Category Archives: Grease

When That Perfect Girl Goes

Last, we were watching the “Beach Ball” episode of Bubble Guppies, a little romp in which Cinderella’s a bartender lobster at a beachside cabana, and her name is Sandy.

Life after Rydell.

Life after Rydell.

The evil brunette lobsters don’t want her to go to the Beach Ball.

We're lobsters, and we dance!

Bartenders are SUCH low-class lobsters!

As the episode commenced, we had this conversation.

Three-year-old: “Who’s Sandy?”

Five-year-old: “Sandy is that girl in the real-people movie. Grease.”

Me: “Yes… Yes, she is.”

FYO: “She was good except when she went all curly-haired and wore black. That was weird. Why did she do that?”

Good thing Rizzo's my size, or these pants would be even less comfortable.

Good thing Rizzo’s my size, or these pants would be even less comfortable.

Me: “Well, that was weird. Because she was trying to be something she wasn’t for a boy.”

FYO: “But maybe she really liked that.”

Me: “That’s true… In which case, it’s OK. If she really did, deep down, want curly hair and to wear all black. But if she did it just for a boy or anyone else, that’s not OK. But if she really did  like it…”

FYO: “…”

Me: “Is that too much?”

FYO: Sigh.

When I was five and watching Grease, I thought Sandy’s transformation totally kicked, because she got a great song out of it, and clearly John Travolta liked it, so it must be right. Then I turned twenty and was all, WTF, what’d she do that for? She went all slutty just to get a guy. So uncool. And now, my five-year-old has me realizing I’ve been judging Sandy’s life choice too harshly.

Hmm. Maybe what I really need is a home perm from a Lock of Fury dropout.

Hmm. Maybe what I really need is a home perm from a Lock of Fury dropout.

It reminded me of a blog (to which I will not link) on Slate, I think, where the writer had deep reservations about Elsa’s makeover at the end of “Let It Go.” It sexualized her, it said, and it also was expressing that for a girl to get her power, she has to have a slinky little walk and let her hair down in a way that the boys will totally love. (This writer also said the song is setting up Elsa to be the film’s villain, which makes me wonder if we watched the same movie.)

She's here. She's fabulous. Get used to it.

She’s here. She’s fabulous. Get used to it.

After two theater viewings, multiple DVD viewings and countless “Let It Go” YouTube replays, I have come to the satisfying conclusion that Elsa got into her bangin’ slink-dress because she could. She spent her whole life barricaded away by sucky parents, her hair all scrinched up on her head, wearing giant regal dresses that probably weighed a ton, covering up every bare inch of her body so she didn’t accidentally shame the family with her horrible secret. So what’s she do when she busts out of that? Gets herself a light, flattering, dramatic gown that allows her freedom of movement and doesn’t make her feel like a prisoner in her own body. I’d have done it, too. In fact, I did do it.

Elsa’s physical manifestation is her final fuck-you to her parents and fear: I will be who I want, do what I want, and I will look how I want to look. She’s not just exhibiting her talents, she’s wearing them out there, plain as day. It’s the equivalent of the emo teenager finally having the nerve to wear eyeliner to school, the man who finally busts out the high heels, the woman who realizes she can wear anything she fucking wants because it’s her body, and she can.

So I offer my sincere apologies to Sandy. I’ve been slut-shaming you all these years, and it took a five-year-old to expose it. You wear whatever the hell you want. After all, I never judged Danny for lettering in track. Shame on me.

Coach Calhoun Rings the Victory Bell

The comedy world, and SlumberPartiers everywhere, have lost a great today: Sid Caesar, who went on to meet his final pratfall at the ripe age of 91.

Before he hammed his way into Slumber Party history as Coach Calhoun of the Rydell Rangers, he was a go-to guy for hilarity all around. He was in The Club–the Shecky Greenes, the Mel Brookses, the Eve Ardens, the Carl Reiners, the Imogene Cocas–they were all stupendously funny in that slapstick-meets-one-liner-meets-subversive way. (If you don’t believe me, get “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” on your Netflix.)

But back to the Party. I had a ridiculously difficult time find the infamous “rip’em” speech from Grease, and this is as close as I got.

But the real gem in Grease is, of course, the scene in which he introduces the sweetly vulnerable Danny Zuko to all the sports possibilities available to him, starting with the great advice of cutting smoking “down to two packs a day.” After ticking through every spring sport available (with Danny adorably not knowing basketball requires dribbling, which is an indication of how little ESPN they had in 1957) Coach Calhoun recognizes he needs to be alone. Like really alone. Like looooong-distance-running alone.

Yeah. That could be cool.

Ring that victory bell, Coach! Just like you always wanted to.

Warning for Parents: Grease!

This is a public service to parents considering letting their kids watch Grease. No. Don’t worry about Rizzo’s pregnancy scare. Your kid isn’t going to understand 60s slang terms like “defective typewriter”, “PG” and “peachy keen jelly bean” so just chill about that, will you? Also, mellow out about Greased Lightning. Sing the lyrics loudly if you want. Let’s be real, it’s no worse than Milkshake or The Whistle Song. Besides, if it’s on basic cable, they’ll edit all the dirty parts…except for “get off my rocks”. I don’t know how that slipped past the censors. Maybe they thought Zuch and the boys planned on taking Greased Lightning out off-roading in the Bad Lands.

I'm sorry. Did you just say stud?

I’m sorry. Did you just say stud?

Don’t worry about any of that crap…until the end. Just stop the whole thing right after the big race. Just let your kid think that Sandy ends up with white Lorenzo Lamas* and Danny ends up with drag-queen Rita Moreno. It’ll be better than letting it roll to the final scene. And no, not because the final message is “The chain-smoking whore gets the guy”. Your kid will need to find that out eventually. I’m talking about the carnival…complete with old school rides like the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Ferris Wheel, The Whip-a-Lash…or whatever. I let my seven year-old daughter watch it three weeks ago, and every single day, she begs me to enroll her in a High School with an Amusement Park. She’s not letting it go. Where am I going to find one of those in San Francisco? LA maybe…but San Francisco?

I guess I should just be thankful that she hasn’t asked me for a flying car…yet.

Hang Spang. Spangdy Spam Be Bot.

Hang Spang. Spangdy Spam Be Bot.


* You know that Sandy’s blonde jocky boyfriend was played by Lorenzo, right? Because we covered this.

Grease v Grease 2. Smackdown.

Okay, for once and for all let’s answer the question none of us are asking. Which is better? Grease or Grease 2?

Both were set at Rydell High. A school run by an adorable, long-term same sex couple.

Still going strong!

Both had T-Birds and Pink Ladies.

We are way tough. We’re wearing leather!

Poodle Skirt Pyramid!

Both had Balmudo.

So…is my nickname Ball? Or…just wondering.

Who ever said Grease is good for your skin lied!

And Eugene.


Both had Frenchy but in Grease, she ruined her hair by dying it pink. In Grease 2, she pretended she meant to do that.

Help me Teen Angel! I look like Strawberry Shortcake.

Wow, Frenchy. You look like Strawberry Shortcake! … I know!

Advantage: Grease

Grease brought back Frankie Avalon, Sid Caesar and Joan Blondell.

Holy crap! Am I playing a waitress? But…I’m Joan Blondell!

Grease 2 Brought back Connie Stevens and Tab Hunter.

Is this really our first movie together?

Advantage: Grease

Grease introduced us to Lorenzo Lamas.

Really? I was in this movie? And I was blonde? Weird.

Grease 2 introduced us to Michelle Pfeiffer.

This is what I did for my audition.

Advantage Grease 2.

Grease had Stockard Channing.

Come on! Who could out sexy sass me? Wink.

Grease 2 had Lorna Luft.

Could it be me? Maybe? Flutter.

Slight advantage to Grease.

Grease had Greased Lightning.

It might not look like it, but this song is DIRTY!

Grease had Michelle Pfeiffer on a ladder.

This song is waaaaay less dirty than it looks.

Advantage Grease.

Grease had a slumber party.

This is what girls do if there are no boys around after 10 pm.

Grease 2 went bowling.

This is what they do when the boys are still around after 10 pm.

Hmm…Grease had Jan and her toothbrush, but Grease 2 had Lorna and her gold pants.


Grease had Thunder Road.

Actual deadly danger.

Grease 2 had a choreographed motorcycle fight.

Who are those guys?

Advantage: Grease 2

Grease had backseat sex.

Oh Sandy!

Grease 2 attempted sex in a bomb shelter.

Your mother don’t even have to know about it.

Advantage: Grease 2

Grease had a Big Dance Contest.

Should have worn skin tight leather, Sandy.

Grease 2 prepared for the Big Talent Show.

You’re doing Mr. Sandman?! I was going to do that song, bitch!

Advantage Grease 2…because of the Girl for All Seasons Song. Suck it, hand jive!

Grease had a fat girl who was not fat.

Yep. That’s right. The girl on the right. In the green. The fat girl.

Grease 2 had a girl with an actual big nose.

Yes! Bringing Barbara realness in pink satin.

Advantage Grease 2.

Grease had Teen Angel.

Teen my ass!

Grease 2 had fake, Dead Michael.

Am I dead? Or just a figment of your crazy imagination?

Advantage Grease

Grease had this psychotic break.

Is heaven a hair salon?

Grease 2 had this one.

Um…hello! Stephanie! You were supposed to be singing A Girl for All Seasons. I’m dressed like a frigging tree.

Advantage Grease

Grease had a pretty Aussie who needed a  make-over to seem tougher.

I’m sorry. Did you just say stud?

So did Grease 2.

So pretty, mate!

Advantage Grease

Grease had a pregnancy scare.

I’m not knocked up.

Grease 2 had a statutory rape scare.

Dude! She’s 12.

Oh, but so did Grease.

Dude! She’s 16.

Who won? I’ll let you decide, but…just remember.

Grease ended at The Carnival!

Let’s get those Grease 2 punks.

Grease 2 ended at The Luau!

Let’s do this thing! I’ve got a tiki torch.

Breaking News from the O.G. Slumber Party Movie!

Nothing like a little hot-dog-in-the-bun action to warm up a rainy day!

Five Inappropriate Children’s Songs

We were children of the 80s. We had cable, and we had VCRs, and we had parents who really didn’t give a fuck sometimes. And so we learned these songs young, and sometime later–maybe in college, when thinking about things that happened 10 years ago was suddenly cool, but before anyone called it retro?–we actually listened to the songs and couldn’t believe our parents let us listen.

Now that we have children, of course, we laugh and laugh when they think “a spoon up your nose” is a funny joke, instead of an actual spoon.

Billy Joel’s “Big Shot”

I was absolutely flabbergasted when I first moved to New York and realized Elaine’s was an actual place.

Lil Sheridan’s “Dangerously”

I still know the whole dance. I performed it for my toddler when we watched this back at Christmas. She clapped and said “Mommy’s dancing!” and my husband wondered if the material was appropriate.

“Summer Lovin'”

When John Travolta talks about bowling at 1:43, the hand gesture he makes is totally not about bowling. It still makes me kegel.

Appolonia’s “Sex Shooter”

I wasn’t allowed to watch Purple Rain when it first came out–one of the only restricted movies, mostly due to the car accident my mom nearly had the first time “Erotic City” penetrated her radio. So this one’s for Melinda and Karen, who still dream of the day when they can get the band back together and perform it live onstage. Preferably with Morris Day in the audience.

“Greased Lightning”

We knew he said bad words like “tit” and “shit,” but my parents loved it so much that we listened to the album until it looked like a cat had attacked it. What I didn’t hear were the choice phrases “get off my rocks” and “pussywagon.” Additionally: if someone understands the Saran Wrap, please explain.