"[The customers] come in here, by my grabbing them and touching them and screaming at them they become human beings."
April 10, 2010 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Jerry's Deli (starts at 1:02) by Tom Palazzolo, 1976. A short documentary on deli owner Jerry Meyers, who's been screaming abuse at his loyal customers for 30 years. (Clipstream/Java video. Click on lower right corner of the video to enlarge. Or here's a Youtube with out-of-synch audio.)

From MediaBurn's Chicago-centric archives of early independent video. More from Palazzolo. There's a lot more of WTTW Chicago's Image Union, which from the late seventies through the eighties introduced many unsuspecting viewers to provocative documentaries, experimental works, low-budget animations, comedy shorts, and seemingly anything else they thought would fit. Previously.

Some Image Union highlights, not so Chicago-centric:
Fela Kuti (at 1:17)
Two films Heather McAdams made from found footage (at 1:03 and 26:28)
"Cold Cows" and Frisbee Dog
Recollections of vaudeville, with film from the 30s and 40s (at 16:41)
"It Ain't City Music" (at 29:12), scenes from the National Country Music Contest, Warrenton, Virginia, in an episode full of amazing music.
"The Calypso Singer" (at 1:13), a Stan Freeburg bit, animated
Gus Van Sant's "The Discipline of DE" (at 17:49), an adaptation of a William S. Burroughs story about mastering the easy way.

Media Burn by the way, is the film where the artists' group Ant Farm drove a 1959 Cadillac through a pile of burning television sets (previously). A clip served as Image Union's closing credits.
posted by hydrophonic (7 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
That was fantastic. I watched the entire Jerry's Deli video...just a different era and the color of the film was great. Nice title quote too.

Also WARNING: Java plugin ambush at Mediaburn site.
posted by circular at 12:16 PM on April 10, 2010

Watching that Jerry's Deli bit makes me want to go to Blimpy Burger, the local go-to for sandwiches and abuse.
posted by axiom at 2:31 PM on April 10, 2010

Yeah, I was at Blimpy Burger a couple of years ago and one of the things is that you absolutely, positively, cannot order for someone else. Everyone must stand up, walk through the line, and order what they want.

There was this woman who was massively pregnant and her husband got up and got in line and tried to order for her, and by God, they really let him have it. He was like, "But my wife, she's pregnant! She needs to sit down!" And they were like, "She can get her ass up here and order just like everyone else, pal."

Good times, good times.
posted by kbanas at 3:12 PM on April 10, 2010

One large crab bisque to go.
posted by howfar at 3:13 PM on April 10, 2010

Hah. I was at Blimpy's a couple days ago. The grill cook was in a groove; first she shouted down a customer for ordering the cheese on his burger at the same time he ordered the grilled onions, and later screamed at a guy for sitting at a table while he was waiting in the order queue.

The froshlings in attendence were intimidated and overwhelmed. It was great.

Thing is, that kind of abuse has a purpose. They've got three people processing about as many orders as a rush-hour McDonald's does. Your average McDonald's will have four times the staff handling orders. At Blimpy's, a customer that dawdles, chats on his phone instead of ordering, bogarts a table before he gets his food, or otherwise mucks up the process for dozens of customers, making them all wait and screwing up orders.

Blimpy's got profiled on some Food Network show a couple years ago. I remember one of the staff saying that local VIPs were attempting to phone in orders for their lackeys to pick up, and they just got laughed at and ignored.

And then... last week... Blimpy's became Krazy Pierre's Bourgeois Burger...
posted by ardgedee at 9:06 PM on April 10, 2010

Java required? Hell no. Sounds nice, but I guess I won't get to see most of this. Thanks very much for the Youtube link, btw - I usually just download Youtube links anyway and watch in VLC, so I can sync video easily.

Somebody should tell the MediaBurn people that Java Video is an awful, awful format for basic video delivery.
posted by koeselitz at 9:36 PM on April 10, 2010

Neat post, by the way. I'm enjoying the hell out of this one video clip, anyway, and I'm certain I've seen it somewhere before...
posted by koeselitz at 9:37 PM on April 10, 2010

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