Gift of Gag

Joke band returns. No joke.

Green Jellÿ (pronounced “Jell-O”) is a low-budget, 217-member band that was hailed by Joey Ramone as the worst act ever to open up for the Ramones. That’s pretty much the point, as Green Jellÿ proudly bills itself as “The World’s Worst Band.” It’s a wretched, revolving-door group whose sound is defined by screaming vocals, fast guitars, and almost every other musical cliché imaginable. Again, this is intentional. The Jellÿ dudes (they called themselves Green Jellö until they were slapped around a bit by Jell-O creators Kraft Foods) have been parodying punk, heavy metal, and hard rock since 1981, when they formed in upstate New York with an original lineup that included vocalist Moronic Dictator, drummer Ozzy Ozmond, guitarist Marshall Stack, and bassist Joey Bloey.

The band presaged Spinal Tap, so it’s somehow appropriate that the group found itself bumbling into Tap territory -- and even being considered a “real” act -- following the creation of the video album Cereal Killer in 1992. The release was intended as a joke, but wound up as an MTV smash. The title track recounts the psychopathic tirade of kiddy-cereal mascot Toucan Sam, who transforms into Toucan, Son of Sam, and viciously murders the other cereal mascots, including the Trix rabbit, Lucky the Leprechaun, and the adorable and high-pitched Rice Krispies triplets.

Pretty much everyone got the joke except Kellogg’s, which set about burying the band with a trademark-infringement lawsuit.

Alas for Kellogg’s and fortunately for the rest of us, good satire’s harder to kill than a roach infestation, and Moronic Dictator has the band back on the road for the first time in this millennium as part of a reunion tour that hits the Cell Block Venue at Papillon’s Too.


Sun., June 1, 6:30 p.m., 2008
 
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