Musical Comedian Reggie Watts Reinvents Van Halen’s Classic, “Panama”

Jump back, what’s that sound? Oh, it’s just Reg­gie Watts cov­er­ing Van Halen’s 1984 cock rock anthem, Pana­ma, in a crazy-ass golf sweater. Car­ry on.

On the invi­ta­tion of The Onion’s AV Club, the musi­cal come­di­an pro­cured an ear­ly demo from the band, and used it as the inspi­ra­tion for this per­for­mance, an unrec­og­niz­able fugue of live looped vocals.

Um, it’s still about a car, right?

The unlike­ly pair­ing came about as part of the AV Club’s Under­cov­er series, a delight­ful par­lor game where­in each act to play in the tiny round office at Onion HQ gets to pick a tune from a dwin­dling annu­al list of 25. The last act to vis­it gets stuck with the cut nobody else want­ed. (Reg­gie arrived close to the mid­dle of this clam­bake, and was ranked a respectable 5th by read­ers who went on to award self-pro­claimed sick­est band in met­al his­to­ry GWAR top hon­ors for their twist on Kansas’ clas­sic “Car­ry On Way­ward Son.”)

For com­par­ison’s sake, here’s Pana­ma in its orig­i­nal form:

Relat­ed Con­tent:

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The 15 Worst Cov­ers of Bea­t­les Songs: William Shat­ner, Bill Cos­by, Tiny Tim, Sean Con­nery & Your Excel­lent Picks

Ayun Hal­l­i­day came of age sur­round­ed by Van Halen con­cert t‑shirts. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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