Sunday, January 24, 2010

Miller Lite: It wasn't funny when Fonzie did this, it sure as hell isn't funny 30 years later

A twentysomething guy with the requisite moused hair and two-days beard growth (seriously, when is this fad going to end? It's been YEARS since I've seen a guy under the age of 40 with a clean-shaven face on a tv commercial) is sitting with a cute girl in a bar. He's finishing some story involving "a bag full of monkeys"- whatever.

Then the cute girl springs it on him- "there's something I've been meaning to tell you. I love you." Did she decide that Tonight was the Night she was finally going to let him know? Did the Bag of Monkeys story remind her that she loves this guy? Who knows? The point is, we now get to the hideous punchline- the guy responds by attempting to return the sentiment, but he can't get the word "love" past this lips. "Well, I luhhh.....I luhhh...I mean, come on, look at you you're gorgeous, I luhhhhh....."

Naturally his date just looks on quizzically, waiting for him to spit it out, once even muttering "you're so cute!"- I assume because she thinks he's kidding. He's not kidding.

"Would you like another Miller Lite?" asks the waitress. "I'd Love One" the guy easily responds.

Oh ha ha ha, this is BEYOND funny. This guy is terrified of commitment, get it? He can't say the word "Love" to his girlfriend, because that means the relationship has become serious. He can only use the word "love" in reference to beer- and, I'm assuming, buffalo wings, Avatar, fantasy football, and his new Droid.

When I was a kid, there was this show on television called "Happy Days." Henry Winkler played Arthur Fonzerelli, who started as a rather ancillary character but gradually came to dominate the show, ultimately ruining it. Late in it's run, it included a regular bit involving "Fonzie" attempting to say "I was Wrong"- and being incapable of getting the word "Wrong" out of his mouth. It was supposed to be funny. It wasn't. Not even once, and certainly not the fourteenth time we saw it.

Miller Lite- not that you need to be told that you are out of ideas, but- when you reach back four decades for a joke, you are really, really out of ideas. How about just telling us it's good beer, and settling for that?

Oh right- those pesky Truth in Advertising Laws. My bad.


  1. Note to cute girl: A guy who drinks Miller Lite isn't a catch.

  2. In the previous Miller Lite commercial, the 13-year old girl walks off in a huff because her boyfriend won't keep playing her "if I was hanging off a cliff and you could only save me or your---" game. In this one, the twentysomething woman is shown that her boyfriend is so shallow, so commitment-centric, so emotionally stunted that he can't utter the word "love" in reference to her- and she just sits there. I'd like to meet the people who write these ads. They'd make some psychiatrist an interesting case study.

  3. I think if I took a woman out who subsequently asked me a question about my beer hanging over a cliff, I'd "lose" her phone number and write her off as certifiable. I have no idea why even the morons who write beer ads thought this was a good premise.

    But I'm responding more to what I call "hobo chic," or, the prevalance of guys who can't manage to take care of basic hygiene like shaving regularly or even combing their hair.

    I call it "hobo chic" because from my experience, prior to the grunge period of the early/mid 90s when this look became hot, anyone who looked like that would have been mistaken for a homeless man. They'd look like they smelled not like Axe body spray but ass.

    And the truly strange thing is that this look isn't limited to the 20-something slackers who populate most commercials. Some of the guys in commercials who don't shave regularly and walk around with uncombed hair that looks to have been styled with a butcher's knife are actually Dads with teenage children, a mortgage and a house worth more than half a million. They put more care into how their lawn looks than how they look.

    I too can't wait for this look to pass on.

  4. Me neither, Charles. Commercials show us guys in their forties walking around with untucked shirts, unkempt hair, and stubble, who don't seem to understand why they aren't being taken seriously by their kids, who seem to care more about their appearance than dad does.

    The worst commercials are the ones where guys are out with good looking women who are dressed to the nines, with makeup and lipstick and brushed hair- and the guy looks like he rolled out of bed fully clothed five minutes before heading out to pick her up, and is recovering from a very late night of drinking. I just don't get it.

  5. Could you imagine the roles being reversed? Instead of slobby guy, we get a tubby girl with bad hair, no makeup and unshaven legs and pits. Honestly, she'd be portrayed as a monster who'd instantly turn into a pariah.

    I was just noticing the trend of hobo chic after watching the MST3k episode Daddy-O, with Dick Contino's sky high pants, and was thinking about what was considered attractive and acceptable in the decades since. After all, men typically wore their pants higher in the 50s. (Although still not as high as Contino)

  6. I've got that episode on VHS- Contino wears his belt so high, Joel and the bots do a musical skit about it. Very tight t-shirts, too.

    I miss MST3K-- I was just watching Rifftrax on YouTube, which is the closest thing available nowadays.