Totally Gay For Slayer

[NOTE: I’m resurrecting old posts from my MySpace account. Remember when both MySpace and Kimmel were cool?]

Tonight, Jimmy Kimmel. Next week, Oprah? Almost eligible for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Slayer made their broadcast network TV debut Friday [January 19, 2007] in the windswept parking lot behind the Hollywood Boulevard studio that houses Kimmel’s show.

This was my first time seeing the metal titans, thanks to their endearingly persuasive publicist Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald. It was a pretty spiritual affair for everyone in the dude-heavy crowd — odd, given the group’s atheistic/satanic leanings. Kimmel and his galpal Sarah Silverman were seated ringside during the extended set, grinning broadly at the comic spectacle. It’s hard to take the imagery too seriously.

For me, the most poignant part came courtesy of two American Idol circus freaks who had scored some couch-time with Kimmel after exposing their musical shortcomings to 37 million people earlier in the week. Decidedly uncool in every respect, they flashed the devil horns and bobbed their cerebrally-challenged heads as Slayer rocked tunes like “Eyes of the Insane” from their new album Christ Illusion. If metal fans pride themselves on being outsiders and outcasts, these two kids made them look like prom kings. For maybe the first time since they were thrown out of the chess club for being too dorky, the duo were part of a community tonight: Accepted (more or less) into the embrace of Slayer and their fans. I’d like to think they were blown away by the experience, and that tomorrow is the start of the rest of their lives, out with the Kelly Clarkson posters and in with heavy metal.

[2021 Note: I don’t know their names. I guess they appeared on either the Minneapolis audition (Jan. 16), or the Seattle one the following night. Any ideas?]

Dean Goodman