In the early days of our Fire Island share, I was the self-appointed DJ of the house. We had (and still have) a series of iPods onto which I uploaded carefully-curated days-long playlists. Those playlists were the soundtrack of many happy summers. In recent years, we more often play music from people’s phones, but much of the music from those early playlists can still transport me to our hilarious, ridiculous, wildly-fun beginnings in Cherry Grove.
One of the tricks I like to pull out in those playlists were covers, but not just standard covers. Oh, no. I searched high and low for the nuttiest, the funniest, the most surprising covers on which I could get my sweaty little hands. And the king of bizarre covers was the magnificent performer known as Richard Cheese.
Since the late nineties, Cheese has been performing hysterical, uber-loungy covers of the rudest songs of our time. His version of Nine Inch Nails’ Closer, famous for accompanying the opening titles of the amazing horror film Se7en, is maybe the funniest cover I’ve ever heard. It was a cornerstone of every one of our party playlists. And this lounge comedy genius didn’t stop there. He has covered some of the most hilariously inappropriate songs you can imagine from Milkshake to the Kars-for-Kids theme song, with uniformly spectacular results.