The other night I watched Danny Tanner and Uncle Jesse completely botch finishing an intricate dance routine with “the splits”. This got me thinking about how the splits never seemed to go right, no matter how awesome the dude. If Uncle Jesse couldn’t even look cool doing it, could anyone? I decided to tweet an observation I’m sure MANY have shared:
"If you’re a cool guy in a 90s tv show or movie DO NOT try and do the splits. It never ends well."
Caveat came the next morning in a reply from my buddy Kevin:
GREAT point. Slater nailed it. And was still considered extremely cool (right?). This got me thinking even further about the splits.
1. Was there a wrong way to do the splits?
Or, more accurately, was there a wrong end result? When Danny and Uncle Jesse botched them, it was funny. When Slater nailed it, it was awesome. So in the end, weren’t we always entertained? These men put their bodies on the line and I think any attempt should be deemed a success. It’s not about being “cool”, it’s about entertaining.
2. What exactly HAPPENED to the splits?
Maybe the mid-to-late 90s ushered in a new non-split-friendly era for entertainment. Jerry Seinfeld certainly wasn’t doing the splits (but, HOLY SHIT, imagine if he did…). Limp Bizkit would have FLIPPED OFF the splits given the chance. By the time of the Bush (GW) administration, we’d probably all but forgotten about this male-physical-comedy staple that was once so prevalent.
Perhaps the most pressing..
3. WHO, IN 2014, COULD BRING BACK THE SPLITS?
Haven’t thought about this? Well, I will tell you my educated guesses:
JTs career kicked off a few years after the splits seemed to have died. Now, nearing his mid 30s, Timberlake is in the prime of his career as an entertainer. While many of his male peers are probably thinking about what fedoras to start rocking, Timberlake is in the best place physically, mentally and creatively to start thinking about bringing back the splits. His musical comeback/entire 2013 was the entertainment equivalent of Kobe’s 3 straight NBA Finals appearances (minus the loss to the Celtics and having to cuss into his jersey when he got ticked). Point is, Timberlake is perhaps the last classic triple threat, he’s setting the standard for “staying relevant” and he doesn’t really piss anyone off. It’s tough to argue that he’s not a front runner for bringing back the splits. If he’s successful, we all “raise the roof” like the splits never went away, if he fucks up, it’s at least 40 minutes worth of material for his next charming-as-heck SNL appearance.
Bruno Mars seemed to do everything over the last year. Everything except the splits. Actually, I don’t have time to rewatch his Superbowl half time show. Did he do the splits?
“All these ’90s fantasies on my mind
The difference is that with mine, they all come true in due time”
-Drake “Tuscan Leather”
Let’s say you have your list of possible splits-saviors already punched up. That’s pretty awesome. Let’s say you didn’t add Drake. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? If Justin Timberlake is the last classic triple threat, Drake is redefining it. A rapper that’s equally as Ross Geller as he is Jay-Z, a worldwide brand and all around picture of 2014 well-roundedness, he does it all and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Drake could do the splits in a pair of custom Jordans and a butt-load of chains. He knows you’ll make GIFs of it. He knows you’ll call him soft. At the end of the day, if it’s his fantasy, ’90s or otherwise, Drake can figure out how to make it come true. He could add “bringing the splits back” to his already mega impressive resume. “Y’all were on your Samsung Galaxies talkin’ smack for a while, now u endorsing me for ‘the splits’ on my Linkedin profile…”. The story and entire mixtape about the splits write themselves.
Even though my choices are pretty inarguable…this is totally open for discussion. Who do you think could bring back the splits?