Sad news today, as Louis Vincent Albano — known to the entertainment world as Captain Lou Albano — passed away this morning at the age of 76 according to WWE's official Web site. Albano is best known to people in the professional wrestling world, where he was an integral part of the rise of the WWF in the early 1980s. As both a wrestler and a manager, Albano was a profoundly charismatic man who cut a great promo and had an incredible presence, which allowed him to cross over into other areas of the entertainment world and was one of the reasons that the very first Wrestlemania in 1985 was so successful.
One of the most important entertainment alliances Albano made was with Cyndi Lauper, who was at her commercial peak when she teamed up with Captain Lou. She appeared on WWF programming leading up to Wrestlemania, and in turn Albano played Lauper's father in a handful of her most famous music videos. In "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," Albano plays the fatherly foil to Lauper's carefree spirit, and she even puts him in a hammer lock in the video. (According to the "Pop-Up Video" version of the clip, the original plan was to dress George "The Animal" Steele up in drag and cast him as Lauper's mother, a role that ended up going to Lauper's actual mother.)
"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" is delightfully wacky, but it's nothing compared to the mind-blowing three minutes that is the video for "Goonies 'R' Good Enough." The 1985 track, which came from the soundtrack to the film "The Goonies," is a fantastically crazy tune with an equally nutty video. In addition to Albano, it also stars wrestlers the Iron Sheik, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Classy" Freddie Blassie, among others. It involves a gas station, the cast of the movie, a skeleton and a cameo by Steven Spielberg.