Can You Feel It Baby? The Unlikely And Awesome Journey Of Marky Mark Wahlberg
Once upon a time in the 1980s, there was a boy band called New Kids on the Block, and their resident tough-looking white but kinda ethnic dude was a bruiser from Boston named Donnie Wahlberg. As the NKOTB boys aged out of being able to pretend they were appetizing to teenagers, their popularity waned. But Donnie’s little brother, a tough-looking white but kinda ethnic bruiser from Boston, rose up carry the mantle, and his name was Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg.
Marky was a little bit more of an actual thug than Donnie, and managed to rack up a juvie record where he actually had to do time. He did not seem like the brightest of bulbs in the least, but Marky Mark was very pretty. VEERRRRRYYY pretty. Much prettier than Donnie, who had a ponytail.
Marky Mark had a band, or a group of backup singers, or a posse, or a something, and they were called The Funky Bunch. It was a ridiculous name, but the video for their ginormous hit, “Good Vibrations,” was pure Marky Mark eye candy:
Let’s run this bad boy down. Is Marky Mark shirtless? Check. Is Marky Mark wearing a large medallion? Check. Is Marky Mark sweaty? Check. Does Marky Mark shadowbox while looking at himself in a mirror? Check. Does Marky Mark weightlift cinderblocks in some sort of abandoned warehouse type thing? Check and check and hell yeah, check. Side note: the song holds up really well and you should go dance to it in your basement and wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care.
It seemed like Marky Mark would go away after the Funky Bunch because he too was aging out of his window of being super sexy to teenagers. But a funny thing happened on his way to obscurity: Mark Wahlberg became a really fucking good actor. Dude, Boogie Nights came out 16 YEARS AGO. That means Mark Wahlberg has been a legit well-respected actor for at least 16 years. (Yes, yes, I know about Basketball Diaries. Don’t care.) Wahlberg made his bones by doing a thinly veiled biopic of John Holmes, the porn star with a cock that probably needed its own airplane seat. Wahlberg probably could have strolled into the role and been pretty (and kinda dumb, because it does not seem that John Holmes was the sharpest tool in the shed) and been just fine. But Marky Mark fucking owned that role and turned what could have just been a caricature (porn star! big dick!) into a living breathing person full of pathos and complex feels. Also, too, Mark Wahlberg is the best because he made sure to give an interview about how his enormous movie-penis was just a prosthetic instead of fronting like he grew that beast himself.
Boogie Nights was not a flash in the pan no it was not! Did you see The Departed? Fuck you if you haven’t and shut up and go watch it now. Wahlberg played a Southie police sergeant with some of the most illuminatingly creative swearing I have ever heard:
Wahlberg also showed BAAWWSTON some more love – JUST LIKE WE ARE GOING TO – in The Fighter, where he was also a good actor so don’t act like you don’t know.
Can Marky Mark do funny? Fuck yeah Marky Mark does funny. Ted was meh, but the white trash name guessing game is perfection:
Also, he talks to animals!
Also, too, BOSTON. Seriously, Mark Wahlberg is like the patron saint of Boston movies. Pain and Gain is not in Boston, but it is cringe-worthy funny and it served as an excuse for Marky Mark to get SWOLE all over again:
You probably do not know any 41-year-old dudes that look that buff. You definitely do not know any 41-year-old dudes that look that buff and are also major motion picture stars because you are not that lucky.
Boston, we are coming to your fair city tomorrow, where we will be buying you food and free Heineken at the Tap (Saturday, 6 p.m.)! If you really love us, you’ll find a way for us to meet Mark Wahlberg.