The Lazy Song
June 26th, 2011
Todd plays "The Lazy Song" on his piano.
BRUNO MARS - THE LAZY SONG
A pop song review
Todd: Previously on Todd In The Shadows...your mom! Hah! Also on my show, this happened.
- [Footage from Grenade]
- Todd: His next song will probably be a lot better.
- Billboard video for "The Lazy Song"
- Bruno: Today I don't feel like doing anything
- Todd (VO): ...wait a minute.
- Todd: This is a "white guy with acoustic guitar" song!
- Todd (VO): Oh no. Oh, hell no...
- Todd: [Pulls pin out of grenade, drops it, and runs off] Cover!
- Bruno: I just...
- [Atomic bomb explosion]
Todd (back to present): Yes, nuclear grenades. Was a bitch to clean up. Okay, anyway ...
Todd (VO): I knew when I wrote that review that I was eventually gonna have to explain what I meant by "white guy with acoustic guitar song," seeing as Bruno Mars obviously is not white and possibly not a guy. But yeah, generally, I am averse to the sound of a white boy or really anybody playing an acoustic guitar by themselves.
Todd: Now obviously, not every white guy with an acoustic guitar is automatically bad, but I've seen enough to know that, for the most part, it turns me off. Why is that?
Todd (VO): Well, one, out of every possible musical setup, it requires the least effort. It's the standard, it's the default; if you have no ideas, you play an acoustic guitar. And I've heard enough beardy indie rock in my life to know that it just bores me. But it's more than that.
Todd: To understand my objection to this kind of music, you need to understand a major part of my musical philosophy, which is that I have almost no use whatsoever for mellow music.
- Performance by Jack Johnson - "Bubble Toes"
Todd (VO): It's just not what I think music is for. Music comes from passion, music comes from big emotions—not necessarily loud emotions, but big ones. And mellowness is the opposite of this. Mild contentment is not worth writing music about, as far as I'm concerned. It's just entirely uninteresting to me, and I don't really understand how people can consider dopey-eyed dullness like this as an acceptable form of music. [Performance by Jimmy Buffett] For the same reason, I can't listen to very many Jimmy Buffett songs or [Clip of Zac Brown Band - "Chicken Fried"] most modern country music, for that matter. It's not even accurate to call this kind of music lifeless...
Todd: ...because I'd actually like to hear music made by the lifeless.
- Zombies coming through as "Re: Your Brains" plays
- Jonathan Coulton: All we wanna do is eat your brains...
Todd: [with the horns] Awesome.
- More "Bubble Toes"
Todd (VO): But songs like this, they don't seem to have any passion behind them, which will absolutely kill a song for me. See, I can actually think of very many acoustic guitar songs I enjoy. For example, [Clip of Plain White T's - "Hey There, Delilah"] I'm actually more forgiving than many people are of the drippy, clumsily-written "Hey There, Delilah," but that's because it actually sounds sweet and lovestruck and sincere. But the style's natural attraction to the creatively bankrupt and the smugly satisfied is the reason why acoustical jams are the genre of choice for [Clip of John Mayer - "Daughters"] callous, insincere frat-boy douchebags the world over, which is basically what I mean when I say "white guys with acoustic guitars." Good music is made by people with artistic ambitions. Songs like these, though? They come from people who only ever played music to try and pick up chicks.
- John Mayer: Fathers be good to your daughters...
Todd (VO): Yeah, be good to your daughters so John Mayer can try to have sex with them later.
- Clips of...
Todd (VO): And for another example, look at the two biggest songs of this genre: "Hey, Soul Sister" by Train, and "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. I despise both songs, but I will say this—"Hey, Soul Sister" has more irritating vocals and far worse lyrics, and it's still better than "I'm Yours" simply because being in love sounds more like Pat Monahan's high-pitched squealing than it does like this. [Jason Mraz scats and Todd joins in]
Todd: Shut up.
- Back to "I'm Yours"
Todd (VO): Really, it's just a feeling that I get that this is music made for and by people without any problems. If that's you, I'm happy for you, I'm glad, but for the love of God, don't write music 'cause I don't wanna hear it. Whenever I hear music like this, I get this image of drunk, stupid people passed out on a lawn chair wallowing in their bloated, listless hedonism, [clip from...] like on the spaceship in Wall-E. But until now, that was just an association I made in my head, not actually literally what the song was about.
Todd: Which brings us to "The Lazy Song," and I know that was kind of a long intro, but I get the feeling that people wouldn't get where I was coming from otherwise, and I really want you to understand—I viscerally detested "The Lazy Song" within the first seconds of hearing it, and that was before I even saw the dumbass video.
- Video for "The Lazy Song"
- Bruno Mars: Today I don't feel like doing anything
- I just wanna lay in my bed
Todd (VO): Now, I have a set of values, is what I'm trying to say, and this song offends all of them. In fact, I may be ready to declare it the worst song of the year. The same year, need I remind you, [clip of...] that brought us an Enrique Iglesias song entitled "Tonight (I'm Fucking You)."
Todd: That's how much I hate this song. Not joking.
Todd (VO): First and foremost, let's make it clear that "The Lazy Song" is, in fact, a lazy song, perhaps one of the laziest I've ever heard. Bruno Mars either put no effort into this, or he put a lot of effort making it seem like he put no effort into this. It's a song about doing nothing and all of the nothing he's gonna do. The video? It's probably the stupidest thing I've ever seen in my life, but it's also probably the only video possible for a song this aggressively, hatefully worthless. [through teeth] This is not what music should be about.
Todd: I don't know anything about Bruno Mars' life. He's a successful singer-songwriter and a mega pop star, so I assume he must've spent the last three or four years of his life hustling his ass off. But this?
- [Bruno whistles]
Todd (VO): This was written from the point of view of a dumb, lazy asshole.
Todd: Not a friendly, laid back bro-dude; not a charmingly funny slacker; an asshole.
- Bruno: Today I don't feel like doing...
Todd (VO): We'll get to the lyrics in a moment, but this song lost me immediately just because of the lackluster music, which is a shame because generally I like Bruno's production work. But this? This is a musical nothing. I expect better than just some tired-ass strumming topped with some incredibly annoying whistles.
- Perry Como's "Magic Moments" is whistled on top as Todd dances along
- Bruno: I just wanna lay in my bed
Todd (VO): This is just lame!
Todd: Anyone with a guitar and a stupid hat can do this! Watch. [Puts on a stupid hat and guitar] Actually, this may be a little out of tune because...tried to put the wrong kind of strings on here, and...didn't fit right, and when I tried to make it fit, I accidentally busted off one of the keys here, so I can't really tune this. But anyway, anyone can do this! Watch!
[Plays and sings]
I'm gonna sit around and do nothing
[Hits a sour note] Shit, hold on.
I'm gonna sit around and...
[Trying to play it in different keys] Gonna sit around...gonna sit around and do...I'm gonna sit around and do...I'm...I'm gonna...
Giving up, he puts the guitar down
Okay, guitar's not my instrument. But the point is, anyone who knows how to play guitar and...never mind.
Todd (VO): Okay, that was a little embarrassing. All right, I'm gonna try and choke down my preconceptions about what songs should be about. I mean, I'm not gonna deny that I spent days, weeks even, sitting on my ass, so I'm gonna try and make myself relax. Imagine that I've been working three jobs every day and try to enjoy the prospect of a day off.
Todd: But Bruno, this is only gonna work if you make the idea of goofing off as attractive as humanly possible.
- Bruno: I'm gonna kick my feet up
- Then stare at the fan
- Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants
- Nobody's gonna tell me I can't
Todd: [long pause] I don't even know where to begin.
- Bruno: I'm gonna kick my feet up
- Then stare at the fan
Todd: Staring at the fan. That's your dream vacation, that's...that was appealing enough to write lyrics about. [Shot of a fan as it falls from a mini-fridge] I don't see the appeal. Secondly...
- Bruno: Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants
Todd: Ew! Wait a minute.
- Bruno: Nobody's gonna tell me I can't
Todd: Did you have to have someone tell you not to stick your hand in your pants? Do you just walk around with your hand stuffed down your shorts in public until someone stops you? I mean, why else would you write a song basically rebelling against the injustice of not being able to put your hand in your pants whenever you wanted?
Todd (VO): And I'll give it away—that's the tenor of the entire song. It's just him rubbing your face in his own uselessness.
- Bruno: I'll be lounging on the couch
- Just chillin' in my Snuggie
- Click to MTV so they can teach me how to dougie
Todd (VO): A Snuggie? You actually own a Snuggie, dude? Why would you even admit that? Oh, and also, "Lazy Song" is apparently so lazy, it didn't even remember the fact that MTV doesn't play videos.
Todd: Although it's at least thematically appropriate that for "The Lazy Song," Bruno picked the dance with the absolute least movement.
- "Dougie Instructional Video"
- Lil Wil: [Left hand to back of his head] My dougie, [now right hand] my dougie, [repeats actions] my dougie, my dougie
- Bruno: I might mess around and get my college degree
- I bet my old man will be so proud of me
- But sorry pops, you'll just have to wait
Todd: "Might mess around and get my college degree." Give me a moment. [Goes to computer, prints something out, and brings it back] What I'm looking at right here are my college loan statements, and I owe...73 bajillion dollars for an education that only ever got me a job talking about Katy Perry songs on the Internet. And meanwhile...
Todd (VO): ...everyday this summer, I get to watch Bruno Mars make billions off a terrible song in which he calls getting a degree, "messing around."
Todd: Seriously, dude? Go die.
Todd (VO): Another thing, Bruno. I know you can't drop the F-bomb on the radio, but seriously, you gotta find a different word to use than "frickin'."
- Bruno: Cause in my castle I'm the fricking man
- Clip from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
- Dr. Evil: Throw me a frickin' bone, here.
- Bruno: Don’t feel like picking up my phone
- So leave a message at the tone
Todd (VO): This is just a pointless song. At least [clip of...] "Hey, Soul Sister" and "I'm Yours" had the decency to be songs about love, not just jerking around all day.
Todd: This is not a valid subject for a song. Name me one good song, just one good song about doing nothing, sitting around, wasting time.
- Single cover of...
- Otis Redding: Sittin' on the dock of the bay wastin' time...
Todd: Oh, shit, that's a good answer. You know what, that just highlights what a failure of a song this one this. "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" is about a weary man beat down by life. "The Lazy Song"...
Todd (VO): ...is about a vapid jackoff playing with his dick! Newsflash, Bruno Mars.
Todd: Writing a song about doing nothing, is only attractive if you've spent the rest of the week doing backbreaking labor. And it's a testament to this song's unbelievable worthlessness and incompetence that it contains not a single reference to working or...
Todd (VO): ...being hassled by your boss or being tired, or even the implication in the tone of the song that he does anything other than sit around and stare at his appliances. This is probably what he did yesterday, and it's probably what he's gonna do tomorrow.
Todd: No, seriously, what are you gonna do tomorrow, Bruno?
- Bruno: Tomorrow I'll wake up, do some P90X
- Meet a really nice girl, have some really nice sex
- And she's gonna scream out: "This is Great"
- Girl: Oh my god, this is great
Todd: [is about to say something, but thinks] Wait, what the hell is P90X?
Todd (VO): Is it a drug? A radio station maybe? P90X—home of the rock! [stops video] Okay, a workout regiment. P90X, [image of...] Snuggie...this guy really doesn't do anything but sit around and watch informercials all day, does he?
Todd: Okay, so what he's escaping from is exercise and sex. That's what he needs a break from. I could not hate this man any more.
Todd (VO): Nope, I was wrong! He laughs at his own jokes. Oh ho! Oh, Bruno, I was unfair to you, you are putting effort into this. You are going the extra mile to make me despise...
Todd: ...your stupid jerk face.
- Bruno: And she's gonna scream out: "This is Great"
- Girl: Oh my god, this is great
Todd (VO): I...I shouldn't even dignify that.
Todd: Is that sarcastic? A joke? It's not funny. For God's sakes, I certainly hope that's not what he thinks a woman having great sex sounds like. Too lazy to even brag about sex properly, wow.
- Bruno: I'll just strut in my birthday suit
- And let everything hang loose
Todd (VO): Goddamn it, Bruno! Is there a reference to what you're gonna do with your junk in every verse of this song?! Why do you think I wanna hear you sing about your penis?!
Todd: You know what? It just occurred to me. There's a reason why he keeps mentioning his genitals. It's to distract us from the fact that, in pretty much every other respect, this is a kids' song.
Todd (VO): Just think about it. Does this song sound like it was written for someone who lives in the adult world?
- Bruno: No, I ain't gonna comb my hair
- 'Cause I ain't going anywhere
Todd (VO): No, this is a song about ignoring your homework and hiding from Mom before she tells you to do chores. [Album cover of...] This song was probably written by Raffi, and then Bruno Mars stole it and drew [on the cover...] dicks all over it. Hell, even the dancing monkeys look like a Sesame Street segment that curdled in the fridge.
Todd: And to think, we spend so much energy trying to keep our kids active, and here's this dope writing a song about how much nothing he does. [Clip from Lazy Town] Stephanie would not approve.
- Stephanie: Get on up, it's time to dance yeah
- It's so much fun being up on our feet
Todd: Wait a minute. You know what else I just realized?
Todd (VO): Being naked, not combing your hair, admitting to owning a goddamn Snuggie.
Todd: Bruno Mars isn't being lazy to avoid work, he's being lazy to avoid dignity. Man, and I thought the [clip from...] pathetic meanness of "Grenade" had already stripped him of any dignity he had, but that was before he wrote a song basically about how he can't take the burden of not picking his nose and eating it in front of people. I feel like an idiot for even investing so much thought and energy into this squittering little shit of a song. If he's not gonna try, why should I?! I'm starting this review over. Here.
Todd (VO): Here's my review of this song. Me playing video games. Just imagine fifteen minutes of that. Hell, playing video games is more productive than anything he says in this song; at least I've set goals and I'm working towards them. Granted, those goals are to collect all the trophies in Smash Brothers Brawl, but you know what? Compared to "The Lazy Song," I'm practically curing cancer.
- Bruno: Woo-hoo-ooo, woo-hoo-ooo
Todd (back to piano): Screw this song. You know what this song's good for? Tell 'em, Bruno.
- Bruno: Nothing at all.
Todd: Damn straight.
He gets up and leaves
Closing tag song: James Brown - "Get Up Offa That Thing"
"The Lazy Song" is owned by Elekta Records
This video is owned by me
Todd's back to the game
PushingUpRoses (unseen): Todd, I thought you said you were gonna work on the review.
Todd: I...I am working on the review. See, I'm filming this so it's not me being lazy; it's gonna be like a meta-commentary on how lazy the song is.
PushingUpRoses: How long have you been filming this?
Todd: Six hours.