Director Marc Klasfeld provides insight into the kitschy homage to ’80s teen comedies.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Matt Elias
In Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” video, we see what happens when nerdy girl Kathy Beth Terry (Perry) gets a makeover and becomes the life of the party. Recently, director Marc Klasfeld sat down with MTV News and took us through his neon-colored tribute to ’80s teen movies, frame by frame.
“The storyline is definitely ’16 Candles’ and John Hughes-influenced,” Klasfeld said. “And all those great ’80s high school movies.”
The celebrity cameos come fast and don’t stop, beginning with “Glee” star Darren Criss, who drops in on Kathy’s bedroom to thank her for the “best party ever” the morning after. “Darren, he was great,” Klasfeld said. “He was in there for like an hour. He came in, nailed it, did his thing.”
Criss wasn’t the only one who pumped out great work. “There’s Katy! One thing about her, she really took on this role, she dove right into it and did everything that was asked and a lot more,” he recalled. “There’s a lot of outtakes that we actually couldn’t show. She had a lot of fun with it.”
“Friday” singer Rebecca Black also appeared in the video, as Kathy Beth Terry’s sort of Fairy Godmother. “Rebecca was great all the way through. She was really excited, and I think she looks great,” he said. “She looks like a Disney TV star in this, so who knows what’s next for Rebecca?”
Black and Perry had to make fast friends when it came to the makeover scene. “This was a fun scene. [Rebecca and Katy] kind of first met in this scene,” he said of the mustache-removal moment. “We actually didn’t use wax [on Katy]. I think that was honey. She actually doesn’t have hair there to wax, but suspension of disbelief, as they say. And there’s her headgear off, and here she comes: the made-over Kathy Beth.”
Once made over, Kathy joins in on a big game of “Just Dance,” the kind of product placement Klasfeld said he tried to fit seamlessly into the clip. “It wasn’t this crass cut away to a phone or to a camera, and it kind of fit in with the theme of the video.”
The video features a number of other cameos including Kenny G, Hanson and “Glee” star Kevin McHale, but perhaps none were as funny as the appearance at the end by ’80s icons Debbie Gibson and Corey Feldman.
“They were one of our great cameos we had in the video, and we just roll with it here,” he said. “This was just pure ad lib.”
Just when fans think the video is over, the credit roll provides a little something extra. “Obviously a lot of movies do this [credit blooper reel], but my influence for it was [1981 movie] ‘Cannonball Run’ because ‘Cannonball Run’ always had these great outtakes that went on forever,” he said. “We had so many outtakes, we could have let it go on for 14 minutes, but we had to stop at some point.”