Monday, June 02, 2008

America's newest and greatest reality show

Kids love Head Cheese
It’s the bee’s knees

Oscar Meyer Head Cheese

Serve it fresh or freeze

Oscar Meyer Head Cheese

I could be the next reality show STAR!!! That little ditty could be my ticket to fame and fortune. Fuck AMERICAN IDOL and SURVIVOR. I’m going for the big prize! I’m applying to be on JINGLES.

CBS has ordered eight episodes of JINGLES – a Mark Burnett brainchild where aspiring singer/composers write and perform commercial jingles.

We’re American Airlines
Charging what we can get away with

Okay, maybe that one still needs work.

But the idea of this show is genius. Name me one true musician/artist who didn’t aspire to write the next Tidy Bowl jingle. Name me one singer who didn’t dream of having “Clap on/Clap off” as their signature song.

Talk to anyone in the business and they’ll tell you that next to songs about love, car rental is the next most popular subject.

And I bet you yourself have said on numerous occasions, “Songs today are way too long. Jesus, some of ‘em are even three minutes. I just want music. I don’t want a whole concert. Give me a good fifteen second song and let me go on about my life.” And the other good news with jingles is that instead of getting 200 songs on your iPod you can now get 1400.

You’ve met the man of your dreams
He’s all that he seems

He’s taking you out tonight
Everything has to be right
So before you leave
Use your Summer’s Eve

I don’t know who the judges will be but I just picture Barry Manilow, Ronald McDonald, and Heidi Fleiss.

I’m also guessing that each week the competition gets tougher until the final showdown where the last two standing have to find a rhyme for Preparation H.

Again, I think this concept is brilliant. After all, Americans can’t get enough of advertising as it is. I understand the main reason people get Tivo is so they can fast forward through the programs just to get to the commercials. And now that won’t be necessary. The commercials ARE the show. To paraphrase a jingle that would have won years ago: Television – You’ve Come a Long Way Baby”.

We’re American Airlines
Now charging for your life vest

Where do I apply?


Anonymous said...

Having thoroughly scraped the bottom of the barrell with HAY PAULA and SCOTT BAIO IS 47 AND PSYCHOTIC, not to mention FLAVA OF LOVE and that Tia Tequila show, there is now no bottom left to the barrell, and they're scraping right through to the dirt beneath.

They should tke those songs that win the AMERICAN IDOL song writing contest, and reduce tehm to jingle length. It would certainly improve them.

As a kid, the father of one of my closest friends was a jingle writer. He wrote
"You always get the finest,
The very best, the finest,
At the sign of the 76."

Which was the played-day-and-night jingle for Union 76 gas stations at that time (1959) Now he was a celebrity to me. And he had an awfully nice house.


Your wife will never nag ya,
You will explode like Niag'ra,
When you pop that nice blue pill,

The Milner Coupe said...

A TV show about commercials...

I weep for the future.

You say this show is already in the works?

Fuck the future, I'll start crying now.

Chuck Sigars said...

Ready for vacation?
Rest and relaxation.
But that irritation
Is causing consternation?

And then the "H" is sort of whispered and sustained. You know.

C'mon. Give us a challenge.

Anonymous said...

(from Dallas, home of PAMS)
Chuck, thanks for not sinking to the level of "constipation," because THAT wouldn't have been in such good tast.

Really enjoyed your take on this Ken, but get a lawyer! Didn’t you have a post about a year ago about a real radio show that was nothing but commercials? Or did I read that somewhere else?

Perfect MC: Charlie Sheen. (And isn’t it strange how few actual faux-jingles you hear on that show?) But the program dedication needs to be “In memory of Andy Devine,” who played “Jingles” on the old Wild Bill Hickcock series (“Hey Wild Bill, wait for me!” “I’m goin’ back to East Sedalia!”)

Remember a show at the old Bitter End in Greenwich Village, where the bill was (I am not making this up) The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Mary Ingles, and a SF folksinger named Jake Holmes. Holmes was real good and later played on at least one of the late night talk shows, but I always felt bad that his career didn’t seem to really take off and wondered what happened to to guy. Then I found out he made billions not only writing but performing his commercial jingles: Be a Pepper (Dr. Pepper), Aren’t You Hungry (for Burger King Now), Be All that You Can be (US Army), Raise Your Hands if Your Sure, Come See the Softer Side of Sears, etc. When it comes to musicians selling out, guess I’m just a Fanilow.

Bitter Animator said...

I don't think I'll ever see a world without advertising (though I'm wishing for that very thing on my blog today) but I do think that television will get less, not more, advertising. I think the viewing habits are changing. Digital on demand, shows on dvd and downloads, make television advertising less and less effective, not worth the spend and so would have a harder time paying for shows.

I think it's going to be a slow change in mentality but I reckon shows will eventually be paid for by the people who watch them rather than people who want to hawk their crap to the people who watch them.

As a result, I have no problem with their little jingle show. To me, it's like granting a guy on death row his last meal. Though, in this case, I imagine the perp will hang around in that cell longer than most. Or something.

Still, a world without advertising... would be nice, eh?

Gridlock said...

And fiction becomes reality once again... Demolition Man anyone?

what's the opposite of product placement - story placement? Will we see Simon Cowell picking up a storyline and taking a long, refreshing gulp of it?

Bitter Animator said...

Even the excellent Iron Man had some shameless product placement. It can be quite distracting.

Tom Quigley said...

With Eric Clapton's and J.J. Cale's permission (and profuse apologies to both of them), how about this audition entry?

(sung to the tune of "Cocaine")

If you're losing your hair,
There's no need to despair -- Rogaine.
If you scream and you shout
Each time another falls out -- Rogaine.
Don't despair --
Keep your hair --
It's all there --

Do I win?... Oh, sorry, the show hasn't started yet, has it?

Mary Stella said...

Since Barry Manilow wrote jingles in his early years (Wow, they had commercials back then??) he'll be the perfect judge. They should also pick the guy who sings on every other commercial. Nobody would recognize his name, but if he sings his comments, they'll immediately know him.

clairlnz said...

And CBS canceled Jericho and Moonlight for this crap. I knew there was a reason I don't watch anything on that network.

Anonymous said...

What's ironic about the whole thing is that many feel "jingles"--original musical tunes used in commercials--are in eclipse, supplanted by the licensing of songs/recordings not originally created for that purpose.

Jeff Tompkins said...

So far Tom Quigley's entry about Rogaine has my vote. That's funny stuff.

Anonymous said...

Ken Levine said…
Name me one singer who didn’t dream of having “Clap on/Clap off” as their signature song..

Did you mean as long as it’s for a good cause: Elton John, Elizabeth Taylor, Al Franken, Ashly Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Rosie O’Donnell, Will Smith, Richard Gere, Christina Applegate, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu – for Amoxicillin? Going green and recycling their “We all have aids” campaign as “Now we all have Gonorea.” OK, sorry.

Mary Stella said...

Swollen veins in your ass
There's no need to be crass . . .
with Preparation... Preparation H

Find dozens of uses
No more lame excuses
with Preparation... Preparation H.

Lift bags under your eyes
Tighten skin on your thighs
with Preparation... Preparation H

Since beauty queens do it
Come on, get down to it
with Preparation... Preparation H

Tom Quigley said...

Uh-oh -- I think I've created a monster... Ken, get ready for an onslaught of REALLY bad jingles....

Anonymous said...

I almost auditioned for this show. Look, my writing partner and I want to write songs. Are jingles songs? Yeah. Technically. I'm well aware they're not art. But we thought, "Hey, this'll get our names out there, right?" In the end, I decided I didn't want the moral quandary of explaining to my kids why I wrote a jingle for breakfast sausage when we're vegetarians. I can make money a thousand different ways, but there's only one way to be a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

I didn't notice any product placement in Iron Man. Or if I did, I guess it didn't burger me.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to burst your Disney Fairies bubble bath (in the diaper aisle at Target), but singing shows will be short-lived. I know, you're looking forward to next year's idol. The next big wave is not gonna be Cameron and her surfboards, it will be more to the tune of AFV (think Bob Saget). Yes, not only will viewers be able to send videos, pictures, or the latest high-fi (or old-fi if you're really into cassette tapes) digital gametronic...but there will always, always be PRIZES. Maybe there's even one hiding under your seat!

Anonymous said...

For the best in emergency medical care
Please come to King/Drew
If you're on the door to death
We will pull you through.

(I apologize to those of you who have never lived in L.A. as I assume you're now scratching your heads and wondering what I'm talking about.)

Anonymous said...

I got 16 tons
to load in my trunk
I just went to Costco
and bought mostly junk.
St. Peter don't you call me
'cause I cant go ...
I just saw a parking space
in the next row.

Anonymous said...

We'll find you a seat,
If we want to!
We'll make room for your feet,
If we want you!
A connection you must meet?
It may haunt you!
Our employees may be sweet,
Or they'll taunt you!

Once upon a time we loved to fly
It was special in the air
But now we hate you, that's no lie
We're not paid enough to care!

Got to get away?
If you've half a brain
Use an extra day
To drive or take the train!

Brought to you by your friends in the airline industry: When all else failed, we decided to try honesty!

BR said...

She dreams in color
She dreams in red
Can't find a better bran
Can't find a better bran

Anonymous said...


H is the Preparation for me!

C'mon folks, this was a concept destined for it's shot on the tube. We may look down on it but, honestly, can't you sing all sorts of jingles? Of course you can. And why? Because someone was able to be pithy, catchy & evocative in 60 seconds or less. A mind boggling task, really.
I skip commercials just like everyone else but I might watch this show to see what it takes to make Hamms Beer, Crocker Bank & Chiffon Butter part of the soundtrack of my life.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else who was a kid when they first heard the Chiffon Butter jingle hear it this way --

If you think it's butter-
But it's snot -
It's Chiffon!

Anonymous said...

"I can make money a thousand different ways, but there's only one way to be a hypocrite."

Now don't sell yourself short, Tom. There are LOTS of ways to be a hypocrite. Just give it more thought and effort. Aim for the stars.

On another topic for an instant, I understand Hilary Clinton is still submitting "Dan had such a fear of comittment that ..." jokes.

pmichellej said...

Watch America's Got Talent for real greatest reality show. I'm a big old face and the thing I really like about is it it's not trying to be reality. I hate a the faux stuff like flava of love and the snoop dog thing. it's so set up and boring. at least on this show it's not trying to lie to you,.

pmichellej said...

so i posted on here yesterday about America’s Got Talent and then I just happened to read this really amazing article in the New York Post about the show this morning. I was happy to see that Simon Cowell is a big fan. Makes me really want to watch the show tonight when it starts up again. It’s exciting. Here’s the link.

Anonymous said...

reneeg said...
Thanks to Jeff S for commenting on the catchy Hamm's Beer jingle which was actually written by my dad, Ernie Garven from Minneapolis in the 1950's. He wrote he musical score, arrangement and was one of the singers on the jingle. As I kid I can remember him constantly doing that "tom-tom" beat while he was composing. We have a recording of the actual jingle, the copyright and the actual music score for it. I'm amazed at how much inaccurate information there is out here on the web about where it originated from and who wrote it, etc. I will, at some time, attempt to update various sites with the correct info. Ernie was an amazing jingle writer and had numerous national jingles to his credit....Wheaties, Dairy Queen, Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers (all were played on the Mickey Mouse Show) and many, many more. Feel free to contact me for further information at

Anonymous said...

Ken, anyone that worked on the set of Frasier is a genious in his own right. Best show of all time. Whatdaya guys think about this reality show idea? Is it hot or is it just not as sweet as I think it might be. BTW I don't know what the hell I'm doing its just something I thought of between jobs.

“The Golden Ticket” a Reality Show Concept

Randomly chosen contestants compete in a series of candy related competitions; the winner receiving a contract to develop his very own creation and be reward based on sales of the creation.

A mock factory is set; the show starts with 12 contestants who found a “golden ticket” inside products of a major chocolate company. These tickets are bearer instruments and whoever sends them in will receive airfare and hotel accommodations for themselves only, for the duration of their stay in the competition.

Example Pilot First Episode-
The 12 contestants will have to perform an ala “I Love Lucy” and must capture chocolates rolling out of a conveyor belt for 5 minutes. They must properly place them in trays and/or eat them as fast as they can.
Before doing each challenge, they will tour a local factory and be asked to pay attention to something specific, to give them a clue to the next days task. The cameras will roll as they try to figure out what it is they will have to do.
Just like in golf, in the “conveyor belt from hell” pilot competition, the lowest number is the winner. The one with the most chocolate in the dump (pile) must leave the show.
However, first they must be sung off by a local musician from the shows taping area who will sing the “Oomph Loompa” type song, using the person’s name and why they are leaving the show from each task. The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize, merchandise, or a vacation. There will than be interviews of all contestants to find out what they thought of the “challenge.”

Example Episode 2-
The 11 remaining contestants will be taken to tour a real, working jelly bean factory, possibly the “Jelly Belly” factory (or a New York area factory if filmed in New York). For this competition, they will not actually be doing or creating anything, but they will not know this at the time of the tour.
They will than be asked to taste 20 different jellybeans the next day, with only one of each bean for each contestant. They will have 10 seconds to identify the flavor. The contestant who gets the most correct is the winner of the prize for that competition. The contestant who gets the least correct goes home. In the event of a tie (for winner or looser), there will be a surprise taste off where they must try 10 jellybeans, this time 2 jellybeans at a time. The one who identifies the most is the winner. There will be interviews once again after the touring stage and after the tasting.

The show is about fulfilling a dream, granting a wish. The contestants might have purchased only one or two candy bars or they may have gone through cases of them to find their “golden ticket”. It’s a chance to make dreams come alive and think outside the (candy) box. Money, fame, and challenge await the contestants, who have little idea of what the prize actually consists of in this first season. The winner amongst the ticket holders will receive the right to create a new product for Hershey, Nestle, or some other large season sponsor. The product will have a guaranteed minimum run, and the winner will receive an amount for every box sold in the first 12 months or possibly a set prize. Every other day will consist of a challenge; the day in between will be used to set the stage for the next day’s competition.

Tell me what you think by responding here or writing me at At least its different, right?