Madonna’s New Video Inspires The Resurrection Of ‘Video Safari’

Today marks the release of Madonna’s newest video, and by some count it may be her 70th — yes 70th — music video since the beginning of her career. And even though her new clip for “Celebration” isn’t particularly noteworthy or interesting (air-humping in front of a backdrop again, Madge?), you have to toast Madonna for her incredible feat.

So in honor of Madonna’s extensive videography, MTV News decided to dust off an old pilot of mine that never got off the ground. It’s called the “Video Safari,” and it’s probably the most bizarre thing MTV has ever let me try. (And considering I produced this, and this and a TV show in which a giant Suri Cruise cardboard cutout came to life to save me from a suicide attempt, that’s saying a lot.)

But first, some backstory.

In early 2007, an MTV bigwig approached me to brainstorm some creative ways to present an artist’s videography that he could include in the then-new show “FNMTV.” My trusty cohort CJ Smith and I came up with a bunch of ideas, one of which was this “Video Safari” treatment. We liked how old-school MTV it felt, from the oddball costume to the public-access green screen.

Unfortunately, the brass at MTV despised it. Our silly segment just didn’t fit in with the super-slick, highly-produced, expensive-looking TV show they were making, so “Video Safari” was left to collect dust in the MTV library. Until today!

So check out this oddity from the MTV vault. Yep, it looks like it cost $15 to produce, and it’s out-of-date since it was produced before Hard Candy came out in stores, but we still have an affection for it around these parts and I’m happy it’s getting seen by a couple of eyeballs today.

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Fun fact: We produced this at the same time that I was having a complete and utter mental breakdown! I was recapping the seventh season of “American Idol” and the fifth season of “Project Runway” at the same time. I was averaging about three hours of sleep a night and about three triple espressos an hour. I literally lost 15 pounds in two weeks, and we had to push back shooting once because I was so delirious and dysfunctional. If you look closely, you can see how dead my eyes look in this video (just like Lindsay Lohan in her “I Know Who Killed Me” era!). Crazy, right?