The Trashiest, Weirdest Videos of All. Time.

by:   |   Jun 23 2014

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If you didn’t grow up in the New York area, or were born sometime after 1989 or so, there are a few key things you probably missed out on: beautifully shitty vintage Carvel commercials, what Grand Central looked like pre-Giuliani (spoiler alert: it was terrifying), and Stairway to Stardom. This almost astoundingly janky public-access show, which ran from 1979 to the early 1990s was a place where, theoretically, future stars were born.

On it, host Frank Masi would welcome performers of all stripes–singers, dancers, “comedians,” and ventriloquists–and invite them to do what they did best (or, let’s just say, “what they did”).

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There were no re-takes and no edits, so the stars really had to nail it on the first try. And how-lee shit, did these people deliver. Here’s a great appeteaser for the Stairway to Stardom experience, a comedy song by the dream team of Horowitz & Spencer, two human Cathy cartoons who gripe about dieting via their original song “Boiled Chicken.”

Now it’s time for you to take things up a notch, and feel the power of Lola Perazzo’s dance moves. Move OVER, Beyonce! She’s burning so hot, she’s gonna set those wicker plant holders ablaze:

If that was too much for you, let Gloria Huddle soothe your jangled nerves with her performance of “Operator”:

And this dramatic monologue by Precious Taft is so intense, it might give you an eyeball hernia. If you don’t watch this video, I’ll bash your brains against the goddamn radiator!

But did this particular stairway actually lead to stardom? I don’t think any of the performers went on to become legends, unless you count getting voted “Most Liked Employee” at Kohl’s as legendary status. Thankfully, though, their amazing acts have survived on YouTube, to be watched and loved over and over, until the end of time or the Internet, which ever comes first.

I can only, in good conscience, end this post with a video of Lucille Cataldo singing “Hairdresser,” a song that I like easily as much as “I Will Always Love You,” and which know almost by heart. Wherever you are, Lucille, I hope you got the style you wanted:

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The Co-Founder and Ed-in-Chief of G.A.L.