During yesterday’s TV interviews, one of the TV stations asked two of the finalists (who shall remain nameless) what their favorite Lonely Island song was. The first guy said “Iran From You”—and the second guy nonchalantly said “Jizz in My Pants.” Everyone in the green room suddenly started chattering, “Did he just say Jizz in My Pants on live TV?” I bolted into the control room and found out (surely to the great relief of the entire Frito-Lay organization) it was being taped for later editing.
After the exhausting Media Day, where each finalist did somewhere around 15 satellite interviews with stations around the country, we went to a swank bistro for lunch and had the world’s best sliders followed by heaping plates of chicken, short rib, and dessert platters. I met some of the representatives from Goodby & Silverstein, the giant ad agency that does Frito-Lay’s advertising and helps run this contest, and they seemed just as excited about the contest as everyone else, though they’re more laid-back and cool like LA movie producers. Then back to the hotel for naptime.
Then on to…
We mustered and piled into a bus for the Pepsi Fan Jam—which is apparently where a bunch of hot bands I’ve never heard of play a VH-1 concert—and get shuffled into a VIP entrance up to a balcony spanning all three sides of what seems like a hockey or basketball arena packed with screaming bodies and lit by a sick display of ribbon LED displays and moving lights that was almost as impressive as our production of Enron. Along the entire back wall of the balcony, along all three sides, were dozens of tables of buffets, open bars, and dessert spreads, with multicolored lightglobes illumination everything with a sci-fi glow. The food was spectacular, with creamy tortellini, tiny Asian sesame/cashew salads, three-pepper battered shrimp, portobella mushroom fries, bruschetta, and on and on. It was Golden Corral for rich people.
VH-1 emceed the whole event with a couple of their big personalities (that I’ve never heard of) introducing all the bands (that I’ve never heard of). I don’t know what the hell’s going on anymore, I’m too busy working all the time. I think it was Gym Class Heroes, and BoB, and The All-American Rejects. I recognized their big song “Move Along” and didn’t feel quite as stupid.
The whole time, the Frito-Lay people, who are partying along with us, are still taking the time to regularly ask, “You guys have everything you need?” “Are you having a good time?” as if we’re the most important people in the whole city.
Several of us went celebrity-watching afterwards, as the hotel attached to ours has bunches of superstars in it. So far, folks in our group have spotted Adam Sandler, Jim Gaffigan, Chris Carter, Jerry Jones, and Will Forte, and every morning we compare notes about the cool stuff and famous people we’ve seen.
A few words about the finalists: they are as spectacularly funny and cool as you’d expect after seeing their ads, plus a little extra. Joby and Jimmy from Bird of Prey are a nonstop comedy show, with Joby beaming about how even the teeniest thing is “AT THE SUPERBOWL!” (“I got an iPod—AT THE SUPERBOWL!” “I’m taking a dump—AT THE SUPERBOWL!”) and Jimmy being the world-champion celebrity spotter with a gigantic laugh. Tyler and Heather from Dog Park met at last year’s Crash the Superbowl (they’re repeat winners) and are now a couple, Tyler all laid-back and hip, Heather a gorgeous bundle of congeniality and fun. Brad and Nate from Hot Wild Girls are all youthful and friendly, Brad with his charm and his rock-star hair, and Nate with his constant scotch-on-the-rocks chilled attitude and encyclopedic knowledge of NFL football. Kevin and Jeff are the guys from Sling Baby, and Kevin’s always wearing a giant smile and ready to slap your shoulder and reenact a scene from Mr. Show, while Jeff is more quiet but will to knock you out with amazing stories of screenplays that barely missed hitting it big, if you only ask. It reminds me of all the best remembered parts of college: bright, talented, fun people you spend day after day with in classes and lounging around quads, talking about the whole world at once. Then you graduate and it’s all gone, and where did everyone go?
And on to Day Three
Today we went to Flat12 Bierwerks, a craft brewery, and had another awesome buffet lunch, met even more Frito-Lay people, got a tour of the brewery, and lounged around chatting. Jonathan and I swapped film talk with one of the big ad execs, who’s also a writer and loves books, and I introduced him to Harry Plinkett Reviews, the absolute, hilariously definitive deconstruction of what’s wrong with the Star Wars prequels.
On the ride back to the hotel we were joined by a fascinating guy named Andrew, who we found out was the one who originally pitched the Crash the Superbowl concept to Frito-Lay. He held court during the entire drive, telling us how it all got started in a big meeting of execs and agencies, and how big of a risk it was, and how it almost didn’t survive past its second year. And how, even today, even after placing ads in the top five of the USA Today poll year after year with amazing success, there are still detractors and there’s still politics and there’s always still a chance it won’t get picked up again. And always the worry that the program might eventually (in the words of another Frito-Lay bigwig named Tony) jump the shark! But so far it has survived every scare, and only gets bigger every year.
Then another nap, and now… who knows?