In 1964, a female intern walks up the stairs in the backstage of a studio. The director calls out “on in five!” Late night talk show host Dink Winkleman sniffs, then comments that “it smells like marijuna cigarettes” and knocks on Machine Gun Kelly’s dressing room door. He opens the door, smoke filtering out, saying hello. Dinkleman asks them if they are ready to perform and takes the cigarette out of his mouth. A band member drops a cigarette on a bag.
On a black-and-white television, Winkleman introduces Machine Gun Kelly as “one of their most requested acts,” with air quotes over the word act.
In color, Machine Gun Kelly walks on stage as teenage girls scream in the audience. The spotlight shines on the band.
Backstage, the female intern grabs Machine Gun Kelly by the arm and pulls him into his dressing room. Once the door is opened again, his face is plastered with red lipstick marks and she heads in the opposite direction.
On stage, he glances at a young woman sipping her soda. She walks closer to the stage and he puts his forehead against hers. The music stops. In the bathroom, Winkleman is laughing inside a stall. Machine Gun Kelly knocks on the stall and sees a shocked Winkleman. He takes the joint out of Winkleman’s mouth and says that he stinks. He tells his band they need to get back on stage. Winkleman straightens his hair, saying he’s right behind them.
Machine Gun Kelly returns to the stage. Smoke emits from the dressing room and fills part of the front row. Winkleman dances and several teenage girls join the band on stage. A police officer enters the studio and says that it “smells like marijuana in here.” Machine Gun Kelly runs off stage while the police officer calls out to him to “freeze!”
The band’s manager taps the driver’s side door and they rush inside. They drive off.
In 2017, late night talk show host Dink Winkleman passed away of a heart attack. Celebrities posted tweets about his generousity and support towards new acts. Machine Gun Kelly, though, wrote on his Instagram feed, his story about the first time they appeared on Winkleman’s show.
Kelly said Winkleman was dismissive of all the young groups that appeared on his show, viewing them as a means to end to keep his show going. However, Winkleman had taken some of his marijuana, got high during a taping and the fire department had to be called. Kelly added that he nearly avoided arrest. Dinkleman called, apologizing for his behavior, stating they didn’t have the opportunity to talk afterwards. He asked if they would like to return. Machine Gun Kelly accepted.
Winkleman then took the time to get to know him and became one of the band’s biggest fans. Kelly noted that without Winkleman they would’ve been an one-hit wonder. They often laughed about Kelly’s first appearance on the show and it had become a long-running joke on his program.
He also stopped using air quotes towards the new groups and often asked Kelly for recommendations. “Dink,” Kelly wrote, “you are a wonderful friend who will be missed. Thanks for the good times.”
Director: Ryan Hardy Year: 2017
Pam Avoledo’s love of pop culture began in 1999 with the message boards dedicated to shows on the CW (then WB). She graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
When she is not debating whether Dawson should’ve ended up with Joey, she looks at cute dog memes on social media.