(Note: the promised episode of Man: the Magazine for Men has been delayed. It will appear on Monday. In its place is this, which you will enjoy immensely.)
app. 6:00 p.m.:
During a commercial break from the New York Jets vs. Tennessee Oilers football game, a commercial for the upcoming episode of “60 Minutes,” which will include a story called “Death By Doctor.”
A commercial with a small child playing a tuba in the middle of a wheat field. Beautiful cinematography. The tuba is much larger than the boy. He’s in the lower right hand part of the frame, and he’s playing what sounds like “When the Saints Come Marching In.” It ends before we see any corporate logos, or a hint of what or whom the commercial is advertising.
The boy and tuba are back. Now there is a road behind him, and a car pulls up. It’s a commercial for Saturn, noting their new car, the “three-door coup,” which features doors that open like shutters.
Ian Eagle, the play-by-play announcer for the Jets-Oilers game, reminds viewers that “60 Minutes” is coming up immediately after the game.
Ian Eagle tells us that the Jets were supposed to be wearing decals on their helmets in honor of the recently passed away Hall of Fame coach Weeb Eubank, but the person who picked up the package of decals at the Jets’ hotel was an impostor, and the decals disappeared.
A “60 Minutes” commercial begins. We see Dr. Kevorkian’s face for a split second, and the commercial gets cut off by live action of the Jets-Oilers game.
Mr. Eagle again mentions that 60 Minutes will be coming up, right after the conclusion of the Jets-Oilers game.
A stopwatch appears onscreen, indicating the beginning of 60 Minutes. An announcer indicates that we will see a story about Dr. Kevorkian. We are told that Dr. Kevorkian has made a videotape of his administering a lethal injection. We are not told whether or not 60 Minutes will show this recording to us. Mike Wallace will be reporting the story.
A commercial from Transamerica, the employees of which are “the people in the pyramid, working for you.” A man on-stage in a tuxedo throws knives at balloons placed precariously around the body of his “lovely wife Belinda,” who is standing nervously up against the wall. A voice-over says, “At Transamerica, we have insurance products and investments for all kinds of families. No matter how much risk you’re willing to take.” There is no conclusion to the knife-throwing scene, because we flash to a shot of the exterior of a large office building at night. Superimposed over the shot are the words: “Fixed & Variable Annuities. Mutual Funds.”
A car commercial, from Infiniti. Inside a car presumably made by Infiniti is a politician or office-holder, and driving are secret service men, with a cavalcade of motorcycles surrounding the Infiniti. They are driving fast. The politician’s arm is seen emerging from the backseat with the thumbs-up sign. Then he urges his drivers to go faster. “Let’s go up that curvy road next!” he says. They travel very fast through a welcoming parade. A secret service man says: “Man, it was so much easier when he rode in the limo.”
A commercial for Toaster Breaks Pizza Pockets. The pockets are small pouches — like a cross between Pop-Tarts and the apple pies available at McDonald’s — filled with the ingredients commonly found in pizza. Toaster Breaks can be heated up in the toaster, and then eaten.
Another Transamerica commercial, which features “Millionaires”: an Asian bicycle shop owner named Ken Kann, a photographer named Beth Lamure, a farmer named Peter Jaeger. Then, running along the bottom of the screen, the phrase “Life Insurance That Protects Your Life’s Work.” Then a shot of two children (Amanda and Emily), under which appear the words: “Future Millionaires.”
A commercial for Celine Dion’s first-ever network special, “These Are Special Times.”
Mike Wallace explains, “The video tape you will shortly see will disturb some of you, but Dr. Kevorkian, who brought us this tape, says he wants to use this case to move the public debate from doctor-assisted suicide to euthanasia — death triggered directly by a doctor.” We see footage of Tom Youk, the 52-year-old man to be helped to die. We see a video made by Dr. Kevorkian in which he interviews Youk, and has Youk sign a contract which says “I, Thomas Youk, the undersigned, entirely, voluntarily, without any reservation, external persuasion, pressure or duress, and after prolonged and thorough deliberation, hereby consent to the following medical procedure of my own choosing.” We see this footage of Dr. Kevorkian administering a lethal injection. Sometime after Dr. Kevorkian leans over and injects Mr. Youk, Wallace says, “He’s dead.”
A commercial for Dollar rent-a-car starring Chevy Chase as an executive on a business trip. Despite the ease with which he picks up his rental car, we find that Chase is actually bumbling and irresponsible when he gets caught by a superior trying to sneak a round of golf into the trip. Chase tries to evade incrimination by tap-dancing on the wooden conference room floor, only to be foiled when he realizes he is wearing spiked golf shoes.
A commercial for the upcoming Robin Williams film Patch Adams. In this movie, Williams plays an idealistic and rebellious doctor that is strong-armed by his hospital’s hierarchy (“It is our mission to train the humanity out of you and make doctors out of you,” they say) for using vaudeville-style humor to treat his patients.
A Hoover steam vacuum commercial, which contains footage of two women vacuuming inside their homes. One woman has a Hoover and the other doesn’t. The woman who uses the Hoover vacuum cleans with significantly better results. The Hoover jingle is, “Nobody does it like you/the way that you do/Nobody has the power to please me…/Hoover, nobody does it like you.”
The same commercial for Toaster Breaks Pizza Pockets, which, it is noted, have real mozzarella cheese.
A CBS commercial advertising their upcoming “MonDave” night of comedy. This will feature new episodes of Cosby, The King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond, and culminate with a prime-time edition of the Late Show With David Letterman — a Fifth Anniversary special. We see Letterman, on-stage, say, “It’s all part of CBS’s big Put-Anything-On-And-Call-It-A-Special Monday,” and clips of various “Stupid Human Tricks,” including a man who throws a plunger up in the air so that it lands on his head.