This is what happens when you hold up movie and television stars as idols.
They start making shitty music.
I want to blame Gwyneth Paltrow for this trend, but its dark roots go much deeper. Remember Don Johnson? Remember Eddie Murphy? We have a long and shameful history of first convincing people that they can act, and then allowing them to believe they can sing.
In his defense, Hugh Laurie was born to sing the blues. His struggles included: being born a white British guy; acting as a part of some British comedy duo nobody cared about; and making shitty movies like “Sense and Sensibility” and “Stuart Little” (three times, no less). Even when he finally found success as a pill-popping smartass in
Two and a Half Men House, MD, he was forced to hide his true self behind an American accent and a cane.
Little did we know that, all the while, a little boy who’d taken piano lessons was waiting to shine.
Slowly, the musical talent began to show. He played piano in a few episodes of House, then guitar. He joined charity-actor-wannabe rock band “Band From TV” (no relation to the charity-author-wannabe rock band “Rock Bottom Remainders”). He played on a Meat Loaf album.
Then he decided to sing, and the world would never be the same.
Listen, Hugh. If I wanted to hear an old white British dude play the blues, I’d pull out my Clapton albums. And if I wanted to hear an old white British dude sing slave spirituals, I’d SHOOT MYSELF IN THE FACE BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS TO DO THAT.
Don’t get me wrong—if you put a musical instrument in his hand, he’s a talented individual. It’s when he opens his mouth that you want to slam your head in a silverware drawer (which makes him the old white British equivalent of Snooki, except that Snooki is only good with skinflutes in her hand).
I suppose it is a bit much to ask for vocal genius from him, though. He can already play the role of a drug-addicted medical professional better than my primary care physician, who yesterday tried to swap my Vicodin for baby aspirin, and he’s done tons of voice work that didn’t involve sounding like a Pekinese in a blender. It’s only when he tries to string two or more musical notes together that we realize his true talent lies in acting.
So, please stop humoring actors. Stop telling them how awesome they are on Twitter. Stop attending their garage-band charity events. When they’re a musical guest or host on Saturday Night Live, change the channel. When they talk about a desire to expand their horizons, buy another season of their television show or another copy of their movie—something, ANYTHING to make them realize that their bread and butter is acting.
Otherwise, in about 10 years, you’ll be seeing Macaulay Culkin singing the “Home Alonesome Blues.”
Song you should pay $1 on iTunes, rather than downloading for free: Don’t. Stop it. Seriously. Don’t encourage this.
Rating: 4 Vicodin. Not as an endorsement of the music; as an indicator of how many painkillers you’ll need to get through the album.