Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer, composer, and star of the deliriously successful Broadway musical Hamilton, is really nailing this “don’t take yourself too seriously” thing. In the days since his creation took home a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, the self-effacing Miranda has been expanding his musical horizons in bizarre and unexpected ways. Over the weekend, for instance, he tweeted about one of his very earliest compositions: “The Garbage Pail Kids Are In Town,” a tender ode to the gross-out trading card series, created in the mid-1980s for Topps by artist Art Spiegelman, later of Maus fame.
Given the vintage of the specific characters Miranda references in the song, including Adam Bomb (first series) and Russell Muscle (second series), this composition would actually date back to October 1985, meaning the writer was actually about 5 years old at the time. Even in his pre-kindergarten days, the future Hamilton composer was already a creative force, eager to put his own spin on the franchise. “If you make your own,” he sings, “you have to make them funny or ugly.” The actor-writer’s own comments about this bit of juvenilia at his SoundCloud account are instructive:
This is the first recorded song I ever wrote. I was about four years old. I found it on the back of a Fisher Price cassette. It’s called “The Garbage Pail Kids Are In Town.” It goes on for another six minutes but then it becomes a haunting snapshot of one child’s descent into loneliness and madness, so I cut it off after about three minutes.
Meanwhile, the now-grown and ostensibly more mature Miranda recently sent a drunken freestyle rap to Scott Aukerman’s Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast. His intoxicated contribution to the improv comedy series can be heard at about the 46-minute mark of episode 402. In less than 30 seconds, it includes woozy references to Chewbacca, Bruce Springsteen, and Comedy Bang! Bang! habitue Ben Schwartz, whose name gets rhymed with “quartz.” Miranda calls this his “first drunken freestyle of 2016,” which gets Aukerman to wondering: “How many has he done since then, I wonder?”