Today, we will be taking a look at bizarre instances when metal made it onto the small and silver screens. Perhaps you’ve seen pre-fame Michael Starr face rejection in the movie Rock Star (2001), featuring Jennifer Aniston and Mark Wahlberg. Starr‘s “Love Rocket” commercial with Steel Panther as “Danger Kitty” for Discover Card was also oddly memorable. Alice in Chains fans might recall Jerry Cantrell‘s brief appearance in Jerry Maguire (1996). He and Pantera‘s Rex Brown served as extras in the TV show Deadwood. Jerry popped up in Deadwood: The Movie (2019) as well.
Of course, metalheads went wild when South Park broke into Dio‘s “Holy Diver” during the “Hooked on Monkey Fonics” episode from 1999. Fortunately, Dio himself was even pleased with the parody. Then, there was the time in 2019 when South Park incorporated music by Death Decline and Dying Fetus. Although it seems very cruel, Family Guy‘s Kurt Cobain / Häagen-Dazs joke never fails to leave us in stitches. The use of Slayer‘s “Angel of Death” in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), however, is less amusing. It just seems like the result of a bigwig producer having snorted too much cocaine and comes across as an epic miss.
Without further ado, we present our list of 10 odd on-screen metal moments. Which of the following clips have you seen?!
Twisted Sister’s Cameo in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure
Mister Rogers was so overrated! On the other (possibly sticky) hand, “Pee-wee Herman,” or Paul Reubens, was arguably the best children’s television personality ever! Yet, according to Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, targeting a non-adult demographic was not Reubens‘ original aim. When Snider sat down on No Fuckin’ Regrets with host Robb Flynn of Machine Head to discuss his cameo on Pee-wee‘s Big Adventure (1985), he clarified that Reubens started off as a “college-crowd comedian in the ’70s…” The pair met when Snider ran into Reubens at an MTV New Year’s party, where the pair hit it off. At a later date, Reubens called Snider to relay the following idea for a scene: Reubens was to be chased by Santa Claus and Godzilla while on a bicycle and end up riding through a Twisted Sister video shoot. Reubens made the divine choice to use Twisted Sister‘s “Burn in Hell.” As a whole, Pee-wee‘s Big Adventure is incredibly “metal” indeed. The biker bar scene is one of the film’s highlights.
Sebastian Bach Singing “Hollaback Girl” on Gilmore Girls
The multi-talented ex-Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach has wowed Broadway audiences and demonstrated his acting skills for the camera. Of all the weird metal-related moments that we’ve experienced, Sebastian Bach singing Gwen Stefani‘s “Hollaback Girl” in a totally dorky scene from the hit series Gilmore Girls probably takes the cake. You have to admire Bach‘s shamelessness and ability to own any situation. Regarding his time on the series, the icon penned the following in his autobiography, 18 and Life on Skid Row (2016):
“It’s funny how I get recognized in different areas of the public. In certain parts
of town, rock ’n’ roll bars, music stores, etcetera, I will get recognized for Skid Row. In Canada, I will get recognized for Trailer Park Boys. But in shopping malls across America? Museums in Italy, walking the streets of Europe or South America? If it’s a little girl, with her mom, I will invariably hear the following words: ‘Oh my God, it’s that guy from Gilmore Girls.’ I was on the show for seven seasons, and very much enjoyed my time interacting with such a fun and talented cast and crew.”
In the same chapter, Bach also shared a memory of when he persuaded Geddy Lee from Rush to participate in a different scene with him.
Mr. Bach (Yet Again) Pissing People Off on Ricki Lake
The larger-than-life Sebastian Bach is simply too awesome for mere mortals to process. He not only lights up every room he walks into, but he burns so brightly that he is a bit of a fire hazard. On the Ricki Lake show, a 26-year-old version of the Tarzan-like rockstar did an expert job of triggering the entire crowd and thus left us genuinely impressed. With the authority of a usurper, Bach offered his medical opinion: “Marijuana has never killed anybody in 10,000 years of medical recorded science!!!” Mr. Bach objected to a guest who believed that pot prevents people from living up to their potential: “What a joke. I sold 10 million records.” Yes, at times, Sebastian earned cheers, as opposed to just jeers. Watch out for an appearance from Sebastian‘s sister Dylan Bierk.
Helen Gurley Brown of Cosmopolitan vs. Scott Weiland and Dr. Drew Pinsky on Politically Incorrect
Over the years, Bill Maher’s talk show Politically Incorrect, which ran from 1993-2002, featured stars like Henry Rollins and Jerry Cantrell. A sober and well-spoken Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Dr. Drew Pinsky both seemed to have been under the impression that they were in for a productive discussion on the show in 2000. Instead, Helen Gurley Brown, the founder and former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, demonstrated that she was a toxic buffoon: “I feel sexual harassment has gotten to be just too big a deal when it isn’t really a big deal.” Weiland, however, expressed his belief in equality and the idea that the power to harm others isn’t just limited to men — many of us know that the late rockstar was the victim of a lot of deeply traumatic experiences. Helen Gurley Brown invalidated Mr. Weiland‘s struggles with addiction as well. She told him: “… you don’t have any willpower.” Mr. Maher also acted like an ignoramus. Given Weiland‘s earnestness, this episode was truly infuriating and heartbreaking to watch.
Mrs. Brady Defending Marilyn Manson on Politically Incorrect
Marilyn Manson‘s first appearance on Politically Incorrect was in 1997 with Florence Henderson, famous for her role as Mrs. Brady; Watergate-scandal felon G. Gordon Liddy; as well as musician and abstinence-pusher Lakita Garth. During the episode, Henderson constantly defended Marilyn from Garth‘s nasty attacks. Eventually, Henderson tells Garth: “… He [Marilyn Manson] may have more Christ in him that you do!” A bit later, Maher remarked, “Mrs. Brady, I think we’ve made a love connection!” Henderson answered, “You know, we’re going to the prom together.”
There have been a ton of other weird on-screen moments involving Marilyn Manson. Some instances include the time he sang “Food Pyramid” on Clone High; when Family Guy parodied him; and his role as an extra in David Lynch‘s Lost Highway (1997), which featured his music. Manson disturbed viewers in 2003 when he went from humping Jimmy Kimmel‘s leg to telling Monica Lewinsky that he wanted to have sexual relations with her.
Ozzy Osbourne Making Fun of Olivia Newton John’s Health Drink on The Graham Norton Show
For those who don’t know, the Irish-born Graham Norton certainly seems to take the award for the funniest talk show host. In a world where most comedians are bitter and stale, Graham is always fresh and fun. He is known for his quirky couch pairings, such as when he sat cookbook author and television personality Nigella Lawson beside Marilyn Manson.
One fateful day, Mr. Norton arranged for Olivia Newton-John to come and chat next to Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. Bad, or should we say genius, decision?! On this episode, the late Grease star attempted to peddle an organic drink that she and her then spouse, “Amazon John,” were selling: “It clears your mind, brighten[s] your day.” Ozzy proved that he should be a comedian. He ultimately let his true thoughts slip: “What a load of bollocks!”
This is just a piece of the action —
Dani Filth on the BBC
Yes, this video shows Dani Filth making an appearance on the British show Never Mind the Buzzcocks. We must say that the Cradle of Filth frontman endured merciless insults like a true gentleman. Nevertheless, this whole charade is too nerdy to dissect. See it for yourself and try not to cringe!
Cute Fenriz Hugging a Tree!
The following clip is part of an episode from the NRK program Ut i naturen. After hugging the tree, Darkthrone‘s Fenriz admitted that he had never done that sort of thing before because it’s not very “metal.” Fenriz has written about nature for sources like Aftenposten, or “The Evening Post,” Norway’s largest printed newspaper. One of the drawbacks, however, was that he did not especially like sharing his favorite wooded spots. The misanthrope felt that extra traffic made them less appealing.
It seems fair to say that Fenriz has probably given us more amazing moments than any other extreme metal musician! We love, for example, the moment when he broke out into “So You Won’t Have to Die” by Grand Funk Railroad on an NRK talk show in 2009. Fenriz‘ love for Grand Funk Railroad is actually something he acquired as a small child from his cool uncle Stein.
When Pantera’s Music Was Featured on SpongeBob Squarepants
In 2001, Pantera made their way into children’s hearts as a result of a collaboration with SpongeBob Squarepants. The band was credited as the “Special Musical Guest” with their logo displayed across the screen at the start of an unforgettable episode. An absolutely sick snippet of an instrumental version of “Death Rattle” from Reinventing the Steel (2000) provided the perfect accompaniment to Spongebob and Sandy Cheeks‘ dangerous daredevil antics. In this context, the song is known as “Pre-Hibernation.” The result is simply astounding and shows you why the Dimebag Darrell, Vinnie Paul, and Rex Brown combo cannot be beat. Just months after the episode premiered on May 5, Pantera‘s original lineup would play their final on August 26.
Enjoy the isolated music here —
Jim Carrey’s Impression of Napalm Death on The Arsenio Hall Show
The fact has been debated but, yes, Jim Carrey is indeed a metal fan! Watch his impression of Napalm Death on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1992 in the video below. This display of love for extreme music presaged one of Carrey‘s greatest ideas ever. Regarding Cannibal Corpse‘s famous appearance in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), Metal Blade founder, Brian Slagel, penned in For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records (2017): “Apparently, the reason they were approached in the first place was that Jim Carrey was a massive Cannibal Corpse fan. He asked for them specifically and told the producers to research them and make contact.” Slagel also wrote:
“The band and I were both sent the script and, on first reading, I have to confess I thought it was pretty terrible. ‘I don’t know,’ I told the guys. ‘This looks goofy.’ … The clash of cultures was glaring. An underground death metal band getting involved with a family comedy film definitely seemed way out of the ballpark for a band that dark and heavy. I couldn’t decide whether people would think it was cool, or whether they’d just think the band was selling out.”
Of course, this decision could not have worked out better! Ace Ventura introduced countless listeners into Cannibal Corpse.