During one segment in Lizzo‘s flashy, old television-mining music video for “Juice,” the artist herself appears in a black dress opposite a late-night host, seemingly not having any of it. It’s just one clip in the video’s mirage of warm, fuzzy TV visions — among home-shopping and exercise informercial sequences — that puts Lizzo herself front and center. As she revealed last week on Twitter, this one channeled one specific moment: Madonna’s infamous 1994 appearance on Late Show with David Letterman.
She stopped by MTV News this week to explain why along with the director, Quinn Wilson, she chose that particular moment. The answer’s pretty simple: “There was something really honest about how not with the shits Madonna was, and I feel like wanted to bring that alive.” She contrasted Madonna’s sedate, uncaring (and cool) energy to that of modern talk-show guests, whose rehearsed answers don’t always make for interesting television.
The “Juice” video, however, is fascinating television. As Lizzo herself makes a half-dozen costume changes, she also celebrates the history of the medium in what’s both a nostalgia trip and a contemporary comment. “There’s such a nostalgia with channel-surfing that I had as a kid, like going through Nickelodeon and going to Cartoon Network,” she said. “And then the late-night, like 3 a.m. when you can’t sleep, where it was like Mama’s House was playing, or Seinfeld.“
And what we see in the video isn’t even all of what could’ve been.
“I wanted to be Mrs. Rogers from Mrs. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Lizzo said. “We was gonna do a Good Times scene. Like, we definitely were gonna go for it. We wanted to do a futuristic alien sci-fi show, but, you know, we didn’t have the budget… or the time.”
No matter, “Juice” ended up one of the first truly great music videos (and songs) of 2019. As for what else we can expect from Lizzo this year, she called herself a “song leprechaun” who plans to drop “little songs at the end of little rainbows with a pot of gold for you to enjoy.” Sounds juicy.
Watch the entire MTV News interview with Lizzo in the video above.