Lately I’ve been catching up on the latest season of Law & Order: SVU on Hulu, and while the series is obviously suffering from the loss of Christopher “Detective Elliot Stabler” Meloni and from a general systemic fatigue after 311 episodes, we can all agree that it’s still better than Criminal Intent. Last night, while watching an episode about a sadistic hustler who preys on closeted gay men (“ripped from the headlines” angle: spousal privilege in the context of gay marriages), I was thinking about the fact that Mariska “Detective Olivia Benson” Hargitay is one of the only remaining members of the original cast, and I realized that I didn’t know much about her besides the fact that she’s Jayne Mansfield’s daughter. So I went to Wikipedia to see if there’s any interesting Mariska Hargitay facts that I wasn’t aware of.
It turns out that there are. Did you know that Mariska Hargitay’s first film role was in the cheapo horror classic Ghoulies? Or that she was a member of the illustrious improv comedy troupe the Groundlings?
But those fascinating bits of trivia seem, well, trivial compared to finding out that her first big gig was starring in the 1984 video for country singer Ronnie Milsap’s “She Loves My Car.” And then looking up said video only to discover that it’s a seemingly random collection of everything that signified hipness in the 1984 music-video world piled up into a fascinatingly (and hilariously) surreal mess that no parody could top. Hit the jump to see Hargitay, Fantasy Island‘s Herve Villechaize, X front man John Doe, a moonwalking valley girl, and a nunchaku-wielding break-dancer starring in a spot to promote a country singer’s weirdly new-wave-influenced single. It’s definitely worth the five minutes.