Childhood Terror: Joe's Apartment

Last night, I came home to my apartment to discover that my power was half out. Then it went all the way out. Then, my burglar alarm shorted out and went off for an hour until my landlord could drive out and pull the plug. It was one of those situations where I thought "man, could this shit get any worse?" After waking up this morning and reading Shelton's "Bug" review, I remembered that things could be much worse; I could live in "Joe's Apartment."

A search for "Joe's Apartment" will yield endless results about a criminally unfunny movie starring a certain supermodel stealing fat kid from "Stand by Me," but that's not what I'm talking about. In my youth, I was much more frightened and entertained by the MTV commercial short that it was based on.

The premise of "Joe's Apartment" (the short) is quite simple. Joe, much like anyone living in NYC in the 90's, lives in a shithole apartment infested with cockroaches. The main difference here, in spectacularly 90's fashion, is that Joe's "friends" talk and sing, and number not in the dozens but in the thousands. Trying to salvage some vestige of a normal life, Joe attempts to bring home a date to woo her. The antics that ensue, while played up for comedic purposes, made me have wild nightmares as a 6 year old with two older brothers that let him watch a bit more late-night MTV than they should have:

Kinda makes the glory hole scene from "The Unborn" look tame, doesn't it? I think that 17 years later, I'm finally ready to admit that the "Joe's Apartment" short wasn't all that scary and move on, but it does hearken back to a day where MTV was subversive in a good way. Whoever ripped this video was also kind enough to include another MTV promo starring Rick Gomez (II), who children of Nickelodeon's heyday will recognize and Endless Mike from the Adventures of Pete and Pete. He's also a marginally recognizable character actor who has made appearances in "Sin City" and "Transformers," but I mean, is that really better than Pete and Pete? Probably not.

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