Keep Houston Press Free

Game Time: 10 Commercials Almost As Creepy As The Brown Hand Center Ads

So Michael Brown and his self-named hand center (which, given his propensity to slap women around, may or may not be the front for some kind of sick wife-beater's dojo) are back in the news.

The disturbing back story for this guy has been well chronicled over the last few years on this very website, with the latest coming this week as (irony alert!) the good doctor's hands got him in trouble again when he used them to allegedly administer another beating on his spouse.

I'll leave it up to the other writers here, the readers, and society to deservedly pick away at the criminal elements of Brown's carcass. To me, Michael Brown will always be the patriarch of the creepiest commercial on television. (And to be clear, it's a creepy ad even if the dude had a spotless arrest record.)

In honor of the likely hiatus of the Brown Hand Center spots from television for the foreseeable future (legal bills can be expensive), I give you ten commercials that give the BHC ads a run for their money on the creep-o-meter (heretofore referred to as the "Brown-o-meter".)

1. FIRST EVER RONALD MCDONALD COMMERCIAL Message Attempted: "Clowns are happy, this clown's eating a burger, therefore our burgers will make you happy!" Message Accomplished: "Even clowns who act like they just woke up hungover are scary."

Footnote #1: I like how they flip the lights on and Ronald reacts like he just got caught jerking off to some Mayor McCheese porn. Footnote #2: McDonald's has always been viewed as some sort of marketing juggernaut, and I guess the proof is in their longevity and brand awareness. That said, you can spend a week on YouTube looking at old McDonald's commercials that make you ask "What in the blue hell were they thinking?"

2. ROBOT DURACELL COMMERCIAL Message Attempted: "Our batteries last longer than anyone else's!" Message Accomplished: "What the fuck was our fascination with human lookalike robots back in the 1980's? Max Headroom thinks this commercial is jacked up."

Footnote: I honestly think you could take Michael Brown's sedated wife, spray some lacquer on her face, and replace the mother in this commercial with her and not skip a beat.

3. ORVILLE REDDENBACHER Message Attempted: "Our popcorn is light and fluffy!" Message Accomplished: "Dead people don't make me want to buy shit!"

Footnote: This was the first commercial that the Orville Reddenbacher folks released after he passed away in 2007. I like how the producers casually mix in an mp3 player (a 2007 staple, of course) to send the message that "No this is really him today, not some hologram from 1986!" Very subtle.

4. SHASTA Message Attempted: "Drink Shasta, it's what cool people do..." Message Accomplished: "Drink Shasta, it's what gay men do..."

Footnote: I'm pretty sure this is iron clad evidence that cheesy `80's commercials were a gateway to the porn industry back in the day. Actually, porn industry and Melrose Place.

5. JIMMY JOHNSON EXTENZE Message Attempted: "Women like dudes who are hung like a blue whale." Message Accomplished: "No shit, Sherlock."

Footnote: Somewhere Barry Switzer is pouring himself a Jack on the rocks and cackling "What a fucking pussy!"

6. XBOX COMMERCIAL (now banned) Message Attempted: "Life is short, play video games." Message Accomplished: "If you're hiring a marketing firm to help promote your product, make sure your account rep isn't a registered sex offender."

Footnote: Nothing like having a product where all you have to do is say "Look how fucking cool these games are! Buy this! Tell your parents to buy this! Ready...GO!" and then completely butchering the advertising by trying to be clever. If advertising were sex, this is a classic case of the missionary position being more than enough to get the job done. These guys decided to go with some jacked up version of the kama sutra.

7. KINDER EGG Message Attempted: Not entirely sure..."Eat our candy?" Maybe? Message Accomplished: "Humpty Dumpty was annoying, and not really all that smart. I'm glad the fat bastard fell down.

Footnote #1: I assumed this ad was from another country until the announcer spoke English at the end. Turns out the egg dude was just speaking drivel...or he was on acid...or both. Footnote #2: Dumbest line in a nursery rhyme -- "All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again." Seriously, what help is a horse gonna be in trying to reassemble a gigantic broken egg? You need opposable thumbs for that shit.

8. DON'S GUNS Message Attempted: "You can rent guns!" Message Accomplished: "Seriously? You can rent guns?"

Footnote #1: You gotta love someone who loves their craft so much that they "don't wanna make any money." This guy just really likes renting guns. Footnote #2: Has anyone ever seen Don and the late Marvin Zindler in the same room? Just sayin'.

9. NORTON FURNITURE Message Attempted: "Got credit problems? Come buy furniture at Norton's!" Message Accomplished: "Ponytails, belt clenched five notches too tight, creeper voice....nah, I'm good, I'll just sleep on the floor."

Footnote: Sight unseen, I'm going to put "the basement of Norton's" at the top of the list of places I never want to see. I just have a weird feeling the pawn shop in the gimp scene in Pulp Fiction was somehow patterned after this store.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

10. ROGER CLEMENS GETS ZESTFULLY CLEAN! Message Attempted: "You're not fully clean unless you're Zestfully clean!" Message Accomplished: "Damn, all these years I've had a soapy film on me??"

Footnote #1: Favorite Roger moment in this ad -- his mad lip-synching skills. Footnote #2: In a federal prison somewhere, there is an incarcerated pervert using this commercial as his scouting video for when Roger arrives "on campus." At that point, Roger will need to be more worried about how easy the soap is to hold onto, not the sticky film that it leaves behind.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.