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:

OK Go Covers The Muppet Show Theme Song (Stream New Album Online)

Watch Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Chile’ Performed on a Gayageum, a Traditional Korean Instrument

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

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.