Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stereotypes that won't fill you up and always let you down

I know this commercial aired during the Super Bowl, but it ran again tonight during the baseball game and I was struck by just how awful it is. It's one thing to not be funny - and Carlos Mencia is definitely not funny - but, well, then there's this shit.

I can't even begin to count all the ways in which this commercial offends my sensibilities. But let's try.

1. It co-opts the form of the already worn-out "white guys talk like this, but black guys talk like this" late-80s schtick as a way of using stereotypes to sell beer.

2. It does so in a way that is thoroughly unfunny, by taking Carlos Mencia's already unfunny act and watering it down even further by distilling it to, "Hispanics say 'holmes,' but New Yorkers ask if you have a problem with that."

3. It attempts to mine cheap laughs out of the fact that people from other countries sometimes pronounce vowel sounds differently than we do. Okay, I lied, this is one of the best things about it. The whole "oo instead of uh" thing that the ad ends with? Comedy fucking gold. The only reason they don't end every commercial with a funny-talkin' Indian guy is that doctors cautioned about a national epidemic of pants-wetting.

4. It unironically tries to use the phrase "no speak English" as a joke, as though no one had ever heard that one before.

5-1,783. It stars Carlos Mencia. I suppose in some ways he's the perfect beer pitchman - he's abrasive, unfunny, and no one is better suited to make awful jokes about thin stereotypes. Sounds like most beer ads, doesn't it?

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