Hive Five: Great Moments in Joey Ramone TV

Joey Ramone performs in Amsterdam, February 1996. Photo: Paul Bergen/Redferns

When Joey Ramone died in 2001, the world lost more than just a great rock ‘n’ roll frontman. Geeky and gawky, with a thick Queens accent and thicket of black hair, he was among punk’s most endearing characters — a Bizarro World heartthrob, just like he played in the 1979 film Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. To celebrate what would have been Joey’s 60th birthday, Hive looks back at some of his classic TV moments that demonstrate the strange fascination pop culture’s had with this punk rock icon.

1. Joey Goes to Springfield

It’s only right we begin with this Simpsons clip, in which Joey and the boys sing “Happy Birthday” to another iconic figure, C. Montgomery Burns. “I’d just like to say this gig sucks,” Joey says at the top of the song, prefacing a performance that was supposed to be performed by the Rolling Stones. [Watch here.]

2. Joey and His Mom on Geraldo

The tune “We’re a Happy Family” comes to mind as Joey and his mother, Charlotte Lesher, chat with a hopelessly square Geraldo on an episode titled “Heavy Metal Moms.” The best part comes at 2:40, when a proud Lesher sings a few bars of “Beat on the Brat.” [Watch here.]

3. Joey Auditions for Drew Carey’s Band

In this quick clip, Joey displays some previously unseen guitar heroics and smashes a red Strat, hoping to impress Drew and his loser buddies. He doesn’t land a gig in their band, but he looks darn cool in his leather pants and Misfits t-shirt. [Watch here.]

4.  Joey Roasts Oedipus

This 1997 interview for the cable access show Videowave featured Joey filming a tribute to pioneering rock DJ Oedipus, one of the first people to support the Ramones in Boston. Recovering from surgery and unable to attend Oedipus’ upcoming charity roast, Joey dons a chef’s outfit and gives his friend a literal roast, as well as some heartfelt words of thanks. Skip right to 2:20 for Joey’s pork-stabbing performance. [Watch here.]

5. Joey Hits the Links with President Bush

Shot during the first Gulf War, this surreal Howard Stern sketch finds Joey and Marky on the golf course with a crudely impersonated George H. W. Bush, trying their best to pen an anti-Saddam song for U.S. soldiers. After dismissing “I Don’t Wanna Be Buried in an Iraqi Cemetery,” and “I Wanna Crush Hussein’s Head,” the president goes “gabba gabba” crazy and improvises his own pro-war punk anthem. Bush should have just enlisted Johnny, the group’s notoriously conservative guitarist. [Watch here.]

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