The world was a different place in 1996. The Spice Girls were fresh on the scene, Bill Clinton was still in office, there was only one Mission: Impossible movie and Amanda Bynes was still that cute little Nickelodeon kid in pigtails. Things that haven’t changed? “Pony,” Ginuwine’s musical debut, is still a popular song.
The singer did go on to have several other hits (“Differences,” “In Those Jeans”), but “Pony” is still, undoubtedly, his best.
While the dirty ditty obviously has lasting power because its message hasn’t altered (the tune has more than 31 million plays on Spotify alone), it’s likely that pop culture’s continued use of the track has aided the ongoing success of “Pony.”
With that said, we present the most chuckle-inducing recent uses and covers of the ’90s hit.
Parks and Recreation
Ginuwine’s appearance on the beloved little NBC show Parks and Recreation was long in the making. During season four, Aziz Ansari’s character absolutely lost his mind when Ann Perkins knew the singer as nothing more than “Donna’s cousin.”
Much like Tom Haverford, the producers of Parks and Rec must have felt it was a major “oh no no” for their loyal audience to not know who Ginuwine is.
And so, in a moment that can only be described as television perfection, the artist performed his single during a 2014 episode in honor of the late, great mini pony Li’l Sebastian. Pawnee and Eagleton forever!
Magic Mike, Channing Tatum’s stripper flick, is largely responsible for the re-rise to fame of “Pony.” The tune was used for Tatum’s shirtless stage romp in the film’s first installation, and then again, in the sequel and its panty-dropping trailer.
While the movie made its largely female audience fall in love with Ginuwine all over again, it had the adverse effect on its star. The actor told E! that what once was his favorite song, now induces shutters when it starts to play. Tatum said standers-by expect the track to have a “dance monkey!” effect on him. Poor baby.
The wheelchair kid from Glee performed an “acoustic” version of the song, accompanied only by piano and snapping. Yea, you read that right.
The track was featured on the Ryan Murphy series‘ penultimate episode earlier this year. Artie chose the tune as his AUDITION song for the show’s fictional glee club during the flashback installment. Now, if “audition song” isn’t an interesting use, I’m not sure what is.
There’s nothing better than a bunch of middle-aged cartoon characters humping an ottoman to the smooth tones of Elgin Baylor Lumpkin (that’s really his name – really). In 2011’s “I Am the Walrus” episode of American Dad, titled after another group of musical geniuses, Toshi, Barry, Steve, Snot and Roger inexplicably grind to “Pony” against a brown piece of furniture.
The sequence was inspired by a real, also inexplicable, YouTube video of men basically humping an ottoman. American Dad‘s addition of “Pony,” however, truly took it from odd to gold.
Alabama State University’s Mighty Marching Hornets
Imagine you’re cheering on your school’s football team, enjoying the typical halftime band-fare like “Seven Nation Army” and anything by John Philip Sousa. Suddenly, a scandalous R&B tune pipes out of the on-field trombones.
Fans at the Alabama State vs. Tennessee State game in Nashville earlier this year were treated not only to a brassy version of “Pony,” but also “In Those Jeans,” when both university’s bands engaged in a mid-game battle.
You probably didn’t see Wild Hogs, 2007’s pretty awful John Travolta and Tim Allen flick about middle-aged men who decide to embark on a cross-country motorcycle trip. Good decision.
That does mean, however, you missed Tenacious D’s Kyle Gass performing a laugh-inducing rendition of Ginuwine’s hit dressed in a cowboy hat. Because nothing screams Southern state fair like ’90s hip-hop.