Monday, April 26, 2010

A Riverdale Mystery

The latest addition to the fictional town of Riverdale is drawing plenty of praise.

This September, long-running Archie Comics will celebrate its 69th birthday by adding a gay character to the gang, one Kevin Keller...

Longtime Archie fan John Wing says he's OK with the new character, but can't help wishing they did it in another way.

"I think getting Betty and Veronica together would be more entertaining," he said.

(David Moye, AOL News, April 25, 2010)

You know what’s always puzzled me about the Archies? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wondered about who does the different voices in “Sugar Sugar.” If you look at the video (, there aren’t a lot of clues. Even when Sabrina the Teenage Witch kisses Reggie and he turns into a frog and Archie into a rabbit, all you can tell is that their animal avatars hop back and forth a lot with very little vocal effort, save a somewhat lascivious lick of the lepine lips by the Andrews boy. And you can’t help but notice that Betty and Veronica dance EXACTLY the same way.

I think I can figure out the guys. Archie sings lead, with Reggie kicking in some occasional backgrounds, most notably the “ohohohohOH” that acts as counterpoint just before the chorus. But the girls are a more difficult story. There is a lower girl voice in one verse, and a higher one in the next. The question then becomes, which one is Betty and which one Veronica? Part of me thinks that the high, pure voice is that of Betty, the All-American girl next door, while the lower one must be Veronica; the next day I’ll switch, figuring that anyone who can say the word “Archiekins” has got to be capable of a such a sweet tone that Veronica must be the higher part while the athletic yet feminine Betty occupies the lower register. It’s like the cartoon version of whether you want to be stranded forever with Ginger or Mary Ann. (For the record, while Ginger is clearly hotter and probably better able to resolve an immediate hormonal flurry, the correct long-term answer is Mary Ann. She’s smart, resourceful, and is incredibly low maintenance. Dawn Wells aged a lot better than Tina Louse, and Ms. Wells was busted in 2006 for possesion of marijuana. While the charges were dropped when it was proved that the weed wasn’t hers, if she has friends who leave stuff like that in her car you can only imagine how cool she must be.)

For you purists out there who are busy pointing out that the Archies are fictional characters, YOU’RE JUST WRONG. However, I will admit that they may have been channeled into our reality by Ron Dante, who not only is the voice behind the Archies but also sang lead for The Cuff Links, purveyors of “Tracy,” another of my favorite one hit wonders. Check out the nonsensical video at .

Oh, and I’d really rather see Ronnie with Cheryl Blossom. But I’ve always had a thing for redheads.

1 comment:

  1. You've always had a thing for redheads? That is so sweet, seeing as I am one of the redhead sistas! Maybe the low voice belonged to Midge. I always thought her voice and that of her boyfriend, "meathead" (can't remeber his real name)would be low. Just a thought.