Colin Powell Killed Call Me Maybe (But Not In A Good Way)

- June 13th, 2012

CarlyRaeJepsen

That minor pop culture phenomenon known as “Call Me Maybe” died a horrible death Wednesday morning.

 

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell killed it. Live. On television.

 

As you’re aware, “Call Me Maybe” is B.C. singer Carly Rae Jepsen’s great little pop song — hummable, strummable and danceable — that has reached No. 1 on the music charts in Canada, the U.S., Australia, Britain and half a dozen other European countries at various times over the past six or eight months.

Combo

But it’s bigger than that. It’s become the punchline of jokes, the inspiration for a variety of used-to-be-intriguing calling cards (Hint: If you didn’t do it two months ago, don’t even think about doing it now), one of the most popular ringtones in the world and — most importantly — the starting point for an ever-growing crop of terrific cover versions on YouTube.

 

Actually, I don’t really mean “cover” versions — I mean smart, original pantomimes set to Carly Rae’s singing.

 

The first one — probably the most important one — was done even before the “official” song video was released.

 

That would be the one that early fans Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez did back in January in a house-party version with a bunch of friends. The Biebs cover was posted on YouTube in February and now has well over 40 million hits on YouTube.

Bieberversion

Carly Rae’s official “Call Me Maybe” video was released in early March. Thankfully it’s had twice as many hits as the Bieber-Gomez version — about 82 million the last time I looked.

officalcarly

But, even though I like it, it’s not THE favourite of my favourite versions.

 

My MOST favourite version DOES feature Carly Rae singing, but it’s a live version recorded with nine people crammed into a small dressing room just before she appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a couple of weeks ago.

JimmyFallonversion

There’s Carly Rae and there’s Jimmy and there’s the entire Roots house band crammed into the dressing room. And they’re playing goofy elementary school  instruments like triangle (Carly Rae) and tambourine (Jimmy) and bongos and ukelele and mini-xylophone. And it’s great. Really, really great.

 

My second most-favourite version would have to be the 2012 Harvard University baseball team version. You know the one, with these straight-faced, straight-arrow ball players popping up and down and lip-synching the song while they’re driving to a game in a maxi-van.

HarvardCoverVid

Then came the rebuttal from the women’s rowing team of Southern Methodist University (better known as SMU) in Texas. It’s great too — but not as great.

SMUrowing

That opened a floodgate: Every university sports team in North America did their/its versions — but we just don’t care about them. Sorry. Too many. Too late. (Just like the “Call Me Maybe” calling/business cards — I’m telling you: Don’t do it.)

There was even a Photoshopped (or whatever the video equivalent is) version featuring Barack Obama and Mitt Romney mugging the song in a van. I have too much pride to link to it but here’s a framegrab.

romney-obama

And then came the end. Armageddon. The grisly, awful death of “Call Me Maybe.”

 

WARNING: If you haven’t heard this version of the song and want to still hum it in your head on occasion, don’t read any further.

 

That terrible event came early Wednesday morning when Colin Powell, Secretary of State in the first George W. Bush administration, appeared on CBS This Morning for an interview with Charlie Rose.

 

During a commercial break, Powell began singing “Call Me Maybe” — terribly. Which would have been okay if it had stayed a private moment of personal embarrassment. But it didn’t.

NOTE: I’ve buggered something up so the above link goes to the SMU vid again — and I can’t change it. But here’s the right link to bad, bad Colin Powell.

ColinPowellCallMeMaybe

Somewhere in the CBS techtronic empire, someone recorded the riffing Powell from the raw network feed of the morning show. And posted it on YouTube.

 

And that is how “Call Me Maybe” died.

 

It doesn’t matter if Carly Rae blows the audiences away on the Bieber “Believe” tour this fall and winter.

 

It just doesn’t matter. Because nobody who ever hears Colin Powell sing “Call Me Maybe” — like your tone-deaf Uncle Phil’s karaoke version of Copacabana — will be able to get that audio and visual nightmare out of his or her head.

 

So thank you very much, Colin Powell. Why couldn’t you have just kept your mouth shut? Sort of like you did when W. invaded Iraq.

 

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