The background music during the opening credits represents the archetypal 80s blasting synth/sax attack. I don’t even know what this music is classified as, but we’ve all heard it many times before.
Interesting Dated References: Celebrities agreeing to star in educational videocassettes; Society advocating personal responsibility; Mickey Dolenz trying to be humorous and care-free; Arte Johnson starring in yet another anti-drug videocassette.
Best Line: Said straight-faced by Patrick Duffy — “I think Prohibition was probably one of the four major mistakes this country has made. You know, three wars and Prohibition.” He should really clarify which three wars he’s talking about. Is he implying the Civil War was a bad thing?
Social Context: In the 80s everyone decided to crack down on drugs and drinking because everyone was enjoying life too much. Nancy Reagan and the creation of groups like M.A.D.D. heralded an end to the three-martini lunches of the 60s and 70s. Together as a nation we decided to grab the reins on alcoholism. Your Alcohol I.Q. is a production of Anheuser-Busch Creative Services Corporation. No doubt they were pressured by some government agency to produce something that would be educational yet entertaining and humorous. Apparently the corporation’s definition of humorous is Arte Johnson (of Laugh-In fame) doing 5-second skits in-between celebrities, such as Marla Gibbs, talking about drinking.
Summary: Real life husband and wife Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry (both from L.A. Law) sit around a giant sound stage asking a studio audience questions about drinking.
These questions are intercut with footage of various celebrities sitting near croissants and giving their own answers to the questions. Most of the questions are multiple choice and pretty basic, like relating to how your body metabolizes alcohol.
Did you ever meet one of these assholes who advocates drinking a bunch of milk before going out? If you do, don’t hang out with them. They’re just going to projectile vomit a bunch of milky, semi-digested food all over your already-shitty apartment. And no matter what they say, they didn’t clean it all up. You can never clean it all up. Can we discuss the studio audience for a moment?
If he’s so dressed up, why does she look like she just got out of bed and put on her “comfy sweats?” I understand they went through the steps to wear their matching glasses, but there’s no possible way he’s pleased with her appearance.
And then there’s this guy who exposes your “ironic mustache” for the farce it is. This guy is so committed to his look, he radiates confidence and, yes, sex appeal.
After covering further common sense topics, the tape veers off into propaganda territory. They spend an inordinate amount of time talking about Prohibition and why it didn’t work. This includes Duffy’s statement about Prohibition being the only non-war related mistake we made as a country.
Then they get a bunch of weird-looking “scientific experts” (read: pundits) to all claim advertising has no direct link to making people drink more. They even get the celebrity guests to echo this sentiment. Clearly Anheuser Busch was trying to push their corporate agenda under the guise of public stewardship. After this propaganda jaunt, things shift back to real life issues: drinking and driving.
So now you’re going to give coffee to the guy who drank all that milk? Do you really want this guy sleeping on your floor? Getting milky/coffee/beer-foamed vomit out of carpet is very difficult.
In the closing segment, we see a recreation of an 80s party. You’re supposed to make notes about what the hosts of the party did wrong. There’s a lot going on here, but the main takeaway is that Bradley has a fucking huge chip on his shoulder because he’s drinking giant glasses full of Famous Grouse, and the guy who wants soda has a pretty righteous flesh-colored breakdancing shirt. There’s nothing the hosts could have done to prevent either of those things. Do you think it’s appropriate that the filmmakers opted to have the lone black couple at a party full of white people dance the entire time?
Poster and Box Art: The only interesting thing about this box is it has, “FREE RENTAL,” printed on the actual box, so even if a store wanted to charge for it, they couldn’t.
Availability: Used VHS on Amazon.