Saturday, February 18, 2006


"Aristotle once said that a play should have
A beginning, a middle, and an end.
But what did he know?
Today, a play must have
A first half, a second half, and a station break."
Alfred Hitchcock
'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'

Here's one final look at the Super Bowl ads and it's about my two favorites from this year. Both of them featured the Clydesdales of Anhueser-Busch, which have been staple at the Super Bowl fo ryears and an advertising legend for the ages.

In the first one, "American Dream", a colt has aspirations to be chosen for the Budweiser wagon team when he grows up. He stares at a framed picture on the wall of the barn which shows his elders serving together proudly as team-mates.

Since nobody is around to um... "neigh-say" him, the colt slips into the neck-ring harness and gives it a tentative tug to see what it would feel like.

Lo and behold! After some strain and initial resistance, the wagon begins to move and the colt proudly hauls it out of the barn.

Little did he realize that his parents were behind the wagon, giving it a push.

I'm just assuming that they were his parents. They could have been two steeds or two mares, for all I know. Flicka has two mommies.

Maybe it should have been entitled "La Cage Aux Foal".

In the second ad, the Clydesdales were gathered to do what they do best. No... Not that fershlugginer wagon! A football game!

In this year's variation, a young lamb streaker, shorn of his wool, dashed out on the field and did a butt-shaking victory dance for the entertainment of the fans on the sidelines - an ark's worth of Rocky Mountain ruminants like bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and even bison. (Not visible this time around is the referee - a zebra!)

The Clydesdales in all of these commercials have shown intelligence on a par with 'Mr. Ed'. But why haven't we heard them speak? Perhaps because they will never talk unless they've got something to say. And what is there to say when all you want to do is play a little ball?

It took thirty plus years before we got the splainin as to why 'Mr. Ed' talks - the mini-series adaptation of the Jonathan Swift classic 'Gulliver's Travels'. Mr. Ed, and the Clydesdales as well, are descended from those intelligent horses known as the Houyhnhnms.

Unlike the bestial human equivalent known as the Yahoo, the Houyhnhnms were practitioners of rational thought and they were elegant in all their ways.

"Upon the whole, the behaviour of these animals was so orderly and rational, so acute and judicious, that I at last concluded, they must needs be Magician."

Of course, once they moved to America where they could kick out the jams, all of that went out the window come time for the big football game!

So that splains the intelligence of the horses, and maybe even the zebra referee, but what of the other hoofed beasts there; the bisons and the sheep and such?

I'm reminded of a portrait that hangs in the hall of 'The Addams Family' household; that of Gomez' business partner - a giraffe wearing a business suit.

These intelligent beasts can only be the work of one man - Dr. Moreau from 'The Island Of Lost Souls' by HG Wells. The fact that as of yet there has not been a TV adaptation of the work is of little concern for the moment. We waited over thirty years for the work of Jonathan Swift to be adapted for Toobworld to get the splainin of 'Mr. Ed'.

I'm a patient guy....

By the way, I'm throwing this out there for anybody who works on those Clydesdale football blipverts; free to use for next year.....

During the commercial, we see a donkey wearing a rainbow colored afro wig and around his neck is a sign that reads: "Mr. Ed 3:19"

The two cowboys watching the game notice it.

"What's that supposed to mean?" asks the younger one.

"Season 3, Episode 19 of 'Mr. Ed'," says the older one. "It's called 'Big Pine Lodge' and they go on vacation up in the mountains where the guys get taken by a couple of card sharks."

"But that doesn't make any sense," protests the younger cowboy.

The older guy shrugs. "Whaddya want? He's a jackass."


"You needn't stand there staring.
We're not going to show you any more.
In fact, I'm not even going to tell you what happened.
Television audiences are becoming entirely too dependent."
Alfred Hitchcock
'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'

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