Song Name: Mongoloid

Artist: DEVO

Appears On:

Mongoloid b/w Jocko Homo, Be Stiff EP, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!, E-Z Listening Disc, Greatest Misses, Hardcore DEVO Vol. 1, Pioneers Who Got Scalped
DEVO Live: The Mongoloid Years, DEV-O Live (re-release only), DEVO Live 1980, New Traditionalists: Live 1981 Seattle, Devo ‎– Miracle Witness Hour, Live at Max's Kansas City - November 15, 1977, Butch Devo And The Sundance Gig, DEVO Hardcore Live

Year: 1975

Years Performed: [1] 1975-1982, 1989 (on 10/03/89), 1990-1991, 1996-1997, 1998 (on 10/10/98), 1999 (on 01/21/99), 2001 (on 08/02/01), 2002-2014

Run Time: 3:42 (Album Version)

Writing Credits: Gerald V. Casale

Sung By: Bob Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale

Alternate Versions: Hardcore Version, Booji Boy Version, Stiff Version, E-Z Listening Version, TechnoDEVO Version

Demo Versions: None known

Bruce Conner's film short is titled "Devo | Mongoloid | Official Demo Video" on Devo's "official channel" on YouTube, where it is not credited as the track from Booji Boy Records first single release, Mongoloid / Jocko Homo

Song Connections:

Trivia / Info:

  • Mongoloid was used in a video (film short) made by experimental filmmaker Bruce Conner which was assembled from found footage. This film technique would later be used by DEVO for their video for Beautiful World. Connor combined 1950s television advertisements, science fiction film clips (Including a scene from It Came From Outer Space!), and scientific documentaries with abstract animation and original film work.
  • Toni Basil facilitated the collaboration of Conner and Devo - she knew them both. [2]
  • DEVO marketed the 1978 film short as "A documentary film exploring the manner in which a determined young man overcame a basic mental defect and became a useful member of society. Insightful editing techniques reveal the dreams, ideals and problems that face a large segment of the American male population. Educational. Background music written and performed by the DEVO orchestra." Mongoloid appears as a bonus feature on The Complete Truth About Devolution DVD.
  • The controversial title of Mongoloid got DEVO in trouble, despite its positive lyrics, first at a concert in 1975, playing in support of John Waters's "Pink Flamingos" film. The shows sponsors had a child with Downs Syndrome, and were offended.
Jerry, the songwriter, said that the song is 'making fun of "normal" people who do make fun of Mongoloids'.[3]

Onstage Behavior:

  • During performances from 1975 to 1982, Mark, having little to do during the song, often would jump around on stage while Bob 1 and Jerry sang, pausing by the front of the stage to engage the audience by raising his arms.
  • From 1996 on, Mark no longer jumped around, but would often stay by his keyboards, and show impatience, checking a watch, and pretending to smoke a cigarette. He still would engage the audience as well, now shaking pom-poms like a cheerleader.


mongoloid he was a mongoloid
happier than you and me
mongoloid he was a mongoloid
and it determined what he could see
mongoloid he was a mongoloid
one chromosome too many
mongoloid he was a mongoloid
and it determined what he could see

and he wore a hat
and he had a job
and he brought home the bacon
so that no one knew

mongoloid he was a mongoloid
his friends were unaware
mongoloid he was a mongoloid
nobody even cared

Video/Film Short:[edit | edit source]

Appears on The Complete Truth About De-Evolution (DVD)
and on the "official channel" for Devo on YouTube
and not on the DEVOvision youtube channel.

Live Video:

"Mongoloid" appears on DEVO Live 1980, DEVO Live*, Live In The Land Of The Rising Sun, Live at the Observatory, Santa Ana, CA and DEVO: Hardcore Live!
(*MVD's DVD re-release of The Complete Truth About De-Evolution also includes DEVO Live's 1996 Mongoloid performance as a bonus preview.)


  1. DEVO Live Guide. Website keyword search for "mongoloid".
  2. YouTube. "Bruce Conner - MONGOLOID - Art + Music - MOCAtv". Uploaded by MOCA October 2, 2013.
  3. Exclusive Magazine (2011). ‘Devo 3.0 - The Return of More Uncontrollable Urges!’ " When you released your first single, 'Mongoloid,' did you get any flack from sectors of the public re: the use of the word Mongoloid? "Never. However a teacher's organization in London took us to task for singing about someone with Downes Syndrome [SIC]. They demanded to meet with me, Gerald Casale, the song's writer. I convinced them that I was not making fun of Mongoloids but rather making fun of "normal" people who do make fun of Mongoloids!"

External Links:

Mongoloid / Jocko Homo (single releases) Discogs
Mongoloid (album recording releases) MusicBrainz
Mongoloid / Jocko Homo (single) 45cat
Mongoloid (song info) AllMusic

Mark Mothersbaugh | Gerry Casale | Bob Mothersbaugh
Bob Lewis | Bob Casale | Jim Mothersbaugh | Alan Myers
David Kendrick | Josh Freese
Jeff Friedl | Josh Hager
Record Labels / Publishers
Booji Boy Records | Warner Brothers | Enigma | Devo, Inc. 
Stiff | Virgin | Rykodisk | Infinite Zero | Restless | Discovery | Rhino 
MVD Audio | The Orchard | Superior Viaduct | Futurismo
Brian Eno | Ken Scott | Robert Margouleff | Roy Thomas Baker | DEVO 
The Teddybears | Greg Kurstin | Santi White | John King | John Hill | Mark Nishita 
Official Studio Albums
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978) | Duty Now For The Future (1979) | Freedom of Choice (1980) | New Traditionalists (1981) | oh, no! it's DEVO (1982) | Shout (1984) | Total DEVO (1988) | SmoothNoodleMaps (1990) | Something for Everybody   (2010)
Other Albums
Be Stiff EP (1977) | E-Z Listening Disc (1987) | Now It Can Be Told: DEVO at the Palace (1989) | Hardcore DEVO Vol. 1 74-77 (1990) | Hardcore DEVO Vol. 2 1974-1977 (1991) | DEVO Live: The Mongoloid Years (1992) | DEV-O Live (1999) | Recombo DNA (2000) | Live In Central Park (2004) | DEVO Live 1980 (2005) | New Traditionalists: Live 1981 Seattle (2012) | Something ELSE for Everybody  (2013) | Miracle Witness Hour  (2014) | Live at Max's Kansas City - November 15, 1977  (2014) | Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig  (2014) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015)
The Men Who Make The Music (1981) | Human Highway (1982) | We're All DEVO (1984) | The Complete Truth About De-Evolution (1993) | DEVO Live (2004) | DEVO Live In The Land Of The Rising Sun (2004) | DEVO Live 1980 (2005) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015)
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