The Awesome, The Pathetic, The Hideous: A Cub House Journey through commercials

I don’t even know how to describe this collection. It’s mostly random. But all of these commercials spoke to me in some way. Some made me angry. Some made me laugh. Some made me embarrassed for mankind. Some even made me feel intellectually insulted.

I’ve put them into loosely defined categories.

Enough. Let’s roll.

Awesome (but obscure) music


The song: Marlena Shaw’s “California Soul”


The song: The Sounds’ “Hurt You”


Schlitz malt liquor

I don’t think it’s the implication that black people like malt liquor that is offensive. I guess I can’t speak for black people, but I’ve never understood why stereotypes are absolutely, necessarily offensive. So what if black people prefer malt liquor to beer? It doesn’t imply that they drink more alcohol, or drink less responsibly than other races.

It’s not that. (Or at least it shouldn’t be.)

It’s that these Schlitz fanatics, all of whom are black, are essentially performing a minstrel show.

“Confederate Family”

Give credit to Confederate Family for one thing: At least it understands its audience, which, apparently, keeps black teenagers around the plantation home to stay out of the way until some work needs done.

Chicken Treats

Again, I don’t think the implication that black people like poultry should be offensive. It’s arbitrary. There is no way you can connect anything negative to eating poultry as opposed to red meat or fish.

The offensive thing is that Chicken Treats, a British fast food joint, decided to make the black guy a total buffoon. They also made him American, managing to insult an entire race and an entire nation all at once.

Douche bags

Actual douche

Somehow it took at least 80 years to figure out that cleaning vaginas with vinegar wasn’t such a good idea. Usually, when something sounds stupid, it actually is.

Cadillac “check mate” douche

This whole ad campaign drove me nuts. I’m convinced Cadillac is marketing these vehicles to poor people who want to feel rich by owning a car they cannot afford. If you’re actually wealthy, you don’t need a car company to explain to you what being wealthy is like.

Cadillac “graduate” douche

Let me revise. Cadillac is trying to sell these vehicles to poor 19-year-olds who want to feel rich by owning a car they cannot afford.

Cadillac “favorite things” douche

Let me revise again. Cadillac is a company of douchebags.

Unimpressive claim

Chevy Lumina won’t rust until 1999!

Back before the liberals made us stop using lead-based paints, we didn’t have this problem. I have a 45-year-old Ford Galaxie that has two tiny rust spots on it. The thing is covered in lead-based paint that you can barely even sand through.

Yeah, the mental retardation sucked, but it’s a small price to pay for five decades of rust-less motoring.


Camaro: For those confused about their sexuality

If anybody who’s at least 30 years old wants to write a guest post, here’s a topic: Why was androgeny so cool in the 1980s?

In honor of Pontiac, a dead company walking (1987)

Things in this video:

  • A power ballad
  • An unironic high-five
  • A white blazer
  • A trench coat
  • A guy at a phone booth in the rain
  • Outdoor foreplay
  • A blonde getting a speeding ticket.

Levis commercial featuring a car I own (’64 Ford Galaxie)

That’s all. I wish mine was a convertible. I also wish it ran.

Commercial cliche

Lawrence Memorial Hospital goes with one of the laziest commercial genres, the “have a bunch of different people say one phrase and splice it together” commercial. You can’t watch TV for an hour without seeing one of these, but LMH’s is one of the dumbest.




As an 8th grader, I used to try that free-throw line dunk over and over again on an eight-foot goal. I think we all did.

Jordan “Frozen Moment”

I learned how to do a reverse pivot dribble by seeing this commercial and re-enacting it in my driveway. I learned almost every move I ever learned by watching Jordan.

Lil Penny “Frozen Moment”

A spoof of the above Jordan video, with Tyra Banks!

Charles Barkley “Role Model”

This was really controversial at the time, for some reason. People really, really did not like the idea that they should not tell their kids to be just like Charles Barkley.

Pete Rose for Aqua Velva

I love the floozy reporter. Clearly, the main reason women get into sports writing is to sleep with the athletes, and the main reason they want to is that the athletes wear Aqua Velva.

Baron Davis

I have no comment.


2 thoughts on “The Awesome, The Pathetic, The Hideous: A Cub House Journey through commercials

  1. “Drive, Pontiac drive!”

    I’m convinced it was that commercial that staved off Pontiac’s bankruptcy and dissolution for 22 years. One of the greatest things I have ever experienced.

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