BETTER blogs, or blog, singular, than mine have chronicled instances of Life Imitating The Simpsons but here’s an example of Advertising Imitating The Simpsons.
Imitating…Or ripping off?
“The Summer of 4 Ft. 2” was the show’s seventh-season finale back in May of 1996, and in it the Simpsons head to the beach for a vacation.
C’mon, you remember the episode.
As you probably recall, there’s a scene where Lisa shows her new friends how hermit crabs will abandon old shells they’ve outgrown for others that are a better fit.
This theme is revisited in the very last scene of the episode as Homer throws a Buzz cola can out the car window that lands in the sand. There, a crab decides to make that its new home before it then scuttles off into the sunset.
And today, nineteen years later, we’ve got this Dr. Pepper commercial…
…which is startlingly similar, although where it’s sort of absurdly funny watching a cartoon crab wander away to the strains of “All Summer Long” by the Beach Boys, it’s kind of creepy watching the commercial’s realistically rendered crustacean hit on a real live woman while “Hot in Herre” by Nelly plays.
Even more disturbing is that last shot, where the girl’s two friends have evidently left and given her and her potential beach hook-up some alone time.
Thank God the commercial ended when it did.
Do a search on Murderpedia, the online encyclopedia of murderers (the name of which immediately brings to mind two things: 1. How rich we are, living in the 21st century, where such information is available at our very fingertips, and 2., technically, shouldn’t it be called “murdererpedia”?)…ahem, as I was saying, do a search on Murderpedia, and you’ll find there are 5,020 matches, by name, for “Michael.”
Interesting, you shrug disinterestedly, but Ted, why are you bringing this up?
Because, reader, one can’t help but wonder if one of them had a (presumably) well-meaning aunt named Betty.
Let me connect the dots for you, via photography:
In 1968, Aunt Betty put brush to canvas and likely changed her nephew, little Michael’s life forever.
Because this is what she painted:
This is what she painted:
This is what she painted:
THIS IS WHAT SHE PAINTED!
Now perhaps, despite this hanging on the wall of his bedroom as a child, little Mikey somehow eventually grew up to live a perfectly normal life. Perhaps.
But I’m guessing none of his childhood pets did.
Especially that unholy hybrid he was somehow inspired to create — the rabmunk, he called it — that he attempted by grafting together equal parts of rabbit and chipmunk, and then tried to cover up the blood and stitches and squeals and guilt by submerging it in pail of blue Rit dye.
Oh, Aunt Betty, what hath you wrought?
Incidentally, best thrift store painting I, and now you, have ever seen or not, $24 was too steep for my tastes. I did, however, keep an eye on it as the 29th of May crept ever closer — the day everything at the Salvation Army would be marked half-off.
Surprisingly (or not), it remained in the store for a few days, but alas, by the 28th, it was gone, perhaps to damn the future of another innocent tot. More likely, we’ll be seeing it on eBay.
With summer right around the corner and all, backyard barbecue time will be here before you know it, and what cookout would be complete without delicious ears of corn on the cob?
But how to hold ’em (and enjoy ’em) without getting our fingers all buttery and messy?
Lucky for you, and now me, the 99¢ Only Store’s got us covered when it comes to corn skewers!
Look! Look! It’s a set of 3!
Like you, I can’t wait until fall rolls around to see what they offer in the way of nutcrackers!
Gee, Thanks Fr iend.
Yes, I’d love to share in the bounty of your box of candy with the toilet-seat lid.
I notice, however, you’re not quite so generous with the wine on the table behind you.
NOW that’s it’s finished its original run and everyone else who was going to watch it has seen the entire series, I’ve started enjoying this-this-this “Sons of Anarchy” of yours.
Anyway, as you — and now I — know, Katey Sagal plays the matriarch of the bunch, the “old lady” to the leader of the motorcycle club.
Jemma is her name, or at least that’s what I thought it was.
Then I saw the episode from which this screen cap was…eh, screen-capped, where she writes her name and phone number on the back of a business card and gives it to a pimp with a heart of gold played by Jimmy Smits. (Usually it’s the hookers who have the hearts of gold, but here it’s the pimp.)
So now I see that “Jemma” actually starts with a G. …And apparently it’s somehow spelled with two N’s rather than two M’s, despite the pronunciation. Either that or someone in the prop department’s got lousy handwriting.
When I brought this
to the table,er, to the attention of a fellow “Sons”-watching pal, she excused it away thusly:
“…While I agree…I think she is ghetto and didn’t learn proper cursive, so look again and you will see that what is normally the upward start to an ‘n’ is actually the first part of her ‘m’. Stupid [expletive deleted] that she is.”
I don’t think that’s the case at all (though we all can agree the last part of her explanation is a delight). No, I think it’s a matter of simple economics. While the production values on “SoA” seem fine to you and me, perhaps they still had to cut corners here and there; and a high-paid on-set union prop-business-card proofreader might have been deemed an unnecessary expense.
Yes, I’m sure that’s it.