Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dandruff epidemic?

    What is the deal with dandruff and dandruff shampoo commercials on late night television? The other night I was sitting up, worrying about a change I'd made to GAR!, and I turned on the TV and saw that Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was about to begin. Jimmy's guests were Tom Hanks and Aimee Mann. Awesome! I was excited to watch. Jimmy came out and performed his monologue and I settled in. They cut to the first commercial, a goofy dandruff shampoo commercial, and I thought, that's weird, but Jimmy came back on and The Roots played and I continued watching. Cut to commercial again and it was a COMPETING dandruff shampoo commercial! This is a fluke, I thought. But then the very next commercial was ANOTHER dandruff shampoo commercial, the competitor's competitor was back. I sat up and payed attention. Each commercial starred a young man who clearly wasn't getting the girl because of his dandruff. The shampoo, the hero, takes care of the problem (in all versions), and then the young man gets the girls, yes multiple and scantily clad. More of these commercials followed in the thirty minutes of LN that I watched.

     At some point Tom Hanks came on, but I couldn't give him my full attention. He was wearing all black and I thought, that's pretty daring of Tom Hanks to wear all black, but I guess he's not seventeen, so he probably doesn't have/isn't worried about dandruff. And then I started wondering: Since when is dandruff such a huge problem? Since when is dandruff shampoo a hero? Since when is Jimmy Fallon's audience made up entirely of young men with low self-esteem, floppy hair, and loads of dandruff? What is causing all this dandruff? Then I wondered: Does Jimmy know about this advertising? Do The Roots know? Did they have similar dandruff problems when they were adolescents? Do they approve these ads? Does Jimmy know I never want to watch him at his regularly scheduled time again because I'm so grossed out by all the dandruffy boys and their dandruff-free fantasies in these commercials? What is happening? Gross. On so many levels GROSS!

     Jimmy, if you are reading this, I still love you, but I don't love watching your show at night punctuated by dandruff shampoo commercials. In fact, I think the commercials gave me nightmares, and now instead of working on my book, I'm totally freaked out about what is causing this dandruff explosion and writing this blog post. For these reasons, I don't think I can watch your show at its regularly scheduled time ever again.

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