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What was the name of this ubiquitous performance art duo from the 1980s?
January 10, 2013 5:20 AM   Subscribe

Back in the late 1980s there was this weird performance art duo, a man and a woman, who seemed to turn up all over the place on TV. They were on MTV, I think they were on the Tonight Show, et al, but nobody seems to remember them and I can't find any record of them online. (No, they were not Shields and Yarnell.)

They would do these mechanistic performances where they would both kind of move like robots and talk in these rapid, loud, staccato voices. Most of their bits seemed to be satirical stuff about yuppies and other 1980s types.

I remember a bit where they were supposed to be flirting in a bar, and the guy would holler something like, "I'm looking for a girl who's looking for a guy who has a bright future in TOY MANUFACTURING!" And then the girl would answer something like, "I'm looking for a guy who's looking for a girl who's looking for a guy who has a bright future in TOY MANUFACTURING!" I remember the bit leading up to a part where the guy said, "Uh-huh, Uh-huh, I like what you're about!" Then the girl said, "Uh-huh, Uh-huh, I like what YOU'RE about!" Then they both said in unison, ""Uh-huh, Uh-huh, we like what we're about!"

They were very art school and kind of Dresden Doll-ish, maybe they wore mime facepaint and had derby hats and stuff. I think their name had "clock" or "watch" in it. Maybe.

I was never a huge fan, but for about 10 years I've been trying to remember who the hell they were and nobody ever knows who I'm talking about. Help me please, my fellow aging Gen-X'ers!
posted by Ursula Hitler to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Uh-huh, Uh-huh, I like what YOU'RE about!

Oh man, I do vaguely remember this, but I can't give you any more information, other than to say I think it might have been on Saturday Night Live at some point. Possibly that's where it originated? I'm getting strong Laraine Newman vibes when I think about the woman, but I don't think it was actually her.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:31 AM on January 10, 2013


Do you maybe mean Watchface, the NY-based performance art group? They featured James Siena, and performed in various permutations.
posted by neroli at 6:18 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are you thinking of SHOCK, which included members Tik and Tok? Here's a clip of Tik and Barbie Wilde performing... uh, something. Here's SHOCK'S single, Dynamo Beat.
posted by Elsa at 7:53 AM on January 10, 2013


No, unfortunately, I'm pretty sure they weren't Watchface, Shock or Tik and Tok. Those aren't bad guesses, but the duo was just a man and a woman, appearing in the late 1980s, and as I recall they seemed American and fairly young. It was always just the two of them, far as I ever saw. The name Tik and Tok sounds SO CLOSE, but those guys were both, well, guys. As I said they were on American TV pretty often, for a while, which I don't think can be said for any of these other groups. I'm gonna say they were active from maybe 1987-1989.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:37 PM on January 10, 2013


I'm getting strong Laraine Newman vibes when I think about the woman, but I don't think it was actually her.

Maybe something with Ann Magnuson? She has some Newmanish qualities. Though nothing specific beyond Bongwater is coming to mind...
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:16 AM on January 11, 2013


No... If the girl had been Ann Magnuson or Laraine Newman, I definitely would've remembered.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:37 PM on January 11, 2013


Laurie Anderson?
posted by stenseng at 3:44 PM on January 11, 2013


Nope. Really, I don't think she was famous for anything else, or at least she wasn't then.

This is one of those nagging little questions that Google just can't seem to answer.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:12 PM on January 11, 2013


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