In this crappy economic climate, I find it soothing to think back to a more fruitful era, like the 1980s. It seemed possible that we could all someday sleep on a pile of money, since even children like Richie Rich were ridiculously wealthy. Computers were going to solve all of our problems. Soon a pill would be developed to provide us with all our dietary needs. And we could be sure that a certain pop group’s star would never stop rising.
Yes, I’m talking about the New Kids on the Block.
But, like a Hypercolor t-shirt, NKOTB did not age so well.
Except Jon. Lookin’ fine, Jon. Lookin’ eerily similar, in fact.
Anyway, at one point in this magical era, the New Kids on the Block, who were pretty wealthy themselves, met the richest kid around, Richie Rich.
Both Richie and the Kids have pretty sweet lives, so this was the crisis for the issue. The New Kids on the Block are lost in Richie’s giant, luxorious mansion. What’s next? A harrowing issue where Richie has too much ice cream and the New Kids have to help him eat it?
Anyway, the gist of the story is that it’s Richie’s birthday and he wants to go see the New Kids in concert. (Me too, Richie. But the reunion tour isn’t coming to Halifax.) Richie’s Dad decides to play a trick on him, and tell him the tickets were sold old, but surprise Richie with having the New Kids play at his party.
It’s a "party to end all parties," which is a bit of a tragic title in retrospect, since some of the members of NKOTB almost snorted their way to the big party in the sky.
But at this point, the New Kids are just down to earth Boston boys. They arrive at Richie’s place for the birthday party and lose their shit over the size of Richie’s mansion. And I have to stress again, that these guys are not doing bad for themselves either. Richie is RICH!
The New Kids are a little slow, which is probably realistic, and can’t figure out how to get in.
I’m going to assume that all the punning is also realistic.
From here, they just keep running into crazy crap all over the Rich residence. It’s run-of-the-mill rich people’s stuff—the Elephant Man’s bones and whatnot—until they find one room that holds a fully functioning circus, made entirely of robots.
Weird. Why would the Rich family have these? Secret military weapons? Do they run a nightmare factory? The look on that clown’s face is truly terrifying.
I think this is the kind of dark shit that lead to Donnie Wahlberg’s role in the Sixth Sense. Remember?
Luckily, just when things are getting dire, Donnie locates a room-finding computer. Good on ya, Donnie. You’ll survive when the rest of the Kids perish.
But the computer can’t decipher their thick Bostonian accents and their rap-influenced dialect. Remember, computers were very literal in the 80s. You were like, "What up, computer?" and they were like, "2.65 meters above me is the ceiling, human."
So the computer sends them to the weather room!
Richie eventually finds the Kids by taking off the removable roof to the mansion and air-lifting them out by helicopter. Clearly using resources where they’re needed. So, NKOTB make it to the party.
Well, sure. It’s easy to say friendship is more important than money when you’re crazy rich. That’s the NKOTB manager, Maurice Starr, providing that little platitude by the way.
This moral is slightly cheapened by the ad on the next page.
I hope NKOTB’s friendship costs less than $2.99 per minute these days. I’m not sure I can afford that.