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Uploaded:2010-10-25
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In which Hank discusses why he had a viscerally negative reaction to the news that Rocky Horror was doing Glee.

Yes, there's part of me that doesn't want to see Rocky Horror get auto-tuned. And let me be clear when I say...NEARLY EVERY SONG ON GLEE IS AUTOTUNED. I don't know why they do it...the kids can sing...but they do it anyway, which I find extremely annoying.

But it's cool for a few reasons too.

But I think the big reason that I have an issue is that Rocky is about an experience. People often take it out of the theater and wonder "what's the big deal?" Because, without the theater experience, it isn't a big deal. The "big deal" of it is that the people who watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show made movie-watching a two-way experience. They became part of the movie...and they will forever be a part of the movie...if only in my head. I can't hear the lines of the actual songs anymore...I hear the callbacks.

I don't know how glee will handle it, but I anticipate that they will strip out all of the interesting things about RHPS and just sing a few songs. Who knows though!

But if you're over 18...you should go try and find a Rocky Horror showing in your area...because it will be an experience...it might be awkward...it might be conusing...but it will be an experience.


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A Bunny
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Good morning, John!

Sometimes, there's a bisexual space alien scientist who just wants to cut out half of his ex-lover's brain so that he can use that half of a brain to create a perfect sexual companion! Yes, John, I love Rocky Horror. But I'm very ambivalent about Glee doing Rocky Horror.

I like that Rocky Horror is, in a way, at least being exposed to a new generation. I like that Artie is finally going to have something to do that isn't really awkward, because there IS a wheelchair-bound person in Rocky Horror! But it's--it's not doing it for me, and it's not doing it for a lot of people, so from the perspective of a guy who used to be in a Rocky Horror cast, and who really loves Rocky Horror, let's try and figure out what it is that is bothering me about Glee doing Rocky Horror.

So, here's a big secret about Rocky Horror that's very difficult for people like myself to admit: The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a very, very, very, VERY bad movie. It's terrible. The sets are terrible, the dialogue is terrible, the songs--at least, the vast majority of them--aren't very good.

There's a line in one of the songs, for example: "Don't get hot and flu-husterrrred! Use a bit of mustard!" Mustard! It's the only cure for being all hot and flustered.

So, if you confront me and tell me The Rocky Horror Picture Show is terrible, I will argue with you for days! But objectively, it totally is. It has also had the longest theatrical release of any movie of all time, so this terrible movie is, in one respect at least, the most successful movie of all time!

DWOOSH This success cannot possibly be riding on the back of the good things about this movie, which is--which is that some people really love absurdity, and that Tim Curry is freaking amazing. The reason that The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a big, freaking deal has very little to do with the movie. It is about the people that watch the movie.

And, John, this is the really big deal to me. Because what we're doing here has very little to do with us. It's a big deal because of the people who are in it with us.

When Rocky Horror started going up on midnight screens, what happened is the wall between the audience and the movie crumbled under the atomic blast of user-generated content. People were bringing props and throwing them at the screen and replacing lines with better, funnier lines and when I say better and funnier I mean much, much, much more vulgar! And that phenomenon of the user-generated movie-going experience spread in a way that we would call viral today.

Rocky Horror's cult rise to fame embodies a lot of things that we think were caused by the internet: the desire to make content a two-way experience, the desire to create on top of something that someone else already created. That desire was so strong that even decades before the internet existed, people were figuring out ways to do it, and Rocky Horror is, as far as I'm concerned, the best example of that. And now, especially here on YouTube, that experience seems really normal and natural.

So it's hard to see Rocky Horror for what it is, which is the seed of the freaking cultural revolution. So, probably what bothers me about Glee doing Rocky Horror is that Glee isn't going to be talking about what's actually cool about Rocky Horror. They'll take out all of the absurdity; they'll take out the cannibalistic transvestite space alien stuff; and most importantly, they'll take out the experience of Rocky Horror, which was an experience that was created by thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands, of individuals watching Rocky Horror in different cities across the world and making it their own experience.

And they'll just sing some songs. And the songs aren't bad, but they're not gonna change your life, either. The cool thing about Rocky Horror is that culture, that I was once a part of and that I once needed, because--because YouTube didn't exist yet.

And yes, I was in a Rocky cast, and points go to the commenters who guess correctly who I played. I'm looking forward to your guesses--John, I will see you on Wednesday.