Dancing With Themselves

The hilarity and guilt of Stairway to Stardom, NYC's Web-resurgent amateur reality show

Awesome. Meanwhile, three days after Friedman and I spoke, he and Miller were embarking on their first meeting with Masi in more than a decade. Topics: You're on the Internet. We also showed your stuff in a bar. We'd like to do it again. People like you. Why? Well, uh, it's complicated.

Friedman had the grace not to drag Masi into the Williamsburg showing. "I just don't think it's right to put him in a situation where he's in a room with 30 people watching video clips of him and laughing at them while he's sitting there," he says. "Because he might not be aware that people are reacting to it that way. It's just not very nice."

However that powwow went—whether it leads to more public viewings, maybe a reunion, or even a documentary—I hope Masi and his wayward crew have their true revenge someday. That '80s sincerity that turned into '00s ironic kitsch could turn back into sincere excellence by, oh, 2030 or so. That the "You May Be Right" and Fame theme performances are studied in conservatories, and Björk's more highfalutin projects are regarded as hilarious, didn't-know-her-own-weaknesses flops. 'Cause the Stairway to Stardom bunch certainly didn't achieve actual stardom. Friedman says only one guy on the show "made it," really—a comedian who soon became the clown dude who swept you off the stage on Showtime at the Apollo. Sadly, that guy's footage hasn't aired anywhere yet. His impressions were too good.

Amateur hour, two decades ago
Amateur hour, two decades ago

Monkey Town will display two sets of Stairway to Stardom clips Friday night, monkeytownhq.com.

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