Thursday, February 08, 2007

Why I Was Offended By the Snickers Ad

Speaking of that awful Snickers ad, I have to confess that when I saw it, I was offended, too. Not by the homophobia, though that was obviously distasteful.

I was offended on comedic grounds.

They stole the classic "Those arent pillows!" scene from Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Without shame. And ruined it.

First they rendered it unfunny, by stating the premise. Steve Martin didn't need to say, "Those aren't pillows! They're my thighs! Your hand is between my thighs! We'd better do something manly!" That would have been really unfunny. The Snickers dumbing-down is what happens when "creatives" have no respect for their audience.

Then Snickers made it offensive. Steve Martin and John Candy were cartoony in their shock, and lame and doofy in their attempts at "manliness." And they quickly let it peter out. The joke was on them.

The Snickers guys were genuinely afraid. And ripping out your own chest hair is not only gross, it's really homophobic. As in, "I'd rather be in agony than have anyone think I'm gay." Or even worse, "I deserve to be in pain for doing something so gay."

And why is ripping out your chest hair "manly" anyway? If anything, chest hair removal is something I associate with metrosexuals.

Plus the two guys just looked gross.

So the whole thing was a mess. An offensive mess. And a stolen one at that.


Scribe LA said...

I love love love this movie. Although this scene has never beenone of my favorites, I think your point is quite on the money.

Omigod, when the car goes up in flames... I laugh so hard my cheeks ache. And the scene in the hotel room when they drink to their wives always gets me a little verclempfed.

Michael Markowitz said...

Easily in my top three or five movies of all time. Steve Martin's car rental monologue alone is a piece of movie history. And his "I've been with Del Griffith" speech isn't far behind. John Candy showing off his Casio watch... William Windom mulling over the two ads....Kevin Bacon racing for the cab... I LOVE this movie.

Certain phrases have found their way into my everyday vocabulary:

"We'd have more luck playing Pickup Sticks with our butt cheeks."
"Larry Bird doesnt do as much ball handling..."
"They'll be happy as pigs in shit to see you!"

Many times over the years, my best friend has asked me to stop using the unseemly expression, ""My dogs are barking!" And, of course, I refuse. :-)

Michael Markowitz said...

I should also mention that I count the line, "How would he know where we're going?" among the most brilliant ever. I mean, up there in Duck Soup territory.

Scribe LA said...

Couldn't agree more!!!

"We'd have more luck funding a 3-legged ballerina than a hotel room"

And on the bus when Neal tries to sing "3 coins in a fountain"... priceless.

We could spend the next six months quoting the movie back and forth:-)