Music Features

Phoenix Native Goes 'Back to the '80s' in Viral Video Sequel

Phoenix native Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed go back to the 80s in viral video sequel.
Phoenix native Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed go back to the 80s in viral video sequel. Bing Putney Photography

Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed took the internet by storm with their music video “Back to the '90s” in 2017.

This year, the duo went back even farther. Their sequel, “Back to the '80s,” takes viewers on a trip to the decade of tight pants and crazy hairstyles.

“We started to build this global audience of people that associated our music/comedy partnership with nostalgia,” Giroux says. “One of the things we kept hearing when we put the video out was, ‘Do one for the '80s!’”

So Giroux, who is a Phoenix native, and hip-hop artist Reed traded their Mossimo shirts and JNKOs for aerobics leotards and big hair to make the sequel “Back to the '80s.”

“It was a massive undertaking for the music itself,” the comedian says. “And then when we went into production, it felt like an even more enormous undertaking because we essentially set up entire movie sets.”

The team built 50 unique set pieces like the library from The Breakfast Club and Tony Montana's office from Scarface. They even found a movie-scale replica of the DeLorean from Back to the Future.

“It was like a film student’s dream,” describes Giroux.

Giroux, Reed, and the production team filmed “Back to the '80s” in six days, jumping from one scene to the next while re-creating the '80s. It took nearly six months to edit and compile.

The video, which was released last week, took nearly two years to complete. It begins on our same young Gen Z boy from “Back in the '90s” in his suit standing in line at school with fellow students waiting in line to get into the school dance. As the camera pans up the line to the front, students say classic things you would hear any Gen Z child say, like “FOMO” and “Tag me in your story.”

After the girl at the front of the line, Felicia (Reile Downs from Nickelodeon show Henry Danger), asks what growing up in the '80s was like, Giroux and Reed press play for their classic VCR-quality tribute. From Pee Wee’s Playhouse, and Ghostbusters to E.T., viewers are taken through a nostalgic spiral of iconic movie scenes, songs, and lifestyles. The song’s chorus switches back to an '80s-themed concert where Giroux and Reed are jamming on stage with an audience of friends and family rocking out.

“Everybody was having a great time and howling with laughter,” says Giroux. “We had 200 people of our friends and family that rocked out with two industrial confetti cannons.”

Because Giroux was born in the '80s, there probably won’t be a “Back to the '70s,” but for those who watched till the end of the credits, an abandoned classic iPod teases that the duo may jump to the 2000s for an encore.
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Sara Edwards is a journalist Phoenix-based and freelance writer for Phoenix New Times. She loves digging into a bowl of ramen or pho, talking someone’s ear off about Star Wars, and getting sucked into a true crime podcast.
Contact: Sara Edwards