Day: February 2, 2009

Cincinnati comedians starred in winning Doritos Super Bowl ad

While I was busy checking in with my friends — Pete Holmes, Matt McCarthy and Oren Brimer — who got a couple of their friends together, spent $17 and made a Doritos ad that aired during the Super Bowl pre-game show and earned them $25,000 (plus trip to the Super Bowl itself), I completely overlooked the fact that stand-up comedians did star in the winning "Free Doritos" ad that also earned its filmmakers a $1 million bonus by topping the USA Today Ad Meter last night. They're all from Cincinnati, too. Steve Booth threw the snow globe at the vending machine, while Dave Hyden threw his globe inadvertantly into an old man's crotch. Tyrone Hawkins played the guy grabbing bags of Doritos out of the vending machine and yelling, "Free Doritos!" They're all friends of Rooftop Comedy. Filmmakers Joe and Dave Herbert set up quite the Free Doritos site to promote their clip, which also may have helped generate both attention and votes for the victory. Also of note: The Herberts (with Hawkins) previously made the finals of the Doritos Super Bowl contest in 2007. Here, again once more, is their winning...

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SNL’s Super Bowl MacGruber Pepsi ads

Debate all you want about who had the best or the funniest Super Bowl ad on Sunday (two of the "amateur" Doritos contest entries placed in the top five in USA Today's insta-poll, with one winning $1 million for coming out on top), but only one of these ads was not like the others. Did you pick the Saturday Night Live "MacGruber" sketch for Pepsi, aka PepSuber? If not, you should have. SNL's PepSuber spot ranked 44th out of the 50 ads surveyed by USA Today, and Nikki Finke over at Deadline Hollywood Daily called it her least favorite of the night. MediaBistro's AgencySpy and Stuart Elliott at The New York Times were among many observers who couldn't figure out exactly what was going on. Let me help explain what happened. Especially since Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch tried to yesterday but has since removed its post?! Interesting. That post had alleged that Pepsi wanted to buy promotional space during SNL, and if you saw SNL this past weekend with host Steve Martin, you noticed not one, but three MacGruber-Pepsi sketches, each one ramping up the amount of Pepsi content to ridiculous proportions in the third and final spot. For my full recap of SNL #34.15 with Steve Martin, click here. Truth is, the sketches with Will Forte (MacGruber), Kristen Wiig (assistant Vicki) and special guest assistant Richard Dean Anderson (reprising...

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Will You Marry Me, Andrea Rosen?

There will be a lot of talk today, this day after the Super Bowl, about advertising, and perhaps about the funny people who populate ads, but I'm fairly sure that few of these commercial comedians have inspired someone to write and produce a music video asking for their proverbial hand in marriage. So, Andrea Rosen for the win? Watch: Peter Litvin is from pop band The Brooklyn Doctors. He tells me, via email: "I had just gotten done making a Michael Showalter tribute song & video and realized that I should fully propose marriage to her through art, which in my case happens to be music/video." And how have people reacted to your decision to do this? "Friends– they all like it. All my fans are into it and generally think the song/idea is a fun time. Strangers is another story. Mostly people think it's funny and slightly creepy." Or cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs cuckoo! I also asked Rosen if she knew about this existing on the Internets for all to see. Yes, she does. "He's a fan and he introduced himself to me. I'm more flattered than freaked." After the jump, a couple of examples of Rosen's recent local and national ad work that inspired...

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Behind Steve Sweeney’s lawsuit with Bill Blumenreich

The only thing more surprising to me than Steve Sweeney's lawsuit against Comedy Connection owner Bill Blumenreich was the fact that Blumenreich had a contract with Sweeney, considering the timing. The last time I saw Steve Sweeney, he was sitting next to me as we judged the Boston Comedy Festival contest finals back in September from a balcony perch at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, and Sweeney later went downstairs to deliver a short performance of his own amid the finals and a celebration for the Smothers Brothers. Here is a 2006 clip of Steve Sweeney performing in Cambridge, showing how and why he has made people in the Boston area laugh for years. He has become quite the regional legend. But let's remember where he came from. After all, when I talked to George Carlin in 2007 and mentioned I lived in Boston, the first comic who sprang to Carlin's mind was Sweeney. Sweeney was in HBO's 8th Annual Young Comedians' class of 1983, which also included Bill Maher, Paula Poundstone, Carol Liefer, the Amazing Johnathan and Joel Hodgson, hosted by John Candy. He also appeared for a time as host of his own morning radio program in Boston. In 2004, one of his bits also became part of Comedy Central's Shorties Watching Shorties. You can hear him and watch the animation: Steve Sweeney – Rosary Downs More...

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February 2009
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