"Let's do the time warp again!" Who hasn't sung along to that giddy chorus while watching the 1975 cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"? The cast of "Glee" has now joined the throngs of devoted midnight moviegoers who have kept the musical going strong after all these years.
But how has "The Time Warp" made it all the way to 2010? The tune — which instructs us that "it's just a jump to the left and then a step to the riiiii-iiight" — is the moment in the film when the audience becomes better acquainted with Annual Transylvanian Convention attendees Riff Raff, Magenta, and Columbia (who all have solos in the track). It's also arguably the show's most iconic number.
While the cast of "Glee" opted to use "The Time Warp" to close the episode, called, fittingly, "The Rocky Horror Glee Show" (the song is used as a revival/encore in both the film and the stage show, but its full version is actually the fourth song in the movie), the actors did it justice. Particularly impressive was Chris Colfer, who was scary good as Riff Raff. On the opening lines, "It's astounding/ Time is fleeting/ Madness takes its toll/ But listen closely," you'd swear Colfer was directly channeling Richard O'Brien, who wrote "The Time Warp" and all the other songs in the original stage production, when it was called "The Rocky Horror Show."
Of course, the cast of "Glee" is hardly the first to "put your hands on your hips and bring your knees in tight" on television. In a 1997 episode of the sitcom "The Drew Carey Show," Drew and friends have a midnight-movie dance-off with fans of "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." The number was a mash-up of both "The Time Warp"
and "Shake Your Groove Thing," with members of the cast decked out in full "Rocky Horror" and "Priscilla" regalia. Even the controversial animated series "The Boondocks" parodied the song during an episode this season.
It's also the one song from the very un-PG show that has found its way to younger ears. Alvin and the Chipmunks covered "The Time Warp" for their 1998 album The A Files: Alien Songs, while the kindergarten-friendly Kidz Bop covered it on their 2010 Halloween album. Shockingly enough, neither "Sweet Transvestite" nor "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me" made the cut.
The song — which, along with all the other "RHPS" tunes, is celebrating its 35th anniversary — isn't just having a big week because of "Glee." It's about to break some big records as well. During this year's West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval, an estimated 500,000 people are expected to take part in a synchronized, six-stage performance of "The Time Warp." If completed, it will break previous entries in the Guinness Book of World Records. So whaddya say, let's do "The Time Warp" again?