There’s a global pandemic happening right now. You know that. This newsletter isn’t going to be about that. You know where to go for find information about covid-19. And if you don’t, let me recommend this and this. Lots of people are making work in response to the pandemic and its ripple effects. If you can, please donate to your local artists, shelters and community organizers. Okay, on to the jokes.
Description: You know when you’re watching some old show or retro commercial and you realize… wait a minute? Is that… Leonardo DiCaprio selling bubble gum? Is that Brad Pitt without a shirt on shilling Pringles? Is that Courtney Cox in jazzercize gear selling Tampax? Could that possibly be Jennifer Aniston doing water aerobics to sell Tide soap? Is that a young Mila Kunis trying to get me to buy Lisa Frank stickers? (I only made one of those up.) On Yes That’s Me, actors reveal that yes, that is indeed them in those commercials or public access TV spots, and they talk about their oddest roles before hitting it big.
Host: Alison Becker, (Parks and Recreation)*
Executive Producer: Steve Wilson**
Sample Episode 1: Alison Becker talks to her sister Ilana Becker about being in commercials and on television. Ilana and Alison have both been in a series of ads, including one about irritable bowel syndrome in which Ilana literally plays a personified digestive system named Irritabelle (I swear to god). While you might assume that Ilana took the role with a cringe, she actually jumped at the chance to play a grouchy human colon. Alison talks to her about why, and breaks down some assumptions about working in commercials.
Sample Episode 2: Before he was making meth with Brian Cranston on Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul was selling Juicy Fruit, Corn Pop and Vanilla Coke. One of those commercials is distressingly sexual, but I will not reveal which one. People who write very long blogs on Medium and call themselves “ninjas” call this technique a “curiosity gap.” On this episode, Alison talks to Aaron about working in commercials before getting into TV, and the differences between the two.
Sample Episode 3: Pelé was once perhaps the most famous soccer player in the world. He’s won three World Cups (the only player to ever do so), and remains Brazil’s leading goal scorer. And in 2015, he started selling sandwiches on TV for Subway. Does he like the sandwiches? Why did he decide to become a brand ambassador for Subway? Should I feel happy that he’s getting paid, or sad that he’s now selling mediocre fast food sandwiches? I would like to know, and I’m hoping Alison can ask him and find out.
Audience: People who have way too much celebrity knowledge, and curiosity about what it’s actually like working on TV and in commercials.
If you have a podcast idea that you’d like to see me turn into a Podcast Idea, send it my way! email@example.com, or just reply to this email.
* Hosts and guests have not signed on in any way. I’m making stuff up here!
** This newsletter is for fun. Ideas belong to their initial creator, credited here as Executive Producer. Don’t be a dick and don’t steal these ideas. If you love a show, and really want to get it made, get in touch with the person who came up with it.
Long live independent podcasts. Long live bad ideas. Stay the fuck home.
I did ridiculous things with vectors from Vecteezy for this logo. I apologize to the original artists.