“Gimme Pizza” was, once upon a time, just one sketch among many in Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s 1995 special You’re Invited To Mary-Kate & Ashley’s Sleepover Party. In it, the Olsens and three and their friends order a plain pizza, then pile atop it everything they can find in their fridge. It’s harmless on its surface, but look closer and there’s something low-key evil lurking beneath the surface, a wild-eyed intensity that veers into the uncanny due to the clip’s dubbed-in vocals and nauseating camera work. As such, a “slow version” of the video emerged in 2011, with the girls’ voices lurching from their mouths like grey, Lovecraftian worms. It’s terrifying and, if you’re stoned, highly recommended.
If you’ve ever found yourself pondering just why the scene unfolds as oddly as it does, you’d do well to read The Ringer’s oral history of the song, which serves to remind us of the ubiquity of Mary-Kate and Ashley at the time before digging into the song’s writing, recording, and aftermath.
A few things stand out, such as art director Liz Kay saying she wanted the kids’ bedroom to be “cool, moody” and “slightly film noir,” which seems an odd choice for a children’s TV special about a sleepover. Actress Brighton Hertford, she of the linen overalls, recalls the song being “far and away the most intensive process of the whole filming,” saying that the majority of the direction was to “be more excited and make crazier faces.” Actress Vanessa Croft-Thompson adds, “They kept saying, ‘Be more smiley.’ They were like, ‘Be excited, you’re super excited! There’s pizza!’”
The result of that direction? Shots like these.
The oral history also includes a comprehensive list of everything these little monsters tried to put on that pizza, from ice cream to fish sticks to whipped cream that’s “pouring like waterfalls” (which probably means it should be thrown out). Thankfully, the girls seem to have learned the essential lesson that, no, not everything is good on pizza. “All that stuff was obviously nothing that you would want to eat on a pizza, ever,” Hertford says.
Check out the rest of The Ringer’s oral history of the song here.