UNK SEZ: Hey kids, here is a special traumafession from CHRIS McKINLEY, the producer and editor of one of one of our favorite fliks, MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO, which is now available on DVD! Check it out and make sure you check out MLKT!
I’m with the folks who had commercials as their first run-in with things creepy or ridiculous. Long before I was allowed to see anything above PG, advertisers were doing work on my impressionable little brain. In my case, no advertiser gets more credit than the US Government.
The public service announcements for the War on Drugs get at least partial credit for warping my young sense of humor. Before I ever saw my first FRIDAY flick, those wonderful PSA’s taught me that some of the funniest stuff on film comes from people playing material completely straight.
I gotta hope whoever actually put the spots together also secretly thought they were hilarious. Some of the humor in the spots was a little more subtle, (even though the “I wanna be a nurse” moment in this one is still laugh out loud funny to me):
But at some point they kicked it up a notch, and we started getting PAUL REUBENS, serious as a heart attack but in full on Pee-Wee character, talking about crack… with the best sound effects ever. I think this was a series with other actors doing spots too:
However… it looks like the best example is one that I never saw growing up, but would have loved. While looking these others up, I came across this GREMLINS PSA from New South Wales:
Really? Drinking & drugs are bad?? ‘Cause it looks to me like those Gremlins are destructively partying their asses off with zero consequences while Gizmo has storytime with a square Chinese dude. But maybe that’s just me.