Adios, Amigo

There are very few things on television, let alone television advertising, that I can honestly say I enjoy.

Sitcoms? Not so much. Dramas? Bo-ring!

Reality shows? Don’t get me started.

I’m just not into watching television. In fact when faced with the task of simply changing the channel, I get lost because I don’t even know where the Guide button is on the remote. Seriously – I have to inspect it for at least 15 seconds before I find it, and I kind of like it that way.

However, there’s a certain character who was a perennial favorite of mine and today I found out he’s been given a send-off only he would be worthy of receiving.

He’s the fictional spokesperson for Dos Equis beer or, as we all came to know him, The Most Interesting Man in the World.

This advertising campaign was just brilliant. Commercials were simple montages of his believable adventures with voiceovers that described his traits or persona, which only led to his mystique:

  • His blood smells like cologne
  • Sharks have a week dedicated to him
  • If opportunity knocks and he’s not at home, opportunity waits
  • He gives his GPS directions*
  • Mosquitoes refuse to bite him purely out of respect

And today, he embarked on his final journey: to Mars, never to return.

“His only regret…is not knowing what regret feels like.”

Ugh. This was the perfect way to end this campaign and I’m not afraid to admit that watching it sort of made me a little weepy inside. Hearing him utter his catchphrase one last time as he was being propelled deep into space really effed with my head, man.

But my attachment might go a bit deeper than most.

When this campaign first started some nine years ago, my family all went nuts. We had reason to.

“My God, that’s Uncle Lupe,” I recall many of my cousins saying. They weren’t far from wrong.

Uncle Lou, rest his soul, was our version of The Most Interesting Man in the World because of his lifelong habit of being adventurous and unpredictable:

  • He’d randomly show up at your door because he was in there area, even though he lived on the other half of the state
  • He wrote a book while sailing to the Galapagos Islands during hurricane season

There’s much more to the man than just those anecdotes, both of which were absolutely true. My family will attest to the fact that he lived a life that was pretty much parallel to that of TMIMITW and, to top it off, he sort of resembled him.

Now, sadly, the real adventurer and his doppelganger are no longer one with this earth.

Dos Equis, your campaign succeeded in doing what not many could: they made me care, and I don’t even drink beer** regularly. I couldn’t even care about Clara Peller, Homer and J.R., or the J&R Whiskey Liquor Lads the way I did about your character. And seriously, they were the only commercials that would make me go silent just so I could watch his latest adventures and catch up on the newest witticisms about him.

And honestly, I completely forgot what he was advertising at times.

So in closing, I raise a glass to The Most Interesting Man in the World and wish him much luck on his journey to Mars which, given his history, I’m sure he will turn into an inhabitable place.

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¡Adios, amigo!

—–

*This was my own contribution
**When there’s beer at the office for Social Hour, I’ll have one

From the Archives, Part Deux

Today’s entry is a multimedia extravaganza!

I got an e-mail last night from reader Jon–yes, I actually have readers–who had left a comment on this entry from 2005 regarding the availability of an MP3 file I had posted.

The file in question was a commercial parody for New York Telephone, a profanity-laden spoof that I had transferred from a 30-year-old cassette tape and converted to an MP3 file for all the world to enjoy. Unfortunately for Jon, the file could not be accessed because the file’s host, PutFile.com, had long since done the way of the dinosaur. Hell, I couldn’t even get Archive.org to retrieve a cached copy of the site. Well, I could have but it took to long to load and it’s just not that interesting to see.

Anyway, he e-mailed me and asked if I still had a copy of it since he was desperate to hear the thing. While replying, I decided to scan my external hard drive for the file and lo and behold, I still had it.

I happily replied to him and attached my find. He then replied to me stating that he scanned his hard drive and came across his version of the parody which is actually better quality and contains some outtakes of voice actors at the beginning.

I kindly asked if I could post it here on the blog and he obliged, provided I didn’t send all the traffic to his host. That’s no problem–SoundCloud will gladly take the hit.

At any rate, here is Jon’s version of the file. Know that the language at the beginning and scattered throughout the commercial is definitely NSFW so listen at your own discretion if you are at work or around virgin ears. One of the voices may sound very familiar to you if you watched ABC in the ’80s and ’90s as you will hear, it’s kind of funny hearing that person working so blue before getting serious about it. Jon did some sleuthing of his own and thinks that the voices at the beginning could be that of Peter Cullen or the late Don Lafontaine.

Either way, give the new version a listen and have a laugh on us.


(Click on the Down arrow to download)

Once I listened to this I got to thinking about other infamous radio/TV bits that have been around since Marconi created radio. One in particular was of a drunken Orson Welles doing Paul Masson commercial:

It’s absolutely hilarious to see the actors try to carry on normally as one of the greatest actors of our time attempts to read his lines while barely being able to keep his eyes open. And it’s not like they could just get up and walk out. Drunk or not, this was Citizen Fucking Kane! My favorite part has to be “Ahhhhhhhh, the French…champagne…” at 0:27. That’s come classic shit right there! Who knew Orson Welles was a fall-down, mad-off-his-ass drunk bastard?

And believe it or not, there’s yet another one starting Welles which is even better, albeit audio only:


(Click on the Down arrow to download)

Poor Orson. He’s trying to make a point that the script just sucks and makes no sense. Just listen–the man was absolutely right, and you can actually hear him walk away from the mic and leave the session in frustration at the end of the clip. So infamous was this one that it made the underground rounds for what seemed like an eternity and became a cult favorite, even inspiring a portion of this SCTV skit (starting at 2:06):

Yeah, I know it’s Christmas and it’s now May. I don’t care–it’s SCTV and that skit is fucking funny as hell no matter what time of year it is.

The thing is that there are literally millions of these clips out there because radio personalities, voice-over actors, etc. are just like the rest of us and will screw up on the job now and then. And when you have to read something over and over, eventually going to get tired of it and slip up or just let loose. Believe me, having a brother that worked in L.A. radio for years, I’ve heard things you would not believe.

It’s just a shame I don’t have any of them in digital format because man, they were some funny shit. But should I ever come across any of them, I will gladly share them here for all the world to enjoy.

Now go. You’re taking up valuable air.

Special thanks to reader Jon for giving me permission to post his file.

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And Now, Something Completely Different

No, that title doesn’t imply that the blog will be changing any time soon. What it does imply is that, while I’m out of work, I’m trying some different things just to keep my sanity and to perhaps generate some money.

The first thing I did was start contributing to HubPages, site that uses Google AdSense to help generate revenue for the writers. And so far, it’s worked: I earned one whole penny today!

At any rate, go on over and check it out. A few clicks here and there definitely won’t hurt anybody and the more hits, the more revenue I can possibly generate. I may use posts that I’ve already written here but for the most part they will be new and original stuff, like this article about my adventures in Food Stamp Land.

Another thing I did during this down time was make a quick recording of my voice, or an aircheck, for whatever reason. Maybe someone will hear it and say, “Hey, this guy’s gooood! Let’s offer him a job doing voiceovers!”

Not bloody likely but at this point in my life, I’ve got nothing to lose. So if you’re so inclined, here’s the clip for your enjoyment (and no, it’s not an homage to Mr. Microphone):

Now you know how I sound. Amazing, no? Just keep in mind a few things:

  • I don’t always sound so nasally. I’m still fighting off a cold or something and when I really try and am not stuffy, I sound much better.
  • I used the USB microphone that came with my Rock Band set, so the audio probably isn’t as clear as it should be.
  • I couldn’t think of anything else to say. This was off the top of my head and boy, you should have heard the not-saved outtakes.

The job search continues but to no avail after three whole days of unemployment. But I am going to a local temp agency tomorrow to see if they can help me out with something.

If not, it looks like I’ll be grabbing a ghetto blaster, Mr. Microphone, a sombrero and taking my fabulous voice to the streets and start rapping about BluBlockers*.

*Check the 5th bullet on my About page for some personal, relevant trivia

—————-
Now playing: Miami Vice – Crockett`s Theme – Jan Hammer
via FoxyTunes


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Adult Contemporary

SantanaLike many businesses, my office has music being piped throughout the entire building. It wouldn’t be so bad but their choice of station leaves a lot to be desired.

It’s KOST 103.5, Southern California’s Soft Rock with Less Talk, and it’s the reason I wear my iPod pretty much all the time while at work. Remember that weird girl you dated with the crazy eyes and the Thomas Kincade, Wyland, and Anne Geddes prints all over her apartment? This is the station she listened to while she read her romance novels. (And no, I’m so not speaking from experience there…)

To put it quite plainy, their playlist sucks. I mean, really sucks. There are only so many times any sane person can listen to this song before they go crazy and yell, “Blind or not, musical genius or not–fuck you, fuckin’ Stevie Wonder!” They also tend to trim the songs if they sound to “edgy” for the station’s format. Screw you, I say. I like my Journey songs with full guitar solos, not completely removed as they shamelessly did to “Lights,” making it at least 30 seconds shorter and only a shell of its former self. Might as well not even play the fucking song if you’re going to do that. I also like Santana, not Carlos Santana featuring some Top 40 Douchey McDouchenozzle, which barely even qualifies as a Santana song.

At present, I take my 8GB iPod Touch to work because I use many of its apps on a daily basis and the battery on my 30GB iPod is almost dead. And up until yesterday, I was beginning to think that the capacity was a bit on the small side–until I hit Shuffle. That makes me happy because the chances of me hearing the same song two days in a row are definitely lower than the chances of KOST torturing the office with another gem from their vast music library.

Ahem. Sorry about all that. Here’s some earwash, or at least something that will get that Celine Dion out of your head.


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XM-Less

XM, there’s something I think you should know. I don’t think I’ll be needing you anymore. It’s just one of those things. I’m sure you’ll understand.*

We decided to pull the plug on both our XM radio subscriptions after much debate. Okay, it was more like a matter of I-don’t-have-a-job-and-really-don’t-need-to-pay-for-radio-anymore. While that was the first and foremost reason there were, however, more than a few others reasons for this decision.

— XM’s billing is so screwed up that it’s not worth going into detail about it. I’ll just get pissed off and want to throw marshmallows at my monitor, and right now I sort of need my monitor.

— The Merger. Read more about it here if you haven’t already heard me pontificate about it.

— I believe my Pioneer Inno receiver has finally bitten the dust. Since yesterday, I have constantly been getting an “Updating” message whenever I wanted to tune in; the only channels I can receive are the emergency channel, the XM Preview channel, and my radio ID channel.

After calling their billing department I was told that because we were behind on payments (which we aren’t, thankyouverymuch), my radio had been disconnected. Without warning, by the way. That’s the reason for the “Updating” message.

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