September 27 – Spinal Tap

I’m With the Band

For those about to rock… we salute you! And we also salute these fictional bands, some of which turned into real-life touring acts. Those which didn’t, should have. Hell, if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a music tour at the height of their popularity in the early 90s, why can’t we see Faith+1 or Fingerbang around the world!?

#5: The Blues Brothers – The Blues Brothers/Blues Brothers 2000

When Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd took to the Saturday Night Live stage to perform as Jake and Elwood Blues, nobody knew how musically-gifted the two actually were. The sketches were turned into a feature film and the SNL alum even toured together, performing live on stage. With the unfortunate death of Jim Belushi, his brother John has filled in at times (as Zee Blues), as well as John Goodman, who joined Aykroyd as ‘Mighty’ Mack McTeer for the sequel Blues Brothers 2000. Aykroyd’s love of blues music has even resulted in his owning a percentage of the House of Blues restaurant and live performance chain.

Blues Brothers

#4: The Dale Gribble Bluegrass Experience – King of the Hill

The Experience consisted of the back alley crew (Hank, Dale, Bill and Boomhauer) with young Connie Psupnesphone on her violin – or as it’s referred to in blue grass, a fiddle. Boomhauer’s unintelligible southern drawl speech is perfect for bluegrass and the troupe made it all the way to performing at the Bluegrass Festival in Branson, Missouri, before Connie’s overbearing father Con interfered. Their cover of ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’ sounded pretty good and they even talked country legend Charlie Daniels into filling in on the fiddle when Connie disappeared. Despite all their efforts, though, they did not win the festival competition.

#3: Spinal Tap – This is Spinal Tap

The greatest fake rock band to become a real rock band EVER! Made up of David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) and filmed mockumentary style, this film covered Spinal Tap’s journey to the top of the music world. Spinal Tap later appeared on The Simpsons, thanks to Shearer’s voice work on the series, forever cementing their status as a great fictional band, although the group actually tours and performs. This is one act you wouldn’t want to be a drummer for, though, as each prospective percussionist has died from bizarre accidents and under mysterious circumstances.

Spinal Tap

#2: The Be-Sharps – The Simpsons

Homer, Principal Skinner, Apu, Chief Wiggum and later Barney Gumble (replacing Wiggum) made up this little quartet. With a Grammy Award winning and number one hit ‘Baby On Board,’ the group seemed destined for superstardom, but in a case eerily similar to The Beatles, creative differences and an Asian woman forced the band to split and remain a one-hit wonder. The Simpsons has also featured other fictional groups and musicians, including Bleeding Gums Murphy, Lurleen Lumpkin, the Party Posse, Captain Bart and the Tequila Mockingbirds, Sadgasm, and even Kirk Van Houten.

#1: Fingerbang & Faith+1 – South Park

Both of these bands are driven by the genius mind of Eric Cartman. First, he created Fingerbang, an attempt at capitalizing on the boy band craze. The death of Kenny – crushed by an elevator during a concert at the local mall – thwarted them in the end. They did gain one fan, but promptly split up, realizing that such fame doesn’t allow for a normal life. Years later, Cartman splits from the boys garage band Moop, to form the Christian Rock-based Faith+1 with Butters and Token. Faith+1 goes on to be a hit, receiving a Mir album distinction. Cartman, expecting a gold record to win a bet with Kyle, goes on a profanity-laced tirade, ruining the band’s innocent image.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Spinal Tap

Spinal Tap Shot

  • 0.5 oz Vodka (I used Finlandia)
  • 0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Garnish with a Guitar Pick

As usual, this list was extremely difficult to pare down. I would have loved to include groups like Jesse and the Rippers (Full House), the Zack Attack (Saved by the Bell), and The Electric Mayhem (The Muppets), among others. I did manage to sneak a sixth band into the post by doubling up the South Park entry, so consider yourself extra special today!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I’m unsure of if this shooter has anything to do with the mockumentary band or if it’s more to do with the medical procedure… either way, I’m using it! And it is delicious. You get varying notes of Peach Schnapps and Crème de Cacao and both taste so good. Had I used a flavoured Vodka, I wonder if things would have got better or worse. Would a whole new flavour emerge, or would there be too many competing notes? The questions that keep the Sip Advisor up at night!

Ireland – The Emerald

Pot of Gold

The leprechaun has long been associated with Ireland and is an important figure of Irish folklore. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will always be portrayed in the best of lights elsewhere. Here are some of the famous leprechauns we can learn from:

Lucky the Leprechaun – Lucky Charms

Also known as Sir Charms and L.C. Leprechaun (monikers he invented to avoid creditors who were after his Lucky Charms!), this imp was introduced in the 1960’s, shortly after the cereal hit store shelves. Originally, the breakfast option only contained four different marshmallow shapes, but over time that number grew to eight permanent charms. Lucky was briefly replaced by Waldo the Wizard in 1975, but it wasn’t long before the leprechaun was back with the brand. Some say he bought his way back into the picture with his pot o’ gold riches!

lucky-charms-marshmallows

O’Reilly – The Simpsons

This little hellraiser appears in a number of Simpsons episodes, most notably one of the Treehouse of Horror segments where Homer has drawn the ire of a gypsy and has been cursed. Looking to reverse his fortune, he traps a leprechaun (using Lucky Charms as bait), but O’Reilly just causes havoc in the Simpson home. When Homer takes the leprechaun to battle the gypsy, the two fall in love and are married in a ceremony performed by Yoda of Star Wars fame. O’Reilly is also an imaginary vision for Ralph Wiggum, telling the youngster to burn things.

Braun the Leprechaun – World Championship Wrestling

Leave it to professional wrestling to have a leprechaun running around the ring and causing havoc. Braun briefly appeared with the Dungeon of Doom stable, a group of dark and sometimes mythological characters, including The Yeti (although he was dressed like a mummy… no, seriously) and Loch Ness (a 600-plus pound monster of a man, billed from the Scottish Highlands). Portrayed by the grappler (real name DeWayne Bruce) that would eventually become perennial loser Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, he is most recognized for his work training future stars, particularly Bill Goldberg.

Hornswoggle – World Wrestling Entertainment

Sticking with professional wrestling, years after Braun, another shot was taken at the character, this time using a little person. Originally named Little Bastard, the character soon evolved into Hornswoggle (which means to cheat, swindle, hoodwink, or hoax), helping Irish bruiser Finlay score a number of underhanded victories. Hornswoggle has gone on to become a fan favourite, while enjoying high-profile roles such as joining D-Generation X as their mascot, being the illegitimate son of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, winning the Cruiserweight Title, and holding the position of anonymous General Manager of Monday Night Raw.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish/Boston Celtics Leprechauns

These famous logos and mascots have helped define both squads. For Notre Dame, the team had gone through a number of nicknames (Catholics, Hoosiers, Rockmen, Bulldogs) before settling on the Fighting Irish. This was done because a leprechaun joined the cheerleading squad and has remained on the team’s sideline ever since. As for the Celtics, their mascot Lucky was designed by the brother of legendary coach Red Auerbach. Complete with shillelagh and shamrock-adorned attire, it just doesn’t get much more Irish… although Lucky lacks the red locks we usually associate with leprechauns.

The Leprechaun – Leprechaun Movies

Played by little person Warwick Davis (of Willow and Harry Potter fame), The Leprechaun horror movie franchise has spawned six films and is due for a reboot with the aforementioned Hornswoggle (real name Dylan Postl) taking over the lead role. Falling in line with recent movie trends, the new film will be an origin story. Back to the original series, premises ranged from The Leprechaun tracking down his stolen gold, to searching for a bride, and even rampages through Las Vegas, space, and Compton, California (in the ghetto!). The first installment even featured a young and unknown Jennifer Aniston… she ended up doing pretty well for herself!

leprechaun-back2thahood

Seriously, they did not one, but two Leprechaun films set in “Tha Hood”!

Brian Connors – Darby O’Gill and the Little People

This Disney live action movie features a horde of leprechauns led by Brian Connors, the ‘King of the Leprechauns’. Connors and O’Gill are friendly adversaries, each trying to outsmart the other. O’Gill, an elderly groundskeeper is trying to capture Connors and be granted three wishes, hoping to set his daughter up for a happy life. Conners was played by Jimmy O’Dea, an Irish comedian and songwriter. Sean Connery is also in the film and he even sings! Legend has it that his role as Michael McBride, the daughter’s eventual love interest, led to him being cast as James Bond.

Shado – Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law

Known as Shado the Brain Thief because he possesses telepathic abilities, this leprechaun lawyer uses his powers to mess with opposing counsel and juries and manipulate them for his own gains. If Mrs. Sip (also a lawyer) was capable of telepathy, she’d be even more of a legend than she already is… which is due largely in part to her association with the Sip Advisor. Anyhoo, Shado is voiced by Toby Huss, who provided the dialogue for a number of characters on King of the Hill, including Cotton Hill, Kahn Souphanousinphone, Joe Jack, and M.F. Thatherton.

Ireland: The Emerald

Mar 20

  • 2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Dashes of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with Orange Zest

I hope everyone finds their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… that is, unless you have to battle a deranged leprechaun to get at your cash money. My advice is to wait until the little guys tucker themselves out before achieving your treasure. Kind of like I do with my desire to high-five monkeys!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
This is basically a Manhattan variation and it was decent. Whenever I make a drink with Orange Bitters, I go a little crazy with the dashes and that’s not a bad thing. I thought the Orange Zest bits looked pretty darn good, if I don’t say so myself. Party on!