Don't Call Me Dude

Album: Here Comes Trouble (1990)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This song is based on a classic vaudeville routine. In the most common versions, a man meets a stranger. The stranger recounts a story of how he found out his best friend has run off with his girl. He then describes, in great detail, how he catches up to them at Niagara Falls and strangles his best friend. In his tale-telling frenzy, he begins to actually strangle the innocent man. Once snapped out of his rage, the stranger apologizes profusely, but in a short amount of time, the man says "Niagara Falls," and the Stranger snaps into his frenzy again with the immortal line "NIAGARA FALLS! Slowly I turned... step-by-step... inch-by-inch...!" The pattern repeats itself as the Man goes to extreme lengths to prevent himself from saying the trigger words (or, at least, to prevent harm coming to him).
  • Abbott and Costello performed this bit in several different forms with trigger words "Niagara Falls," "Pokomoko" and, in one instance, both "Susquehanna Hat Company" and "Bagel Street." Lucille Ball performed it with a clown in an episode of I Love Lucy with the trigger word "Martha." The Three Stooges played it as "Niagara Falls" using their trademark slaps and pokes and included a final scene where the best friend arrives and claims that HE slowly turned and attacked the stranger, with the end result that both the stranger and the best friend pummel the innocent man. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    David - Mesa, AZ, for above 2

Comments: 1

  • Wikipedia from Usa"Don't Call Me Dude" was a top-twenty pop single in Australia. The video received regular rotation on MTV's Headbangers Ball. The story line in the video is based on that of real life guitarist Dude Aeronomy. In the late 1980's, the guitarist began to experience extreme psychotic breaks in reaction to hearing the word "Dude." These began after a romantic breakup with a woman who had used it as a term of endearment. As depicted in the video, the record company with the legal rights to the stage name sent the guitarist to rehab several times in an attempt to cure the phobia. The same video is also featured in the episode "Blood Drive" on MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The Real Nick Drake

The Real Nick DrakeSong Writing

The head of Drake's estate shares his insights on the late folk singer's life and music.

Kiss

KissFact or Fiction

Kiss is the subject of many outlandish rumors - some of which happen to be true. See if you can spot the fakes.

Devo

DevoSongwriter Interviews

Devo founders Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale take us into their world of subversive performance art. They may be right about the De-Evoloution thing.

Gavin Rossdale On Lyric Inspirations and Bush's Album The Kingdom

Gavin Rossdale On Lyric Inspirations and Bush's Album The KingdomSongwriter Interviews

The Bush frontman on where he finds inspiration for lyrics, if his "machine head" is a guitar tuner, and the stories behind songs from the album The Kingdom.

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus WainwrightSongwriter Interviews

Rufus Wainwright on "Hallelujah," his album Unfollow The Rules, and getting into his "lyric trance" on 12-hour walks.

Leslie West of Mountain

Leslie West of MountainSongwriter Interviews

From the cowbell on "Mississippi Queen" to recording with The Who when they got the wrong Felix, stories from one of rock's master craftsmen.