Always striking the nerve of the advertising zeitgeist, Saturday Night Live’s commercial parodies have been one of many reasons to stay in your seat past the opening monologue. So much so that I had originally tried to narrow this list down to five. However, after over 40 years of material, 27 of which I’ve been around to witness, narrowing it down to five was nearly impossible.
So here it is: over 10 minutes of commercial parodies, along with some words about my experiences with them.
Nerf Crotch Bat
The funny thing about this parody – apart from Chris Farley and a bunch of children hitting each other in the crotch with a foam bat – is that it is mischievously easy to mistake it for yet another early ’90s toy commercial. So much so that the neon colors and the parents “getting in on the fun” alone made me expect an all-new episode of Double Dare to come on next.
Don’t care if I’m being too TMI here, but I started my first period mere months before this originally aired. While at that time there seemed to be little difference between the maxi-pads of yesteryear and those of the early 2000s, there was solace in knowing that my butt didn’t have to float to the surface whenever I swam during my time of the month. (I could just avoid pool parties until I learned how to use a tampon.)
Old Glory Insurance
“Buying robot insurance” became a euphemism in our household for duping people into buying something they think will keep them safe from a vague or nonexistent threat. What makes this euphemism even better is reimagining a janky-ass robot stealing pills and “attacking” the elderly.
Bad Idea Jeans
Have you ever eavesdropped on a group of really well-dressed, cool-looking people, only to find that they’re enabling each other’s terrible decisions? That’s the idea behind this commercial parody, which isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Red Flag Perfume
If only there were a red flag cologne. Oh, wait –
Let’s face it: the current approved way to sit on the toilet certainly has been designed to make you “look stupid and feel foolish.” That is where the Koohl toilet comes in. There has never been an SNL commercial parody that has made me laugh like a giddy little school girl quite like this one. Riffing on Apple’s ever-famous 1984 commercial, Benedict Cumberbatch introduces a revolutionary new way to sit on the toilet.
Dissing Your Dog
After getting a copy of the DVD for Christmas years ago, I’ve made it an annual tradition to watch this and other sketches from The Best of Will Ferrell around the holidays. I could go on about how the color scheme of the commercial parody itself invokes yuletide cheer, but really it’s all about Will Ferrell getting all up in an unassuming animal’s face and whispering, “You’re a f*cking dog!”
Six words: hold on to your f*cking hat.
Yes, another toilet one – and perhaps one of the most memorable commercial parodies ever. This is probably the earliest commercial parody I remember from the days when I was first watching the ’90s SNL reruns on Comedy Central. Ever since, I’ve been able to gauge the intensity of a couple’s PDA by determining whether or not they are Love Toilet™ customers or not.
Also, yes – this will 100% be on my future wedding gift registry, whether it exists or not.
BONUS: There’s a version dubbed in Italian on the YouTube as well:
Although mom jeans are, in fact, really hot right now, there was a time when nearly every Midwestern mother aged 40+ sported the 9-inch crotch un-ironically. In many parts of North America, I’m sure there are still many mothers who do. This explains why, to this day, the phrase,”I’m not a woman anymore – I’m a mom” still echoes in my mind whenever I find myself in a crowded mall parking lot.