Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool!
Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool! is a 1984 motivational video hosted by Mr. T (from The A-Team) and distributed by MCA Home Video. The production drew strongly on new wave and R&B culture of the mid-1980s to appeal to children to respect elders, avoid peer pressure, and build self-confidence. It featured a showcase of emerging talent, including Ice-T, Martika, Fergie, Tammy Townsend, Bumper Robinson, Shanice, and New Edition with Bobby Brown. The video has led to a proliferation of video clips that are circulated on the Internet.
The project was produced by Topper Carew, a sitcom writer who had worked alongside Mr. T as a producer and writer on the feature film D.C. Cab. Mr. T returned to motivational roles for the 2006 television series I Pity the Fool.
Be Somebody touched upon about a dozen key points:
- Shyness - A young actress asserts herself by using her temper.
- Roots - Mr. T says "Ya can't know where you're going if ya don't know where you're from" and explains the symbolism of his gold chains.
- Anger - Mr. T tells kids to use their anger, not lose it, but fails to fully employ this when a fly continues to bother him.
- Frustration - Throughout the video, Mr. T tries to play the cello, eventually succeeding.
- Styling - Mr. T encourages youngsters to dress up and express themselves.
- Peer pressure - A group of kids on a dock take beer and cigarettes from the garbage, while nearby, Mr. T shakes his head and New Edition sings a song disdaining peer pressure.
- Recouping - When a kid trips on the sidewalk, "Dr. T" shows how one can preserve their dignity after an "absoludicrous" mistake by playing it off as a break dance move.
- Creating - A group of teenagers breakdance and encourage Mr. T to try some moves.
- Treat Your Mother Right - Mr. T sings Treat Your Mother Right, a segment that was widely circulated on the Internet in 2005 and 2006.
- Workout - Mr. T encourages lazy kids at a bus stop to use a boom box as a free weight and balance a bag of popcorn on their heads.
- I Am Somebody/Rapping - Mr. T raps "I Am Somebody", as well as offering a few guidelines of rap.
- Friendship - Mr. T gives his definition of "friendship", while a girl sings a song about it.
- Mr. T's Tale - Mr. T tells his version of Romeo and Juliet and gives a pro-reading message.
- Daydreaming - Mr. T explains how having dreams and goals contributes to success.
- Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool! at the Internet Movie Database
- Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool! at Rotten Tomatoes
- Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool! detailed recap at Agony Booth
- DVD-R Hell: Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool episode at thecinemasnob.com
- Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool! detailed recap at Seanbaby.com
- The video in its entirety