We’ve almost made it.
Now that we have just one more day of Brian Wilson’s XXL Chalupa commercial, let’s talk about Brian Wilson’s XXL Chalupa commercial.
There were two Brian Wilson ads. The first one, this one, involved Brian Wilson trying to convince his Taco Bell commercial director, at the last minute, after everybody has shown up and set up the lighting and even the extra is there in the background waiting and hoping Brian Wilson doesn’t screw up his gig…
… to change the script to something involving black ops, or maybe something called black awps. It is a 30-second ad. The other is only 15 seconds, and it follows what we assume is the original script. A man has ordered a Chalupa, it is too big for him to eat on his own, so Brian Wilson comes in as “the closer” to finish his meal. It is not clear whether these commercials take place in the same dimension, or whether the second one occurs in an alternate dimension where Brian Wilson didn’t show up demanding script revisions.
Both commercials, however, follow a common rule of modern Taco Bell advertising:
NOBODY EATS THE #@(&ing FOOD.
Seriously. Look at the shorter ad, where the guy can’t finish his Chalupa. Brian Wilson comes in to relieve him right now:
Hasn’t even started. The dude is being relieved, because he’s too full, but he hasn’t taken a bite. This is not the time for a closer.
Now let’s go back to the 2010 playoffs, when we watched Mariano Rivera relieve a small-stomached “starter.” Here’s the script:
Guy: I can barely finish this thing.
Guy: /puts Chalupa down, exhausted
Girardi: You’re done, kid.
This is the Chalupa at the time Girardi steps in:
Girardi then says, “Kid chewed a helluva Chalupa today,” except he didn’t take a single bite. Incidentally, the guy in the background has opened his food but it’s not clear he has eaten it; we certainly don’t see it eaten or being eaten. The couple behind him doesn’t have any food; they’re just at the Taco Bell to hang. The guy in the background on the left is just thinking.
Here’s a Charles Barkley Taco Bell ad. Watch the secondary character go to take a bite, about 18 seconds in, and then …
…he gets interrupted and doesn’t take a bite. Except nothing interrupts him. He gets stopped by nothing. He just doesn’t eat Taco Bell.
Or this ad, in which a man brings a Taco Bell 12-pack to a party. Look at how happy everybody is with their tacos …
… all of them untouched.
I had three theories for this. One is that the amount of artificial enhancement required to make Taco Bell look pretty, rather than how it looks in real life, makes the displayed product cease to be food. It’s just makeup and glisten spray and glue. That’s one theory. A second theory is that the attractive product in the commercials is so aesthetically fragile that, were people to start taking bites out of it, the food would cease to look pretty. The third is something about liability.
But I’m not going to oversell this phenomenon to you guys. If you look hard enough, you will find instances of people eating Taco Bell in commercials. You’ll find a lot of people almost eating Taco Bell, but you will occasionally see people actually eating Taco Bell. (Even when there is eating taking place, there is the illusion of even more eating taking place than is actually taking place. For instance, in this ad, through crafty editing, you think that nine chips are eaten. Watch carefully, and you only actually see one chip eaten.)
But, yes, consumption of Taco Bell on camera definitely happens, so there’s nothing sinister going on; it’s just a staging decision. Forget my theories.
Anyway. There were other weird parts of this commercial — like, why is this woman wearing one six-inch fish earing?
Don’t you go zero 6-inch fish earrings or two 6-inch fish earrings? And why does this Taco Bell have a vase of flowers near the cashier? But those are small issues. The problem is obviously too much Brian Wilson.
*Note: I like Brian Wilson. It’s not easy to be different, and I respect him for having the courage. He seems like a good guy and I would buy him a real taco for sure if I had the chance. But I’m writing this with the presumption that you, like everybody else, find him deeply annoying. Which I sympathize with, because I also find him deeply annoying at times.
By my observations, the long version of this ad aired twice per game in both league championship series and in the World Series, and the shorter ad aired once per game. That’s 75 seconds of Brian Wilson in 19 games, or a total of 23.75 minutes. He threw 11.67 innings in last year’s postseason, so at a rate of 10 minutes per half inning, he was on TV for nearly two hours. In other words, if 2010′s Brian Wilson exposure was this XXL Chalupa …
… then 2011′s Brian Wilson exposure was this XXL Chalupa:
Slowly, he is leaving us alone. Next October, he may be only a single shred of cheese.
So who will be the Taco Bell XXL Chalupa spokesman next year? If they follow the pattern of the past two years, it’ll be somebody from this year’s World Series winners. Probably one of:
- Neftali Feliz. Pros: He’s a closer, like Wilson and Rivera. Cons: He might not be a closer next year.
- Jason Motte. Pros: Beard, closer. Cons: Ask for Jason Motte, you end up with Lance Lynn get it guys seriously.
- C.J. Wilson. Pros: A lot of people consider him just as annoying as Wilson. Cons: Is he vegan? I feel like he might be vegan.
- Derek Holland. Pros: He does impressions? Cons: His mom would have to sign the release.
- Ron Washington. Pros: Do the Wash. DO IT. Cons: He seems to have some dignity.
- Mike Napoli. Pros: Nah, it’s going to be Ron Washington.
Whoever it ends up being (it’s going to be Washington) should be careful. Brian Wilson was already wearing thin, but this commercial made Brian Wilson very, very unpopular.
Bronies. Brian Wilson is ahead of Bronies.
Sam Miller is a baseball writer for the Orange County Register. He is on Twitter. He got the picture of a real-life Chalupa from here.