Terry Lewis, far left, and Jimmy Jam honor Janet Jackson at the BET Awards last year
LOS ANGELES -- Terry Lewis doesn't bust a move very often these days, but he made an exception to teach Young Hollywood a thing or two.
"Do you know The Penguin?" the uber-producer said Friday night to 12-year-old Hudson Yang, the break-out star of "Fresh off the Boat" during a break from shooting a cameo on the ABC sitcom.
Yang was thrilled to mimic Lewis's quick example of the dance step, even though he wasn't even a twinkle in his parents' eyes when the producer and his partner, Jimmy Jam, helped introduce it to movie viewers as part of Morris Day and the Time in Prince's film, "Purple Rain."
It was already gearing up to a music-driven day at the TV Critics Press tour when the show's executive producer Melvin Mar convinced me to escape from a star-studded FOX party to drive out with him to the outdoor shoot to catch up with the dynamic duo.
Carly Rae Jepsen, who will debut a new song as Frenchy in Jan. 31's "Grease: Live!" was in high demand at the cocktail bash, which also featured Harry Connick Jr., Keith Urban, Andy Samberg, Vanessa Hudgens and January Jones.
"I can remember being young, in the car, driving with my mother, and we were listening to Bob Dylan, and I asked my mother what it would take for me to become famous as a singer," said the pop star, best known for 2012's "Call Me Maybe." "And she told me, 'Just have a weird voice.' And I remember taking that to heart and not trying to sound like anybody other than how I naturally sounded."
Keith Stanfield, who will appear in FX's upcoming Danny Glover project, "Atlanta," reenacted Snoop Dogg's walk as he chatted freely about emulating the rapper in "Straight Outta Compton."
"The dude is like nine feet tall," said Stanfield, who had to wear platform shoes for the role. He didn't actually meet Dogg until the movie premiere and was relieved to find that Dogg approved of his take.
I got giddy over Bruce Springsteen's upcoming tour with super-fan Rob Lowe, currently starring in "The Grinder." Lowe was already pumped up about The Boss's scheduled appearance on Feb. 17 at the LA Sports Arena, which, coincidentally is where Jam & Lewis were taping their "Boat" shoot.
The appearance is part of a Valentine's Day episode in which they grant tickets to Yang's character after he and his friends are scammed out of a sold-out Janet Jackson show. Mar's team used 150 extras to recreate an 80s "Rhythm Nation" vibe with posters and a souvenir stand moving t-shirts and baseball caps. The Arena is scheduled for demolition later this year.
Jackson had considered showing up on the episode, but recent surgery for undisclosed reasons now makes that unlikely. Jam said she's doing fine and should have no problem making up tour dates in March.
Jam said he was a little shocked that the '80s icon didn't make the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame cut, but had no ill will towards Chicago, which will be inducted.
"That's the first concert I ever saw," said Jam while Lewis gently teased him.
Talk of a cameo originated when Mar and Jam met at a basketball game last year between the LA Lakers and the visiting Timberwolves.
The duo, which no longer live in the Twin Cities, but make frequent visits back home, are both big fans of the show, which follows an Asian-American boy growing up in Floriday in the '80s.
"The humor is off the chain," said Lewis, dressed in his trademark dark suit, colorful tie and shades. "My whole family watches together. It's like a date."