Behold a Star: Chuck Norris

Carlos Ray Norris was a foil in Bruce Lee movies and a TV star cop. Then he published the-right-way-to-live tracts and campaigned for Republicans. His tough guy rep rivaled Charlton Heston’s when memes became a thing and his invincibility was outed.

boshi1996 plays on The Countdown Kids’ ‘Santa Coming’ with “Chuck Norris is Coming to Town.” With Chuck Norris, the less said the better.

Smashy Claw hope to win over the clubbers sober enough to get the irony in their rock version of “Chuck Norris is Coming to Town.” I think they’re the warm up.

Gary Arnold rewrites the lyrics with his “Chuck Norris is coming to Town.” Even made himself up to resemble the guy. Commitment!

Behold a Star: Marilyn Monroe

Norma Jeane Mortensen was a foster kid bounced around homes and careers and men until she became a glossy prop for Americana. Whether or not she ever was allowed dreams of her own, she became the dream of millions and that’s all that needs to be said here. Sadly.

Lou Mencell and His Mambonicks has a listing January 1955 on Billboard for new pop releases. His hangdog nasal “All I Want for Chanukah is Marilyn Monroe” has been featured on my blog before. But come on. It’s cool.

Behold a Star: John Wayne

Now that we’ve treated the musicians who have treated us, take a cue from that last magnificent number and honor the images from our TVs and screens: the real stars of the American scene: actors.

Marion Mitchell Morrison was an instant movie star after nearly ten years of work. He headlined westerns through the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, eventually falling into an old man icon in TV skits in time for the counter culture to reject him as The Man. In retrospect he stands tall in the saddle, a American hero who’d rather explain it to you with his fists than his mumbling.

Rebecca Perschbacher sings “I Want John Wayne for Christmas” as a true fan.

Behold a Star: Jack Black, etc.

Here in the mysterious world of novelty music awkward fusions and joke bands are a rare and wonderful thing. No one usually gets them and they die a cover death at airport lounges. But Jack Black has nurtured his Tenacious D duo ‘mock rock’ with Kyle Glass for decades. He loves the metal music as much as the tongue in the cheek. So his funny musical career works.

La Parola Persa is an Italian group of no little energy who has devoted webspace to ‘begging Jack’ to musically notice them. Their holiday tribute “Merry Christmas, Jack Black” goes off the rails early, however, and hyperactively salutes more than a hundred stars (of the movie/music type). What a masked ride! (Caveat: The second half of the video is encore.)

Behold a Star: Taylor Swift

Taylor Alison Swift’s country career has been heart on sleeve since high school, writing and singing about what she knows: white girl privilege. She inspires and bores generations of suburbanite teens with her mix of vulnerability and bitchiness. And she’s blond.

Evan Taubenfeld has a wish this “Merry Swiftmas.” His tribute to the megastar is adorable and appropriately as cutting edge country as a Walgren’s credit card. (Watch for his list of second-raters he won’t settle for.)

Behold a Star: Justin Bieber

Justin Drew Bieber went platinum when he was 15. That’s the power of youtube, bitches. Which also unleashed the trolls. Justin’s had several world records, including most ‘Hated” video of all time. His style pusher Usher may get the blame for his streetwise wannabe missteps, but he’s just a boy in a ‘Truman Show’ world of microscopic focus. And he can sing pretty well, which doesn’t get the attention any more.

Brittani Taylor has an appropriately awkward fan song “JUSTIN BIEBER CHRISTMAS!” based on ‘Hippopotamus.’ I kinda like it

Behold a Star: Ke$ha

Kesha Rose Sebert, an animal and gay rights activist, is one of those musical regretters who spends as much time suing her old producer as recording. Her rap music plays on Radio Disney.

College Humor on youtube have a satirical honorarium “A Very Ke$ha Christmas.” Those guys don’t care who’s feelings they hurt.

Behold a Star: Lady Gaga (Adam Sandler)/Josh Groban

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta as Lady Gaga has dropped five whole albums in less than 10 years but has broken world records and become a part of the cultural lexicon for her, how do you say?–boldness.

René Marcellus and Christina Hondromihalis have a parody of Lady Gaga that’s not so straight up. In 2010 they posted a Hannukah song to her (and Adam Sandler–they have a Funny or Die routine begging him to put them in a movie). This is not only a pastiche to her music, it is a tribute and–oh, i guess she’s not Jewish.

Since we’re recycling some of my previous discoveries, take note of Joshua Winslow Groban, a Californian high schooler who filled in for Andrea Bocelli at the Grammies and rocketed to fame. Fortunately it did not make him into an enormous dick: he’s into dozens of philanthropic endeavors even though he’s gone multiplatinum pretty much every recording.

13 Hands (a holistic New Jersey healing and comedy enclave) has a yummy ‘Holy Night’ tribute for Mr. Groban that makes me think i can fill a whole month with Christmas songs that simps repeat one phrase over and over (ahh–my funny bone… it tingles!). Pleas enjoy “Josh Grow Bean.”

Behold a Star: Janet Jackson

Janet Damita Jo Jackson was the youngest of daddy Joe’s musical flea circus. She brought her name recognition to a masterfully branded musical/pornographic career from the beginning of the ’90s to today. As a result she’s controversial to a fault: is her high point ‘Poetic Justice’ or her Virgin Records dolla-dolla deal? Is her low point the FCC halftime 1/2 a million fine or ‘The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps’? I guess there’s some songs in there as well….

Rabid fan Mike Freeland has a couple amateur song parody wishes: “Christmas Song to Janet Jackson 2012 pt.1” and “Christmas Song to Janet Jackson 2012 pt.2.” (Also “Janet Baby“–not as good! “This Christmas“–plays to his weaknesses as a singer! “Janet, Won’t You Call Me Tonight“–he gets insistent! “I Hope Janet Will Give Me a Call“–he’s starting to crack! “O Janet, Please“–he’s begging! “12 Days to Janet“–skip it!) Stalker creepy? Hell to the yeah!!

Behold a Star: Spice Girls

Girl power in the ’90s resulted in overhyped bands like The Spice Girls: Melanie Brown (“Scary Spice”), Melanie Chisholm (“Sporty Spice”), Emma Bunton (“Baby Spice”), Geri Halliwell (“Ginger Spice”), and Victoria Beckham, née Adams (“Posh Spice”). Their pop music was danceable fluff; their fun-fueled lifestyle was the role model for fan-forward female empowerment.

Which threatened the boys and resulted in cornball gutter comedy like Z100’s “Spice Girls Got Knocked Up by a Reindeer.” The cleaned up version by the same PDX radio station was “Spice Girls Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” Don’t compare.

[Is it okay to include “New Kids Got Run Over by a Reindeer” in the same breath?]