36 Years After Courteney Cox Danced in the Dark with Bruce Springsteen

Steve Matoren
9 min readJun 30, 2020

by Steve Matoren

(If I can ever convince Bruce to lend me the keys to the universe, I’m going to turn this article into a documentary film)

As Richie ‘Whitey’ Ashburn, the former legendary Philadelphia Phillies player and broadcaster used to often say to the late Harry Kalas, his Hall of Fame broadcast partner in the booth, “Hard to believe, Harry” that it’s been 36 years since The Boss pulled “that” Courteney Cox up on stage to dance with him. June 29, 1984 to be exact. At the time, not many knew she was a planted actress just playing another role. Not even Bruce himself was aware Miss Cox was a ‘fake’ fan. None of that mattered. Springsteen nailed his biggest hit and Cox jump-started her Hollywood career.

Since then, countless others have taken their shot at sparking a fire and dancing in the dark, including John Legend, Taylor Swift, Eric Church, Tina Turner, Amy MacDonald, Morgan James, Sam Fender, James Blunt, The Struts, Tegan and Sara, Kermit the Frog, Adam Sandler and The Young@Heart Chorus of spry 80 year olds.

Below is a link to the official Brian De Palma directed ‘Dancing in the Dark’ music video, which first premiered on MTV in 1984, along with an extensive sampling of other amazing versions from all over the world that’ve followed- 24 from this year (2020) alone.

The music video, which went on to win an MTV Video Music Award for ‘Best Stage Performance’ not only thrust Cox into the national spotlight, but struck such a memorable chord in the zeitgeist, that it still resonates today.

Alfonso Ribeiro, best known for his role as ‘Carlton’ on ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ TV sitcom, adopted the dance moves from the infamous music video for his oft-performed signature, ‘Carlton dance’ throughout the series run. He rekindled the fire dance years later on his 2014 appearance on ‘Dancing With The Stars.’

Steve Matoren

Jersey boy. Bruce Springsteen is my only Boss. I'd drive all night just to...