Karaoke 101 -- A guide to help minimize your humiliation factor

By Jess Cagle and Sherri Cooper
Updated October 09, 1992 at 04:00 AM EDT

It’s humiliating. It’s earsplitting. It’s downright tacky. It’s you up there crooning into a microphone. It’s karaoke, the hottest campus bar activity since animal thumper. No voice? No problem. Just stick to these guidelines:
1. Never, never try to do Mariah Carey (or, for that matter, anything that requires vocal talent).
2. Stay away from high notes, low notes, slow songs, and drawn-out solos.
3. Remember, misery loves company: If you’re going to be mortified on stage, might as well bring along a friend.
With those rules to steer you, we offer Entertainment Weekly‘s guide to the trills that thrill — and the warbles that wobble.

1. ”Stayin’ Alive” — Even the Rolling Rock-impaired can manage two words and the finger-pointing choreography.
2. ”We Are Family” — The bar will drown you out anyway.
3. ”You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin”’ — If Tom Cruise can pull it off, so can you.
4. ”Strangers in the Night” — Always good for a laugh: Just say ”exchanging clothing” instead of ”exchanging glances.”
5. ”I Want to Hold Your Hand” — Go silent on the word hand and you’ll bring down the house.

1. ”Feelings” — The title says it all.
2. ”Welcome to the Jungle” — About as much fun as inserting six inches of barbed wire into your ear.
3. ”Girls Just Want to Have Fun” — Before even considering this, just ask yourself: Where is Cyndi Lauper now?
4. ”Blowin’ in the Wind” — Consider a tune officially put to rest if it has been sung by Gomer Pyle.
5. ”Theme From New York, New York” — It’s a show tune, for heaven’s sake. ‘Nuff said.