For those too young to remember, there was a time when boy bands ruled the airwaves. Every band was exactly the same (basically four Justin Timberlakes and a token dude with questionable facial hair and dreads), and yet somehow they all topped the charts and had their videos played incessantly by Carson Daly on MTV’s Total Request Live. To celebrate Comedy Crib’s new series Boy Band, here are some of the funniest takedowns of boy bands we’ve ever seen. Gurl, you best watch them all.
10. Boyz 4 Now, Bob’s Burgers
New Girl‘s Max Greenfield made his boy band debut in this Bob’s Burgers episode, which found young Louise Belcher horrified to realize she has a crush on a member of the pop band Boyz 4 Now after reluctantly attending one of their concerts. But with tight lyrics like “When I see you/I fall apart like a zombie/I got too nervous to ask you out to the prom-bie,” who could resist? She has a heart people, and it beats for the Boyz. For now at least.
Boy bands were peaking in 2000 when MTV commissioned their first full-length movie, a parody meant to knock the genre down a peg or two. With songs like “U + Me = Us (Calculus),” and “Say It (Don’t Spray It),” it would’ve been hard to take 2gether seriously, and yet their first album charted at 87th on The Billboard Hot 100. So, this begs the question: did people love them for mocking boy bands, or just confuse them for one?
8. Dudez-A-Plenti, Late Night with Conan O’Brien
Conan knew there was no easier money than boy band money. Get some cute boys, a pun-y band name and some winking vows of celibacy, and you’re in business. At least, that’s what he thought. Turns out, no matter how many Ritz crackers you pay them, if they don’t nail it by the rehearsal space’s 4:30 step class, you’re in deep trouble.
7. Party Posse, The Simpsons
Leave it to The Simpsons to weaponize boy bands. Lisa was the first to find something suspicious when Bart, Nelson, Ralph and Milhouse were recruited to join a new boy band called Party Posse. It was only when she played their one and only song’s chorus backwards did she realize that “Yvan eht Nioj” was really just a subliminal way to recruit for the Navy. Whether it’s to steal the young and dumb’s money or have them join the military, there’s no way anyone would release this crap without an ulterior motive.
6. Mumtown, Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Mumford and Sons may not want to relive their younger years, touring shopping malls as the boy band Mumtown, but for mute member Jimmy “Mum” Kimmel, who wasn’t allowed to sing, those were the best days of his life. Sadly, it would be the nonsensical lyrics of the Kimmel penned “I Am My Heart” that would finally drive the boys apart for good.
5. Boy Band, Comedy Crib
Comedian Brett Davis (The Special Without Brett Davis) is behind this Comedy Crib series about an aging boy band member looking to reclaim his former glory by discovering the next One Direction. (You can check out more episodes of Boy Band here.)
4. Sev’ral Timez, Gravity Falls
It’s not easy creating the perfect boy band. Just ask super producer Ergman Bratsman, who grew identical boys in test tubes, and brought them together to form Sev’ral Timez. But if you think that’s all it takes, you haven’t worked out the budget for the cages you have to keep them in between gigs, or how much it costs to grow a new one when they misbehave. Why does no one ever have sympathy for the cutthroat mangers? They’re the ones who have to get the treadmill and bait the meat so the boys will run long enough to create some electricity around here!
3. 7 Degrees Celsius, Saturday Night Live
7 Degrees Celsius, SNL‘s take on the boy band phenomenon, are so hot, we should be watching them through a hole in a paper plate. With a sound described as “hardcore gangsta rap mixed with hip-hop mixed with You Can’t Do That on Television,” they’re music is really timeless. Don’t take our word for it. Just listen to their love ballad “AOL” and be transported to a simpler time.
2. Boyz-12, American Dad!
Boyz-12 began when Steve’s friend Snot’s Uncle Lou merged members of “Boy Bomb,” “Boy Jam” and “Boyz With Mouthz” to form a supergroup. They had a good run, until Uncle Lou heard about a new band, “Boyz 13,” and shot himself in the head.
1. Fingerb*ng, South Park
It’s no shock that Cartman’s decision to form a boy band had little to do with his love of music. Instead, his goals were clear — land beautiful women and make $10,000,000. He named the group after that fake gun shape people make with their fingers, because, why not? Surprisingly, the group (and the name) became a huge hit with the band’s female audience. Who would’ve guessed so many people were fans of, um, going “bang” with your hand?