So you gotta ask yourself--here are two bands, both clones of the Boogie Knights, who are managed by the BK's firm, Perfect World, and use the same keyboard samples, play the same song selections (what's the fascination with "Copacabana" anyway?) and buy their wigs from the same thrift shops. So what's the difference? Not a heck of a lot. But since we spent several nights hustling minutia in disco inferno, the least you can do is study this hellish comparative chart and decide if that's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, you like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
Ethnically Stereotyped Lead Singer
Polyester Pimps--Antonio Guisseppi Giovani Baptista Perricone Bartolina Bigapena. The last name refers to the big salami Antonio conceals in his pants (no, really), which is nowhere near as long as his name. Personality-wise, Bigapena is Saturday Night Fever's Tony Monero with a Chico Marx fixation.
Disco Inferno--Calvin Lee walks, talks and acts like a black man. Unfortunately, that black man is ventriloquist Willie Tyler's dummy Lester.
"Sexy" Lead Singer Banter
Polyester Pimps--Antonio after a feverish performance of "I Will Survive": "I've just had-a some pasta primavera and I'm-a feeling kinda bloated."
Disco Inferno--Calvin Lee's Love Man rap: "C'mere girl and I'll give you the best three inches you've ever had." Hey, I thought black guys were supposed to have big . . . Oh, yeah. Never mind.
Most Overused Gag
Polyester Pimps--Three times in one night, the Pimps noted that drummer Preston attended A.I.T. (the Afro Institute of Technology).
Disco Inferno--Calvin thrice tells some lucky gal in boogie range, "Don't worry, you won't get pregnant. I'm on the pill."
"Copacabana" Production Number
Polyester Pimps--The front row forms a conga line and does some rigorous maraca shaking, pretending the maracas are actually their genitals (hey, it takes gourd-size balls just to admit you know the words to a Barry Manilow song).
Disco Inferno--The front line forms a conga line and does a rigorous, ostrich-feathered fan dance. Later, the boogie men fan each other's genitals.
Lyrical Liberties Taken With "Copacabana"
Polyester Pimps--The Polys parrot Manilow faithfully until this couplet--"She was a sweet girl, she loved to suck dick. We fell in love."
Disco Inferno--"Her name was Lola and, yes, she was a showgirl. And if I remember correctly, she lost her money, lost her love and lost her (shouted) FUCKING MIND AT THE COPA!"
Most Liberties Taken With a Beloved Disco Evergreen
Polyester Pimps--On KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way I Like It," drummer Preston substitutes "My bitch, my bitch" for the requisite "uh-huh, uh-huh"s.
Disco Inferno--Sample this recasting of Thelma Houston's No. 1 hit "Don't Leave Me This Way": "Ooh my penis. I can't exist--goddamnit! Ooh my penis." Guess you had to be there.
Most Cartoonish Choreography
Polyester Pimps--The entire band sidesteps like The Jackson Five cartoon characters (and therefore the animated Osmonds, as well).
Disco Inferno--Entire band hops up and down like the Way Outs, the creatures from way, way out that invaded Bedrock on that classic Flintstones episode.
Most Nauseating Article of Clothing
Polyester Pimps--Drummer Preston's pressed polyester slacks look like something Felix Unger might wear on an Odd Couple episode where he and Oscar try to loosen up and score some hippie chicks.
Disco Inferno--Singer Lee's glittering vest resembles a cross between a disco mirror ball and a honey-glazed ham.
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Most Chilling Re-creation of a '70s TV Star
Polyester Pimps--Bassist Corky Witherspoon's blond wig makes him look like Saturday Night Live's Al Franken at the height of the "Al Franken decade."
Disco Inferno--Bassist Bobby Q's blond wig makes him look like Eight Is Enough's Willie Aames gone to seed. Wait a minute--he could very well be Willie Aames gone to seed!