This coming Thursday, former Community stars Joel McHale and Jim Rash will battle for the coveted title of “Most Synced Lip” on Lip Sync Battle. A preview of the episode was just released; it’s a clip of McHale singing “It’s Oh So Quiet,” Björk’s wonderfully out-of-place jazz standard from the otherwise trip-hop infused 1995 album, Post.
Perhaps third only to the swan dress and the reporter-attacking video, “It’s Oh So Quiet” (written by Betty Hutton in 1951) may be the most known aspect of Björkdom among non-Björk-fans — its pairing of traditional big band instrumentation and a voice that sounded like nothing people in the 90s had ever heard (alternating with drunk virtuosity between shrieks of rage and comforting placidity) made it something of a crossover hit (or the thing by which people summed up Björk’s expansive career with words like “quirky” and “impish.”)
The Spike Jonze-directed video — an old-fashioned musical number with Björk smashing her way through a tire shop and city street in a yellow dress — was another thing that made the song 90s-alternative-iconic, and that video is emulated (but also Vegas-ified) in McHale’s lip sync performance, in which the comedian sports a wig similar to Björk’s hairdo from the video, as well an homage-dress.
Watch the clip:
Here’s the original video: