When DEVO appeared on ’80s sitcom, Square Pegs (which starred Sarah Jessica Parker), they whipped everyone—from the censors to the actresses—into a frenzy. On the episode, the band headlines a “New Wave Bat Mitzvah.” Tame stuff, but behind the scenes—safe from the gaze of its teeny-boppin’ following—it was pretty wild.
“The girls were out of control—they were doing drugs and they were making out and they were coming on to us in a big way,” says Gerald V. Casale, DEVO bassist/synthesizer player. The musician vaguely recalls doing coke with Jami Gertz and SJP in the talent trailers. “They might have been 15 or 16, but in their heads they were already 40. I don’t think there was a virgin on the set, except maybe a couple of the guys,” he adds.
Despite the backstage debauchery, the censors weren’t about to let anything salacious hit the airwaves. Case in point: They nixed the video projection that DEVO put together to accompany “That’s Good.” In the video, “Bob [Casale] is being ridden like a horse by a blonde,” explains Casale. “Then an animated french fry flies through the air one way, and an animated glazed donut flies through the air the other way, and the french fry goes through the donut, and it cuts to the girl snapping her head back with a big smile on her face on the words, â€˜That’s good.’”
Casale was bummed that the video didn’t make primetime, but that wasn’t his only regret after filming the famous episode: He had the hots for Jami Gertz, who played Bat Mitzvah girl Muffy Tepperman. “Why didn’t I do something about that?” he says.