50 Greatest Commercial Parodies
May 5, 2008 9:53 PM   Subscribe

 
Nerve.com appears to be unaware of commercial parodies from outside the US.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:10 PM on May 5, 2008


I'm sure they thoughtfully considered parodies from all countries and cultures, and the top 50 just happened to be of U.S. origin.

What?
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:17 PM on May 5, 2008


Commercial parodies? NBC seems to be wilfully rejecting the concept of people from outside the US. ("The clip you selected isn't available from your location").
posted by jacalata at 10:39 PM on May 5, 2008


This Nerve.com feature brought to you by the fine folks at NBC...
posted by tkolar at 10:44 PM on May 5, 2008


The blockage for non-US locations is a gigantic ball of suck. Conversely, I find a lot of stuff on youtube.co.uk (Top Gear, Chef Ramsay, etc) that shows as "removed" from youtube.com. (I'm in the US.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:44 PM on May 5, 2008


"Super Bass-o-Matic '76" is deservedly #1. However "Happy Fun Ball" should be in the top 10 at least.
posted by SansPoint at 10:48 PM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Meta
posted by meech at 10:50 PM on May 5, 2008


The IT Crowd's Anti-Piracy ad was a funny british parody ad.

Even with the SNL bias, no Grayson Moorhead Securities? That's as bad as losing the list. (transcript only, sorry, part 1 is here)
posted by Gary at 11:05 PM on May 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I find a lot of stuff on youtube.co.uk (Top Gear, Chef Ramsay, etc) that shows as "removed" from youtube.com. (I'm in the US.)
The British have that problem too. [via]
posted by tellurian at 11:09 PM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is this the part where we post our own favorites?

5 Neat Guys
posted by evilcolonel at 11:42 PM on May 5, 2008


Um, I thought nerve.com was a kind of intelligent smut site? When did they start doing lists? (And I remember the comedy sketch list posted here previously; don't tell me that was the first.)
posted by JHarris at 12:35 AM on May 6, 2008


The numbering seems pretty arbitrary, with the hits and misses distributed evenly throughout. They could have just called it a list of 50 great commercial parodies - they didn't have to pretend to be ranking the greatest.

I'll never get tired of the Bass-o-Matic, though.

"That's terrific bass!"
posted by obvious at 1:00 AM on May 6, 2008


Dangit, I so wanted to love this but I haven't been able to watch a single commercial-spoof yet. www? What does that mean?
posted by dabitch at 1:27 AM on May 6, 2008


If it doesn't have the coffee commercial where Ricardo Montalban makes his spiel, takes a sip, puts the cup down, and says, "It's so fucking hot." - then it's not complete.

It should also have Euell Gibbons going on and on about Post Grape-Nuts all-natural this and that, then ending with, "And that's no shit!"

If anyone can find those on the web, they're doing better than me. I only saw them because a cameraman I knew back in the 70s had a tape.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:24 AM on May 6, 2008


From the Nerve article: "Parodies of such ads began popping up in the early '70s on shows like Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In."

Uh, what?
posted by ardgedee at 3:41 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Come on, ardgedee. That's in black and white. It doesn't count.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:13 AM on May 6, 2008


The best commercial parody I ever saw was on a comedy show in Russia (KVN). The scene: a warmly-lit family kitchen, where a happy mother is preparing dinner. She opens the fridge, looks lovingly at the butter, and says something like,

"Acme Butter, you make every dinner better!"

A man in a dark suit steps out of the fridge, looks grimly at the camera, and says:

"Do you have problems? Do you converse with butter? Our mental health clinic can help. Call 1-555-555-5555 today."
posted by prefpara at 4:27 AM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Of all-time? It's missing the zombie repellent ads of 2011.

Which were only funny until 2012, when the zombies came for real.
posted by Eideteker at 4:32 AM on May 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


Only one SCTV?

I always liked the subtlety of this one.
posted by gimonca at 5:02 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, that was quite a tender handjob for SNL.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:07 AM on May 6, 2008


Isn't nerve.com a sex site? Have they turned into Suicide Girls, or is this an anomaly for them?

Also: no mention of Synth Coke?
posted by pxe2000 at 5:10 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Of all time? Or since the 80's/90's?
posted by rmmcclay at 5:20 AM on May 6, 2008


Anyone got links for Bass-o-matic for us canucks? I was looking for that one via youtube the other day and found nothing.
posted by Vindaloo at 5:21 AM on May 6, 2008


Do you have problems? Do you converse with butter?

That. Is. SO. FUNNY!!!!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:25 AM on May 6, 2008


I had to go straight to #1 just to make sure Bass-o-Matic got it. Thank goodness. Psyched that Jewess Jeans and Little Chocolate Donuts were in the top ten. I also have a real soft spot for the Jane Curtain Quarry Cereal commercial, as well, so I'm off to hunt for that. Basically, this is an awesome find.
posted by sneakin at 5:40 AM on May 6, 2008


What? No Aries K?
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:11 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wish I could find the Budweiser "wassup" commercial parody with the four guys saying something stupid like "wake up," "wheat cup," "wash cloth," and "whatsmafuhh." Originally found it on adcritic, and I thought it was the best parody of the commercial.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 6:12 AM on May 6, 2008


Timmi Hillnigger from Bamboozled

Rex Kramer: Danger Seeker from Kentucky Fried Movie
posted by flarbuse at 6:30 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Glad that the bank change commercial (true classic, and actually there were several during the show, a great running joke), bad idea jeans ("I thought about wearing protection, but then I thought, 'hey, when am I ever going to be in Haiti again?'") and my favorite, the Schlitz takeoff with the whole instant party theme, outside in the sun around the pool, only the bikini-clad girls are replaced by bodybuilder guys. Seems like every single beer commercial had that, "Drink this and you will be party central!" message.

I don't always agree with the numbering, but they had most of my favorites in there, so good on ya' Nerve.
posted by misha at 6:40 AM on May 6, 2008


Nerve.com, proving once again that they can't make a website worth shit. "Like our personals site, we'll ensure slow loading, browser freezing, content that doesn't load outside America, and a general tone of We Don't Know What We're Doing!"
posted by dobbs at 6:41 AM on May 6, 2008


The very first one I watched, #50, is definitely funnier than like the next ten.

Also, the captions for each one meant to set up the clip are really depressingly lame. All I can think about is some intern hunkered down spending 15 minutes times 50 to write copy for a bunch of clips that (ought to) totally speak for themselves.

I'll still be watching this all day though.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 6:50 AM on May 6, 2008


"Robot Insurance" made me laugh so hard I cried.
Like they'd actually pay me after little Snuggles was taken.
posted by Dizzy at 6:59 AM on May 6, 2008


Can't believe Jimmy Tango's Fat Busters didn't crack the top 50!
posted by phaedon at 7:12 AM on May 6, 2008


Um, I thought nerve.com was a kind of intelligent smut site? When did they start doing lists?

Nerve's Screengrab blog does a top 10 film list every Friday, fwiw, and has been for a while. Sometimes they're pretty good, but mostly they're meh, like most list posts. I think the popularity of that "best comedy skits" list Nerve did (it was linked everywhere) is to blame for this one, and for all the upcoming ones they're planning. But the over-reliance on US-only NBC content does make them look pretty stupid this time out, so maybe that'll slow them down.
posted by mediareport at 7:19 AM on May 6, 2008


When I saw it on SNL, I instantly thought the Annuale one (Number 50 on the list) was quite a rip-off of the awesome PMS short film that Andrea Martin and Catherine O'hara did for Letterman's "film festival" show in the mid-'80's.
And I'm in Canada so I can't watch the Annuale one on this site anyway.
posted by chococat at 7:31 AM on May 6, 2008


There was a brilliant parody commercial on Not Necessarily the News (I think) that advertised the CIA. I was essentially a man in a suit and sunglasses walking through an office building talking up the finer points of counterintelligence while all manner of horrific things were happening in the offices as he passed by. The commercial ended as the CIA agent walked onto an elevator with a sheik waiting inside. The slogan then appeared over the men in the elevator "The CIA: You Don't Know. You Don't Want to Know." Then the sheik fell forward revealing a knife in his back. It was brilliant, to the extent that my twenty-year old memory of a thirty second commercial holds up.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:35 AM on May 6, 2008


Um, I thought nerve.com was a kind of intelligent smut site?

I guess they lost their nerve.
posted by lukemeister at 8:10 AM on May 6, 2008


This may be audio only, but I think it stands with the best of that list: Laurence Olivier for Diet Coke.

Also, for all the succulent hand-jobbing this list did for SNL, they missed one I really liked.

Reading though the list made me realize something. I think SNL is so successful with commercial parodies because it's the only outlet on the program where they can get in, make their one-note joke, and get out. For regular skits they pad the single joke out for five minutes.
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:05 AM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's sort of amazing to watch some of these old works, which in most cases predate the comedians forays into 'serious acting'. Seeing Will Ferrel, Phil Hartman, Dan Akroyd, and John Belushi and playing straight hucksters is great!

It's nice to see these people working at the top of their game, in little clips which were usually fantastic, and when they weren't, at least they were short enough to not be burdensome.

I love Happy Fun Ball, and the Nerve's suggestion to view it, not as a kids toy, but as a pharmaceutical is pretty brilliant.
posted by quin at 9:23 AM on May 6, 2008




Man that annuale one was pretty funny. I like the warnings at the end - don't take it if you ever plan to become pregnant as it may turn your baby into "a fire-monster".

I mean that's a feature, not a bug, amirite?
posted by Mister_A at 9:43 AM on May 6, 2008


I've always been a fan of Crystal Gravy ("Finally, you can see your meat!"), but I had forgotten about Sam Waterston's Old Glory Robot Insurance ("Don't cower under your afghan any longer").
posted by troybob at 10:06 AM on May 6, 2008


Tangentially, there's this, a reference to this.
posted by gimonca at 11:04 AM on May 6, 2008


gimonca: Tangentially, there's this , a reference to this .

Maurice LaMarche is a god.
posted by evilcolonel at 11:27 AM on May 6, 2008


If nothing else, this post was worth it for Uncle Jemima's Pure Mash Liquor

I JUS WANNA MAKE LIQUOR!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:38 AM on May 6, 2008


So now that I'm home and able to watch videos, I have to wonder... Where the hell is Log?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:22 PM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Um, I thought nerve.com was a kind of intelligent smut site?

Nerve still does run lots of "smart sex" stuff, but it doesn't get much attention because... well, because it never really did to begin with. I mean, people like us who are young and smart and unconventional paid attention to it, but that alone won't pay the bills. General interest stuff like this brings in a lot more traffic.
posted by Sloop John B at 3:36 PM on May 6, 2008


Adding to the outrage of forgotten ads: what, no Dillon/Edwards Investments? It's such a shame they waited so long to get into the online investment market.
posted by Servo5678 at 3:51 PM on May 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


I liked the ones I could see. Seriously, though... why is there no Bass-o-matic on youtube?
posted by arcticwoman at 4:27 PM on May 6, 2008


I would have thought the Visa Check Card commercials where everyone ostracizes the cash-paying lout would have gotten a well-deserved skewering by now.
posted by pernoctalian at 4:35 PM on May 6, 2008


Ah yes, when I used to think Ackroyd was hot.
posted by dasheekeejones at 7:04 PM on May 6, 2008


General interest stuff like this brings in a lot more traffic.

More traffic then porn?

I think they may be doing it wrong.
posted by delmoi at 10:41 PM on May 6, 2008


NCI long distance was short but sweet. I personally thought bug off was the funniest sketch SNL ever had. A little creepy too, but considering what it was parodying it worked.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:15 AM on May 7, 2008


More traffic then porn?

I think they may be doing it wrong.


They certainly are. All of their "porn" is behind a paywall.
posted by Sloop John B at 5:24 AM on May 7, 2008


Oh yeah, I forgot about this one (although it's probably disqualified because it's not from SNL).
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:57 AM on May 7, 2008


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