Violent Femmes on Sabrina the Teenage Witch
There’s an illogical logic to most of the entries on this list. Even if the rockers are conspicuously out of place, it’s clear that they’re there because they love the show, or because they wanted to have a little fun. But Violent Femmes’ appearance on Sabrina The Teenage Witch is so out of left field it’s disorienting.
In 2018 Gordon Gano told NME that they were a last-minute substitution for another band; he says he never found out who the other band was. Before he made this revelation, I think most people would’ve assumed this was the case, as nothing that happens here makes sense in relation to the prickly folk-punk rockers; the script was almost certainly written with another artist in mind. The plot involves the popular mean girl Libby, who has a crush on Gano; she casts a spell on the pasty, goofy Gano to make him fall in love with her.
Eventually, the spell wears off, and Gano returns to his bandmates to watch Ren & Stimpy and drink chocolate milk, while Libby is left to learn a lesson about ditching her friends to hang out with a rock star. Now, that scans.
This would be a completely unremarkable plot if the cameo was a more traditional heartthrob, but in the 90s Gano looked like if Bobcat Goldthwaite played Glenn Danzig. Watch the clip, because no description can properly convey how weird it is. Gordon Gano talks about it like even he can’t believe it happened, but I would not be surprised if he keeps the script page with the line “I will do anything to meet Gordon Gano” in an heirloom locket that never leaves his sight.