Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” Video: Even Gayer Than Actual Dance Clubs

Tonight Lady Gaga & Beyoncé’s much-anticipated music video, “Telephone,” premiered. Eh, it was fine. Kidding. It was no Oops I Did it Again, but on the other hand – oh that fierce bitch Gaga did it again. It was awesome! Wanna watch it again? Oh good, us too!

The monumental task of discussing the world premiere of this landmark artistic achievement, we felt, would be best observed in two parts. We’re splitting it up into a recap and a roundtable of opinions from our team of Lady Gaga experts.

Lady Gaga & Beyonce – “Telephone” – The Music Video Recap

By Alex Vega, Design Director and Lady Gaga fan since May 2008

This music video obviously took a good amount of time, care, drugs, and rock ‘n roll to make. It’s an epic nine and a half minutes long. I honestly believe that Gaga has singlehandedly revived the art of the music video. She’s the closest thing to a “Michael Jackson” we have doing new stuff right now. I’ve been really careful not to say something like that until I believed it was 100% true.

With that said, let’s make a sandwich. Just kidding, let’s relive this awesomeness!

So we begin in prison, where Gaga has been detained for crimes she committed in ‘Paparazzi‘:

These guards are so serious… seriously homosexual.

One of the two best lines in this video, the next one involves cheeseburgers.

Anyhow, well Gaga has all these shackles on, let’s go to the jailyard. Hay! I wonder who’s going to be in the jailyard. Maybe a bunch of lesbians OH MOTHER OF GOD.

Attention, we have cigarette glasses. And homo-sexy moment number one.

This happened! This happened in front of your eyes and you weren’t even expecting it! Lady Gaga made actual sex noises for you and for once, she wasn’t searching for the camera while it happened.

There’s a lot of cameos in this video, but nothing tops old-school Gaga/Stefani Germanotta.
*UPDATE* I was informed by many that this is actually Gaga’s sister. HOT. I was wondering how the resemblance was so uncanny.

Oh Gaga, how you make my head hurt… hurt so good.

Then the music kicks in and we have this awesome jail-house dance routine (above). Um, you’re welcome.

I mean, THANK YOU GAGA. I’d get down on my knees and thank her for this entire music video.

(Also, Gaga you lookin’ GOOD, GURL. Our friend Craig who’s been Gaga’s trainer is doing a new show with Jackie Warner called Thintervention or something. Looking forward to that. Just saying.)

Hey Girl, Hay

Beyonce bails Gaga out of jail, and picks her up in the Pussywagon. Y’all might remember this from one of the coolest movies ever, Kill Bill (volumes I and II). TARANTINO!

Speaking of Michael Jackson, Gaga does such a cute little dance when she’s walking out that’s very Michael Jackson-esque. Anyone catch that? Adorbs.

(Homo-sexy moment number 2.)

Did I skip the whole Beyonce singing part? I did! I’m sorry. [Autostraddle Editor] Riese really liked that part it was actually one of her favorites and she said it made her think of sweet sexy girls taking photos of each other in a moving car, which is both realistic and still famey.

I like to think that Beyonce’s part requires her to bust through a wall, Kool-Aid Man style, even though that’s not what actually happened. Gaga’s taking pictures with a Polaroid camera because she’s now the creative director of Polaroid. Thank God that stuff is coming back. She can push a product if she wants to.

Look it’s Tyrese!

And we all know his ass is dead cause he’s mouthing off and Gay-oncé don’t stand for that nonsense.

Meanwhile we have dancers using lettuce/cabbage and bread as telephones:

Just saying.

There’s a kitchen dance break (as there always should be). I must learn this dance immediately for mine and Stef’s next ukulele/dance interpretation. Gaga is wearing a dress like the one she wore on Ellen. Also I don’t know if you noticed this, but her hair is a phone. Phone = Hair.

SPOILER ALERT: Tyrese finally dies and so does everyone else, including Justin from Semi Precious Weapons:

Death by honey. HONEY B — GET IT!

Continued on the next page…

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Cofounder and Design Director of Autostraddle. Professional web/graphic designer. Whiskey enthusiast. Drumming hobbyist. A past speaker at the 2010 BlogHer Conference ("Good Blog Design: The Role of Layout in an Online Medium"), 2013 Salon LGBTQ Conference ("Innovative Best Practices for Brand-Blogger Campaigns") and featured in the Los Angeles Edition of Refinery29's 30 Under 30 in 2013. Co-owns and manages Tully's Training, a dog training company in Los Angeles. Twitter: @a_ex Instagram: alexxxvegaaa

Alex has written 100 articles for us.


  1. Awesome recap A;lex!
    I was totally thinking “Damn, everything is happening so fast, I can’t keep up!”…and then as if my prayers were answered, AS breaks it down for me. =)

    *high five*

    oh and ps, GOTTA mention this: my gf is one of the lezzies in the jailyard! HOLLAAAA!

    • omg, that’s amazing, you have to tell us more! — did gaga look specifically for lesbians for that scene or was it a normal casting call

      • they asked for sexy, edgy, “tattoos a plus” women. she knew it was gonna be a prison scene from the get go… the fact that mostly lesbians ended up getting cast was a coincedence (or was it??? LOL… probably not)

        also, there was supposed to be a shower scene… with lots more nakedness and making out… =) damn, i love Gaga.

        oh! and the “old skool Gaga” is actually her 17 year old sister =)

  2. Never in my life have I wanted more to be a multi-millionaire, so that I may fund a feature-length a Gaga+Beyoncé-sploitation b-movie.

    • DEFINITELY Thelma and Louise at the end!! LOVE that. I think it is honoring all different kick-ass girl movies, female empowerment blahblah, with the Kill Bill aspect and Thelma and Louise, and I’m sure there’s more – then the fade out with the female symbol. AWESOME.

  3. I think my eyes just had an orgasm. I didn’t even know that possible.

    And let’s be clear: I’m not kidding. My eyelids seriously just started doing that weird twitchy thing and for once it felt awesome and not like “omg, wtf eye lids?”

  4. Very MJ-esque, except even his videos weren’t so ridiculous! I have to agree that it was very gay. Also, I didn’t mind the product placement so much because damnit, that video looked expensive and she could use all that money to pay for it! I heard on the radio that she had to increase her concert ticket prices because the last tour she lost a ton of money. I’m a little worried that Gaga doesn’t pay so much attention to her money as her art. I can see her going all out to make the best videos and the best concert, but not making the smartest choices with money.

    Glad the video was so awesome, but Gaga! Music videos are so expensive and the record labels don’t pay for them and if they do, you have to recoup the costs under that wacky music recouping scheme they have! Okay, I went on a tangent. *rewatching the video now*

  5. Lady Gaga continues to be the ONLY significant thing in POP! since Madonna!
    Your fucking amazing Gaga!!
    EH EH EH EH EH EH :)

    • Um, you mean since Michael Jackson right? A much more suitable choice than Madonna, and don’t get me wrong…I love me some Madonna but MJ started the whole concept of revolutionizing music videos!!

      • no I mean Madonna..hmm let me think …borderline, like a virgin, materail girl, papa don’t preach, open your heart, la isla bointa, true blue, like a prayer, express yourself, justify my love……and i ain’t got to the 90’s yet!!
        MJ has thriller, beat it, black n white, the way you make me feel…..
        as good, but Maddy is more shock value, unique, persona changing…

  6. What really impresses me was that the lesbian kiss wasn’t your typical “titillate the straight dudes” kiss between two big-breasted willowy blondes– that was some full-on unapologetic gender queer bulldyke macking. Lady Gaga, ILU. Call me on your telephone. (See what I did there?)

  7. Don’t forget diet coke!

    So she made a Wonderbread Sammich? Does that mean she was making a Sandwich out of Taylor Swift?! Was the Taylor Swift sammich poisoning the masses?

    The picture for that scene with the “OMG LET’S!” caption made me laugh so hard I almost cried.

    I wanted so many shoes in this video. SO MANY.

    Beyonce was revealed from the cleavage up. Just noting that.

    I want a polaroid because my Grandpa used to have one and when he visited it was like he did magic. But eff that film is expensive.

    OMG I just noticed the dog in the diner scene and don’t like it. I should care more about people or actually not find either upsetting since it’s all imaginary but DOGGIE. :(

    Was Gaga doing a southernish accent when she said “I promise”?

    Overall reaction: WOW! LESBIANS! WOW!

    • She was making sandwiches from wonderbread but also the dancers were waving baguettes around. This can only mean that sliced vs baguette is a metaphor for the defenses of heteronormative staid conservative ideals being penetrated by frolicking subversive counter-culture.

      Imagine what will happen when she discovers barmcakes.

      • :: googles barmcakes ::
        :: rereads Sally’s comment imagining a British accent ::

        Yup, definitely a brilliant interpretation. These sort of insights are why I love Autostraddle.

        • I think it has to be said in a northern english accent to really work, think Daphne from Frasier, who incidentally a couple of my clueless southern friends said I sounded like but I definitely DO NOT.

          Anyway, if anyone does for some reason want an insight into british culture, look up all the words for bread roll on wikipedia, oh wait maybe I can even do a link! bread rolls!

          I dunno, there’s something about the eccentric variety of names and regionalism that I feel sums up our nation. There we go, this is my contribution to international understanding and world peace for today.

    • Your comment (and Sally’s reply) is too funny and great. I feel like we’d totally be friends but I’d be secretly in love with you.

    • DIET COKE ROLLERS! I’m glad you brought that up! Its the first time in my life I wished I had long hair again… but it passed quickly.

  8. Things I thought of when watching this video, roughly in order:


    2. Did something just get censored? (Apparently it did, I missed the crotch shot)

    3. Lady Gaga looks strikingly similar to early days Madonna facewise. Also the EYEBROWS.

    4. Faster Pussycat Kill Kill!

    5. Why does Lady Gaga really like killing off people with poison in her videoclips?

    6. This is the most exposed Gaga has been. This is the *barest*, literally, that we’ve seen her. And she still doesn’t look like herself in say Bad Romance or any of the first videos. Different face. Different person?


    • She has a remarkable ability to look like about 12 different people. My friends and I discussed how she could get away with robbing banks and not even wearing a mask.

  9. wow, epic much? my only quibble is that the plot of the video didn’t really make sense w/r/t the lyrics, but when the song itself is only like a third of the whole thing who cares?! she just ups the ante every time but she’s not just bluffin’ (with her muffin) either.

  10. The Plenty of Fish advertising was embarrassing.

    Also, I’m 99.9% sure the Stefani-lookalike was actually her sister Natali.

  11. When she walked into the jailyard my first thought was, “Why are her glasses smoking?” and then “Oh my fucking god, she’s making out/being felt up by hot dykes!” Basically, my thinking followed Carlytron’s. So many influences and all of it a surprise in a very queer positive way. Wow.

    • Cigarettes=currency in the big house. Glasses of sparkling diamonds will get you no where, but that many cigarettes… look out!

  12. It’s like up until now she’s mostly been playing to the gayboy audience but this one was UBER DYKEY and that was totally amazing.

    So many influences I don’t even know… I’m still wrapping my head around it. I do agree that the video made absolutely no sense w/r/t to the song but I’m trying to not care about that.

    Alex and Stef, I’d really like to get in on this youtube action this time around…

    Thriller… November Rain… Telephone.

    • Yeah I actually dint like the song that much before the video but now I LOVE IT!..Even though Be is going to get some credit for Gagas Genius. And i’m pretty sure they’re lovers in the video my my..

  13. this video blew my mind. The cigarette glasses are awesome. homosexy all over the place, i am not surprised that this version will not air on tv but whateva. Also i put this song on my gym mix so it has been in my head for weeks now.

    ‘Wanna make a sandwich?’ is going to be my newest pick up line, not that i use them but perviously my pick up line was *makes gaga claw* ‘lets make out’. clearly this is why i am single.

  14. so last night, my girlfriend and i were on our laptops sharing music when i checked my tumblr. there was the video and we just sat and watched and didn’t speak for about 15 minutes. then subsequently freaked out. i now understand what it must have been like to go to one of those boy band concerts in the latter 90s.

  15. I just wanna say/add that this is Gaga’s world now, and I’m just existing in it. I swear to god. I’m totally okay with that.

    Alsooooo I added an update about the Polaroid stuff: Bonnie and Clyde apparently took polaroid photos of themselves in their getaway car, so it’s not just a product plug. Which is great! Just FYIz.

  16. I think there are stronger Kill Bill references than most people are aware of.

    Most of it more strongly correlates to Kill Bill two, in the desert. Her phone hair is pretty reminiscent of Darryl Hannah’s eyepatch, and usage of poison was pretty blatant too. There are a bunch of other little things.

    I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed, but other than Kill Bill/Quentin Tarantino-esque humor, the subtitles and campy B-movie style is very Robert Rodriguez. I wasn’t too sure until I saw the reporter, who’s name is “Jai Rodriguez”. Hi Rodriguez?

    Also, can anyone who speaks Swedish translate those newslines? All I can make out is Central Stationen. Haha. Or if it’s not Swedish, and I’m just ignorant, I want to know what it is!

    • I am a huge Tarantino fan so when I saw the video I just freaked. I mean come on they had his Pussy Wagon. That is so effing awesome.

      • My favourite thing about the Pussy Wagon is that Tarantino actually owns it. Which means Lady Gaga had to call him up and be like, “HEY QUENTIN TARANTINO, CAN I BORROW YOUR CAR?” and he was like, “sure thing Lady Gaga”

    • It’s a Swedish translation of part of the lyrics:

      “Not that I don’t like you,
      I’m just at a party.
      And I am sick and tired
      of my phone r-ringing.
      Sometimes I feel like
      I live in Grand Central Station.
      Tonight I’m not taking no calls,
      ’cause I’ll be dancing.”

      My number one feeling after this is that I don’t care about the song, but someone please give Gaga the money to turn this into a full length film!

  17. Ah, nevermind, saw the second page. Maybe Jai Rodriguez is a coincidence. I didn’t know who he was. Yet maybe it was an intended coincidence? Not sure.

    I’ll think about it some more. I feel like I’m in school again, going nuts when Kill Bill came out.

    <– nerd.

  18. a) best video recap ever

    b) i had to watch this sucker three times and about halfway through each viewing, my brain was still like THIS IS SO AWESOME I CAN’T EVEN– ::flatline::

    c) cannot wait for the ukulele version b/c that dance is going to be SO EFFING SWEET.

  19. I like it. Its a good video.. However, I still think Paparazzi and Bad Romance are among her best. This seemed convoluted and irrelevant to the song. I don;t like the song. I love Gaga and think she is brilliant but this seemed like she tried to hard.
    -One of the guards was the gym teacher with balls in scary movie.
    -Why is she always poisoning/killing people? It made me think of my friends comment that she has subliminal messages in her songs. He then sang, “Ra Ra gun to your head, one bullet and you’ll be dead.” And then said don;t drink the kool-aid.

    But one thing I can ALWAYS appreciate and respect about Lady Gaga is does what she wants, unapologetically. You get it or you don;t. You like it or you don;t. And when she says she is going to make a video she makes a Mutha F-ing video! Unlike some people, who were in the video..

  20. videos like this are why crazy church people will always hate on her but why i will love her until the last days of the earth.

    i’m trying really hard to think of what that little dance move she does as she’s exiting the prison is in reference to! I know it’s from some movie like band of outsiders or something but in the meantime, that whole can hair-do she has with that leather jacket is giving a shout out (stealing/inspired by) Maluca’s el tigeraso ! Which I also love.

    Great re-cap !!

  21. “best video ever?”

    I LOVE Lady Gaga and I liked this video, and I appreciate the obvious time, effort and creativity she brings to pop music that is leagues above all her current contemporaries.

    BUT, to say this is the best music video ever is overstating it. It may be the best video out right now, or even in the last decade. But Michael Jackson’s Thriller was (and still is) the most innovative movie ever, 26 years later it STILL stands the test of time. It STILL has people trying to emulate it, this video by Lady Gaga included.

    As long as Thriller is still around, and there are people who are doing nothing but emulating, then it stands to reason that it still wears the crown as the “best music video ever”.

    • Yeah I agree with you. I think they were just being hyperbolic. The thing that holds this video back from greatness, IMHO, is that the song they picked for this story was almost arbitrary. It’s still great, but that’s a flaw that holds it back from uber-greatness.

      However, it’s a great short film!

  22. i for one did not think this video was gay at all. i thought it was HOT and SEXY. oh wait, too soon? too soon.

  23. Add Gaga’s Heart Beat earbuds to the product placement. Oddly, despite being the only product that is actually hers, it seemed to be the least prominent. Or maybe she wanted it that way.

    • the laptop the dykey guard was on had the logo for Beats by Dr. Dre (where Gaga’s Heartbeats ear buds come from) so that’s kind of her own thang.
      when she’s OMG making a sandwich! it looks like she might have her viva glam lipstick on, too.

      • Gah, I *knew* I recognized the laptop logo, but I couldn’t remember why…

  24. My girlfriend just informed me that the girl playing Stefanie Germanotta is actually Gaga’s little sister! Whaaaat!

    This ruled, btdubs!

  25. CONGRATS! EW just linked people to this recap!

    I also really love this video. I thought it didn’t get much better than ‘Bad Romance’.

  26. “If I was in this situation, I’m pretty sure the first thing I would do is call Quentin Tarantino and ask “HOW MUCH FOR THE PUSSY WAGON!??!”

    Stef I love you.

  27. You all have to be kidding. This is one of the worst videos ever made. If fact, I think this pushed back music videos another 10 years. There is no connection between the subject matter of the music and what is happening on screen, kind of like her Monster Ball Tour, overrated…This should be a PSA for what happens when you snort too much coke, or if you allow yourself to be controlled by ADHD, they both have the same side effects. All details/gimmicks, no purpose.

    • mmm okay.

      “This should be a PSA for what happens when you snort too much coke, or if you allow yourself to be controlled by ADHD, they both have the same side effects. All details/gimmicks, no purpose.”

      I’m guessing you’re not a Tarantino fan then, eh?

    • “If fact, I think this pushed back music videos another 10 years.”

      you are incorrect, sir.

  28. took me a minute to get here because i had to go make a sandwich.

    i like Beyonce a lot – i think she’s really smart, self-aware, and obviously talented – but she felt musically out of place to me in this video. her vocal didn’t fit with the rest of the song and it came off more as piggybacking than collaboration, to me. she was spot-on with the camp acting though. also the honey bun. yes.

    i didn’t actually like the song? but whatever. this video felt like one big high five! i love the way gaga makes you feel included – like you’re in on it. i’ve never experienced that feeling with another pop star.

    • i agree very much with THIS: “this video felt like one big high five! i love the way gaga makes you feel included – like you’re in on it. i’ve never experienced that feeling with another pop star.”

  29. Absolutely disgusting and tasteless. I really like Beyonce and surprised she’d be willing to do this trash…Very few people will appreciate this for talent and expertise. Might as well look at pornography and what a horrble example to young girls in today’s society…My prediction is she won’t be around long..She obviously is deeply troubled and wants attention and willing to do whatever to get it..

    • “what a horrble example to young girls in today’s society” I’m sorry you feel that way dude.

      Thanks for the thought-provoking intelligent counter-argument you’ve supplied here. Really made your case!

    • Ummm ok why are u asking about Bey & why she did this? Did u not see “Videophone”? That was soft porn if I ever saw it. I think the double standard being made here is that it’s ok for Bey to do it cuz it’s directed towards MEN.

      I agree with whomever stated that GAGA’s previous videos were kinda for the gayboys not girls. I love the video & I’m happy she did this. And yes the “jesus Freaks” will hate it! :)

      I love GAGA! My boyfriend suprised me with tix to see her in San Diego and I will nevr forget it.

      Can’t wait for her to come back to the states!

    • I agree with Kieko. At least this had a story. Videophone was just conceited Beyonce gratuitously shaking her ass for 4 minutes. Plus she is older and married. Beyonce is the hypocritical non-creative over rated act in this situation.

  30. Alex, let’s hug. Because this is perfect and sums up all my feelings/emotions/everythings.
    I’m pretty sure my life is a better place now that this video exists.

  31. Oh god yes yes yes. I got drunk and watched it 5 times in a row last night. Best decision I’ve ever made.

    • <3

      this comment could really benefit from the implementation of a ‘like’ feature. i’m just sayin’.

  32. Totally AMAZING, A-freaking-mazing, so full of awesomeness on so many different levels, I don’t even know where to begin!

    Excellant recap! Blimey Alex talk about good timing. Looks like Thursday turned out to be totally Gaga-filled day for you, what with Q, the release of this vid and then writing this equally awesome recap ontop!!

  33. the chain outfit with the cig glasses reminds me of the short story by kurt vonnegut. Where if you are too strong they weigh you down with chains if your eye sight is better they give you glasses to distort your vision so everyone is equal. i really reccomend the story it is some creepy dystopian scifi ie my favorite. The short story is very short and concise I really recommend it.

    • Vonnegut was a seriously interesting individual. I got to hear him speak when he visited my university.

      I love that type of sci-fi, too. Dark and dismal, humanity bent or slightly broken…good stuff.

      • YES. i went through this phase in HS where I read anthem, brave new world, 1984, the giver and the illuminatus trilogy in a span of a month or two and I totally freaked myself out so bad. Part of the reason I loved Dollhouse so much.

        • Me too! I wanted to read as many “banned books” as I could(1984, Brave New World, V for Vendetta, Fahrenheit 451) and fell in love with those types of novels.

          I love stories where something is just slightly off…slightly wrong…the world looks kinda familiar but then the reader slowly begins to see the horror/crazy that the author is showing us.

          …um, I loved Dollhouse for totally different reasons. Several beautiful, different reasons.

          • 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 are among my fav books, Vonnegut is one of my fav authors. Let’s all be best friends and watch Dollhouse together (I missed the whole second half of season 2…)

          • Friends it is! I’ve got some catching up to do on Dollhouse, too. It’s in my Netflix queue. My TV died (not really a big loss) and I got distracted by Legend of the Seeker.

            Have you seen that show yet? The books are okay once you get into them, too (“Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind is the first title in the series)…and wow, Briget Regan and Tabrett Bethell (second season) are so interesting on the screen. There are even some old Xena guest stars, since it’s filmed in New Zealand.

          • Did you read the whole series? I thought the first two books were phenomenal, then they slowly started descending into this weird anti-pseudo-communist rhetoric. Only just managed to bring myself to read the last one a few weeks ago, and ended up skipping half the tedious soliloquies.

            I’d imagine the tv adaptation is very unlikely to focus on those aspects though, so you reckon it’s worth watching? There’s also the george rr martin adaptation coming up, which makes me think I’ll be forever haunted by the fantasy-reading follies of my youth.

          • Heya Sally, I’ve only read the first two books of the series (horrible showing, I know, when there are over 11). I have so many things that I want to read right now, though.

            Just raided a used book store and discovered a book by Elizabeth Kenner that the back-copy quotes are comparing to Elizabeth Moon’s Deed of Paksenarrion series, one of my favorites, some new-to-me titles by Elizabeth Moon, and The Dead River’s Trilogy by Naomi Kritzer. All this is in addition to the pre-pub titles that I should be reading for work (I’m a librarian and I order teen books for several branches).

            *sigh* So much to read, so little time. Whose bright idea is this “spring forward” thing, again?

            As far as “The Legend of the Seeker” series, I really like the show a lot. It’s gotten some flack from the hardcore fans, but if you can appreciate the show and the books as separate things, you’ll be fine.

            There are similarities, but don’t expect them to match up, is all. Like most shows based on novels, the books are alwasy better. Found this quote by Goodkind, who is involved in the show: “If you love the book just the way it is, then enjoy the book for what it is and come to the TV series prepared to enjoy the show for what it is.”

            …and I do. :) Give it a try. Bridget’s pretty…and she kicks ass!

            I would never consider reading fantasy a folly.

          • I’m not sure quite how Lady Gaga led to fantasy books, but I guess that’s the joy of meandering conversations.

            My regarding fantasy as a folly is more of a reference to my own history with it. I read a serious amount of the stuff in my teens, particularly the large-scale epics that lent themselves to lengthy series. Yeah, when I was about fifteen, I think I wanted nothing more than to write one of my own; my inability to write a comment comprising less than 83 paragraphs probably stems from this.

            However, after a few years, I grew a bit exasperated by them. It rankled how in many series with one overarching narrative, it seemed like every new book was twice as long and half as good as the last. It felt like my human compulsion for resolution was being compromised by editors who had no desire to clamp down on the authors’ emetic word count. It all ended up being rather detrimental, to the effect that I have never read Harry Potter, and even contemplating something containing the word “saga” makes me slightly nauseous.

            However, I am fairly certain that a TV series featuring kickass women in skin-tight, blood-red leather could go some way towards curing me, hence I shall make it a priority to acquire it for the sake of my own health.

          • Please, by all means. Be healthy.
            Tabrett will make it better.

            Re: Lady Gaga leading to sci-fi…um, Sam started it!

            And I joyfully went along. It really does not take much to get me talking about books or characters or stories. I read a lot, I write fiction, I host a teen writers’ group at my library, and it’s fun.

            I really hope folks here think it’s endearing, ’cause I tend to do it quite a bit. “oh, I read a book about that” and “you should try this book or series”…it’s who I am (I will try to restrain myself, but I truly like to share). Luckily I have a fitting career that feeds my literary addiction. :)

            …and I have no idea what’s wrong with my typing lately, but I goofed on another name. It’s supposed to be “Elizabeth Kerner” above.

        • Ya know what, Dollhouse had some really good music, too. I got a lot of good songs from that show. :) Thought I’d add that.

  34. So, on first watch, the super-obvious placement stuff drove me nuts. But upon further consideration, I think the obviousness of it is partially the point. I mean, every aspect of the video is clearly well-considered. By making the placement so blatant, it seems almost that she’s highlighting the absurdity of product placement. Especially when you consider some of the brands referenced and context (e.g. diet coke cans as hair rollers, making sandwiches with wonder bread/miracle whip and then making food with poison). And yet, at the same time, the products are clearly displayed thereby funding the video.

    Then again, I could just be making this up. But regardless of whether my thoughts have any connection with her real intent, it made me think. And that’s what art is supposed to do, right?

    • I keep telling myself all the blatant product placement was meant to be satire, like in Wayne’s World. If I am wrong, I don’t want to know.

      • Absolutely! Of COURSE it’s satire! Why not?

        This reassuring comment brought to you by TasteeBRAND Barmcakes.

    • This is gonna be a super weird comment but… (omg, don’t throw tomatoes at me) I think the product placement was ok. Advertising is gonna become even more and more integrated in everything and as long as it doesn’t compromise the real product, I think we’ll have to get over it.

      I just wanted to share my feelings, sorry.
      Boobs! (did I make everything better now?)

  35. I don’t think the song was as arbitrary as others do. Sure, you’ve got the surface reading about someone who won’t stop calling you, but if you look at it on a ~metaphorical level, it’s also about being unable to escape the pressures of society (your obligations to your friends, family, work, etc.) due to constant inundation from the information due to modern technology (like telephones) that draw your attention away from dealing with you own stuff (or getting down at the club). So the video is manic, somewhat dijointed, and full of info flowing at the viewer, from the product placements to rather frenetic cuts. The super-busy news scene was rather telling, especially, I thought.

    So even the product placement, I feel, works with the whole theme. Not to mention no way is the label financing this sort of thing with music videos not exactly being huge moneymakers, so Gaga and Akerlund likely had to turn to it if they wanted to get this made.

    • JL, I really like your thoughtful take on Lady Gaga’s video. The English lit major in me appreciates the deeper look.

      Everything in the video, she does for a reason…nothing’s accidental, so why shouldn’t we read into it? It’s like that moment in the truck when she breaks the fourth wall and looks at the camera…she’s daring us to come in. It’s very “meta.”

      Or it can be, if we want it to be. One of the great things about art is that it involves the audience. If we just want it to be about the dancing, the camp acting, and the jailyard lesbians, that’s cool too.

  36. oh a; ex and the team…
    “Update! A friend of mine just offered this bit of information regarding the Polaroid stuff:
    “I just wanted to mention: the Polaroids in the car is NOT just a shameless promo cuz she’s creative director, methinks…I did a big project on Bonnie & Clyde in high school, and they famously took Polaroid pictures of themselves in and on their getaway car.“…you friend didn’t do much research in high school….bonnie and clyde died on May 23, 1934 and Edward Land (the inventor of the Polaroid Land Camera) didn’t put instant film cameras on the market until 1948….other than not checking your sources, a good review of a fierce vid

    • Ah that was me Steve. I knew I was putting something in without having the time to fact-check that sucker. Though I had a feeling it could be right or wrong, I figured someone would call it out. And you did and so I have removed it! Thanks for the heads up!

        • I don’t remember if it was polaroid in the movie. They didn’t take polaroids in real life, but they did take photos of themselves and the film was found, developed and published. The photos were of them joking around smoking cigars and holding guns. So, not polaroid but could probably still be considered a reference that conveniently fit with a brand she was signed up to promote already.

  37. Seriously, I wouldn’t mind going to jail one little bit if Gaga was my roomie. She’s looking fine. My jaw dropped during that jail-house dance routine. Dear lord I need a breather. o_O

    • i love the little two step she does before she walks out when getting released it make me giggle.

  38. The scorn this video is getting over on Jezebel and elsewhere is making my little queer heart hurt. How can people not see the awesome, guys? How?

    • They’re just too straight to understand. Seriously, I feel like possibly this video made me gayer.

    • I’m really surprised by that. I know there are always some sticklers, but there’s just so much going on in this video that surely everyone can take away at least a slice of joy, even if we’re the only ones enjoying the whole pie.

      I don’t have time right now to read the comments on jezebel, but I will atone for their sins by re-stating my own love for this video, which is probably the best I have seen, because it caters perfectly to my own tastes. I think it could only have been made better with the inclusion of some direct john waters homage.

      Also, I really wish they could have released it in cinemas first, because I think music video is a bit of a misnomer; it’s a short film, and having had it in cinemas would have made it oscar eligible!

    • my favorite is the gay guys at queerty trying to act like it’s offensive to lesbians. but uh with that huge amount of legit dykes it’s not like gaga is pandering to straight men. I think it’s the most queer girl-positive video I’ve ever seen.

      also, is it just me, or is her make-out partner transgendered? which is another sexy point right there.

    • I’m gonna pretend the only conversation about this video is happening here. I can’t handle any other sentiment about this — I don’t see the point in hating on something like this! Jezebel commenters have consistently disappointed me, I can’t handle it.

  39. I love gaga..and loved gag in this video but didn’t too much care for Honey B..she seemed a bit “out of place” but an A for effort!

    IMO, the video didn’t even need the song…

    • I thought the same thing. She does seem out of place and a little unsure of whats going on. But is that because she actually is or because we’re used to seeing her a certain way?

  40. My mind is crammed with too many feelings. It just amazes me how Gaga can turn a song that is, you know, OK, into this mother-f&cking, seething mass of epic rainbow happiness.

  41. Anyone else notice that “Paper Gangster” was playing on the radio? It’s like self-advertisement.

    • I made my coworker watch the video tonight at work. (He’s not a fan so I obvs felt it was my duty to Educate him.) Seriously, introducing it to people is almost as fun as watching it for the first time.

    • Oops and I also meant to say that I noticed, but I wondered who else’s music would have worked in a Gaga video. Is it too soon for another Taylor Swift joke? Yeah? Ok…

    • Tiara the Merch Girl, I read meloukhia’s post and there’s a good discussion to be had here, I think. Not least of which, might need to include the exploitation and voyeurism of fiction and entertainment and the reality of individuals (for those who’ve never been in jail or prison this seems to be a powerfully attractive, and commercially viable, taboo subject).

      Not sure I’m the one to have the conversation with (I’m not as informed as I’d like to be on this subject and don’t want to spout off), but I wanted to let you know that I read the post and that I was thinking and having feelings about the point of view you were highlighting.

      • Hi Missy! Thanks for that. When I saw it I figured that it was a homage to exploitation films of the 60s, rather than an endorsement of prison rape. Otherwise you couldn’t have any movies that dealt with dark shadow uncomfortable issues. But it is worth reflecting on how such things are often glorified and glossed over, when the reality is a lot more dark and stark.

        One of the reviews I read made a comment about how the diner dance scene is representing America destroying America – patriotism destroying homegrown life. I thought that was a really interesting metaphor – all these atrocities happening, down to the dead dog, but dressed up in utter cool and patriotic symbolism. How much do we justify the horrors of life?

        • I actually had similar thoughts about the diner scene, but kind of thought maybe BSing my way through too many English papers was making me see symbolism where there wasn’t any. Good to know someone else had similar thoughts.

          I read both the articles and I’ve been thinking about them all day. I don’t quite know what I think about either.

          I do feel like there’s a lot more going on in the dick scene than just an insecure Gaga going “look at me! No penis, see? See?” For all that we’re used to women stripping for the camera, there’s something still shocking about a star baring her nether regions without the fig leaf of a g-string or something. I felt like the moment was more about confronting us with our voyeurism and her simultaneous vulnerability and defiance in her nudity, sort of a “you want to talk about my genitalia? Here it is,” than a cry for validation. Or so I think. I kind of felt the same way about the crotch grabbing she does in her videos. Also, in the past she was quite happy to toy with the dick rumor (dildo photoshoot, naming the Yonkers rumor as the worst rumor circulating about her) in a way that doesn’t suggest reasserting her cisness is a big priority. I don’t know. I think the concerns about transphobia are certainly worth discussing, and I’m glad you brought them up here, Tiara.

        • I used to think that it was just the Daily Mail that was the enemy of fun, but now I’m starting to suspect it’s almost the entire world. Seriously, have these people ever taken a few minute’s break from navel-gazing to watch a film, read a book or consider the wider sphere of pop culture?

          Transphobia and prison rape are huge and important issues which, in my opinion, have sod all to do with this video. This is pure homage and pastiche.

          • This comment makes me uncomfortable. There are people like the above bloggers and myself who have seen their identities desecrated in the name of “fun”. Yet when they speak up about it, they’re told that they are ruining the fun – never mind that their fun is ruined already! It sounds to us “shut up, I don’t care about how this affects you, let me have my ignorance lalala”.

            Lady Gaga seems to attract more academic and cultural study than others – there’s currently efforts to compile it into a journal! (There’s a separate rant for how Lady Gaga’s fashion is seen as clever while Bai Ling, who was similar in her outlandishness, was dismissed as crazy.) Something can both be celebrated AND have its problems. We don’t all work in a vacuum; the stuff that influences us could likely have problematic roots – just think about how the films Gaga’s drawing from are called “exploitation” films. It doesn’t have to be about Gaga herself, but more about how society itself is so transphobic that the idea of her having a dick is an insult, or how society doesn’t care for prisoners.

            Studying how things like Telephone intersects with the rest of society isn’t ruining anyone’s fun. You want to indulge? Fine. Just recognize that some people will feel different for their reasons, and no one’s perfect nor immune to critique.

          • Heya ladies, I’m going to try and put something down here, but feelings are tricky things, you know? I responded to JL’s more critical analysis above, and a few other readers have also made some really insightful comments about the video (Jessica mentioned almost the same thing as JL a couple comments up).

            “Everything in the video, she does for a reason…nothing’s accidental, so why shouldn’t we read into it? It’s like that moment in the truck when she breaks the fourth wall and looks at the camera…she’s daring us to come in. It’s very “meta.”

            Or it can be, if we want it to be. One of the great things about art is that it involves the audience. If we just want it to be about the dancing, the camp acting, and the jailyard lesbians, that’s cool too.”

            I think both Tiara and Sally have valid POV’s. Art is as it affects the viewer.

            It can be simply an enjoyable experience. RE: 90% of the comments on this post. Also, academically, it was nice to see a video that seemed to be made for lesbians, “girl-on-girl” and not pandering to the male gaze as Steph G says below. (wow…hard to reference all the commenters on here, hope I’m being clear).

            Art can also open up dialogue about social issues. Fiction has often been used as social commentary (I could go on and on and on about so many of my favorite books and movies that do this).

            Perhaps that’s an opportunity that Lady Gaga’ is giving us. She’s also putting out a marketable product, a commercial product, to be enjoyed, “for our entertainment,” if you will. Whether you consider it wholly satire, or not — simply a parody or not — as social commentary or not. So some will enjoy it, unabashedly. Some will hate it,unreservedly. Some will be conflicted. …and some will just not understand the darn song in the first place. :)

            So it goes. Art is weird that way.

  42. Haha, did you guys set the default avatar for users without one to that picture of Taylor Swift? That’s incredible.

  43. Pingback: Lady Gaga and Beyonce's 'Telephone' video storms the scene | qPDX - Queer news, views and events for Portland

  44. Pingback: Lady Gaga’s “Telephone”=CRAZY AWESOME! (As well as Gorillaz’ “Stylo”) | Moniqueblog

  45. Anyone know why Gaga stares right into the camera after she says “once you kill a cow, you gotta make a burger”?
    I feel like its so obvious that it MUST be deliberate, and knowing Gaga, it’s a very good reason.

    • I think initially its used in reference to the fact that now they’ve started their killing spree (i.e off to top HoneyB’s boyfriend) they gotta go the whole hog and kill everyone in the cafe, no half measures and all that jazz.

      But I reckon she was referring to herself too, admitting that once you start something you gotta follow it through. In that from the beginning she hasn’t held back on who she is and what she is all about. And so she’s come this far, she may as well keep going, The way she freely expresses herself as an artist freaks alot of people out, with many believing that its just a persona, but she doesn’t care, this is who she is and so is saying to the camera that is who she will continue to be (I hope so, cause thats what makes her so f*cking awesome). So to sum up, I guess those who can’t handle that, are er, ha – I know…vegetarians!! (Metaphorically speaking!)
      Then again I could be wrong, that’s just my two-pence worth!

  46. So, my first thoughts on this video were WOW. SO WEIRD. SO COOL. Super hot makingoutness? nice.

    Then I found out most other people I know thought it was “trashy”. I’m not sure how much of that is “Scantily clad women are trashy,” how much of that is “girls making out are trashy” and how much of that is, “Lady Gaga is trashy”.

    Then I looked at some of the stuff discussed here and now I’m kind of concerned about the problematic aspects.

    However, I think the fact that this video has us talking about this stuff is in itself probably a good thing. A video like this is just begging to lead to new conversations that can help us see what’s going on culturally.

    Stylistically, some things I liked and some things I thought didn’t work as well. But overall, I found it interesting that the same people who would probably think nothing of a rap video with a bunch of scantily-clad women in the background or dismiss it start freaking out when men aren’t the objects of the video. At the very least, I appreciate seeing some girl-on-girl action that isn’t directly depicted as being for the male gaze.

    I also appreciate kitchen dance parties.

  47. Pingback: Lady Gaga and Beyonce's 'Telephone' video storms the scene | qPDX … | Cool Stuff for Geeks Australia


    Interesting article about the product placement. According to this, the Coke and Wonderbread were unpaid and were included at Gaga’s suggestion.

    The Miracle Whip was paid and I’ve gotta wonder how that sort of thing gets set up. I mean, it’s one thing to contact an artist expecting them to wear your headphones in public or have a bottle of your brand of alcohol (So didn’t know that brand in Bad Romance was a real brand… having creepy sex-slave purchasers drink it does not make me want). But how does a Miracle Whip plug happen? Did her people contact them and say “Look, Gaga’s gonna make a sammich. What will you pay for her to use your product?” Or did they call Gaga and say “So, we’ll fund your next video if you’ll make a sammich.”

    Anyone in the marketing or entertainment world have any wisdom to share on that?

    The additions by Gaga could maybe support the theory someone else mentioned of the placements as sort of mocking product placements by being so blatant. Of course, if that WAS part of her intention with how they were used/adding unpaid products she could probably never mention it or she’d lose paid placements.

    They honestly didn’t bother me much because they were so straight forward which kind of fit the sort of comic book style of it all. And I’m just a bit of a cynic and expect marketing to be everywhere.

  49. OK well Miracle Whip has this “young crowd” campaign going on. Stephen Colbert attacked them back with a mayo commercial during his show. Miracle whip responded by buying ads during his entire show for a night.

    I think Lady Gaga helps them with the “young crowd” look they r going for…I hope Colbert answers!

  50. i can’t believe that people actually watch this filth and be like “Oh my gosh, Lady Gaga is the best thing since sliced bread!!!”. Praising her like she’s some goddess. She’s an Illuminati puppet, a perpetually demonically-stoned possessed drone who has been programmed to toxify your minds and lure you into lifestyles that will send you straight to hell.
    Check out:

    Yeah, i welcome the insults that are sure to follow. Open your eyes people, don’t be misled.

  51. The TSwift avatars were the best idea ever to grace the internet. The previous comment read as though it was being shouted by her…. just, wow.

    • Perfect timing. As soon as the page refreshed to show my comment, the avatar changed and now the comment is HILARIOUS all over again and in a whole new way. Oh, Autostraddle. Je t’aime.

      • This week it’s Justin Bieber crooning filth!

        First the Tayvatar, now the Biebertar – what will we be treated to next?!

      • Can we please make this like a weekly or monthly thing? Because seriously guys, AWESOME.

  52. So, I am just watching this video for the first time ever. I am not a fan of Lady Gaga. But her video never stop amazing me at how much I want to see of what she can do next.

    I thought this was an all time low for beyonce. I think she could have done so much of a better song then one with Lady Gaga. There are so many better artists out there. But that is all I have to say for her.

    Now Gaga…. DEAR LORD. I Am shocked…. for multipul reasons
    1] has lady gaga has plastic surgery or something. She has changed since her ” just dance ” video.. in looks…. i noticed this first in her Beautiful Dirty Rich song. and now it is just to noticeable.
    2] The outfits… are just to much. She tries so hard to be different that it has become ridiculous. And out of line. really…
    3] Why in every video does she have to practically have no clothes on. This is the second or third video where they have stripped her. Is it not?
    4] She does that eye thing with her hand a lot. with the circle and stuff… I do not understand it.
    5] That stupid outfit with the phone on her face….. was just… strange…. like her little sea anemone outfit she wore at the music music awards or something with that red mask and dress. she looked like she walked out of a sea or ocean.
    I do not even know what to say about the rest of the video….
    it didn’t even really go with the song. !
    ” They will be dancing on the dance floor ” is like one part… so why in the WORLD is she making a sammach >.> LOL! Like really…
    This was soooo dumb. And I am totally glad I wasted 20 minuets of my time just to watch how stupid she really can get. x]!!!!

    Nothing agianst all you Lady Gaga Fans who think this was ” the video of the year ” or .. Genius… with a capital J… but really…. this was dumb.
    Not my kind of Music…. I bet people have things to say against Nirvana, Alexisonfire, or Reba Mac entire. but really. There are so many good videos out there…. BETTER then this peace of junk. x]

  53. I guess there are no limits with Lady Gaga, the video really doesn’t make sense to me, but nothing Gaga does makes sense.

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