The other day, I went down a YouTube rabbit hole (other animals dig holes; I wish we could interchange them once in awhile for this overused phrase) and wound up watching some old music videos. Music videos are a great thing and I wish they would come back. Anyway, after watching Pat Benatar’s “Sex as a Weapon” and ZZ Top’s “Velcro Fly” (what a world), up came the video for Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies ‘r’ Good Enough,” which, strangely, has nothing to do with the 1985 movie, The Goonies. (I’m lying. It does.)
“The Goonies ‘r’ Good Enough” came in-between Lauper’s massive debut album, She’s So Unusual (which went six times platinum in the United States) and her follow-up, True Colors (which went double platinum). This was a time in which it seemed everyone was doing movie soundtrack based theme songs, so this wasn’t very unusual, even for someone who billed herself as unusual. The song would peak at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, while The Goonies film would earn a little over $60 million domestically before annoying us over the next 30-plus years with rumors of a sequel. Lauper has since gone on record saying she hates this song. (True story: I tried to sing this at karaoke once. It ranks on the list of “worst songs I’ve ever performed at karokee,” right up there with “Candle in the Wind ’97.”)
But, what is unusual is the music video for “The Goonies ‘r’ Good Enough.” There’s a pretty substantial intro that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before and, after doing a little research, I discovered this intro was not shown in the United States during the song’s blazing run as a “number 10 hit.” Directed by The Goonies director Richard Donner, the video also features a plethora of stars from what was then called the World Wrestling Federation, who are all somehow involved in the very confusing plot of this video.
So what I am going to attempt to do is make some sense of the plot of the music video of Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies ‘r’ Good Enough” – because there’s such little sense in the world right now, but at least maybe we can try to find some sense in this. We need to do this. The world is counting on us.
When our story opens, Lauper is in the process of closing the family gas station, run by her real-life mother and Captain Lou Albano. Apparently this gas station had been known for its veggie burgers (perhaps they were just ahead of their time) and the fact they gave out free cookies with gas. As they wait for the eviction notice, Captain Lou makes a snide remark about his wife’s cooking. This seems needlessly mean.
In some sort of desperation or dementia, Albano starts talking to a portrait on the wall of his great great grandfather, Captain One-Eyed Pegleg. Even though Albano is speaking out loud about Captain One-Eyed Pegleg’s treasure, which could save the gas station, an on-screen dictation spells out the obvious exposition happening here.
Also, I can only assume this is a modest amount of treasure. It’s not enough that Albano is talking about living the rest off his life of the money, his only goal seems to be paying off his creditors. And, for her part, Cyndi Lauper doesn’t even seem to like the gas station very much. As the hero of this story, I now question how enthusiastic her motives will be to save the station.
The creditors show up to foreclose on the gas station, led by Rowdy Roddy Piper. The rest of Piper’s eviction team consists of Classy Freddy Blassie and Iron Sheik. In their free time between wrestling matches, I can’t quite comprehend why they decided to get into the evection business, but here they are. Also, I wish this were the plot of 99 Homes. At one point Iron Sheik calls Cyndi Lauper a “lazy American.” Then Piper accuses Blassie of farting.
It’s about this point that The Fabulous Moolah and Nikolai Volkoff drive up in a trunk. For reasons not explained, Volkoff is milking a fake cow and is not doing a very good job of it.
At this point, finally, the song starts. As the song starts, the on-screen action really is just a bunch of nonsense. For example, Nikolai Volkoff gets his head cleaned for no discernable reason. (I mean, I guess we can assume it’s dirty. He is milking a cow. Also, I wonder what Nikoli Volkoff’s thoughts are on pasteurization.)
This gives us a few moments to just enjoy the sweet synthesizer intro to “The Goonies ‘r’ Good Enough.” But all this is ruined when Cyndi Lauper feeds the cow its own milk. As she does, she sings the line, “it’s good enough for me, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.” Well, sure, but that’s not the point. PETA should really get involved here.
After forcing a plastic cow into cannibalism, Lauper continues moving her stuff out of the gas station she doesn’t even like in the first place. On the way out she kicks Nikolai Volkoff and steps on Piper’s foot. Neither of them seems to notice because they are too busy physically assaulting a gas station attendant.
When Lauper goes back into the gas station to retrieve the picture of Captain One-Eyed Pegleg, she discovers a large hole in the wall behind the portrait.
It’s a hidden cave.
Lauper enters the cave and immediately finds a skeleton, so she screams for a considerable amount of time. To be fair, I, too, would scream if I found a rotted corpse literally four feet behind my living room wall. Anyway, the skeleton screams back, which is unusual. Perhaps Lauper’s first album title was referring to this skeleton. The skeleton is also holding a map.
Now here comes my favorite part of the video: The Goonies appear out of thin air, and they are all wearing a letter on their shirts that, if they stand in the correct order, spells out “Goonies.” Josh Brolin is wearing a “G.” (Thirty years after appearing in a Cyndi Lauper video, Brolin will voice Thanos.) At no point in the movie do any of these people wear anything that looks like these shirts. Perhaps it’s the shirts that give them their teleportation powers. Also, they shout out “Goonies!” when they appear.
(I can just imagine a studio executive saying, “How are the viewers of this music video going to know that these are the Goonies that Lauper never mentions in the song, but are in the song title? Maybe we should put shirts on them that spell ‘Goonies’ and have them yell ‘Goonies’ when they appear? Yes, that’s what we will do. I am a genius.”)
Undaunted by the Goonies’ newfound supernatural powers, Lauper immediately starts collaborating with them to (I assume) find the treasure. It’s now that we see some clips from the movie, before the Goonies had supernatural powers. So, this is where things start getting bizarre…
A witch shows up (also played by Lauper’s mother), so naturally Lauper and the Goonies (is Lauper a Goonie now?) start running the other direction. But they are met by a shirtless Rowdy Roddy Piper – along with Blassie, Volkoff, and Iron Sheik, all dressed like pirates. It’s really unclear if these are supposed to be the same characters who were moments ago foreclosing on the gas station, or if these are new characters who are pirates. (I do need to point out, it really does look like Nikolai Volkoff is having the time of his life making this video.)
One of my questions has been answered: We see the foreclosing versions of Piper, Volkoff, Iron Sheik, and Blassie again – so it’s for sure a separate group of characters. Meanwhile, Lauper has managed to escape the with and the pirates – leading to the pirate version of The Iron Sheik to ask, “Where’s that WENCH?”
Lauper finds herself on a suspension bridge pirate Piper, pirate Sheik and pirate Fabulous Moolah on one side and pirate Blassie, pirate Volkoff, and the pirate witch on the other. It’s at this point Lauper sits down on the bridge and asks Steven Spielberg for help. Because, sure…
Spielberg, who obviously was not about to set foot on the production of “The Goonies ‘r’ Good Enough” music video, films a scene from what I assume was his office. He’s wearing a hat and sunglasses, which makes him look like he’s either with a government agent or is one of the visitors from V. I wish Steven Spielberg still dressed like this. Anyway, he says he doesn’t know how to help Cyndi Lauper. (Spielberg was a producer on The Goonies, but when he was asked to film this part for the music video, he was probably just finishing up The Color Purple. His disdain for this particular material was sort of obvious. At least, I can’t imagine he was thrilled to leave work an Oscar-nominated film so he could co-star with Freddie Blassie.)
The action goes back to Lauper, who, not getting an answer from Spielberg, starts to openly weep and then is engulfed by a waterfall. A voiceover than tells us we will find out what happens in “Part Two.”
(I’m going to be honest here, when I started this I had no idea there was a part two. I always thought that was a joke and the second part was never made. Well, it exists and it is also on YouTube.)
The first 40 seconds of the second half sums up everything that just happened in the first part. (Which, in retrospect, I suppose I could have just watched that instead.) Lauper now seems to be a prisoner of some sort on a pirate ship. Pirate Piper is yelling commands at her. Also, the song has started over. Over the course of this video, we get to hear “The Goonies ‘r’ Good Enough” twice.
The Goonies also are being held prisoner. This would seem like a good time to use their new teleportation powers and just leave.
The song stops because the witch is requesting Lauper go over the side of the boat to get her… something? I have to be honest, it’s really hard to understand what the witch is saying. It would have been much better if Lauper could have just written this part into the lyrics. Anyway, the next scene show Lauper fighting with an… octopus? Maybe? I have no clue. Remember when this video was about a gas station?
Lauper then starts killing the creature with a sword.
While Lauper fights with a sea beast, The Bangles show up.
I suppose if Lauper loses her fight, Susanna Hoffs can step in and finish the rest of the song. (The Bangles were Lauper’s opening act when Lauper was touring to promote She’s So Unusual.) Thankfully, Lauper survives and her, with the Goonies (and no help from The Bangles) defeat the witch by putting a bucket over the witch’s head.
Then they find the treasure, which is followed by some more exciting scenes from the motion picture, The Goonies.
Also: It should be noted, Nikolai Volkoff is still having the time of his life.
The Goonies give Lauper all the treasure and leave to go home, or to hang out with Corey Haim, or whatever it is they all do in their free time. Lauper gives Josh Brolin a kiss on the cheek for his trouble.
Sean Astin goes for it all.
Back at the gas station (at its heart, this is still a music video about a gas station), Lauper tries to pay off the debt with the treasure. Piper, Volkoff, and Blassie all refuse. Lauper then whistles, which summons Andre the Giant out of thin air. (I can only assume The Goonies taught him this power.)
Now, Piper and his team look very worried. And they should be, because Andre the Giant goes on a punching rampage. So much for Nikolai Volkoff’s fun.
Piper yells some threats at Andre the Giant – and just when we think Piper is going to get it good, Andre the Giant just steals Piper’s jacket. This is a disappointing resolution.
Then Piper tries to get into a Camaro, but the Camaro drives off without him. We have no idea who is driving the Camaro. Maybe it’s the witch!
The gas station is saved. We did it. The world was depending on all of us and we came though. And our story ends on this glorious sight. Cyndi Lauper will get to pump gas for the rest of her life.
(The TL;DR version: Cyndi Lauper’s gas station is being foreclosed upon, but she finds some money and pays off the debts. Andre the Giant shows up.)
You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.