In The Club… with Jon Hendren - The Return of the Return of the Mack
As I write this I'm sitting here watching the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy benefit concert, and I can't stop feeling completely unhooked by it. I seem to exist in an interstitial late-twenties/early-thirties zone where Springsteen's dadbeams don't have an effect on me, Bon Jovi just looks post-menopausal, I like Kanye but I don't "LIKE" like him, and I'm sure as hell not about to stay up just for 2012 Dave Grohl. In fact, I think the only part I've really related to so far has been Billy Joel's obvious jonesing for a scotch.
Bless 'em all, they're doing it for the right reasons, but if it were me running things I'd try to book a song that's equal parts smooth, defiant, and suggesting a triumphant return. A "Return of the Mack," to be specific.
Not Mark Morrison, though. Not in a million years. I'd get this guy, Chuck:
I have absolutely no clue who this man is, but I've had his karaoke video bookmarked for a couple years and I watch it on a regular basis. He demolishes Mark Morrison's original performance completely. It's at the point where there's a real Good Will Hunting vibe, minus Matt Damon's fucked up lobster claw bowlcut. I don't even want to know anything about Chuck or where he lives because that might ruin my recurring daydream where he flies in through the window and saves my local karaoke place from grad students belting out Ke$ha and Journey. I like keeping him as a minor, mischievous karaoke deity in my world.
Chuck is so unassuming, too. He looks kind of like your landlord, or that old guy who somehow got with your ex, or a cable-stealing neighbor who likes to cut loose on the weekends with a few Coronas. I'd go as far as to say he's a little bit of a friendly shyster and maybe a parrothead, but he definitely means well and he cares for his friends. He's got that "stepdad's friend you wish was your stepdad" vibe written all over him, and I like that in a person I know nothing about. I wish him all the best, wherever he is.
Our friend Mark Morrison could learn a lot about being a role model from Chuck, as Mark has been up to little or no good since "Return" dropped. Just a few years after the song's release, Morrison got into a brawl where some unfortunate guy ended up dying. For taking part, Morrison was sentenced to community service, where in an amazingly gutsy ruse that could only occur in sitcoms and fever dreams, a guy who looked like him was hired to take his place.
Morrison then went on to get locked up in 2004 for getting into a another fight when his unobtainium and platinum chain went missing. Mark, if you're somehow reading this, £20,000 is a ridiculous reward - that thing looks like the wheel from a toy motorcycle. If you're going to rock a chain, please make it look halfway decent. I built my precious "Hi Haters" chain out of thrift store stuff for a total of like $4, and it's way better than your Fisher Price-ass thing:
As far as I'm concerned, "Return of the Mack" belongs to Chuck now. He's taken an okay song that Mark Morrison sat on and suckled from for over a decade and made it into something meaningful. It's practically Johnny Cash covering "Hurt" all over again, but this time there's more emotion, more crime, and more Hawaiian shirts. Just try listening to both versions back to back, and it's absurdly clear how much better Chuck's is. Mark, you blew it. It's Chuck's turn now. The guy who stole Mark's chain should give that to Chuck, too.
And you know, that benefit concert wasn't so bad, truth be told. I'm sure lots of people enjoyed it a great deal and I'm positive it raised tons of money for people who desperately need it. At the end of the night though, the fact remains: Keith Richards might've been in my bedroom, but I was closing my eyes and thinking of Chuck instead.
 By the way, that record for best reality-bending celebrity doppelgänger story stood until March 2011, when famous sports dimwit Jose Canseco hired his notably dimmer twin brother to fight in his place at a celebrity boxing event. Carl Sagan could opine for hours about the beauty of our universe just by looking at a flower or a nebula, but personally, completely absurd shit like this is what really turns my brain alight with awe and wonder.
Previously - I Made The Smash Mouth Guy Eat a Shit-Ton of Eggs
Follow Jon on Twitter - @fart