‘Schoolhouse Rock 50th Anniversary Singalong’ Recap: A Total Delight
You know, when a party has a guest list that includes Kermit the Frog, the Black Eyed Peas, Retta, and Raven-Symoné, it’s going to be a great time. It’s made even better by the fact that these folks have teamed up to celebrate one of the most beloved kids shows of all time: Schoolhouse Rock!
To celebrate its golden anniversary, ABC brought back the educational series with a new special, airing Wednesday night. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the Schoolhouse Rock! 50th Anniversary Singalong featured familiar faces singing wonderfully catchy classics like “I’m Just a Bill” (sung by Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen in full costume) and “Figure Eight” (accompanied by a classy dance number performed by Derek Hough).
While none of the numbers lived up to the retro animation style of the 1970s series, it was nice to see the timeless tunes adapted to a more contemporary audience. I fear for the wear of my old Schoolhouse Rock! VHS tapes – I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to keep them safe and protected – so pressing play on an ABC special has allowed me to relive my childhood memories without ruining them.
One of the sweetest performances came in the middle of the special, with the lesser-known song, “Unpack Your Adjectives.” The novelty was the performer here: Kermit the frog joins us in singing the song to a roomful of students. What a wonderful crossbreed; The Muppet Show meets Schoolhouse Rock!
There’s another crossover when Lisa Ann Walter and Quinta Brunson jump off the Abbott Elementary set to celebrate the show’s legacy. Now get Bluey outta here – we need an episode of Abbott where the students are all obsessed with ‘Conjunction Junction’, Walter’s favorite Schoolhouse Rock! song.
But the best moment, by far, came at the end of the special. We got a glimpse of the Black Eyed Peas towards the middle of the celebration as they sang ‘Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla’ – which, if you don’t remember, is about the use of pronouns – but they also got the bill. final. The trio aptly sang “Three Is A Magic Number,” even changing the lyrics to suit their band: “Black Eyed Peas consists of three and that’s a magic number.” (Sorry, Fergie.)
However, some numbers were botched, so if you want to watch the single, I highly recommend finding clips on YouTube. Julianne Hough tried to reach for the skies with her rendition of “Interplanet Janet,” but she crashed to the ground – we’ll need a better diva to pull off this one next time. The whole show was kitsch, with young dancers spinning like a Broadway production of The Prom. You better stick to Kermit and the Black Eyed Peas.
But overall, it’s good that ABC has put together a special for one of its best educational programs, especially to keep the memory alive as new people discover Schoolhouse Rock! The series is dedicated to the memory of George Newall, one of the series’ original creators, a touching tribute to the legacy of the series as a whole and the brilliant minds behind it.
Keep obsessing! Sign up for the Daily Beast’s Obsessed newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.