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What's The Karaoke Song Jerry Sings In Rick And Morty Season 5 Episode 5?

In "Rick and Morty" Season 5, Episode 5, Rick uses Jerry's painful lack of self-awareness regarding his own "cringe" to entertain a group of hell demons to whom he owes a debt. The hell demons act as a kind of proxy for fans of the show, who've never been able to get enough of the long-suffering Jerry's hilarious failures and penchant for looking, being, and sounding utterly pathetic. "We love suffering," muse the demons, "Therefore, we love hanging out with Jerry ... His lameness is our candy." (Sounds about right.) But there's one particularly cringeworthy moment in Episode 5 wherein the unlovable loser regales his newfound "friends" with an enthusiastic "Jerry-oke" rendition of a song that — for all its '80s fame — should really never be attempted at karaoke.

The song gained widespread popularity in 1986 after landing a memorable part in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and is right up there with Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark's "If You Leave" or Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)" on the list of songs burned into our collective '80s consciousness by writer-director John Hughes. Written and recorded by the Swiss band "Yello" (comprised of duo Dieter Meier and Boris Blank), the song is saturated with '80s synth and punctuated by distorted vocals that repeat the same sparse and exquisitely strange lines over and over again. 

While this odd composition may not be a recipe for karaoke success, it certainly brought the band quite a bit of the actual stuff. What's even more surprising than the song's success is the story behind its creation.

A song almost as strange as its backstory

In a recent episode of YouTube series Great Big Story, the band's composer and vocalist (Boris Blank and Dieter Meier, respectively) revealed the inspiration behind a song that, nearly forty years later, still conjures up images of that righteous red Ferrari so integral to Matthew Broderick's meteoric rise in the mid-to-late '80s. That song is called (simply, and, aptly) "Oh Yeah," and was first released by the duo in 1985, as a single on the studio album "Stella."  

In the video, Blank says he began with a "funky bass" before adding in some "drum patterns" and "voice percussion" (which listeners hear as that earworm-worthy "chicka-chick-ahh" and "doo-bow-bow"), but when he shared the oddball track with Meier, the singer was less than receptive: "I didn't like it at all," he says (via Great Big Story). It wasn't until Blank asked him to imagine himself as "the king of Tonga" that something clicked, and music history was made. Blank quotes Meier as saying, "You're the King of Tonga, the sun is about to go down, some people bring you the perfect great drink ... and in this situation, what would you say?" Of course, we all know now what Meier's response to this was: a satisfied, era-defining "Ohhh yeaaaaah" (via Great Big Story).

It's the kind of intentionally over-the-top, excessive '80s understanding of "cool" that's just a tad too nuanced for a guy like poor Jerry to pull-off. (Which is, of course, exactly the reason both audiences and hell demons alike find his pathetic attempt at doing so just too darn delicious to resist.)