Just found out FORBES magazine (my go-to resource for all things comedic) assembled a panel of ad experts and hooked them up to truth machines. or something. anyhoo, the upshot was that an ad with my name on it was voted seventh funniest ad of all time. which i must admit has added a certain frisson of tingle to anotherwise ho-hum Friday afternoon.
the ad was inspired by my art director partner Justin Reardon’s voracious appetite for sushi. the guy could put away some raw fish. he was and remains a big guy. a former linebacker for the University of Miami in Ohio football team. Sushi chefs all over Los Angeles live for the day when Justin finally walks through their door. Can they be the one to at last satisfy his appetite and claim the crown?
what happened in the commercial was pretty much based on Justin’s real life. i think he actually did what happened in the commercial: shout Wasabi! as a toast at Japanese sushi chefs and get them toasting back. he was funny. the ad was funny. it was a nice play on the whole Wassup! thing and added needed dimension to the campaign at a time when it was white hot. i recall not being entirely convinced that the idea would work when we shot it. but having faith that it would somehow. we had made comedy out of editing in the first Wassup! spots. we did so again here.
boy did that raw fish stink under the lights! the waiter was a real sushi waiter, from the NY restaurant that we shot in. not an actor. the kick under the table by Dookie’s girlfriend at the end was my idea. we got one take of that. but thank god we got it. it was a quick ending. and we needed it.
this ad was hugely popular and just what the campaign needed at the time. it was a crazy and fun time.