The First Day of Mellowmas: Fruitcayyyyke!

Jason: Ahh, nothing like the very first day of Mellowmas! What’s on the plate for our 2010 inaugural chat, good buddy?

Jeff: How do you feel about Charles Nelson Reilly and Jm J. Bullock?

Jason: Are those two different people?

Jeff: I’m not sure. But how would you feel about spending Christmas with either of them? While they were singing? Loudly?

Jason: Oh my God. OH MY GOD. Did Charles Nelson Reilly and Jm J. Bullock make a Christmas album?

Jeff: God can’t hear you, Jason.

Jason: That’s right! I forgot that God turned His back on Mellowmas years ago.

Jeff: God turned His back on Mellowmas on July 1, 1951.

Jason: What happened on July 1, 1951?

Jeff: Otherwise known as the day Fred Schneider was born.

Jason: Fred Schneider? Like, B-52s Fred Schneider?

Jeff: The one and only!

Jason: The B-52s did a Christmas album?

Jeff: Nope! Just Fred. JUST FRED.

Jason: This sounds awful.

Jeff: Well, that isn’t totally true. He assembled a band for the album. They’re called the Superions. I think Osama bin Laden plays drums.

Jason: What exactly is a Superion?

Jeff: According to Wikipedia, it’s “a messenger sent from Hell.”

Jason: Oh. I thought maybe it was a gay robot.

Jeff: I think Idi Amin plays bass for the Superions.

Jason: So the Superions have a Christmas album, huh? Let me look this up.

Jeff: Pol Pot plays keyboards. And on background vocals? Yoko Ono.

Jason: Oh here it is. It says they’re managed by Leona Helmsley. They have a song called “Fruitcake.” OF COURSE THEY DO.

Jeff: Yes, because what is Fred Schneider known for, if not for his subtle humor? Oh, I know: ANNOYING THE FUCK OUT OF ME EVERY TIME HE OPENS HIS MOUTH.

Jason: Well, then this track seems tailor-made for Mellowmas, doesn’t it?

Jeff: It does, but I’m still never going to forgive you for sending this to me.

Jason: Ready?

Jeff: grrrrrrrrrggggggggggrrrrrrrrnnnnnnn

The Superions — Fruitcake (download)

From Destination…Christmas! 

Jason: Keyboard bass!

Jeff: No vocals! I love it!
Ah, shit.

Jason: Oh my God.

Jeff: Jason, I hate you.

Jason: I can’t stand his voice.
FRUITCAYKE! Citrus Pee-ul! Add what you fee-ul!

Jeff: On the one hand, I’m sort of impressed that this is the first song to use the ingredients for fruitcake as the basis for the lyrics. On the other, I WISH I WAS DEAD.

Jason: Cinn-ah-mun!

Jeff: Green cherries?

Jason: If he says “Fruitcake” one more time, I’m going to shove my head through a plate glass window. Bongos. Oh God.

Jeff: How many plate glass windows do you have? Because I think we’re going to hear “Fruitcake” about a hundred times.

Jason: “Put the oven on low, three hours or mo’.”

Jeff: This song includes the line “Oh no, you sillies.”

Jason: This is so awful.

Jeff: Can you have vertigo while sitting down?

Jason: “It could kill you dead! It’s this song! I mean, it’s fruitcake!” He’s so happy singing that word. All those bongos. “Do the fruitcake!” “Don’t call me fruitcake!”

Jeff: Did you know that you can’t stab yourself to death with a computer mouse?

Jason: No, but you can do some serious damage if you try to swallow it. Ask Fred Schneider.

Jeff: Hold on, I’m breathing deeply. I’m so glad that song is over.

Jason: Wow. That was really, really awful. I wonder how many times he sings the word “Fruitcake” in that song.

Jeff: Of all the things that were inexplicably popular in the ’80s — Nagel paintings, acid-washed jeans, Demi Moore — none made less sense to me than Fred Schneider.

Jason: Wait, now I really want to know. How many times does he say “Fruitcake”? You know what we should do?

Jeff: No, but I know I’m refusing to do it!

Jason: We should listen again and count how many times he says “Fruitcake.”

Jeff: Hey, I was right!

Jason: I mean, our readers probably want to know, too.

Jeff: I don’t think you know what our readers want.

Jason: They can do it along with us! And then we can all light ourselves on fire together.

Jeff: I would rather eat a real fruitcake.

Jason: I’ll call Fred and see if he’s available.

Jeff: And by “eat a real fruitcake,” I mean “feast on Fred Schneider’s corpse.”

Jason: Ha! C’mon, let’s listen again! It’ll be fun! And I know the ingredients for fun.


Jason: One of them is red dye #2.

Jeff: sigh Green cherries?

Jason: Green ones too! It’s FRUITCAYYYYYYYKE! Let’s listen again and count, you silly!

Jeff: Goddamn you, let’s get this over with.

Jason: Wheeeeee!

The Superions — Fruitcake (download)

From Destination…Christmas!

Jeff: This is my favorite part of the song.

Jason: One!
Right now too much time is going by without the word “fruitcake.”

Jeff: I disagree.

Jason: Here it comes!
S E V E N ! !
Green ones too! Number nine!

Jeff: This is my second-favorite part of the song.

Jason: The instrumental part again?

Jeff: Never have I been happier to hear a synth bongo solo.

Jason: Put the oven on low! Three hours or mo’!

Jeff: Stick your head in!

Jason: Wrap it in rum, yum yum yum! ELEVEN!
Are you still there!
Nineteen, twenty!

Jeff: I counted 29.

Jason: You did? I counted 30.

Jeff: Twenty-nine reasons to punch you.

Jason: Wait, we’re off by one. Either you’re right or I’m right. We can’t both be right.

Jeff: You’re missing the point, which is that this song shouldn’t exist.

Jason: No, I have to get this right. We have to know how many there are. I think we should listen again.

Jeff: Something terrible has happened to you since last Mellowmas.


Jeff: Can you explain Fred Schneider’s appeal to me?

Jason: Well, he’s out and loud and proud, so there’s that.

Jeff: And that’s great. But the MUSIC.

Jason: Oh. No. I have no clue.

Jeff: Fred Schneider must be a wealthy man. How did he become wealthy?
By doing this.
By doing this, Jason.

Jason: Uh, I beg to differ. He did not become wealthy by singing about fruitcake.

Jeff: What he’s singing is immaterial. He could sing the great American songbook, and he’d be every bit as annoying.
imagines it, shudders

Jason: Oh my God! YES! Let’s imagine songs that Fred Schneider could do!

Jeff: Have you heard his cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut”?

Jason: No, but I don’t feel like I need to. I can imagine that one just fine in my head, thank you.

Jeff: It sounds like monkeys having sex in a pile of cocaine.

Jason: I think I’d prefer that to FRUITCAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYKE.

Jeff: Well, yeah, it’s better than this. But just barely. There are a lot of Fred Schneider enablers in the world, and they made this possible, and I’m angry.

Jason: Maybe you should send them all a gift. I have an idea what you could send them. Do you want to know what it is?

Jeff: Does it contain green cherries? Red dye #2?

Jason: IT’S ARSENIC! I mean FRUITCAYYYYKE! I’d like to hear this song with other words instead of FRUITCAAAAAYYYYKE. It’s ANTHRAX!

Jeff: Ha ha ha!

Jason: It’s CANCER!

Jeff: It’s LOVE SHACK!

Jason: It’s TAMPAX!
…and I just wrote a BRILLIANT commercial jingle.

Jeff: I swear to God, if I end up seeing a Tampax commercial that uses Fred Schneider’s “Fruitcake,” the police will never find your body.


Jeff: You made me play that song twice, and now my kids are hitting each other.

Jason: Really? Because Jess is looking over my shoulder and laughing, and she hasn’t even heard the song. Actually, that’s probably why she’s not hitting me. I should make her listen to it.

Jeff: Having heard most of this awful album, I think you can play her pretty much any random track and get the same result.

Jason: Ha! I just went to make her listen to it, and she ran and locked herself in the bathroom.

Jeff: Including “Teddy and Betty Yeti” or “Santa’s Disco.”

Jason: I’m chasing her with my laptop. I should wait until she’s on the toilet.

Jeff: Ha! Now THAT’S Mellowmas!

Jason: “Hey Jess, whatcha makin’?”

Jeff: “The same thing Fred Schneider did!”


Now that you’ve made it through Fred Schneider’s “Fruitcake” — twice! — you deserve a reward. So head on over to Rhino, where our reissue-lovin’ friends are offering a 40% discount on Vanilla Fudge’s Box of Fudge (reviewed by our own Dw. Dunphy here). Hungry for some sweet rock ‘n’ roll? Click here!

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  • dslifton

    I’m so happy that it’s Mellowmas time, mainly because I’m reading along as two of my good friends get tortured…

  • CraigoryVOL

    I’ve been waiting for this all year. And it couldn’t come at a better time; I’m in the middle of writing a 20 page philosophy paper that’s due tomorrow. Actually, I wish I was in the middle; I’m more at the beginning presently.

    Needless to say, I need the joy and encouragement that only Mellowmas can bring.

  • Beau

    That actually sounded like a typical song from the second-biggest band to spring from my hometown — clever for a while, a little repetitive after a while. Dearly missed Kate, though.

  • jefito

    Beau! I was hoping you’d grace our comments again for Mellowmas.


    God in heaven that was funny. Glad to see this feature return. It wouldn’t be Christmas without Mellowmas. Well, and FRUITCAYYYYYYYKE!

  • Snipnsnap

    I love this column. Read it at work, but listen. Have only gone home to listen to the ones you’re surprised to like. I agreed with the Paul Carrack selection, not Lady Gaga. I’m always tempted to listent to the bad ones, but can’t quite work up the courage.

  • Anonymous

    Work up the courage. You can do it. Trust me.

  • Anonymous

    Love your new logo. Signed, Fred Schneider Enabler.

  • Beau

    If I miss Mellowmas, call my wife and make sure I’m not in a coma.

  • Beau

    If I miss Mellowmas, call my wife and make sure I’m not in a coma.

  • Brittany (doofus #2’s sister)

    Top notch way to kick off Mellowmas! Hilarious!

    And Jeff, where has that vest been hiding? You shall wear that when I come out or I willn’t get off the plane.

  • CraigoryVOL

    If I had known about Fred Schneider before a few months ago, I would probably be an enabler. As it is, I’m likely to become one. He’s like David Byrne but more annoying and less talented. Needless to say, I’m fascinated.

  • CraigoryVOL

    If I had known about Fred Schneider before a few months ago, I would probably be an enabler. As it is, I’m likely to become one. He’s like David Byrne but more annoying and less talented. Needless to say, I’m fascinated.

  • Snipnsnap

    I know once I start I’ll have to back through and listen to the last 5 years worth (that’s what I did when I stumbled on the Chart Attacks and Ass End series). Not sure what kind of effect that overload might have on my holiday spirit. Suppose it could be sprinkled with surprises- you were less than enthusiastic about a Christmas song I’d already included on one of my compliations.

  • Anonymous

    Uh oh. What song was that? Did I know about this?

  • Anonymous

    You won’t be laughing so much, Dave, when it’s later discovered that this song is actually a remake of a song from the Human Touch sessions.

  • dslifton

    You say that as if this is worse than Part man, Part Monkey.

  • Anonymous

    …picturing Springsteen grunting “Fruitcaaaaaaayke!”…

  • Michael Burke

    1. I hate you both.

    2. The bongos are the best part.

    3. You’ve finally found a song that took less time to compose and record than “Santa Jenny” or “Santa-5309″ or whatever that was called.

  • George

    I read that too quick and thought it said the song was “Fruitcake” by The Scorpions.

  • jefito

    Welcome back to the comments, Mr. Burke. We’ve missed you.

  • Snipnsnap

    I liked Jim Nabors take on O Holy Night. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s faithful and strong. Unlike you guys, I knew he had quite a voice. I don’t recall you trashing it so much as saying it was unoriginal, being amazed he wasn’t ‘Gomering’ and wondering if he were dead.
    I’ve also stumbled onto his Go Tell It On the Mountain. It’s unlike an version I’d heard and the only one that’s held my interest for even 3 seconds.

  • arensb

    I hate you guys. Seriously. And this is only day one of Mellowmas.

    The only way to ease the pain of FRUITCAAAKE! is to spread it around to as many people who’ve made the mistake of not blocking me as possible.

  • EightE1

    In the fade-out, you hear Fred yelling, “Do the fruitcake! Don’t call me fruitcake! Yummy fruitcake! You’re a fruitcake!” I wonder how long that went on after the fade. “Be a fruitcake! Do a fruitcake! Tap that fruitcake! Suck a fruitcake! Mainline a fruitcake! Shit a fruitcake!”

    I love Mellowmas.

  • EightE1

    Oh, man, that’d be great. I can just hear Klaus going, “Fruitcaaaake — Are you ready, ready, ahhhh — Fruitcaaaaake!”

  • Anonymous

    Ah, yes. That’s definitely a matter of preference — if you like that style
    of music, it fits right in.

    For the record, I’m still not 100% sure if he’s dead or not.

  • Anonymous

    Damn, most folks pull out fruitcake as a last-minute, forgot-you-were-on-my-list-til-just-now sorta present. Then again, Mellowmas is supposed to be indigestible off the bat, innit? Still easier to consume than anything from Funplex, all told.

  • James Earl Ballenger

    Brilliant – love the line about monkeys! happy Mellowmas!

  • Anonymous

    My friend came up with a list of other “outtakes” from Human Touch, including “Ice is Cold (When You’re a Man)” and a song about beach volleyball. Both of them seem to fit in with both “Fruitcake” and most of the Human Touch outtakes from Tracks. Hell, they fit in with half the stuff which made it onto Human Touch.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, most of the songs on 4th disc of Tracks would have been improved if Fred Schneider had been on lead vocals.

  • Anonymous

    “Seven AN-gels got my NUM-ber!!”

  • Snipnsnap

    My music collection is somwhat more varied. I own 1 of his song and may get another. He has a particular style that is well suited for inspirational/holiday songs. I can appreicate them in that context. I remember seeing him on tv as a kid and being amazed at the voice he had, caught me completely by surprise. I believe he lives, perhaps even working on his rendidtions from the Sabbath catalog. For the record, I have never even thought of stalking Jim Nabors.

  • DwDunphy

    Yeah, but Klaus might pronounce it “Vroot-gecch!”

  • Gigi

    I love Fred. You guys are evil.

  • arensb

    Oh my Cthulhu: there’s a video. With plenty of surrealism, and fruitcake romance.

  • arensb

    Oh my Cthulhu: there’s a video. With plenty of surrealism, and fruitcake romance.

  • jefito

    …and now it’s in the post!

  • arensb

    We’ve already listened to the song twice. Must we also watch it?

    You really hate us, don’t you? Or Fred Schneider. Or the spirit of Mellowmas. Or something.

  • Francis

    I also counted 30. You’re welcome.

  • Anonymous

    I win (but really, we all lose)!

  • Thierry Côté

    If Fallon hears this, he’ll have “Neil Young” singing it in no time.

  • Thierry Côté

    If Fallon hears this, he’ll have “Neil Young” singing it in no time.

  • Thierry Côté

    If Fallon hears this, he’ll have “Neil Young” singing it in no time.

  • dslifton

    I think Bruce’s next project should be a B-52s covers album, with Patti and Soozie as Kate and Cindy. You’re forgetting that they have Zack Alford in common.

  • DwDunphy

    That video is… exactly what you’d think it is.

  • Thierry Côté

    Love Shack Baby: The Schneider Sessions?

  • Thierry Côté

    Love Shack Baby: The Schneider Sessions?

  • dslifton

    The Other Bs.

  • Crow

    When I heard this album, my first thought, I swear to god, was that this would make perfect Mellowmas fodder. And here it is. Christmas comes early!

  • Tony Billoni

    Okay, I suffered through both the song and then the accompanying video. At 1:27 of the video there is a People magazine featuring the death of Gary Coleman. Does this mean “Fruitcake” is a re-release?

    Perhaps the song will improve with age like a rum-soaked… fruitcake!