Thursday, May 7, 2009

Top SNL commercial parodies

Though the quality of Saturday Night Live is slightly more erratic than a cocaine binge weekend, one thing that can usually be counted on are their commercial parodies. Short and to the point, the canvas they give the "not ready for prime time performers" is structured and finite, taking away the challenge of how to end them (an achilles heel for many of the skits).

So I decided to take a closer look at them, and rank the top 13 commercial parodies from over the years Some you'll recognize, others you might scratch your head at...



13. Whopper virgins



I enjoy the slight "Gods Must Be Crazy" vibe this ad strikes. Perhaps a touch overacted, it still presents the introduction of a whopper into a cultural who has never seen it better than Burger King ever could.

12. Pony Express



This is one of those "10 of 1" clips that polarize an audience. I happen to think it's brilliant.

11. Black Eyed Peas



I'm pretty sure this is probably not just a parody, but a glimpse into the future of the Black Eyed Peas.

10. Bassomatic



The Bassomatic isn't funny because it's clever or anything; the Bassomatic is funny because Dan Akroyd puts a fish in a blender.

9. Uncle Jemima's Mash Liquor



I never thought SNL truly captured the essence of what made Tracy Morgan Tracy Morgan. This commercial for mash liquor comes close though. Parodying both Aunt Jemima AND Uncle Remus, the ad definitely plays to Morgan's strengths.

8. First Citywide - Change



Part 2:



Subtle in its delivery, First Citywide nails the bank commercials of the early 90s. I mean seriously, how could anyone think making change was funny? It's all about the execution on this one.

7. Valtrex



Sure it's an old joke, but when you can get a master thespian of Baldwin's caliber delivering perfectly-timed responses, it's bliss.

6. Colon Blow



You know it's coming, you just don't know when it's coming.

5. Dissing your Dog



I know it's chic to hate Will Ferrell, but I just can't do it. Mostly for videos like this one. Who hasn't ever been passive aggressive with their dog? Oh. Um, me neither.

4. Wade Blasingame Dog Attorney



It's tough to make something funnier than Chris Parnell squatting in a yard wearing nothing but (possibly) spandexed underwear.

3. Little Chocolate Donuts



Quite possibly the one that started them all (for me at least), in that it was filmed and definitively spoofed an actual product.

2. Happy Fun Ball



DO NOT TAUNT HAPPY FUN BALL!

1. Bad Idea Jeans



Still in my lexicon, still in many people's lexicon. The only thing bad about this is the fact that the jeans are just horrible looking. No one in their right mind would wear something like that. I mean seriously, what a bad idea...wait a minute...


So, I'm sure I've missed your favorites, so why not tell me about it in the comments?

96 comments:

cellebelle said...

john heder as taboo from the black eyed peas in magical. MAGICAL. and thanks for reminding me about colon blow. god i miss phil hartman.

Chris said...

First 2 that jumped out as being missing were (1) Oops I Crapped My Pants and (2) Handi-Off.

(1) is notable for including almost no SNL players. And for the line, "Imagine this pitcher of tea is really a gallon of your feces." followed by pouring said tea into the diaper.

(2) Victoria Jackson's facial expressions when trying the unsuccessful methods of removing extra fingers. Possibly the only time she was ever funny. Except for "Casual Sex".

Chris said...

Oops I Crapped My Pants on Hulu.

Goose said...

oops I crapped my pants was a one note joke - and a juvenile one at that. Not sure which one it would replace.

Also handi-off (and Toe-rific) was only funny for that Victoria Jackson expression. And that was fleeting. Not enough.

And I'm a little sad you've short changed Victoria Jackson's movie career - especially her performance in UHF - arguably one of the greatest comedies of the past 20 years.

mndleftbod said...

Oops I Crapped my Pants can stand the test of time over some of the other parodies, and most everyone knows it...

Schmidtt's Gay was my favorite the one that had Sandler and Farley house sitting the dump house. The pool turns into a bunch of gay dudes. There is horse fights, farley flipping his sunglasses down checking the dude out, and the weird hand thing they replay three times that Farley and Sandler do...Kills me every time.

The original one before they lost the rights to "Beautiful Girls" as the background is a million times better.

Allison said...

How about the Taco Bell parody with the over-the-top taco?

hendge said...

What about "Swill" water with Bill Murray ... always one of my favs.

Goose said...

I'll be honest - I love Swill too, but I couldn't find it.

hendge said...

http://www.vimeo.com/3734949

Anonymous said...

Crystal Gravy?? I love me some Crystal Gravy. That, and the Love Toilet.

God, there's a plethora of good ones.....

Anonymous said...

I forget the name of the product, but it's the birth control pill where you get your period once a year. That one is hilarious

Anonymous said...

Cyberguard: Bringing you state of the art in laser missile defense technology

Anonymous said...

Love toilet and the Home headache test were always my favorite!

Anonymous said...

"It's a floor wax and a dessert topping!"

Anonymous said...

Hibernol (im sure i spelled it wrong) and the Love Toilet.

2 of my classics!

Anonymous said...

"A camera so simple, even Stevie Wonder can use it!"

Anonymous said...

Friends,

How about, "Beautiful but Stupid", with Jane Curtin and Bill Murray, or the car commercial with the Rabbi performing a circumcision as he's driven down a heavily pot-holed street. I cant remember the name of that one.

John said...

Old Glory Life Insurance.

for when the metal ones come for you... and they will.

Anonymous said...

Missing Hybernol & Schmidt's Gay.

Anonymous said...

...and the Cluckin' Chicken.

david Putney said...

Old Glory Insurance -- for when the metal ones come for you. I especially like the way Same Waterson can barely keep a straight face.
http://www.hulu.com/watch/2340/saturday-night-live-old-glory

Anonymous said...

So, here's my thoughts. Agreeing with above commenters about Schmidt's Gay, Swill, and the Rabbi/Circumcision one (I think it was a Cadillac commercial?). And Oops I Crapped My Pants is still one of the funniest ever.

But, what about the Yard-a-pult? How has that one been glossed over???

M.J. HANSEN said...

Seconding the Annuale and Love Toilet, and all the others mentioned really, but agreeing with pretty much the whole list. I do prefer the Virgania Horsen's Balloon Rides to the Pony Express, though. Commercial parodies are one of those things SNL is killer at. Also, fun fact! Happy Fun Ball was written by Jack "Deep Thoughts" Handey, and is included in his book What I'd Say to the Martians.

Anonymous said...

The "Adobe" (car made out of clay) is notable for the line "But if your last name isn't Rockefeller..." Also, the "Mercury Mistress," the car you could have sex with (Jon Lovitz shtupping a car, what could be better). And in recent years, my favorite is "Turlington's Lower Back Tattoo Remover" - timely and hilarious.

Anonymous said...

BATTLE CATS! And the car commercial with Chris Parnell where he can't keep from having sex with his car. Only shown once, I think.

Anonymous said...

The ONLY two of the top 13 listed here that I thought were funny at all were the First Citiwide and Bad Idea Jeans.

The all-time greats in my book are: "It's a floor wax! It's a dessert topping!"; "AT&T. We've got your children."; "Texxon. Do what we say, and nobody gets hurt." (making fun of oil conglomerates trying to come off as philanthropic, but really presaged the age of 'too big to fail' financial institutions); and the ingenious "two teens from the waist down flirting" ad for General Dynamics.

Anonymous said...

Levi 3-legged jeans. It was simple and funny.

Anonymous said...

Cookie Dough Sport

Jon said...

Buh-Weet Sings. Back when Eddie Murphy was actually funny.

Anonymous said...

Where's Velvet Jones, 'Schmidt's Gay,' 'Chia Head,' 'Moorehead Securities,' and the credit card one with Roseanne Barr and Phil Hartman? There are a few classics here, but a lot of these picks are pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I still like to start off every morning with a big old bowl of Quarry.

Anonymous said...

"a master thespian of Baldwin's caliber"

That's funnier than any of the pariodies here.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone else remembered 'Crystal Gravy', 'Cookie Dough Sport', 'Cluckin Chicken' and 'Yard-a-pult'.

TEENY WEENIES -
parody on fertility drugs that's so funny because it's so true (even moreso after the Octomom). "Make as many babies as you want and keep the ones you want". "It's fun to defy God".
http://www.eonline.com/videos/v1600237880_SNL__Teeny_Weenies.html

(TV Funhouse) parody Disney commercials:
TITEY - a talking Titanic vs. Whoopi Goldberg as the bad old iceberg, plus Anne Frank
JOURNEY TO THE DISNEY VAULT - mocks the short windows where their movies are on video and has 2 kids go to the vault where they're a bit disturbed by things they find which Disney would rather keep hushed up
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/171147/journey_2_the_disney_vault/

Also don't forget that great mockery of action figures and vehicles based on things not in the actual movie:
PHILADELPHIA ACTION FIGURES

Here's a big Wikipedia list for people to jog their memories:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Saturday_Night_Live_commercial_parodies

Patrick said...

Some others not mentioned:

"Hey You!" perfume with Gilda Radner and a very young Mark Harmon

"Mel's Char Palace" Honey, show them how to work the saw!

Mr. & Mrs. T Bloody Mary Mix - Buy, or I'll kill you!

Puppy Uppers & Doggie Downers

Budd Light - with Robin Williams and Joe Piscopo as hockey players

Buh-Weet Sings! "Wookin' Pa Nub in all da wong pwaces."

Anonymous said...

I never watch SNL, but I found a couple of SNL clips on my cable's onDemand section and just about died laughing when I watched one called "Short & Curly". I had to rewind and watch it atleast 6 or 7 times after catching my breath!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Really low representation of the original Not-Ready-For-Primetime-Players here.

Perhaps not all of them were as polished looking as the shorts are today, but they are still hysterical.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe no one has mentioned Assjet Copy Machines. Classic! Also, I know it's technically an infomercial, but Steve Martin's Penis Beauty Creme is still great. Honorable mention for Mom Jeans, Tylenol BM, and Bioflex

Anonymous said...

The Weston Collection (the "I'm #1 hat")

Anonymous said...

What about the "Swiss Army Gun"? Or some of Akroyd's other Ronco commercials?

Audrey said...

How about Schmit's Gay with Sandler and Farley or Jewess Jeans with Gilda Radner?

Brian said...

two that should be on this list:

1] from the 80s, Stevie Wonder and a buddy play tennis while photographing each other with a Nikon-type camera

2] Mike Myers as Jonathan Pryce introducing the Infiniti G24 toilet bowl

3] okay, three - the Woomba!

Anonymous said...

Although pretty recent, "Jon Hamm's John Ham" is really funny.
When you are craving high quality ham in the bathroom.

The Royal We said...

I really like "Womba" from the mind of Tina Fey. Adobe the little clay car, the Camilion the luxury car on the inside only, and the one with Sam Waterstone about the number one killer of old people. Robots.

Anonymous said...

How can you not put in "Oops I crapped my pants," possibly the greatest product to hit the market.

Anonymous said...

What about Big Red, the indoor sprinkler that shoots red dye around the house? And the FedEx-type delivery service that will back date packages: "we'll take your package, and the blame." Finally, Nerf Crotchbat. No explanation necessary.

Ian said...

Never made it on the show, but Petchow Rat Poison featuring Will Ferrell is superior to Dissing Your Dogs in my opinion.

Petchow Rat Poison

Shadesiren said...

Those were awesome - especially Happy Fun Ball! Still - one of my favorites had to be "Puppy Uppers and Doggie Downers". that one always made me laugh!

Dallas Blitches said...

I personally loved Homocil, the pill for parents coping with a gay child.

Samantha said...

I can't believe no one has mentioned "Bathroom Monkey" starring Jeneanne Garafolo. Hilarious...you just keep the monkey in your bathroom and he cleans it 24/7. Also available in Orangutan - brilliant! At the end the monkey writes on the tiled walls in lipstick - "MONKEY HATE CLEAN"

Anonymous said...

My favorite was always the Adobe, "the little car that's made out of clay!" Yes, I know others have mentioned it, but thought I'd share the love.

Anonymous said...

anyone remember the Lung Brush? I always thought that was so hilariously absurd. I could imagine smokers thinking it was a good idea and would use it. hahaha

Suplyndmnd said...

My favorite one is the Adam Sandler and Chris Farley commercial for Schlitz Beer.

Anonymous said...

Yard-a-Pult was my favorite.

" But daddy, if Tippy is dead shouldn't we bury him?" " No honey we're helping him get closer to heaven"

Sandra said...

It's been said before but I'll reiterate: Schmidtt's Gay, Oops I Crapped my Pants & Old Glory Robot insurance all deserve mention. Old Glory would be the #1 on my list...indisputably it's the very pinnacle of Sam Waterston's whole career.
Out of these picks, I really loved Uncle Jemima & the 2 dog ones w/ Ferrell. I'd totally forgotten the Wade Blasingame sketch and how hy-freakin-sterical it was..

Bags said...

Schmidtt's Gay and McSushi....

Hoeech said...

I so HATE Hulu. Because of their protectionist and isolationist policies, I cannot watch anything they have because I do not live in the frickin' United States. The problem is that every other site inevitably draws their feed from Hulu and the same frickin' blocks kick in!!

Anonymous said...

The best line in the "Adobe" spot was, "We've combined German engineering with Mexican know-how" that kills me every time. But I would have to say Nerf Crotchbat made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. The part with the Nerf crotch missle at the end kills me

Anonymous said...

Cookie dough? The knockoff of the gatorade commercial, where people are just pouring cookie dough on themselves out of gatorade bottles.

A.F. Waddell said...

Great selection! Do you remember these: Pre-midair collision alert device - 10 second warning!(Dan Ackroyd). Dan Ackroyd as Jimmy Carter, Sissy Spacek as Amy Carter, Rodney Dangerfield as 'the incredible growing man(nuke accident)'.etc etc, circa 1970s. Fun site!

A F Waddell said...

A shout-out to Patrick (May 11). I remember those, good ones!

A.F. Waddell said...

Don't forget Steve and Dan, those wild and crazy brothers who sadly, were fashion victims.

Anonymous said...

I second the Rabbi Circumcision. Plus I always liked Jogger Motel (joggers run in, but they don't run out again).

Anonymous said...

The cat litter play doh thingy was effing hilarious, as was the lower back tattoo remover. And I remember some crazy sketch about Stevie Nicks having some goofy restaurant, but I'm not sure if it was a commercial. Old Glory robot insurance is THE BEST EVER though.

McNeel said...

Schmitz Gay! of course. Adam Sandler, Chris Farley...

San Diego Guy said...

My favorite was the circumcision (bris) in the back of a car, but two other wonderful ones:
- Canis, cologne for dogs
- Compulsion, from Calvin Kleen

Franchise said...

One that always has stood out has been the Hyundai Mistress. The car has a vagina in it. It came with an alarm and everything. Such a classic.

Anonymous said...

Mom Jeans!!

Anonymous said...

can somebody post the videos in youtube?
cant see from my continent :(

Anonymous said...

Hands down, Epoxydent. Starts off like a real denture adhesive commercial - Grampa loses his teeth at the church picnic, Epoxydent is deployed to fix the gaffe, a bit is lowered into the frame then Gramps chomps down and flies off into the sunset suspended from a helicopter. Classic.

Anonymous said...

I seem to be the only one who remembers this one. Or I was very, very drunk and it never actually appeared on Saturday Night Live, or anything else...

The Car for Crazy People?
I think it was Will Farrell as the crazy driver. I know it featured a sink in the center console so you could wash your hands every 5 seconds. Can't find a video for it anywhere.

...anyone? No? *washes hands again*

knol said...

The phil hartman commercial, with the car that was so horrible looking nobody would ever want to steal it.

i just remember those stupid car commercials with the steal ball rolling around the contoured lines of the car. in the snl parody, the steal ball rolls into a rusty hole. cracks me up every time.

DJRobX said...

Don't forget the Chameleon XLE! Probably my all time favorite. Such a great spoof on luxury car commercials.

Alex said...

"Old Glory Insurance"! With Sam Waterston explaining how robots like to steal old people's medicine and it's hard to get out of their grip, "because they're made of metal, and robots are strong."

Anonymous said...

Quarry, better because it's mined.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe no one's mentioned Chris Farley's hilarious turn in the "Folgers with Crystals" commercial, or the "Roach Hotel" pest control commercial with Will Ferrel. Two of my absolute favorites, next to Old Glory robot insurance, of course.

Rick said...

Hulu sucks.
Please think about your neighbors in the north because Hulu doesn't stream to Canada.
I would appreciate using a more general streaming service so that the Canucks and all others can participate.

Yasser said...

the roach control one, and the will farrel rat poision puppy chow were funny to

Panglima Perang said...

nice posting

Anonymous said...

"Roach Hotel" equal parts funny and disturbing, with the CGi roach being taunted and beaten with it's own, just torn off legs.
"Old Glory Robot Insurance" is still my favorite, a gem written by Conan O'Brien

Harold Fowler said...

OMGosh no way dude thats jsut too wild!

R
www.privacy-resources.us.tc

Anonymous said...

BATHROOM MONKEY! My favorite.
Remember the commercial for the multi-blade razor on the first episode of SNL? That was funny 'cuz it came true.

Sandra said...

Yes!! I now remember the Chris Farley-Folgers commercial. Can't believe I had forgotten that one. That was EXCELLENT

Honestmonkey said...

How about "3-legged Jeans"? They're no dumber than acid-washed.

Anonymous said...

Oops I crapped my Pants... how could you forget that one.

march said...

damn Hulu isn't available to people outside the US

Anonymous said...

no Mercury Mistress? here's a link to the incomplete commercial: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x11ok_pub-mercury-mistress_ads

Anonymous said...

Mercury Mistress!!! It never aired but it is a classic any way.

Anonymous said...

How could you forget JJ Casuals?

The shoes that look like feet.

Keith is Good! said...

Yeah, the biggest omission here is Old Glory Life Insurance. The clincher for Old Glory was that Sam Waterson was SO sincere.

Anonymous said...

Narrator: You don't have to be Jewish to wear Jewess Jeans...

Gilda Radner (turns to camera): ...but it wouldn't hurt!

Anonymous said...

"mom jeans" always made me laugh

web design company said...

cool post

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this would be considered a commercial or a parody, but it was certainly an advertisement. What about Alec Baldwin's "Schweddy Balls"?

Mmm-mmm... tell us about your balls, Pete.

Anonymous said...

No one mentioned "Wilson Trap Doors" with poor John Lovett (sp) as the hapless businessman dealing with the Feds. Cracked me up every time!

Anonymous said...

Mike Myers did a hilarious one about a brand of "English Toothpaste" (with a really high sugar content) which I found absolutely hilarious, and I also remember a more recent one with Amy Poehler in it that was about a tattoo removal product.

There was also the "not-so-fresh feeling" commercial with Michael Jordan, and the much more recent "Shake-Weight Commercial DVD". Can't forget those!

Anonymous said...

WILSON TRAP DOORS - BECAUSE WITH WILSON...IT'S OUT OF SIGHT