9 moments of maximum Electric Circus

From Aqua to Chyna to Corey Feldman, zap back to Canadian TV's most glamorous dance party.

July 23, 2015

If there’s one thing we Canadians hold dear, it’s that Electric Circus was good. Real good. You can talk shit about our politeness, our beaver fetishism or our courageous potato chip flavours, but an unkind word about EC is tantamount to an act of war. Push us far enough and some angry Love Inc. soundtracked dancing will come your way.

Why do we love Electric Circus so much? That’s easy. It was a blast of dancing joy that popped up on CityTV and MuchMusic every week with the promise that you’d always have someone to dance with. Granted, said dance partners would be a combo of extremely enthusiastic semi-pros with frightening outfits, but they never turned us down. These were your buds and they’d rub vinyl-covered elbows with an ever-changing assortment of hosts for your amusement. Who needs dating or parties? VENGABOYS ARE MAKING AN APPEARANCE! Let the varsity stars enjoy their make-out parties, because these Dutch Eurotrashers only “kiss when the sun don’t shine.”

It’s never not a good time for Electric Circus to be revisited. We’ve been in the mood to marinate in the most Electric Circus-y clips possible and what kind of monsters would we be if we didn’t share them with you? Get your club clothes out of dad’s garage, overstyle your coif, and let’s dance, shall we?

“Phat Performances”

Before waacking over to MuchMusic, Electric Circus was a CityTV property. (Probably a safer choice than lugging a stockpile of Baby Blue Movies over, we suppose.) A 30-second spot for the show’s pre-cable incarnation highlights the wonders of the program with a barrage of exciting graphics and phrases bouncing up on the screen. The text promises “funky bass,” “phat performances” and “rumpshakers” in what looks like a night terror pulled from the brain of an early ’90s Christian conservative mom. “Funky people? FUNKY PEOPLE? REVELATIONS WARNED US ABOUT THIS!!!” The fashion is fascinating and everyone appears to be having a lovely time. Who wouldn’t want to join the “funky people” and dance along?

Corey Feldman’s Honesty

Corey Feldman doesn’t give a shit about your traditional pop rules, which might explain this fascinating performance of his song “Honesty” on EC in 1993. As is traditionally the case with the former child star, he borrows a healthy chunk of Michael Jackson style choreography and combines it with a bubbling Corey cauldron of emotion. Oh, also it’s batshit fucking ridiculous. Y’know, if we’re being honest.

(Additional honesty note: “Ascension Millennium” and “What’s Up With The Youth” are better tunes.)

It Takes 2 Unlimited

The preferred choice of hockey arena DJs worldwide, 2 Unlimited could be relied upon for an extended stretch as a trusted techno vendor. This two-minute snippet features the merger of the video for “Let The Beat Control Your Body” (legal note: do not grant a beat power of attorney) with scenes of Electric Circus performers GOING HARD. One second you’re looking at promotional CD-ROM action and the next you’re seeing a tracksuit man immersed in his own world of thump and bump.

Fashion Monsters

One of the major draws of Electric Circus was soaking in the style choices. This 1995 clip featuring MC Flipside (decked out like a sitcom wisenheimer cuz 90s) and DJ James providing a soundtrack as dancers displayed their wares and inspired a nation. Full points awarded to the dude at the 2:25 mark that is wearing a glammed-up military style jacket that looks like it was pulled from Michael Jackson’s (or Corey Feldman’s) closet. That’s the sort of wardrobe a confident fashion forward dictator would bust out during a talent show and his citizens would enthusiastically applaud the garment. It is an incredible piece of clothing. It’s highlight in a video that includes top notch wigwork, dapper attire, and a woman at the 3:54 mark that may have transformed her fingernails into streamers. Elite New Year’s fashion!

Of Scatmen & Saturday Nights

Plucked from the same night (excellent uploading work, BuntNinety) is this look at the year-end Electric Circus countdown for 1995. We’re intro’d to the Top 10 with charming host Monika Deol chatting about the Macarena. The uploader responds to this by popping over to CNN for a bit. Did Monika send a secret Macarena signal warning the public about Tupac’s future fate during this lost footage? We’ll never know. What we do know is that “Scatman (Ski Ba Bop Ba Dop Bop)”, “This Is How We Do It” and Whigfield’s “Saturday Night” had the globe in its iron yet velvety grip. Informative!

Surrender to the Vengaboys

Where do you go if you can’t go to Ibiza? Will Queen & John do? About as subtle as a piranha in your nostril, the Vengaboys provided Dutch Eurodance novelty thrills that somehow seemed G-rated and ultra-horny at the same time. (If you’ve ever wanted to have glittery sex on a Dance Dance Revolution floor…) Naturally, the super-peppy Vengaboys served as an excellent and excellently awkward guest on Electric Circus. The performance went great in a drunken cruise ship sorta way and was followed by such show tropes as the dreaded “EC Chat” (no one asked if they wanted to cyber) and milling around politely as a platinum plaque gets prepped. Time isn’t just killed in this segment, it’s shot in the back of the head execution-style as a horrified populace watches on. A third song would have been fine. Just send the plaque in the mail.

Aqua May Or May Not Be Harbouring A Corpse

Elsewhere in the world of exciting chat action, pop heroes Aqua participated in one while dancers moved around. It reads as remarkably decadent, but really it was just dancers keeping busy as Lene attempted to convince fellow chatters that she was not dead. Have you ever tried getting into a nice groove as someone insists they’re not a corpse? It’s surprisingly fun! Discovery ID could morph that into an hour-long program every Wednesday night. (Lene also says “variated” which sounds like it’s not a word, but it is!)

It’s Britney, Buddy!


Promo mode Britney Spears! Breakout (but not Blackout) era Brit hammers her way through the choreography of “…Baby One More Time” like some sort of pop sleeper agent while a packed crowd watches on from the streets. She could have commanded that throng to steal a helicopter and it’d be in the 299 Queen Street West parking lot within 15 minutes.

Chyna Makes Her Way To The Ring

Electric Circus played host to a number of intriguing drop-ins, including one from wrestler (and eventual adult film performer) Chyna. The future reality TV fixture was in town promoting her book (which she holds oh so naturally in this clip) and found time to dance to dance at Much HQ. Her dancing style could be best described as “Aunt Carol is starting to feel that third Bacardi Breezer.”  It’s the amazing sounds of Janet Jackson combined with clunky celebrity powerhangs! Feel the electricity.

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