Shock rocker Alice Cooper paved his way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with obstinate tracks like "School's Out" and horror-show stage antics, earning a reputation as a "psychotic Captain Hook for rock and roll's Peter Pan syndrome," says Brian Mansfield at USA Today. Now he's covering Lady Gaga, the princess of pop. Cooper performed a rendition of "Born This Way" at this year's Bonnaroo music festival, joining a list of people you'd least expect to put their unique spins on Mother Monster's tracks:
1. Alice Cooper - "Born This Way"
Cooper blasted out a surprise, guitar-heavy cover of "Born This Way" to close out his set at Bonnaroo over the weekend, complete with his own revisionist lyrics: "Called myself Alice/ Surprised my dad/ He just didn't understand." Cooper and Gaga seem like an odd combination on the surface, says Starpulse. "But once you see it, you can't help but think it sounds pretty good." Simply put, says William Goodman at Fuse, Cooper "slays" it.
2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt - "Bad Romance"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt broke out in a major way after starring in Christopher Nolan's 2010 hit Inception. Riding that wave of success, the actor covered Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" at an event to support his internet venture HitRECord, pulling off an "admirable rendition" of the song, says Celebuzz. "He makes good movies, covers good songs, supports online creativity — hard not to love this dude," says Chris Ryan at MTV.
3. Christopher Walken - "Poker Face"
Appearing on the British talk show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Christopher Walken put his unmistakable voice to clever use by doing a dramatic reading of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" — "sparing no syllable," says The Huffington Post. The video is as amazing as one would expect, says Matt Ufford at Warming Glow. "The first 'Ooh!' makes me laugh every time."
4. Larry King and Ryan Seacrest - "Poker Face"
In 2010, Larry King appeared on Ryan Seacrest's radio program, and for some inexplicable reason joined the radio host for an a cappella rendition of "Poker Face." After Seacrest kicks thing off, "you'll think no one could sing any worse... until Larry starts," says Jefferson Reid at E! Online. Yes, King warbled "like he was eating a mashed-up bowl of peas," says Kate Ward at Entertainment Weekly.
5. Jesse Tyler Ferguson - "Alejandro"
Modern Family scene-stealer Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitchell on the Emmy-winning ABC comedy, put a "muy dramático" spin on Lady Gaga's "Latin-hombre love tango" "Alejandro" during a show at New York's Joe's Pub in 2010, says Leah Greenblatt at Entertainment Weekly. The fully committed performance simply "blows our mind," says Adrian Muniz at Gawker.
6. Chris Daughtry - "Poker Face"
"Adult grungetemporary star" Chris Daughtry posted a link to his acoustic performance on Twitter back in 2009, says Idolator. The former American Idol contestant didn't appear comfortable with the song's overtly sexual lyrics, eliminating lines like "bluffing with my muffin" from his take and flipping the song's gender in a way that made no sense.
7. Westboro Baptist Church - "Poker Face"
Kansas' anti-gay crusading Westboro Baptist Church — known for its "God Hates Fags" protests and placards — has an unsurprisingly sour relationship with Lady Gaga, threatening to picket the concerts of the "sleazy God-hater." But the church took things even farther by writing a parody of Gaga's "Poker Face," performed by Pastor Fred Phelps' granddaughter, which includes rewritten lines like: "You pissed off God, you'll see what he's got... You ain't God... God hates you... You got a whorish face, it's a whorish face."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How Wall Street is chipping away at reform
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 10 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014
- How I lost all my money
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How computers will replace your doctor
- Are there dogs in heaven? Let's hope not.
Subscribe to the Week