Every Five Seconds

“There’s an accident in America every five seconds. All State thinks that’s too often.”

You don’t say! All State, the insurance company that has to pay out when people get into accidents, thinks that there are too many accidents! HOW VERY NOBLE OF YOU ALL STATE!

Ah, yes, I love commercials. Seriously. Especially lately, when so many ad companies are trying to replicate the “weird” style used in recent commercials for Quiznos and Skittles. “Hey you two sheep boys! Stop that jibber-jabbin‘!” And how about that one with all the superballs flying down a San Francisco street? Or that Spike Jonze Gap ad that never aired where all the folks tear the store up? Frikkin’ awesome. But the damned corporate pussies wouldn’t let it air! It’s like Rockefeller and Rivera all over again.

Ads are rad. Yeah, I said it. They’re little post-millenium chicken nuggets of folk art in service to capitalism. Glory be to America!

But as fun as they are, the calculatedly weird ads aren’t my favorites. The best commercials, the ads the provide the most bang for MY perverse little buck, are the ones that don’t intend to entertain, or that aim for a chuckle but get a derisive guffaw from that dude slouching on my couch sucking down ice tea flavored with no-longer-carcinogenic Sweet n’ Lo. (That would be me.)

Like the header for this post. That’s from a commercial, with pitchman Dennis Haysbert, TV’s President Palmer from the Hit Fox Drama “24”. I wonder, what is it about that role makes All State think people see Dennis Haysbert and go “hey, this is a guy I can trust”? I guess they’ve never seen “24”, which as a friend of mine points out contains “an enormous amount of torture.”

Or maybe it was Haysbert’s fine thespianism in “Major League”, as Pedro Cerrano, a voodoo-worshipping outfielder with a shrine to a god named “Jobu” in his locker, and who couldn’t hit a curve ball to save his life. At the end of the movie, he renounces his heathen ways, exclaiming “Fuck you, Jobu! I do it myself!” Just before he creams a curveball into the cheap seats, tying the championship game in the bottom of the ninth. Leaving it up to Tom Berenger to bring in the last run so he can fuck Renee Russo. I won’t spoil the ending for you.

Yes, good ol’ Dennis Haysbert. Also known to many as the gung-ho sarge from “Jarhead”, playing second-bill to Jake Gyllenhaal, who all the girls seemed to be in love with in 2005. Where were you all when Bubble Boy was dying ignominiously at the box office? Man, that movie is great. How can you not just fall off your chair when Swoosie Kurtz is stamping out Jesus cookies? Or at Bubble Boy’s attempt to console Hindu frozen-curry vendor Pushpop, who just ran down a cow with his ice-cream truck? “Don’t worry, Pushpop, my Mom says your religion’s all lies!”

Well, Mr. Haysbert laid a gut-buster on me when he uttered that All State baloney. I laughed and laughed. Like a maniac. Like this baby. Like a villain from Joel Schumacher’s famously overappreciated film “Batman and Robin.” (Pick a villain, they basically all do the laugh thing at some point in the movie.)

Here’s something else that cracked me up. I mean, I tried to stop laughing and literally could. not. stop. laughing. The other night on the drive home I was listening to Air America, right? I love Air America. Mostly. I could really do without Randi Rhodes, but that’s another story. Well anyway, Mike Malloy went off the deep end, and it was fantastic. At one point, he said in this deep, dark voice,

“I hate republicans, from the bottom of my heart.”

Holy shit! No he d’int! And then a little bit later he goes, in that same deep, dark voice,

“They are evil sons of bitches”.


I almost died! Not because I couldn’t breathe from laughing (which I couldn’t), but because I swear the redneck in the truck next to me, whom I kind of sort of cut off completely accidentally, KNEW, SOMEHOW, that I was listening to Mike Malloy. He was about to pull his rifle off the rack behind his head (I just KNOW it) when my exit came.


After Mike Malloy’s insane-but-entertaining-and-righteous ranting, came the inevitable. The show’s on AM radio if that gives you a hint.

The magic of supplements! Garlic pills for oral cleanliness! Garlic anti-free-radical cream lotions! Garlic suppositories to prevent colon cancer! Garlic toothing powder to stem the tide of gum decay! Garlic spray to clean the grime off your car! Garlic prophylactics! Garlic aphrodisiacs! Made by specially trained indonesian slave children in factories deep underground!


Where was I? Right. All State. Irony. Maniacal laughter. OK.

I dindn’t hear the rest of that All State commercial, because I was too busy laughing and composing this blog post in my head. It’s probably very moving and I would rush right out and switch my car insurance– if All State would deign to insure my ass, which they won’t for some reason or other. But I do love me that commercial, in hip ironic fashion! Still kickin’ all these years after Osama tried to kill it.

They should make a TV special out of all these commercials, and have the hosts overdubbing commentary that points out to the viewers what they should be aware of and why they should be laughing hysterically instead of sitting there like lumps stuffing their paws into a bowl of raw crisco. And so, with no further ado…

The American Broadcast Channel is proud to present, this Friday at 8, and repeating weekly until one or both of the hosts finally dies, “More America’s Most Ironically Amusing Commercials, with your hosts Dick Clark and Ed McMahon!

Green M&Ms!
A kid skateboards up to a bright green parking meter, and takes a chomp out of the thing! That’s a little funny but even funnier is the disclaimer at the bottom when he bites down: “Do not attempt”

“I’m a hundred and three years old, but I’m in the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE, thanks to Bowflex!” and “I’m 93, and I still look great in this bikini! Thanks, Bowflex!”

Some hoodlums meth addicts shiftless layabouts young people are spending their summer making a “documentary”, with the help of a junker station wagon, some toilet paper, and of course, Coca-Cola, on a quest to prove that their generation isn’t as worthless as we all know they are. They pack up their car and head off into the great plains of the Heartland to see what they can see, and meet the most INTERESTING kids, doin’ wholesome, creative, mildly subversive and yet totally safe stuff. But don’t try to relate, man, you’re an adult, you probably wouldn’t get it.

They happen upon some dudes driving down the road in a truck with a payload of ice shavings. What could they possibly be doing with all those ice shavings?! The crafty youths craft a grind rail out of a metal stair railing at a public basketball court. They dump the ice at the bottom to form a fantastic, ingenious, totally-not-lame mini snowboarding apparatus! As Rad Dude Numero Uno slides down the rail towards the ice, a disclaimer runs along the bottom: “Professional Snowboarder, do not attempt”. Hey! I thought these were just kids, making a documentary! And enjoying Coke!

Ok, so it’s another ironically amusing disclaimer, but there’s a twist– at the same time (or soon after), you can clearly hear the following lyric from the pop-punk song on the soundtrack: “It’s all lies”. Ha!

That flab around my middle isn’t my fault at all! It’s not there because I love the taste of those delicious Star Crunch patties just a LITTLE TOO MUCH, no! It’s the God Damned Cortisol! Cortisol is apparently some sort of hormone or whatnot thingo that makes fat form around your middle like steel belts around a Michelin! Fucking cortisol! Every time I see the commercial I raise my impotent fists to the sky and scream in frustrated rage! CORTISOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLL!!!!!!

Cortislim is a supplement which beats the shit out of that pesky cortisol and makes the fat just run off your middle like the flesh off that Nazi guy’s face in “Raiders”. I bet it’s made of some form of processed garlic.


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