There is nothing that satisfies my thirst for ridiculous satire more than the film "Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail," unless you count Tom Arnold posing as a sports expert.
I will never forget the wizard named Tim, the holy hand grenade, or the hideous troll who quizzed the knights on their favorite color before he let them pass, and who then went on to success as the role model for DMV test-givers everywhere.
Up until now, I always felt smugly superior to the Monty Python characters.
Sadly, I feel I have become one.
I am referring to the old man being carried out of his home by John Cleese to a wheelbarrow where they are piling plague victims like "American Idol" rejects.
"I'm not dead, yet," says the old man. "Well, you will be soon," replied Cleese. "Really, I feel much better. I don't want to go." "Oh quit whining."
I feel like that old man when I watch television commercials, because advertisers must think I'm dead when I am clearly alive and well. They are now aiming their commercials, not to baby boomers like me, but to the new generation who created a cult following for the TV show "Jackass," in which actors try to prove how appropriate that title is.
If you don't know it, the theme of that show is to try to become organ candidates by taking part in stunts sanctioned only by The Association For Those Missing Brain Parts Needed For Rational Thought.
In appealing to this crowd, advertisers have created "edgy" commercials that are "in your face." As a discerning consumer, the only thing I want in MY face, thank you very much, would be a cold martini, a hot woman, and a winning lottery ticket.
Real examples of "edgy" commercials include one in which a young guy sits at a bar tasting a new beer, and it's a religious experience so life-changing that he screams like a factory whistle. This startles a dart thrower who misses the board and lands one into the butt of someone playing pool. They cut the tape before the pool player takes his cue stick and makes shish kebob with the beer drinker.
Another one, for a truck equipped with the engine from the nuclear carrier Nimitz, shows two guys driving and one guy gets some food stuck in his throat. His caring friend stomps on the gas so the truck hurtles way into the time-space continuum, then hits the brake, causing his friend to dislodge his food on to the windshield. The new truck is called, of course, The Heimlich.
In a third commercial, two guys in snowsuits head toward a small tent on a frozen tundra, where they find their pal frozen solid like a large ice cube, shaking uncontrollably.
Instead of rescuing him, his friends place their chocolate milk into his shaking hands, then they drink up and leave. This demonstrates the current meaning of "being sensitive" among guys who think "fun" equates to riding a skateboard down a 30-foot long handrail and turning themselves in hash on the absorbent concrete.
Well, even though the advertising folks would like to think I'm dead or not watching, I'm still here. And I've got an attitude about the commercials that they clearly ARE aiming at me. Enough with the Geritol, laxatives, heartburn pills and Grecian formula. Why don't they aim ads for jet skis at me? They don't. Just ones for adult diapers.
In a great Carole King song called "Goin' Back", she wrote: "Thinking young and growing older, ain't no sin; I can play the game of life to win." I FEEL young, but I'm not turned on by these edgy commercials. If being a consumer today means being a jackass, I'll stick with my favorite beer, favorite car, and favorite comedy movies
Now here's a soda commercial with the announcer gleefully watching a ski jumper going faster than the bullet train, hurtling through space and splattering on a billboard. Excuse me while I hurl this holy hand grenade into my 27" Samsung.
Dan Sherman is a Reno, NV-based writer. Email him at