We (American consumers) all had a good chuckle last week when Radio Shack’s Super Bowl spot aired. Oh, was it ever amusing to see ALF, Dee Snider, and cheap facsimiles of other ’80s pop culture titans attempting to “take back” “their” electronics store as Loverboy’s hit of hits “Working For The Weekend” pumped in the background. In the week that has followed, however, certain dark corners of the Internet (read: Ghostbusters message boards I frequent) have been buzzing that Radio Shack’s cute little advert includes a veiled jab at Dan Aykroyd.
A few ghostheads out there have interpreted the end of the commercial, wherein Slimer flies through the wall of the new Radio Shack only to be told he’s arrived “too late,” as a shot at Aykroyd and his years-long insistence that a Ghostbusters 3 will be made. It’s “too late,” they say, for that third and ostensibly final entry. Too much time has passed. No one will accept AARP Venkman and Spengler and even less people will accept this “new generation” of busters Ayk is insisting are in the GB3 script. So hit the bricks, Slimer. You’re done. Float away to the 1980s mascot retirement home. Spuds MacKenzie and the California Raisins are waiting for you.
There’s a feeling of reverence for the decades old figures in this ad, and based on that I don’t think Radio Shack would purposely single one out just for sly ridicule. On the other hand, Slimer is a computer graphic; unlike Hulk Hogan, they can say some messed up shit to his globby-ass face without fear of physical retribution. Also, generally speaking there’s some favoritism at play within the spot. We get Ponch from “CHiPs” not John, horror movie icon Jason but not Freddy, eternal barfly Cliff Clavin but not Norm. In that light I’m surprised they used Sgt. Slaughter to compliment Hogan.
I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that Radio Shack took a swipe at the Ghostbusters franchise, but if you’re trying to zero in on the most washed up and/or least profitable property featured…well, look, they put Kid ‘n Play in there, and I think a Ghostbusters 3 of any stripe would make more money than another House Party or Class Act. I’d be willing to bet my reserve supply of Ecto Cooler on that. No disrespect to Kid or Play, of course. I love House Party, but more kids dress up like Ray Stanz every year for Halloween than Chris Reid.
Things I had to fact check for this post: if Loverboy was one word or two, if the “Working” in “Working For The Weekend” was spelled “Workin’,” the proper spelling of Spuds MacKenzie, the proper spelling of “CHiPs,” where to put the apostrophe in Kid ‘n Play.
The Stupid Bowl
The Pooper Bowl
The Snoopy Bowl
The Grouper Bowl
The Fruiter Bowl
The Cooter Bowl
Bowly Bowl Bowl
The Thing Game
The Super Toilet Bowl
Swan Lake With Hitting
The Ice Capades With No Ice But Hitting
The Oscars On A Field With No Awards But Hitting
That Dumb Shit That Isn’t The Pro Bowl
The Budweiser Frog Variety Hour (With Hitting)
DISCLAIMER: I myself would never use any of these terms as I have the utmost respect for millionaires who run around in tights screaming things like “pork belly option” and “Omaha!”
Remember the Super Bowl post I wrote earlier this year that detailed the epic $10,000 bet my father placed on the Pittsburg Steelers in Super Bowl XIII? Well, it turns out I got the story wrong. During a recent visit with JG1, the old coot said the figure in question was a mere $3,000. He also pointed out that he actually lost that bet. Seems Pop put his money on the Cowboys for that game. Damn you, Terry Bradshaw.
Before you start feeling sorry for poor Papa Jimbo, please take into consideration the fact he netted an alleged $14,000 from a bet placed on a Monday Night game that took place a few weeks before the Super Bowl in question. Again, that’s not a typo—that’s FOURTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. One Four Comma Zero Zero Zero. This should tell you A) what kind of tax bracket JG1 was in at the time and B) why he’s on such a strict budget today (I don’t think he’s purchased anything “luxury items” outside beer, KFC, and cigarettes for years).
In fact, when JG1 was relaying this tall tale to me, he mentioned that when he met up with his bookie to collect after the Super Bowl, the bookie told him he threw an extra hundred dollars into his winnings.
“Why did you do that?” my father asked.
“Because you just had a son,” the bookie replied. “And at the rate you’re going, he’s never gonna make it to college.”
And here we are now. Not only did I make to college, I graduated, too! My father isn’t broke, the mob isn’t after him, and Terry Bradshaw currently looks like the monster in Young Frankenstein. I’d say all is right with the world.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I do not vouch for the complete accuracy of anything my father tells me. This is the same man who once claimed to have simultaneously been Elvis Presley’s stunt double and one of the Everly Brothers.
Or “Football Memories From A Guy Who Only Watches Football Once A Year.”
Super Bowl XIII: Steelers vs. Cowboys (1/21/79)
Taking place a mere eighteen days after my birth, Super Bowl XIII was the first NFL Championship game of the JG2 era. This match-up also provided my father, the great JG1, with his most epic gambling win of all-time. Pop put $10,000 (that’s TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS) on the heavily favored Steelers, who beat the Cowboys 35 to 31. The Old Man’s been a Steelers fan ever since. According to Greene lore, these Super Bowl winnings were used to pay off the hospital bills from my equally triumphant birth—I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that this lump sum was actually directed towards the replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang my father kept in our garage until the stock market crash of 1987.
Super Bowl XXI: Giants vs. Broncos (1/25/87)
I remember very little about the game or any kind of partying. What I do remember is the next day, when I put on the non-descript Giants jersey I had received for Christmas a month prior and demanded my younger female cousin take a polaroid of me flexing near the laundry room. After the polaroid was finished drying, I requested she caption the photo “Young Lawrence Taylor” in red magic marker (which she did). It’s true—I did have some gridiron aspirations as a child. Unfortunately, Jebus didn’t make me as rough and tumble as the other kids. This lily would have positively wilted in the backfield.
Super Bowl XXIII: 49ers vs. Bengals (1/22/89)
Television was going through a small 3-D craze around this time. Thus, Super Bowl XXIII’s halftime show—some kind of 1950s rock n’ roll Elvis extravaganza—was presented partially in 3-D. It wasn’t nearly as good as Channel 11’s 3-D presentation of Hondo starring John Wayne; those injun arrows were comin’ right at me! If I remember the basic plot of this halftime show correctly, it began with a number of hot pink UFOs landing on the field at Joe Robbie Stadium a la The Day The Earth Stood Still. Mankind was frightened until the aliens revealed themselves to be interstellar Elvis impersonators! Awesome! For some reason, I also remember ZZ Top somehow being involved, but I could just be making that up (because I’m a die-hard ZZ Top fan and think they should be involved in EVERYTHING). My parents had a pretty big Bowl Bash this year. The action even spilled over to my mother’s “pink” room, a.k.a. the living room where I wasn’t usually allowed to hang out. I think my father bought a TV specifically for this Super Bowl party and put it in that room. Again, I could be mis-remembering things. Maybe the Super Bowl didn’t even happen that year.
Super Bowl XXV: Giants vs. Bills (1/27/91)
Went to some serious footballers’ party with my parents. Most distinct memory: the elderly Buffalo fanatic in attendance who had the Bills’ emblem painted on her saggy, weathered cheeks. In retrospect, it was a really accurate rendering. This was the year Whitney Houston blew the doors off the National Anthem. America really flipped a biscuit over that one. Too bad the Kuwait invasion only lasted like two days. There was some other kid at this party named Jimmy who at one point said something about Anthrax (the band), and I remember thinking, “No one our age actually likes Anthrax.” I was twelve at the time.
Super Bowl XXIX: 49ers vs. Chargers (1/29/95)
The first Super Bowl of the post-Cobain era. One of those rare moments when I noticed life goes on after insurmountable tragedy. No amount of grunge-related suicides was going to stop Steve Young from dominating this Miami-based game. The ’95 halftime show was that Indiana Jones stunt show, entitled Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. A huge fight erupted between myself and my father when I announced I would be spending the half in my room watching “Beavis and Butt-head.” JG1 was, for some reason, livid (did he secretly invest in this Indiana Jones thing?) As soon as Indy was finished battled Dan Marino (or whatever the hell they did), my father poked his head in my room with an amazed look on his face. Quoteth Pops: “EVERYONE’S going to be talking about that tomorrow.” I felt bad for exactly one second. The next day at school, I only heard one person mention the Indiana Jones Football Stunt Spectacular. They didn’t seem all that enthused about it.
Super Bowl XXXVIII: Patriots vs. Panthers (2/1/04)
For years, I sat around wondering just how hot Janet Jackson’s boobs looked when they weren’t being oppressed by clothing. Surely even the briefest glance at Miss Jackson’s imaginably gorgeous chestal region would send me into severe cardiac arrest for the rest of my life. Imagine my disappointment when I finally did get to see one of JJ’s milkers and it looked like a pile of melting frozen yogurt with some weird lawn ornament in the middle. Talk about the wrong time to pop out a hooter. I blame that Thai sex slave outfit she was wearing. I was watching the game alone with my girlfriend at the time, and she turned away from the TV just as Janet’s titty came out. Thus, she did not believe me when I exclaimed, “Holy shit; Janet Jackson just flashed the Super Bowl!”
Super Bowl XLII: Giants vs. Patriots (2/3/08 )
This was the year I mercilessly mocked the entire game with an equally snarky friend of mine at a packed Super Bowl party, because I’m a complete dick like that sometimes. Most people were laughing along with us, but I know a few folks wanted to kick our asses. At one point, I got into an argument about the forthcoming Iron Man movie. I believe I made the statement that no one in America gives a shit about Iron Man. Seventeen jillion people proved me wrong five or six months later when that bastard opened. See, that’s why I’m not a major Hollywood player. I don’t know people’s tastes. Anyway, when the Giants won this game, there was an audible roar in the city, like…well…like the Giants won the Super Bowl. One of my roommates at the time came home the next morning with a celebratory black eye.