Take one of the most flamboyant pop superstars of the 1980s, shoehorn him into one of the biggest and brashest and, some might say, dumbest TV shows of the decade, and what have you got? OK, not necessarily televisual gold. But certainly something a little out of the ordinary.
So, 1986 was not a golden year for either the A-Team or the 25-year-old Boy George. On the air since 1983, The A-Team had been spectacularly popular in its first three years, with almost 20% of all households tuning in to see Hannibal (George Peppard), Murdock (Dwight Schultz), Face (Dirk Benedict), and B.A. Baracus (Mr. T) fashion a tank from scrap metal (yes, really).
But it was the 85-86 season when the ratings started to tank. Which was not entirely surprising — the plot for every single episode since its first season was essentially the same.
Meanwhile, 1986 would be the year Boy George’s band Culture Club started to see its chart position slide. While the single “Move Away,” released in March, reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 (and, of course, was sung by the band during its A-Team appearance), it was the last of their singles to reach the U.S. Top 40.
Worse still, Boy George himself was arrested in the UK in the summer of ’86 for drug use, exposed by the British press as a heroin user.
Still, that was a few months in the future. Back at the beginning of the year, Boy George was an honorary member of the A-Team. Let’s leave the episode’s plot to one side — which is what the writers obviously did — and instead focus on the fact that Boy George got to both kick in a door and drive the A-Team van.
Incidentally, Boy George was not the first rock star to appear in the show. Back in November 85, that ‘honor,’ if you will, went to Rick James and Isaac Hayes.