Commercials

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I’m embarrassed to admit this to you, but I don’t watch TV. I’ve been living without it for a long time now. I DO have a TV set … an old-fashioned one, the kind that’s roughly shaped like a cube … but I don’t have cable or an antenna or a dish or any other way of watching live television while the rest of the world is watching it. I just stick with DVDs and VHS tapes.

Many years ago, I had cable for a short time, but I decided to have it cut off because the monthly bill was an abomination. I also bought a nifty little “rabbit ears” antenna once. It allowed me to watch one channel — sometimes two, if I was standing in the right part of the room. Sure, one of those channels featured “The Lawrence Welk Show” a little too heavily for my taste, but it was still a treat for me to watch something other than DVDs and ancient VHS tapes.

As soon as I got used to the luxury of television, the whole world switched from analog to digital, rendering my little antenna completely useless. It was as if somebody, somewhere, had found out about my antenna and decided to put a stop to my new pastime. (I know, I know. I could have gotten a converter box, but I never got around to it. Oh well.)

Once again, I was cut off from the world.

It’s not so bad, though. I have a computer and I can watch almost anything on YouTube. And I have the first few seasons of “Doctor Who” on DVD. (The show isn’t as good since David Tennant left, anyway. But that’s only my humble opinion.)

Do you know what I miss most about TV? I miss the commercials. I’m guessing you yourself watch TV. And you probably take them for granted. But I think commercials are lovely little pieces of art in their own right. There are paintings, there are sculptures, there are books, there are films … and then there are TV commercials. They may not fall into the category of “high art,” but they’re still special and important.

At least I think so.

My dad is kind enough to record shows on DVD and send them to me in the mail sometimes. The other night, I was sprawled out on the couch (with my cat sitting next to my head so that her rear-end was mashed against the side of my face; I don’t understand WHY she likes to do that, but that seems to be her favorite way to relax) and I was watching an episode of “Happy Days” recorded on TV Land. I didn’t like that show very much when I was a kid, but it’s growing on me now. (Even though I can’t understand why Fonzie replaced his leather jacket with that strange white coat. But that’s a discussion for another day.)

As I watched, I realized that the commercials were just as interesting as the show itself — even more, in a way. I was fascinated with those talking blobs of snot in the Mucinex commercial … and that charming little light bulb in the Intermezzo ad, rolling around in bed, trying to sleep. I noticed that his pull-chain functions as a hand. Some brilliant person thought of that. Someone sat down at a computer and MADE that happen.

Then I started thinking about the commercials I fell in love with as a child — particularly the ones with Will Vinton’s animation in them, like the California Raisins and the Noid.

So I decided to recognize them and celebrate them here.

Yes, I get excited about little things that nobody else cares about. Yes, there are many more important topics I could probably blog about.

Oh well. I don’t care. It’s late at night and my mind is frazzled. (PS – the picture at the top of the screen is an old ad I found. It’s not my work.)

1.) Intermezzo…

2.) The Noid…

3.) The California Raisins…

4.) Lucky Strikes…

5.) Mucinex…

6.) Click at your own risk…

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