It’s not that often when metal creeps its way into mainstream pop culture. So when metal/hard rock acts do actually pop up in beloved sitcoms, dramatic films, cartoons or even reality series, it’s kind of awesome. So in the weekly column Remember When, Metal Insider recalls the most random instances of metal’s elite appearing in front of the camera.
Ready to learn about something bizarre? In 1982, Donnie Most (yes, the actor who played “Ralph Malph” on the sitcom Happy Days) played a hard rock singer by the name of “Moloch” on an episode of the popular cop drama CHiPs. In this particular episode, the highway patrolmen protect Moloch (who looks and acts like the love child of KISS and King Diamond) from threats made against his life (because, you know, he’s all about the devil and such). The episode is such a cheesy depiction of what Hollywood envisions shock rock to look like that it’s hard not to love it…
As funny as it is to watch Ralph Malph of Happy Days looking like King Diamond stand next to Officer Frank Poncherello, that’s not the real reason why we’re featuring this in Remember When (nor is it because a new CHiPs movie reboot coming in March…yes, that’s a real thing). No, the real reason we are reminding you of this is because the episode also features a young Robert Trujillo. Yup, the same guy who now plays bass in Metallica. Then eighteen years old, Trujillo plays a character named “Flippy” (to be honest, we are still trying to pinpoint who Flippy is in this episode).
Sure, Trujillo has actually made a handful of cameos in films and TV (who could forget Infectious Grooves’ appearance in Encino Man?). But simply being able to say that the bassist, Ralph Malph of Happy Day and Elvira (oh yeah, the Mistress of the Dark makes a cameo too) appear in the same episode of CHiPs (which was directed by John Astin, who played Gomez on the Addams Family, nonetheless) is pretty astonishing.
Because you know you really want to, you can watch this whole episode online. But in case you really don’t, below are clips taken from the episode of the mighty Moloch playing his satanic anthem “Devil Take Me,” as well as of him filming a video for that song.
[Thanks Dangerous Minds for reminding us of this]