On May 26, 1984 — just three months after the release of The Smiths — a young and occasionally smiling Morrissey appeared on the BBC TV game show “Pop Quiz,” which pitted two teams of musicians against each other in a battle of musical knowledge hosted by a ridiculously attired DJ named Mike Read.
In this half-hour episode — which can be seen in its entirety via the two clips posted below, uploaded just last month by YouTube user Slane717 — Morrissey, “Kids in America” singer Kim Wilde and singer/stage actor Alvin Stardust are pitted against Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, Kajagoogoo’s Nick Beggs and Derek Forbes of Simple Minds.
Although Moz’s team — spoiler alert! — loses in the end, the Smiths frontman does pretty well, quickly ID’ing a clip of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon,” recognizing Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” from a snippet of the song’s lyrics, and reeling off some of ’50s pop star Billy Fury’s Top 10 hits. (He did, however, get beat by the guy from Kajagoogoo on two questions about The Cure.)
In typical fashion, though, it wasn’t long before Morrissey regretted appearing on the show. In an interview with The Face published in July 1984, Moz said, “‘Pop Quiz’ was unbearable. I realized it was a terrible mistake the moment the cameras began to roll. … I just squirmed through the program. I went back to my dressing room afterwards and virtually felt like breaking down, it had been so pointless. I felt I’d been gagged.”
Watch Morrissey’s appearance on ‘Pop Quiz’ after the jump…
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