Tag Archives: youtube

YouTube Comment of the Week: Smurfs Pasta

Time was, you were nobody unless you got your own canned pasta. In the days of my kid-dom, every cartoon character was immortalized in semolina form by Chef Boyardee or Franco-American. Any resemblance between the pasta and the character(s) they were supposed to represent was purely coincidental; most of the shapes looked more like amoebas than anything else. They all tasted the same as well, industrial fake cheese and processed tomato sauce tang. I know because I ate every single one of these pastas at least once. I was a carb completist. (Although I feel that by calling these things “pasta,” I should have to apologize to some kindly old Italian grandmother somewhere. Perdonilo, nonna!)

The Smurfs received this tribute, of course, since they were on TV for roughly 73 years. Was the pasta blue? Of course not; such technology did not exist yet, and let’s pray it never does. The Pasta Smurfs looked and tasted exactly like the Pasta Pac-Man and the Pasta X-Men, which is to say carb-loaded blobs swimming in Campbell’s tomato soup. Uniqueness, verisimilitude, and taste were not the goals here. The goal was to make a canned pasta that you could put a cartoon label on so dumb kids (like me) would beg for it. Mission accomplished.

However, I do understand that the mere sight of these items have a nostalgic pull for folks of a certain age, myself included, which is why I found the comment you’ll see below this clip oddly endearing. And odd. Though no more odd than the commercial itself, in which Papa Smurf reacts to a Gargamel-induced food shortage by transforming a bunch of Smurf houses into Smurf pasta. Thanks, Papa Smurf! Now I’m no longer hungry but I have to sleep in a ditch!

Honorable mention for this comment that points out a continuity flaw in the ad copy:

YouTube Comment of the Week: Toys R Us

Today‚Äôs installment of YouTube Comment of the Week comes from a Halloween-themed ad for Toys R Us that ran for approximately 900 years. At the end of the commercial, you can see a little “(c) 1983” in the lower left-hand corner, but the tape from which this was digitized was made many years later, and the ad continued to be run each October for several years after that. It was an evergreen reminder of the season, like fake cobwebs on hedges, or dire warnings about evil strangers who might put staples in your candy.

We had no Toys R Us where I grew up, and yet would get ads like this on local TV out of The City, which of course made me extremely envious of relatives who lived within driving distance of one, or friends whose indulgent parents would drive to far, far away places like Paramus to go to one. I don’t know why I wanted to go there so badly, since I couldn’t have afforded to buy anything I wanted anyway. I do know that it was a horrible tease to see commercials for this wondrous fairy land on TV when the closest location was a good 40 miles away. Chuck E. Cheese did the same thing, those cruel bastards.

YouTube Comment of the Week: Dunkin Donuts

Today’s installment of YouTube Comment of the Week comes from a Dunkin’ Donuts ad from the mid 1980s. This ad featured Fred the Baker, as did pretty much all of their ads from this period through the early 2000s. Fred was the eternally harassed worker who would joylessly intone “Time to make the donuts.” Once upon a time, it was a TV catchphrase surpassed only the by the likes of “Where’s the Beef.”

For this video, I wrote this description:

This is a reference to ads from the same era, in which the same actor who played Fred the Baker portrayed Sam Breakstone, who was almost exactly the same character except that he made cream cheese and sour cream instead of donuts. Here’s an early example, although this ad in 1977 depicts him as far angrier than I remember. This seemingly innocent observation (I wouldn’t even call it a joke, really) led to this earnest, depressing comment:

YouTube Comment of the Week: Birdie

For this installment of YouTube Comment of the Week, we turn once again to a McDonalds ad. As you may recall, McDonalds once had a slew of “McDonaldland” characters whose sole purpose was to sell their highly nutritious food to children. They introduced new pals for Ronald McDonald only slightly less often than The Masters of the Universe did.

Here’s an ad that debuted the character of Birdie, who I believe was associated with their extremely healthy breakfast options, followed by one pithy comment.

YouTube Comment of the Week: McDonalds Daydream

I’ve posted many videos to YouTube over the years. Most of them are commercials from old VHS tapes. Why do I feel compelled to do this? No idea. It’s just my nature You might as well ask the salmon why he swims upstream, or Rudy Giuliani why he says “9/11” all the time.

I have email alerts setup to inform me whenever someone comments on one of my videos. Because I don’t know if you noticed, but YouTube comments have a tendency to be hideously wrong. Racist, sexist, homophobic–you name the wrongness, they’ll invoke it. I’d really rather not have something I posted as a lark be polluted by sub-literate hate. At least learn some proper spelling and grammar, hate-mongers!

Amazingly, very, very few of my videos have gotten such comments. But they have gotten a few that are doozies for other reasons. So I thought I’d share some, without editorializing, with the public. The inaugural edition comes courtesy of an old McDonald’s commercial crica 1986 called “Daydream.” (All 1980s McDonald’s ads had titles and seems about 11 months long compared to their modern counterparts.) Comment appears below the video.

Sad Truths Department, YouTube Division

When you make a first-person video and post it to YouTube, you look like an idiot. Doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re talking about. YouTube has a special filter that makes all of its users look like delusional maniacs once posted online.

I suspected this for a long time, but now I have confirmed it. Because Francis Ford Coppolla has posted a YouTube video wherein he talks about his upcoming movie Tetro. And as you can see, the director of The Godfather and The Conversation and Apocalypse Now looks just as deranged and clueless as Tay Zonday or Kige Ramsey. That must make Robert Evans happy.