Now-obscure 1970s cop shows are referenced all through this, including Hawaii Five-O, The Streets Of San Francisco, S.W.A.T., Baretta, and Starsky And Hutch.
Hey look, it’s the Beastie Boys – Adam 'MCA' Yauch, Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horowitz and Michael 'Mike D' Diamond. Director Spike Jonze met the Beastie Boys photographing them for Dirt magazine. They mentioned an idea they had for a photoshoot which Spike loved it.
“For years, Adam Horowitz had been talking about doing a photoshoot as undercover cops, wearing ties and fake mustaches and sitting in a car like we were on a stakeout,” Yauch told New York Magazine in 1999. Spike did the shoot in character despite being behind the camera the whole time. “When he was taking the pictures, he was wearing this blond wig and mustache the whole time for no apparent reason” said Yauch.
The band enjoyed the shoot so much that they decided to revisit it in video form. "We'd done videos where the production people came up with these elaborate budgets, and it started to feel really awkward on the set," Yauch said. "So we asked Spike to work with just a couple of people, so we could fit the whole production in one van. Then we just ran around L.A. without any permits and made everything up as we went along."
Spike Jonze co-created Jackass, which started in 2000, and you can really see some shared elements – the fast and loose approach to filming permissions, for instance, and this bit looks a lot like it’s been filmed from a skateboard travelling next to the car.