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Video Time-Warp #2: Alien Ant Farm – “Movies”/”Smooth Criminal”

Alien Ant Farm is, of course, and forever will be “That band who did the Michael Jackson song.” There’s no use in trying to fight that, and there’s no real shame in being known for having a massively successful novelty hit; I mean, dozens of bands came through rock radio around the same time and no one even remembers their name.

What is a shame though is that they had some pretty solid radio rock songs after that one. Like “Movies,” a perfectly catchy little song that actually served as the first single from the album. When “Smooth Criminal” became the breakout hit, they scrambled to record a higher budget video for “Movies” and give us the latest entry in Video Time-Warp:

There are two things that I notice about Alien Ant Farm videos in particular: one, the lead singer’s hair situation. I was never sure if that was a scar, like some kind of traumatic incident from his youth caused him to have a perfect line down the middle of his head or what. Maybe some kind of real-life King Solomon situation?
“Please, no! That baby will go on to form an alt-rock band in the late 90s!” (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Or was it an intended haircut? Perhaps an homage to Alfie from Nickelodeon’s classic and criminally under appreciated My Brother and Me?
“Huh? No, the barber didn’t mess up. This is fly as hell.”(Photo by YouTube)

Although, that begs the question: if you were getting a My Brother and Me-inspired haircut, why wouldn’t you go with the classic Cool Doctor Money look?

“That’s right, it’s DOCTOR Money. I didn’t spend 7 years in med school to be called ‘Mister Money,’ thank you very much.” (Photo by YouTube)

And just because I happen to have them, here are some more Cool Doctor Money haircut images from that particular episode.

“No, I’m not a doctor. Just Cool Nurse Kenny.”
A$AP Rocky should consider this look. (Photo by YouTube)

What in the heck were we talking about?

Oh, right, Alien Ant Farm. The other thing I noticed about Alien Ant Farm, whether it be in “Movies” or in the “Smooth Criminal” video:

Is that these guys had absolutely no interest in convincing audiences that they were actually playing their instruments. That might sound like an insult, but I find it entirely refreshing. Seriously, watch that bassist; it’s like someone who has never played the instrument played air guitar and they just superimposed a bass into his hands. Phenomenal.

So with “Movies,” the guys from AAF got to reenact scenes from The Karate Kid and even got to hang with Pat Morita, which is super rad. And, with “Smooth Criminal,” they were able to create the perfect storm of early 2000s alt-rock: they’re performing in a wrestling ring, with a Schecter guitar, a 6-string bass, and the singer is wearing a gas station-attendant shirt. It is perfect.

To close things out, here is a present-day video of the dude who played Alfie from My Brother and Me smoking, drinking, and using foul language while rocking a Cool Doctor Money haircut:

Enjoy kids and, as always, stay off my lawn.

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