” into YouTube and click search, you’ll find a lot of 60-second black-and-white clips of the Irish American comedian ranting about music, politics and drugs in promotion of the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.

His distinct voice might reel you in to watch a dozen clips through the related videos links, but after a while, it’s apparent his comedy stylings fit a template that gets repetitive several videos in.

He paces back and forth in a leather jacket with his hair greased back, ranting about something until he drops a name into the mix.

“I got (number) of words for (celebrity): (words), okay?”

I got two words for Don Henley: Joe Walsh, okay?
I got two words for ya: David Duke. I got two more words: nose job, okay?
I got three words for Van Halen: David Lee Roth, okay?
I got three words for White America: ¿cómo está usted?
I got two words for Billy Idol: community service, OKAY?

If he’s done ranting, he’ll often take a big puff of his cigarette, though he’s been chain smoking throughout the TV spot.

Those who weren’t around in 1992 may have to Google some names to get the references. It’s difficult to tell who he’s angry with, even when the bit is in context.

But a few of his non-stop potshots manage to get a laugh or two.

Red Hot Chili Peppers. One word, fellas: soap, okay? They don’t call that guy Flea for nothin’.

Guess what? Two words: Mick Jagger, okay? We’re talking lips, we’re talking hips, but one thing we’re definitely not talking about is Bill Wyman.

His fast-talking act is what he’s known for and no one does it like him, but that’s not the part he should change. It’s been 17 years since these VMA commercials–by now, let’s hope he’s broken the pattern.

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