Jason: Well, here we are. The final day of Mellowmas. We hope you’ve been enjoying every single day up to today.

Jeff: Why the hell should they get to enjoy it?

Jason: Schadenfreude!

Jeff: I want everyone to suffer like me.

Jason: I think they’re really going to like today’s track. I know I love it. Mainly because I can’t really believe it exists.

Jeff: Did Richard Marx finally make a Christmas song?

Jason: Richard Marx already made a Christmas song, asshole.

Jeff: “Hazard at Christmas”?

Jason: Don’t bring Richard into this, asshole. I don’t go asking you when Joe Henry’s going to make a Christmas album, do I?

Jeff: You said you love it. I immeidately thought of Richard Marx.

Jason: Ha ha, you made a typo.

Jeff: Mellowmas makes me dumber. Hold on, I’m sending Joe Henry an email and asking him when he’s going to record a Christmas album.

Jason: I love this song because I think it brings low standards to a new high.

Jeff: I’m sure that statement was a thousand times more poetic than anything we’re about to hear.

Jason: Why don’t you tell the good people what you uncovered?

Jeff: Well, you see, the thing is Maurice Starr. Does everyone remember Maurice Starr? He was a guy who kind of fucked up the radio all through the mid-to-late ’80s, thanks to his “discoveries” of New Edition and New Kids on the Block.

Jason: He was the biggest musical Svengali since Colonel Tom Parker, really.

Jeff: But making lightning strike twice wasn’t enough for Colonel Maurice Tom Starr!


With a new crew.

Recording urban sounds on the pop tip!

And as always, they’re too young to give Mister Maurice any lip!

They’re called…the HeartBeat Boys.

Jason: And they’re HORRIBLE!

Jeff: Make sure you capitalize the B in HeartBeat, or Maurice will sue your ass.

Jason: But it’s not just that they’re horrible. It’s that clearly Maurice has no money, no influence, and no creativity left.

Jeff: All true. Aside from being no fun to listen to, the HeartBeat Boys are actually pretty sad.

Jason: And he also doesn’t realize that the boy band days are over. For now, anyway. The whole project just reeks of wanting to make a quick dollar and not doing any real work behind it.

Jeff: Fortunately for Mellowmas, Maurice Starr still has enough money lying around to make a video.

Jason: Yes. Just barely enough.

Jeff: And he still understands the value of a cheap-sounding holiday song. He also understands tagwords, because the description of this video is as follows: “Maurice Starr Presentation, New Kids On The Block, New Edition, Back Street Boys, N sync, Justin Bieber.”

Jason: Readers, this is one you need to watch. You can’t just listen. Because it’s bad if you’re just listening, but TURRIBLE if you’re watching.

Jeff: I have my eggnog ready and my shotgun in my mouth. Shall we?

Jason: We shall. Readers, if you can pop out this video and watch/read at the same time, it’s highly suggested.

Jeff: And by “suggested,” we mean “not recommended if you know what’s good for you.”

[youtube id=”Wt0YWG9n7p4″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

Jeff: This is the worst thing ever. I want that kid to fall on the pencil.

Why do we have CPS if they aren’t going to put a stop to this?

Jason: Okay, here’s my first favorite part: The blond haired kid licks his lips every time they show him at the microphone, making it clear that he’s not even trying to lip sync.

Jeff: God, just look at those little bastards during the group mic shots.

Jason: So clearly one of the kids can actually sing. But the rest can’t sing AT ALL.

Jeff: Which one can dance?

Jason: Oh, none of them.

Jeff: Which one is Joey?

Jason: They let that one goon-ish looking kid sing TWO words in every chorus! Because he clearly can’t sing!

Jeff: Hey, is that Dustin Diamond?

Jason: Ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: Oh, spoken word.

Jason: It’s like magic! In the air!

Jeff: That line made me hurt.

Jason: Oh look! Their families are politely watching them IN A FUCKING LIVING ROOM.

Jeff: This camera work!

Jason: What’s up with the little kid with the mohawk? He got one line: “Wow!”

There is SO MUCH WRONG with this.

Jeff: What’s up with the kid who’s barely moving his lips? Oh wait, that’s almost the whole group.

Jason: It’s unbelievable how much is wrong with it. They were basically told just to snap their fingers the entire song.

Jeff: I feel bad making fun of this, because I’m pretty sure someone’s pinning their hopes for a mortgage payment on it.

Jason: Like that’s enough to make it compelling.

Jeff: Plus, the HeartBeat Boys have their own media center. What have we ever done?

They’re making a movie. And a basketball comeback!

Jason: I remember you said there was another HeartBeat Boys Christmas video on YouTube. Was it “HeartBeat Boys Christmas Video 2007” ?

Jeff: Who can forget that classic carol?


Jeff: Bwahahahaha! Damn, Maurice, what happened to you?

Jason: This is the epitome of lazy.

The kids need singing lessons. They need acting lessons. Two of them need to be fired on account of looking scary.

Maurice, he will not pay for any of these.

Jeff: Oooh, I just had a great idea!

Jason: Uh oh.

Jeff: It’s a great idea.

Jason: I repeat: Uh oh.

Jeff: I think we can finally do something constructive with your youthful appearance. Do you know where I’m going with this?

Jason: My youthful appearance was a long time ago. I have a baby due in two months. My hair is already turning grey.

Jeff: Then there’s no time to waste.

Jason: sigh No, where are you going with this?

Jeff: You need to call the number on the HeartBeat Boys Media Center and AUDITION FOR THE HEARTBEAT BOYS.


Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: You’re comfortable in front of the camera! You can snap your fingers, right?

Jason: Wait, are they looking for members or does it just say to call that number?

Jeff: Who cares?

Jason: Ha ha ha ha! Okay, I’m calling it now.

Jeff: If you’re going to work for Maurice Starr, you need to stop asking so many questions.


Jeff: You’re lucky it isn’t a 900 number!

Jason: It’s ringing!

Please, Maurice Starr, pick up.

Jeff: (sleepy voice) “I told you I got the rent.”

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: I’m so excited that you’re calling the HeartBeat Boys. This is going to be so great.




Jeff: Oh my God I can’t breathe

five minutes of silence pass.


I should have taped it!

I had no idea he was going to pick up!

Oh, I should have prepared better.

Jeff: I haven’t laughed this hard in years!

Jason: I swear to you. I just spoke to Maurice Starr.

Jeff: Tears are streaming down my fucking face right now.

Jason: I told him I wanted to audition.

He asked how old I was.

I told him I was 15.

Jeff: My stomach hurts so bad

Jason: He asked me to sing for him.


Jeff: I might die

Jason: He said I had a good voice!

Jeff: You do!

Jason: I asked who I was speaking to.

He said “You’re speaking to the General.”

And I said “Maurice Starr?”

And he said “Yes, sir.”

He said “You’re calling from New York? That’s a little far away. I’m in Florida.”

Jeff: I’m helpless with laughter. I can barely type.

Jason: And I said “Oh, I thought you were still in Boston.”

“No, I retired from Boston, moved down to Florida.”

I said, “I guess I would have to talk to my parents. Can I call you back?”

Jeff: Well, I guess we need to buy you and your parents plane tickets!

Jason: And he said “Well, we’re not looking for anybody really right now. But just keep in touch.”

And then I got off the phone because I was legitimately freaked out that this conversation just happened.

Jeff: Jason, I really think we might have just broken Mellowmas. There’s nowhere to go from here.

Jason: And I am also legitimately freaked out that he might read this conversation one day. And might still have my number in his cell phone. Obviously he knew I was from New York.

Jeff: Nah. Maurice Starr is on dial-up.

Jason: Jeff, you should have heard me SINGING THE SONG.

I should have taped it. I figured it would be an answering machine!

Jeff: I should have heard the whole thing!

Jason: And you know me. I immediately felt bad about the whole thing.

Jeff: No, no, don’t feel bad. This is amazing. Next, we have to have Wing call the General.


I forgot to tell you the best part.

Jeff: I think this is all the best part.

Jason: So I sang the song, and I stopped after a second, and said “That’s all I got. It’s still early in the morning.” And he said, “It doesn’t matter, if you can sing, you can sing. Like…” AND THEN HE SANG A BUNCH OF NOTES.

And he said “See? And I don’t even sing.”

And that’s when I said “Wow, who am I speaking with?”

Jeff: I can’t believe what just happened here.

Jason: …I can’t either. I’m kind of shell-shocked.

Jeff: You should feel nothing but pride. That was amazing.

Jason: I’m actually speechless.

Jeff: Well, folks, I don’t know where we can go from here. And I’m pretty sure Jason’s going to need some warm milk and a nap.

Jason: I sang that Christmas song. I didn’t even know the words!

Jeff: Don’t get me started again! I just got my breath back!

Jason: He was like “Let’s hear what you got.” And I went, “Um…um…um…Cheers, everybody is here…it’s that time of the year…(mumble mumble)…tell everybody it’s Christmas!”

Jeff: C’mon, buddy. Let’s go sit down in front of the Yule Log for awhile. Everything is going to be back to normal tomorrow.

Jason: So readers, you have to know that I just called Jeff and we cried on the phone together.

Jeff: We had a moment.

Jason: I apologize to all of you for not taping it. I just had no idea Maurice Starr would be picking up the phone.

Jeff: On behalf of everyone who’s ever read a Mellowmas post, I forgive you.

Jason: That was true Mellowmas magic.

Jeff: I hope you all enjoyed this half as much as I did. I need to go wash the dried tears of helpless laughter off my face. Oh God.

Jason: And I just feel awful for inadvertently punking Maurice Starr. I WASN’T PREPARED.

Jeff: I’m sure the members of New Edition and NKOTB would tell you not to feel bad. And then they’d ask you to call their 900 number.

Jason: Oh, man. whew

Jeff: Where can Mellowmas possibly go from here?

Jason: Depends on whether I join Maurice Starr’s next boy band.

Jeff: Fingers crossed!

About the Author

Jeff Giles and Jason Hare

Two people, separate rooms Trying to hurt the other Bound together by destiny Is there nothing they won’t do? Will we never see them through?

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