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Date Aired
July 13th, 2011
Running Time
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Todd plays "E.T." on his piano.

A pop song review

Todd: It has been thirteen months since Katy Perry's song [cut to video for...] "California Gurls" first entered the Top 10. Since then, not a day has gone ["California Gurls" fades into "Teenage Dream"] by that a Katy Perry song has not been present in the Top 10. Thirteen [fades into "Firework"] straight months of Katy Perry. There have been presidential administrations that didn't last that long.

Todd: Now I've made no secret that I think Katy Perry is obnoxious. But long time viewers of my show might also remember that I put two Katy Perry songs on my top ten list last year.

Footage from Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2010
Video for "California Gurls"
Todd (VO): I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
Todd: I am so, so sorry.

Todd: Well, as I expected, I was immediately blasted for it from many people, including and especially from my own colleagues.

Card reading A SHORT MONTAGE Of People Giving Me Shit for My Top Ten List

Todd (VO): And now, a short montage of people giving me shit for my top ten list. The reactions are real. Names and faces have not been changed to protect the innocent because I'm lazy.

Rollo T: Todd, I've got Miley Cyrus on my MP3 player, and even I'm disgusted by your taste in music.
JesuOtaku: [laughs] Todd, you apologized fifteen times for putting "California Gurls" on your list. [seriously] Fifteen times isn't enough.
The Nostalgia Chick: Why would anybody like Katy Perry? She sound like a garbage truck in labor.
Nash: This is what the music guy on the site listens to. THE MUSIC GUY!
Obscurus Lupa: Stop stealing pieces of my hair!

Todd: Yeah, Katy Perry sure does suck! But I stand by my statements.

Video for "Teenage Dream"

Todd (VO): It's not that I think those are bad songs; I think they're very good songs, despite the fact that I don't like Katy Perry as a person or an artist at all. [Video for "Firework"] Even "Firework", which I criticized heavily in a previous episode, I...I will admit I still think that's actually a pretty decent song. Oh, by the way, hope you all had a good 4th of July.

Todd: [giving a thumbs up] Be prepared to hear that song every Independence Day for the rest of your lives. (You know it's true)

Video for "E.T."

Todd (VO): But then she released "E.T.", her fourth and, by far, worst single off her latest album. "E.T." is the first Katy Perry song since "I Kissed A Girl" that I didn't like even the tiniest bit.

Nostalgia Chick: You know, actually, I kinda like that song.

Todd: Shut up, Nostalgia Chick! [The Chick gets sad] I... sorry... I mean... whatever.

Nostalgia Chick: [whispers] Call me.

Todd: Yech. Anyway, like I said, I don't like this song...and oh, thank you, Lord in heaven. What a blessed relief that is for me.

Todd (VO): I don't have to feel guilty about how much I like "E.T." 'Cause I don't. I can safely say that this song is awful.

Todd: Ah, what a load off of my mind. So let's look at the new abomination of a single from that brain-dead, squawking, grating-voice excuse of a pop singer known as Katy Per...

Kanye West: I got a dirty mind...

Todd: Oh, hi, Kanye.

Todd (VO): Okay, apparently Katy Perry's handlers weren't convinced that the song could be successful on its own, so the version of this song that got popular is a remix with Kanye West on it.

Todd: In recent years, Kanye's become one of the go-to rappers who can push a song over the top commercially, and there's very few other rappers who can claim that. Really the only people who can say that are [pictures of...] Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne and Ludacris. But even they can't claim to be able of what Kanye can do. See, no one else has ever managed the feat of becoming an on-demand guest rapper while completely sucking at it.

Videos featuring Kanye West include Jay-Z - "Run This Town"...
Kanye: Everybody on yo dick, no homo
Drake - "Forever"
Kanye: Superbad chicks givin' me McLovin
Keri Hilson - "Knock You Down"
Kanye: So we can finally fly off into NASA

Todd: Generally you take off from NASA, not into it, Kanye.

Video of "Heartless"

Todd (VO): Look, I like Kanye...or Yeezy, as he likes to call himself, but I really don't understand why anyone else puts him on their own songs. He's really compelling when he's dealing with his own personal psychoses, when he's pouring his guts out, you know? But he's not one of those guys who can just toss off a verse whenever someone needs one.

Todd: He always sucks. Always.

Todd (VO): Two lines into "E.T." and the verse is unsalvageable.

Kanye: I got a dirty mind
I got filthy ways
I'm trying to bathe my ape (I'm trying to bay my ache)
In your Milky Way (Wait, "bay my ache"? "Bait my aid"?)
I'm a legend ("Bail my A", maybe?)

Todd (VO): Okay, see, according to every Internet site I consulted—believe me, I consulted a lot of them...

Todd: ...what Kanye is saying is...

Todd (VO): "bathe my ape in your milky way."

Kanye: I'm trying to bathe my ape in your Milky Way

Todd (VO): That can't possibly be the case, and if it is...

Todd: Kanye, there's an art to sexual innuendo. [Lyrics shown as a rebus] You gotta have some kind of sense. [Pictures for "bathe", "ape" and "Milky Way" are changed to pictures of a karate kick, sandwich, and Justin Bieber, respectively] You can't just take a vaguely sexual sentence and throw random words into it. And that's not even the worst lyric on the verse.

Kanye: They're callin' me a alien [sic], a big headed astronaut
Maybe it's because your boy Yeezy get ass a lot

Todd: I have so many questions about that line.

Todd (VO): Obviously, "big headed astronaut" is not, and has never been a term used by anyone to describe a guy who has a lot of sex. So...

Todd: ...is Kanye trying to turn that into an expression? I don't see it catching on. And for that matter, what does "big headed" mean in that sentence? Are people calling Kanye big-headed, and when he asks what they mean, they say...

Todd (VO): "Oh, it just means you're good with the ladies, Kanye."

Todd: Oh, and as for Kanye getting ass a lot, all I have to say about that is that I'd like everyone to listen to "Runaway", the lead-off single from his most recent album.

Video for "Runaway"
Kanye: She find pictures in my email
I sent this bitch a picture of my dick
I don't know what it is with females
But I'm not too good at that shit

Todd: Oh, Kanye, you big-headed astronaut, you.

Todd (VO): Okay, well, here we get into the song proper. Now, if you didn't gather from Kanye's lyrics or the video or Katy's amazing hairdo here, this song has an aliens theme.

Katy Perry: You're from a whole 'nother world
Boy, you're an alien

Todd (VO): Specifically, Katy sings about being in love with a weird someone or something who's not human and from a whole other world. [Picture of a wild-haired Russell Brand] Considering who she's married to...

Todd: Yeah, sounds about right.

Todd (VO): And the whole thing is about this amazing hot alien guy and all his amazingly hot sexual alien powers, I guess.

Katy: Your touch magnetizing
Feels like I am floating
Leave my body glowing

Todd: Basically she's singing about the [clip from...] Jeff Goldblum alien in Earth Girls Are Easy. [Geena Davis screams]

Katy: It's supernatural

Todd (VO): Well, wait a minute.

Todd: Is it supernatural or is it extraterrestrial? It can't be both unless you're messing around with a [posters of Planet of the Vampires and Ghosts of Mars] vampire alien or a...alien ghost. Lame.

Katy: Kiss me, k-k-kiss me!

Todd (VO): Okay, yes, the idea of sex with aliens can be hot. [Picture of Captain Kirk kissing alien woman on Star Trek] Our species has a long, fine history of interplanetary sex.

Todd: But I do wanna say... I'd perhaps find the song a little more attractive if they hadn't named the song after the [image from the movie E.T.] ugliest, most asexual alien in history. At least I'm pretty sure he was asexual, unless I missed something in that movie. [Poster from movie - the one with the two fingers touching] Where's that finger been? [E.T. walking around in drag] Eeugh, that's some pretty unsexy imagery, right? No one's turned on by that. Unless there's some kind of weirdo who's aroused by that bug-eyed turd of an alien. Fortunately, I think I can say with all certainty that there is no one turned on by E.T. 'Cause if there was, there had to be some kind of a porno version of E.T. And I'm sure if there was, I would have heard about it by now. And if I didn't mention it, I'm sure my comments section would be flooded with people telling me about the E.T. Porno. God. That would be awful. Good thing one doesn't exist, huh?

Todd (VO): Okay, well, E.T. may be ugly, but you know what's uglier? This song. I'm a traditionalist, I like my pop songs catchy.

Todd: "E.T." just kinda stomps on you.

Katy: Could you be the devil?
Could you be an angel?
[While Katy Perry sings, clips from Queen's "We Will Rock You", with its stomp-stomp-clap beat, appear.]
Your touch magnetizing
Feels like I am floating
Leaves my body glowing
Freddie Mercury: Singing
Queen: We will, we will rock you!

Todd (VO): Oh, I wish, Freddie. Now I imagine Katy Perry's producers wrote this migraine of a song simply because they were sick of coming up with these [video for "Firework"] very pretty frameworks and fine-tuning every detail and then trying to figure out how to Auto-Tune Katy Perry's unstomachable singing voice to fit in it.

Todd: Well, screw that!

Todd (VO): No more trying to stretch and filter the worst voice in pop music into some kind of listenable sound! Nope, we're just gonna let her out in FULL BLAST!

Katy: Boy, you're an alien

Todd (VO): Your problem to deal with now, America!

Todd: And a catchy tune?

Todd (VO): With that voice? Oh, hell no! We're done trying to find something she can sing!

Todd: [pounding his hand] Just let her BEAT! The MELODY! INTO! SUBMISSION!

Todd (VO): And that's for the choruses and the verses. "E.T." sounds like if they let [brief clip of "I Hate Everything About You" by...] Three Days Grace write pop songs. (NOTE: This is a terrible idea.)

Katy: Kiss me, k-k-kiss me!

Todd (VO): It's not even really much of a hook. And I know repetition is one of the most important tools in a songwriter's kit, but the fact that they followed "kiss me" with "kiss me" in the chorus strikes me as the wrong move. I...I can't quite put it into words, but it feels like just lazy songwriting to me. And no, the stuttering does not make it any better.

Katy: Kiss me, k-k-kiss me!

Todd: It's K-K-K-Katy coming to k-k-k-kiss me!

Todd (VO): As for the lyrics as a whole...

Katy: You're from a whole 'nother world

Todd (VO): Okay, you know, I have been accused in the past of being somewhat...

Todd: ...literal-minded. I maintain that [video for Lady Gaga's...] "Telephone" isn't about anything but a telephone, I think [Kelis's...] "Milkshake" was about a woman who makes really good milkshakes. But I realize that that may be a reductive way to interpret things. So I'm gonna do my best to interpret this one a little smarter. So...

Katy: You're an alien

Todd (VO): "An alien"...she's talking about someone who's...strange, who's...different, from a different world.

Katy: Different DNA

Todd (VO): I guess this could be about...

Todd: ...getting with a foreign guy or...I guess someone of a different color. Some kind of interracial thing going on here.

Todd (VO): [to the tune of the song] You're an Indian, an Ethiopian...

Todd: Something like that. And if that's where they were going with that, I don't know if they really need to hide that in a metaphor. I mean, interracial relationships are really not much of a taboo anymore. If this is about...say, a black guy, just say, "I wanna get with this really amazing hot black guy."

Katy: They say be afraid

Todd: This black guy who people are afraid of.

Katy: Ready for abduction

Todd: And who's going to abduct you.

Katy: Wanna be your victim

Todd: And make you his victim. Actually, now that I think about it, yeah, better leave that as a metaphor. That was a good move.

Todd (VO): Now I'm making myself uncomfortable. And I'm gonna get myself in trouble. You know what?

Todd: There wasn't any metaphor. This is entirely innocent, and I have no reason to believe this has anything to do with some unstable black guy.

Kanye: I know a bar out in Mars

Todd: Oh, hi, Kanye.

Kanye: I know a bar out in Mars
Where they drive in spaceships instead of cars

Todd: Well, that's good, 'cause I'm pretty sure the [video for Blondie - "Rapture"] man from Mars eats cars and bars. But go on.

Kanye: Getting stupid hah, straight up out the jars
Pockets on shrek, rockets on deck

Todd: "Pockets on shrek"?

Kanye: Pockets on shrek, rockets on deck

Todd: Pockets on shrek. He said, "pockets on shrek." He's given up trying to rap ideas, he's just throwing up gibberish at this point.

Todd (VO): Okay, come on, Kanye. Try and focus. Try and do something about the theme of the song.

Kanye: Pockets on shrek, rockets on deck
Tell me what's next? Alien sex.

Todd: [long pause, facepalms] A little, uh...on the nose there, Kanye. I mean...

Kanye: Tell me what's next? Alien sex.

Todd (VO): I mean, yeah, that...that is what this song is about. Good job. I...I don't like the way you dispense with any attempts at lyricism or wit.

Todd: And now Kanye rewrites "American Pie."

[Cover of Don McLean's "American Pie"]

Todd (VO): [in a Kanye-like singing voice] MY MY BUDDY HOLLY DIED and then the sixties happened and it was really intense and rock and roll was involved in a lot of it.

Todd: Okay, Kanye...

Todd (VO): You can do this. It's not too late to end with a couple really great lines. Come on. Go, Kanye.

Kanye: Imma disrobe you
Then Imma probe you
See I've abducted you
So I tell you what to do

Todd sits silent

Kanye: Imma disrobe you
Then Imma probe you
See I've abducted you [dial tone]

Todd: [holding his cell phone] Hello, police? I'd like to report an assault in progress.

Todd (VO): Like, maybe I could go with the sexy alien abduction thing on its own before that verse, but...wow. As always, Kanye has made the metaphor much, much too literal. I mean, there's a difference between Katy singing about wanting to be brought into the light...

Katy: Lead me into the light

Todd (VO): ...and Kanye, who's not playing an alien in the video or the song, just straight up telling you: "I abducted you and you do what I tell you to now." Like, you can't pretend this is about anything else at this point. Kanye's not taking you into his flying saucer—he's taking you into his van...at gunpoint.

Todd: [cringes lightly] Ugh, this song.

Todd (VO): Out of all of Katy Perry's songs, this is the one whose appeal I understand the least, though I've tried. I can say this for "E.T.", and for Katy Perry's music as a whole, for that matter—compared to other pop singers, she's avoided releasing redundant singles, as opposed to say, [video for Ke$ha - "Blow"] Ke$ha, who's released the exact same song four or five times now; or, for that matter, [video for Lady Gaga's "Judas"] Lady Gaga, who released her own sex-with-monsters song around the same time, which immediately flopped, probably because it sounded way too much like [brief clip from video for...] "Bad Romance", right down to being literally about a bad romance.

So I'll give "E.T." this—there's not another song like it on the radio.

Todd: But there's probably a reason for that; I'm not sure I really wanted or needed an alien rape anthem in my life. Video's cool, though. How does it end?

Katy: Take me, t-t-take me
Wanna be a victim
Ready for abduction

Todd (VO): It turns out her magical alien dream lover is, in fact, a naked albino black guy.

Todd: You know what? I'm not even touchin' that one. Good night!

Closing tag song: Theme from ALF

"E.T." is owned by Capitol Records
This video is owned by me
Thank you to Nash, JO Lindsay, Lupa and Rollo T

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