Political Animal


October 26, 2012 8:15 AM Daylight Video

By Ed Kilgore

A little note to pundits from the people? Nah, just pure pop magic: Tracey Ullmann peforming “They Don’t Know” on Top of the Pops in 1983.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • dp on October 26, 2012 8:34 AM:

    Just wonderful.

  • ComradeAnon on October 26, 2012 10:22 AM:

    Had a chance to meet her back when her show was still on. She came to the Fox affiliate my wife worked at for a staff party. I got sick. I was so disappointed. But I did get a cool "Polaroid" of her and my wife and she wrote "_____, where are you?". I wish her show was in reruns. Cool person.

  • beejeez on October 26, 2012 11:05 AM:

    I'm a hard-bitten pop/jazz/folk/blues musicologist who's heard it all, but "They Don't Know" always makes me fight back tears.

  • Hedda Peraz on October 26, 2012 1:03 PM:

    Trailer Trash.

  • CT on October 26, 2012 2:09 PM:

    The song was written by the late, great Kirsty MacColl, who apparently shared Ms. Ullman's quirky sense of humor. If you can get your hands on the Tropical Brainstorm CD, her song, "In These Shoes" is a hoot.

  • Manhattan1 on October 26, 2012 4:03 PM:

    And let's not forget she introduced The Simpsons to the TV audience. The cartoon first run as bumpers on her Fox show.

    Although I wonder if Jimmy Saville was scoping the audience there for his next victim? Ew.

  • stratplayer on October 26, 2012 5:50 PM:

    I have an absolute mania for well-written pop songs and Kirsty MacColl came up with a flawless specimen in this one. Tracey Ullman's interpretation is fantastic, too, although there is something about Kirsty's original that brings on the tears for me, too, beejeez.