by Tim May
There were sing-a-long tapes for almost everything in the early ’90s. I’m sure you all remember those hideous troll dolls (they still ironically litter most twentysomething ex-sorority beer sluts’ desks in offices across America), and at some point, one of the many companies who produced those dolls decided it was time to make them into puppets and do a sing-a-long tape.
Trollies Radio Show Sing-a-long takes on the format of a radio program on the cleverly named station WTROLL. The show’s DJ is literally named Rock ‘n’ Troll. He’s a doofus with the dumbest sunglasses ever who cracks lots of “jokes” or at least sentences with the cadence of jokes.
There’s also Rock ‘n’ Troll’s oafish sidekick Olaf who looks suspiciously like famed fat film critic Harry Knowles!!!!!! (!)
Much like, say, Turtle Tunes, Trollies Radio Show is mostly a series of music videos. ’80s and ’90s chidren’s entertainment did more to ravage the memory of ’50s rock ‘n’ roll than any other amount of public domain overuse, and this tape adds horrible renditions of “Wooly Bully” and “Doo Wah Diddy” to that tradition. WTROLL’s worst musical crime, however, is their performance of The Beach Boys’ “Kokomo.”
Two things piss me off about this: 1.) The Muppets already did about the best thing you could possibly do with “Kokomo” and 2.) “Kokomo” is a huge pile of shit.
Seriously, I have no idea how “Kokomo” became one of the Beach Boys’ (one of the greatest gifts to popular music) most iconic songs. Its simplistic, dopey melody and sacharrine, manufactured lyrics make me want to punch Mike Love in his smug face.
Look at him. Fuck that guy.
The tape almost commits a greater sin by making me sit through “Trollie” McFerin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” one of the few songs almost as insipid as “Kokomo.” This song grates the first time you hear it, but it reached a new level of scum when it was used as one of the songs that stupid singing trout novelty item sang. If you’re nostalgic for that piece of shit, kill yourself.
This program’s writers are happy to find as many ways to insert the word “troll” into everyday language, kind of like “smurf,” but without all the fun sexual tension between Smurfette and everyone else. One of the last songs performed on Rock ‘n’ Troll’s show is Troll Seeger’s “Old Time Rock ‘n’ Troll,” one of the hosts “favorites,” because he’s a self-involved dick.
Trollies Radio Show Sing-a-long was released by Peter Pan Industries, who put out lots of dancing videos like Dance to Fitness and Livedancin’ USA, in addition to other Trollies tapes like Trollies Christmas Sing-a-long and Trollies All New Musical Adventure.
Sing-a-long tapes were always kind of lame, but they were especially lame when they had ugly puppets chirping bad covers of over-covered standards and tepid originals, all with the sole purpose of selling cheap toys out of the quarter machines in the K-Mart lobby.
The entire video is available on YouTube, starting above.