Rembert Explains the ’80s: Max Headroom Interviews Sting

Welcome back to our series Rembert Explains the ’80s. Every so often, we’ll e-mail 25-year-old Rembert Browne a video from the 1980s that he hasn’t seen. Rembert will write down his thoughts as he’s watching it, then we’ll post those thoughts here. This week’s installment was selected by Hollywood Prospectus editor Mark Lisanti: Max Headroom interviewing Sting on the first episode of The Max Headroom Show. If you have an idea for a future episode of Rembert Explains the ’80s, e-mail us at hollywood@grantland.com.


0:02 What is this, Mark. What on earth is this.

0:08 Huh?

0:19 Is he a robot?

0:23 Oh, this makes sense, a robot inside the television is interviewing Sting. Oh, OK. Proceed.

0:30 So the robot TV interviewer’s name is Max Headroom. What is a Max Headroom?

0:36 How do I take audio screenshots? Nothing is happening visually, but he’s not saying real English words. He’s scatting, I think.

0:43 Confusion. I feel you, Sting.

I’m making the same face.

0:44 This is like the original Punk’d.

0:52 Oh, now he’s finally asking questions. I hope Sting just throws the television on the ground and walks out. You know, the old Andrew Garfield/”MARK”/Social Network move.

0:56 I’m pretty sure Max Headroom …

… is an animatronic version of Christopher Titus.

Until proven otherwise, I will continue to assume this is true.

1:27 Wait, what’s going on? Sting is seeming to like this interview and is playing along and is not furious like I am. Why is he behaving so civilly? Why hasn’t he gone Gallagher (or, at the very least, Black Gallagher) on this TV set?

1:38 Max is really rude. He just yawned while Sting answered a question.

1:56–3:00 Complete gibberish. Could only make out about eight words in more than a minute. And no, I’m not going back and listening to it — that would imply a level of caring that I don’t have when it comes to Titus Headroom.

3:20 This is the worst interview ever. He just asked Sting about his favorite color of shoes. Why are there six minutes left in this?

3:38 OK, Max and Sting are finally having a good conversation, about him being politically conscious and performing in countries that might not know English as well. Is Max being a jerk while they are interacting? Of course, but anything’s better than a 30-second black shoes discussion.

4:34 MAX JUST ASKED ABOUT SHOES AGAIN. WILL SOMEONE UNPLUG THAT TV.

4:44 Oh, and then a 10-second shoe montage. Ugh.

4:46 AHHHH THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT SHOE SIZES

5:30 Another montage, this time including beach balls and ice cream cones.

5:37 Max: “Sorry, Sting, back to shoes for a second.” Now I’m just mad at you, Lisanti. Maybe you’re Max Headroom. Mark Headroom. HEADSANTI.

5:41 In case you were wondering, Sting likes sandals. Wow, this is the worst.

6:27 No lie, I just fell asleep. I wish I hadn’t woken up.

6:45 Headroom is doing his scat-man routine again. Who approved this? What channel was this on? Sting wasn’t broke in 1985, what the what?

WHAT THE WHAT?

6:59 Another Max Headroom doppelganger: Jim Carrey as Fire Marshall Bill.

If someone ever asks me about The Max Headroom Show, I’m just going to respond with “It’s the opposite of In Living Color.”

7:25 He’s still talking gibberish. I think you, the reader, should go to another website right now.

7:30 I’m about 30 seconds away from just listing people that don’t look like Max Headroom. Where is Sting?

8:00 Still no Sting.

Via Wikipedia, this is is a list of people killed in duels.

None of them look like Max Headroom.

8:13 Max Headroom laughs at his own jokes. This is torture. I’d rather watch a rom-com with Mario Chalmers. Know that when I say “with,” I mean sitting next to Mario Chalmers, while we watch a rom-com starring Mario Chalmers.

9:41 They ended by talking about golf. Mario, pick up your phone.

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Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

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