Tag Archives: youtube comment of the week

YouTube Comment of the Week: Rhyming Fries

It seems we just keep coming back to McDonalds, don’t it? Ads for this obscure family restaurant make up a healthy percentage of my YouTube haul, because their commercials were even more ubiquitous back in the 1980s than they are now. Especially if you were a kid, because McDonalds had an entire line of spots aimed squarely at children, in a way that would be unthinkable (and possibly illegal) now.

Most (if not all) McDonalds commercials from this period were huge production numbers, replete with choreography, show-stopping tunes, and the occasional celebrity appearance. The ads meant to entice little kids were no exception. In fact, looking at them with adult eyes, I can barely fathom how much time, energy, and cash was expended on these 30 second spots that would only alert children to the existence of food they already knew about.

Take for example this ad from 1985, entitled “Rhyming with Fries.” Just look at the sets, the puppetry, the special effects, all employed to tell kids that McDonalds’ fries are delicious. What kid didn’t know that, even in 1985? I never went to McDonalds as a kid, and even I knew their french fries were manna from heaven.

Of course, the real reason we’re here is a comment posted below this commercial. I try not to comment on these comments (meta!), but let’s just say it neatly sums up my inexplicable obsession with these ads, and possibly my life.

YouTube Comment(s) of the Week: News!

The vast majority of my YouTube collection is made up of random ads. I don’t think there’s anything particularly special about most of them; I’ve just placed them there because I found them on old VHS tapes and want to preserve them for posterity in a new format. I realize the impulse to do this is perhaps a form of OCD, autism, or full-blown mental illness.

However, in so doing, I’ve found that there are people out there people who even more trainspotty than me, folks who can recall exactly what aired when on TV throughout the ages, right down to all the ads, and are very eager to tell me in the comments (especially if I’ve gotten some detail wrong). For some reason, this is particularly true for local news ads/clips. Perhaps because the personalities from local news usually endure longer than those seen in national ad campaigns, or they evoke a sense of community. It’s also possible these folks are just bonkers.

Here’s an example: A promo for CBS-2 news with a “health” bent, followed by a comment from someone who knows exactly where some of the footage originated.

The same commenter made another appearance on another news-related YouTube video of mine. This was a montage of terrifying local news teasers from the 1980s, but this commenter was still able to isolate one moment in the video and not only identify the source, but tell me when it aired.

As a bonus, here’s what another wag had to say about this video.

YouTube Comment of the Week: Z. Cavaricci

If you’re not of a certain age, “Z. Cavaricci” probably sounds like the name of a pasta sauce or a striker for Inter Milan. It’s actually a brand of clothery that was quite popular in the late 1980s/early 1990s, right around the time that I was in junior high. It was what the cool kids wore, at least in my neck of the woods. Like any other fashion trend, there’s no good answer to the question of why it became so popular. It just was, end of story.

But if there was any specific reason why Cavaricci clothes were so popular, it was because they were kind of expensive. Owning a pair of Cavaricci jeans signified that you could afford to own them. I coveted them for the same reason I desperately wanted a pair of Agassis, or the Nike mock turtleneck thing that came in Agassi colors. My wardrobe still consisted of a large number of hand-me-downs from older cousins, and the rest was strictly Caldors. It never occurred to me that a short fat kid like me would’ve had a hard time finding Cavariccis in my size and would’ve looked awful in them even if I did. The heart wants what it wants.

Why did Cavaricci’s go away? Again, fashion comes and goes, usually with little rhyme or reason. But if I had to guess, one clue is that this ad aired during an episode of MTV’s 120 Minutes. The episode in question featured an airing of the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which had debuted just a few weeks earlier. The dressed-down grunge era was nigh, and Cavariccis were doomed. But at least one person remembers those glory days, as you can see below this here video.

YouTube Comment of the Week: Westchester County Fair

For this edition of YTCOTW (that’s what the kids call it, yo), we look at another ad that ran completely unchanged for my entire childhood and adolescence and a small portion of my adulthood, too. It’s a commercial for the Westchester County Fair. If you know anything about Westchester County, NY, you know that large swaths of it are comprised of suburbs that are both insanely affluent and oddly retro, like a safe haven for The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit recreationists. If you went to many towns in Westchester and saw Don Draper staggering his way up the sidewalk after a five-martini business lunch, you would not be surprised.

And yet, when the time came for the Westchester County Fair to promote itself, they chose to produce a commercial that looks and sounds like an outtake from Hee-Haw. Fiddles! Tow Mater accents! Hay! This ad appears more suited for Hooterville than one of the richest places in the country.

This is one of the most viewed and most commented upon ads in my YouTube collection. It ran for so long on local TV that it strikes an immediate chord with anyone who grew up within a 100-mile radius of New York in the last 30 years. That’s why I found this comment oddly affecting.