Can METALLICA Master Actual Puppets? Watch Hilarious 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' Skit
April 13, 2023
In addition to performing their classic song "Master Of Puppets" on last night's (Wednesday, April 12) episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", the four members of METALLICA headed to the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Los Angeles to find out if they could actually master some puppets by learning how to use marionettes and then put on an actual puppet show for an audience of children. James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo tell an abbreviated version of METALLICA's history through a real-life puppet performance, with Ulrich as a cactus, Hetfield as a cat, Hammett as a donkey and Trujillo as the invisible man. At the end of the segment, the lights dim and METALLICA's music starts playing, with the band destroying the set while the puppets mosh with each other.
Said the "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" producers: "METALLICA has had a huge surge of popularity among young people after their song 'Master Of Puppets' was on 'Stranger Things'. So we thought it would be fun to take the band to the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, which is a popular children's puppet spot, to give the guys a chance to master some puppets."
The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, founded by Bob Baker and Alton Wood in 1963, is the oldest children's theater company in Los Angeles. In June 2009, the theater was designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. In early 2019, the theater moved to a new permanent home at 4949 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042.
Last July, the "Master Of Puppets" title track saw new life 36 years following its original release after its inclusion in season four of Netflix's hit series "Stranger Things". The popularity of the 1986 song brought it to the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time ever in the band's lengthy career.
"That whole thing is such a mindfuck," Lars told the Rock 95.5 radio station at the time. "It's so difficult to fathom. Obviously, we've been following it, and obviously 'Stanger Things' have been an incredible phenomenon for years. And the fact that it kind of came out of the blue just three months ago, six months ago. [We were asked about] 'Master Of Puppets' [being included in] the season end. [And we said] 'of course.' We were happy to participate.
"We try to be very involved in letting our music be part of these cultural things that are out there and just to connect to fans and get the music out there," Lars explained. "But the way this thing has taken off. And who would have thought that — what is it? 36 years… So this song is 36 years old, and it's now in the Top 40 in the U.K. It's an eight-minute song, and it's fucking making a statement.
"[It shows you] the power of film, the power of television, the power of just culture," Ulrich added. "And obviously any opportunity you get to turn new kids or younger kids on to music that may be a gateway into discovering whatever it is — whether it's harder rock or different things, whatever is on their radar, is super cool. But this thing is just crazy. It's kind of hard to fully comprehend, but it's awesome. So we're very psyched."
In the season four finale of "Stranger Things", the Eddie Munson character performed what he called "the most metal concert ever" — including shredding "Master Of Puppets" on his beloved Warlock guitar — in "Stranger Things"' "Upside Down" alternate universe during an attempt to help his friends vanquish the Big Bad of the season, a demon named Vecna.
"Master Of Puppets" was released on February 24, 1986 and was the first album METALLICA recorded after signing a major label deal with Elektra Records.
The set only reached No. 29 on the Billboard album chart but has sold over six million copies in the U.S. since.
It is the last record to feature bassist Cliff Burton, who was killed later that year in a tour bus crash.
Several songs from the album are still staples of METALLICA's live set, including "Battery", "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" and the title track.
Many fans consider it METALLICA's finest album, a fact that the band acknowledged by playing it in its entirety on a European tour in 2006.
"Master Of Puppets" continues to sell several thousand copies a week in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
In 2016, "Master Of Puppets" was among the albums that were selected for induction into the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry.
Several years ago, METALLICA collaborated with an author named Matt Taylor on a book about the making of "Master Of Puppets".
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