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Your analysis, please.

June 26th, 2008 by Bill Corbett · 56 Comments

(For a free Rifftrax of your choice:)

Please analyse* the following early 1980s TV commercial in terms of a longer view of American culture: the various socioeconomic crosscurrents working at the time, the prevailing middle-class family dynamics at play, deviations from the above, and perhaps even the sexual politics underpinning it all.

Put all this in the context of early 1980s America, but follow all logical threads of your argument to suggest how we got where we are today, a.k.a. “here” / “now.”

But most importantly, tie in the fact that the young son is none other than TV’s JOEY LAWRENCE, as a smaller being. (Trace dynamics, origins, and uses of phrase “whoa,” pre- K. Reeves.)

Possible issues to be addressed:

    – Why is the mother promoting the sugary, abeit delicious cookies to her young son, and with such wide-eyed relentlessness?

    – Why is the son so angered and nauseated by a girl’s affection earlier that day? N.B.: the word “cooties” is not even mentioned!!!

    Why did Joey Lawrence not become the international, decades-spanning superstar we all hoped? (Or DID he?)

    – Extra points for connecting all of the above to recent advances in radial keratotomy.

Your essay should be 100 words absolute maximum, because:

1) I have the attention span of a gnat, and it fades fast after the first 20 words. By the time we’re rounding 70, it’s all just annoying squiggles keeping me from my next sandwich.

2) You really shouldn’t have to work that hard to get a free Rifftrax. Hell, you can buy a free Rifftrax for a few bucks.

Best essay will be submitted to the New York Review of Books, which has already pre-rejected the idea.

*****

(* Yes, I went with the more pretentious British spelling. I did. Please don’t criticise me for that — I was merely trying to add some colour. Whilst in the parlour.)

*****

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, some sort of deadline would probably be good here, eh? Let's say Sunday night, 6/29, 11:59 EST.

And yes, this counts towards your final grade. (In Heaven.) Thanks.]

Tags: RiffTrax

56 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Doktorsleepless on Jun 26, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    I guess I could say it obviously ties into Joey Lawrence being a bigger gay idol than gumby and hercules combined themselves. Gumbercules*. Let us think how much that means to the whole eighties era,(so important to us, it gets promoted from decade) considering how big Gumberecules was. Why, he was responsible for the big economic boom before and after that whole Regeanonomics fiasco, Republicans try to avoid mentioning at all cost, and who did this help most? The middle class family. Of course this all helped launch the career of a man who’s eyebrows got thinner and thinner each year, Joey Lawrence. As we all know eye brow thinning was the pre-radial keratotomy.

    *I’m drunk.

  • 2 Dr. Zoidberg on Jun 26, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Gumbercules? I love that guy!

  • 3 Doktorsleepless on Jun 26, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Doctor. *nods*

  • 4 G-Force on Jun 26, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Well, this is all quite easy…

    Svyatoslav Fyodorov was the inventor of Radial Keratotomy, he also had a fond love of chocolate chip cookies. Keratotomy enjoyed popularity during the 80’s as did Good Mr. Lawrence…
    The significance of the 32 chocolate chips is quite apparent, 1932 was a good cookie year (see here: http://www.allysgoodies.com/fancycookiesrecipes.html)

    He was afraid of the girls kiss because Peter Graves had visited him in his dreams and warned him of the She-Devil that want his cookies and cornias…

    I hope this is satisfactory…

  • 5 Barry on Jun 27, 2008 at 2:42 am

    Hey, this is just a trick to get me to watch a commercial. I call shenanigans!!

  • 6 Melman on Jun 27, 2008 at 2:54 am

    Obviously the mother is attempting to lull the boy into a false sense of security. By opening the kid to the suggestion of delicious sugary treats, he is now succeptable to other, more dangerous suggestions. The smile and loving tone help with this. The son’s anger at the girl’s affection is obviously him overcompensating for his inability to woo the girl’s affection. We can only assume that he is in fact the one who kissed her, and she retreated in disgust. He is insisting that she kissed him so that later, when he is sued for sexual harrasment, he can deny it to his mother. If we combine this with the mother’s ploy, we discover upon a Great Expactions style scheme to break the boy’s heart and destroy him.

    Also, Joey Lawrence didn’t become an international decades-spanning superstar we all hoped because he was an awful, awful actor.

  • 7 Tork_110 on Jun 27, 2008 at 2:59 am

    Little Joey was upset because he was sexual harassed. His anger shows that harassment effects both sexes. His mom pushed cookies on him because people really didn’t know how to deal with the trauma yet.

  • 8 MikeP on Jun 27, 2008 at 4:34 am

    It is best viewed with the sound off, so you can enjoy it in its purest form and allow your mind to fill in the dialogue (clearly the director’s intent). Anyway, my analysis:

    0-4s: Blackness. Nothingness. A prelude of what’s to come, or shitty editing? Somewhere, a prostitute with a heart of gold weeps.

    5-12s: Enter young master Lawrence, angrily rubbing the side of his face and bitterly saying “Whoa” sixteen consecutive times

    13s: Joey appears to drop an F-bomb

    14-20s: Judging by Joey’s cookie-induced moodswing, here the director is inviting us to treat the chocolate chip cookie not as a literal product, per se, but rather a symbol… but of what? Big fat line of cocaine, is my guess.

    21-25s: Here the director’s mind has wandered. He’s just past his 42nd birthday, and his career seems to have reached its apogee with cookie commercials. Remember the idealistic younger years? When he had a bumper sticker that said, “I LOVE COPS, BUT I CAN’T STAND THAT DAMN PIG SMELL”?

    26-28s: The look on the mother’s face just screams “dead drifter in trunk of car”. Seriously, that is one freaked up expression.

    29-35s: “Chips Ahoy rules! Please don’t look in the trunk of my car!”

    36s: Blessed oblivion.

  • 9 Matula on Jun 27, 2008 at 4:55 am

    Abstract: The early 80s were a tumultuous time in American society. The Ronald Reagan, post-Sexual Revolution society was rapidly changing its social morals and mores, and the adjustment was difficult.

    Mothers, who had frequented Studio 54 and enjoyed “pleasures of the flesh”, were now forced to divert their attentions to other vices such as cookies and ephedrine. Young girls just reaching puberty were forced show their affection in inappropriate ways by sexually harassing young boys on the playground. Young boys were forced to take up smoking and over-acting.

    These issues would weigh heavily on a young Joey Hiram Lawrence III as he progressed in life. He would constantly have to tell aggressive teenage girls to stop their advances (or “Whoa”), and these affectations would scar his TV roles for the rest of life.

    These issues also affected a young Svyatoslav Fyodorov who, after watching “A Very Special Blossom episode: Blossom Develops Astigmatism”, was moved to tears and developed the first Lasik procedure.

  • 10 Tim D on Jun 27, 2008 at 5:27 am

    - United States cultural awareness in the 1980’s, as exemplified by matriarcal attitudes vis-a-vis cookies (specifically Chips Ahoy! ), indicates a regression in socio-sexual mores of the time. An inevitable pendulum swing in attitudes has led us to present day empowerment of female role models. In re: Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Katie Couric and Britney Spears.

    - Joey Lawrence was on Blossom, a female-centric television show which assisted in this aforementioned pendulum swing towards more female empowerment. Joey himself knew this at the time and was considered by many to be somewhat chauvanistic, if not downright misogynistic. Hence the expression “Whoa!” used repeatedly, to exemplify his distate.

    - I thought of all of this while my driving my car with RADIAL tires, all the while with a CARROT ON TOP OF ME.

  • 11 Tim D on Jun 27, 2008 at 5:43 am

    ***REWORDED FOR REQUIRED BREVITY***

    - United States cultural awareness in the 1980’s, as exemplified by matriarcal attitudes vis-a-vis cookies (specifically Chips Ahoy! ), indicates a regression in socio-sexual mores of the time. An inevitable pendulum swing in attitudes has led to present day empowerment of female role models. In re: Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Katie Couric and Britney Spears.

    - Joey Lawrence was on Blossom, a female-centric television show. Joey, considered by many to be somewhat chauvanistic, if not downright misogynistic used the expression “Whoa!” repeatedly, to exemplify his distate.

    - My car has RADIAL tires, and there’s a CARROT ON TOP OF ME.

  • 12 Bill Corbett on Jun 27, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Drat, I have been busted.

    The 1980s Nabisco people traveled up through time and paid me well to do this. Yet I have failed them.

    (Bill performs ritual seppuku)

  • 13 Ben on Jun 27, 2008 at 5:55 am

    Need a kaishakunin?

    I’ll wait until you finish your death poem.

  • 14 Ben on Jun 27, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Frankly, this commerical should be for “Roofies Ahoy!”

    The things not explained clearly in the commerical:

    1)The “son” is the midget weightlifter, The Amazing Brosno: World’s Strongest Adam Rich look-alike

    2) The “mom” is in fact a male pre-operative tranny named Mombeaux (French Cajun). Mom is a nickname.

    3)Yes, these are carnies

    4)Cheryl Brown is in fact a 74 year old woman who collects used vacuum cleaner bags and midget weightlifters

    5)”chocolate” is codespeak for Flunitrazepam, which Mombeaux has baked into cookies for sinister purposes we dare not inquire into

    This commerical is a mere window into the lives of carnival folk, who take a place in the class structure of American life, fully embracing the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 and Scottish Rhyming Slang.

  • 15 joy on Jun 27, 2008 at 6:24 am

    The 1980s, a granular and highly contrasted time, were a landmark decade, as evidenced by the VH1 documentary series I Love the 80s, I Love the 80s: Strikes Back, and I Love the 80s 3-D. This fuzzy era required the populace to over exaggerate themselves to be understood clearly, even to the point of appearing insane. For thespians of the television, the most famous of over actors, sanity was constantly called into question, sending them into severe mood swings. Depressed child actors became addicted to emotional performance enhancers, such as the sweets featured above. In later years, the child actor seen here became so out of touch with reality, he was reduced to a constant state of shock, repeating “Whoa!” upon every circumstance.

  • 16 Walter on Jun 27, 2008 at 6:30 am

    This old, cynical man is trapped in a boys body. His “mother” is actually his friend who has been trying to get his to start dating again. The cookies represent life’s hardships and how you just have to eat them up…all 32 of them.

  • 17 Tom on Jun 27, 2008 at 6:37 am

    The commercial was part of a push by the pharmaceutical cartel to create sugar dependancy in the 80’s. This would result in a rash of ADHD diagnoses in the late 90’s and early 21st century, which coincided with the FDA timetable for approving the cartel’s next generation of psychotropic medications.
    There is not now and never was a “Joey Lawrence”. He is a character created by the Hollywood establishment to cover up the escape of Tony Danza’s clone from the island.

  • 18 Yoggie on Jun 27, 2008 at 6:40 am

    This was an attempt by the 49lb monkeys to introduce mind controlling
    ingredients into the food supply by using then mind-controlled mothers to force sugary
    sweets to unsuspecting children. One of the side effects is the explosive reactions (anger
    and nausea) to affections of the opposite sex. The previous attempt via radial keratotomy
    to implant mind-control chips was found to be too time consuming and too icky to be a viable
    plan. As a result of the mind-control cookies, our minds have turned off to Joey Laurance
    vehicles and susceptible to electing presidents and governors with speech impediments.

  • 19 Michael on Jun 27, 2008 at 6:57 am

    The early 80’s was a difficult period for the American gay community, which was faced suddenly with a frightening new illness. The short-sighted among the general population stigmatised* what they didn’t understand and euphemisms were often used to mask the sufferers’ true condition: “Cookies” was slang for the harmful and ineffective drugs used to treat those who had been “kissed by Cheryl”. But despite this, there was optimism. New drugs were available, claiming to be twice as good as before, and this promised an end to the fear and confusion. Of course in hindsight we see their naïveté … and weep.

    * My butler told me to spell this with an S.

  • 20 Tim D on Jun 27, 2008 at 7:02 am

    As Joey himself would say- Whoa! An umlaut and an accent in the same word!! I really gotta learn HTML…

  • 21 Andy McGaffigan on Jun 27, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Anyone with a brain stem can tell that this spot was written by a young Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkitt fame) who was grappling with a confusing and angst-inducing Oedipal complex.

    Joey represents young Fred, who spent the entire day out doing it all “for the nookie,” and ultimately winning the affections of Cheryl Brown. Joey shares his tales of romantic conquest with his mother in a vain attempt to spur her jealousy – but instead of showering her son with the perverse affection he craves, she gives him a cookie with 29 mouth-watering chocolate chips.

    And when Joey looks up at his mother/lover and exclaims “Wow! 29!” you can almost hear Fred Durst exclaim “you can take this cookie and stick it up your ass.”

  • 22 Mr. Slick on Jun 27, 2008 at 7:34 am

    This is A-typical of Reagan Era propaghanda of the time: sugar = good, homosexuality = bad. First of all the child storms into the kitchen excited, upset (side effects of a high sugar diet) and his mother upon seeing his distress pushes cookies on him as a means to solve his problems. Second Joey’s hair cut is VERY femine and his reaction to the girl’s kiss reveals a strong dislike of females, the mother knows this and promotes the kiss as good in the desperate hopes her son isn’t ” a friend of Dorothy.” Also “whoa” can only take you so far.

  • 23 Scurvy Jake on Jun 27, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Mom knows little Joey was born gay, hence his aversion to affection from the opposite sex (excepting his mother) from a tender young age. Note the lack of a father figure, who, if present, would have slapped him on the back and said “that’s my boy!”

    Joey’s mom forced cookies on him because she was a girl scout, and old habits die hard.Learning from the drug dealers of the early 80s, Joey’s mom started a “first one is free” program to get people hooked on her cookies. She started with Joey. The rest of us can blame her for our Thin Mint and Samoas addiction.

    The “woah” was actually ad-libbed when Joey saw the MTV astronaut guy for the first time on a TV screen just off set.

  • 24 Courtney on Jun 27, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Joey Lawrence, aka Kristy MacNichol, was kissed by Cheryl Brown, who according to IMDb was the Outer Sanctum Mocking tormentor and walkie-talkie grabbing woman that cries later in 2005’s “What Is It?” This sent him spiraling into one of his hypoglycemic fits, hence why he’s instantly perkified upon ingestion of the cookie. But the high is short lived as immediately after the cut, he murdered his mother, beating her to death with sleeves of mass-produced chocolate chip cookies. He was arraigned in family court and put away till he was 21. Now he walks the streets, mumbling to himself about cookies, trying to find and kill the Keebler Elves for ruining his life, even though Chips Ahoy are a product of Nabisco.

    It should be noted that all of this is, of course, really a metaphor for free trade legislation.

    It should also be noted that I had to watch the end about 30 times because I was kind of convinced the mother was saying “go fuck yourself.” My volume was low and I was wrong.

  • 25 Amanda on Jun 27, 2008 at 8:40 am

    The early 80s were about two things and two things alone. Bowl haircuts for young boys and cocaine. When we realize this, the entire commercial suddenly becomes clear. Little Joey was kissed by Sheryl because Sheryl wrongly thought Joey was her friend Jenny. Sheryl was at home trembling in a cold sweat just as much a wreck as he after Joey cried foul.

    Mom is simply a coke fiend. Having a bad case of the munchies from her earlier weed break she then quickly did a line and then went out to buy 14 bags of Chips Ahoy cookies in a frenzy because they had the most chips per cookie. Now eager to appear a normal suburbanite mom, she tricks her son into believing she was really doing it all for him. A looming divorce, alcohol, drugs and a teen pregnancy are all ahead for this all American family!

    Radial keratotomy is just a red herring.

  • 26 Courtney on Jun 27, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Oh and he has myopia. Hence his need for radial keratotomy. DONE.

  • 27 Tim D on Jun 27, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Does anyone else notice the dark turn these hypotheses are taking? What with all the drugs and transexualism and killing and all.

  • 28 Onil on Jun 27, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Sheryl is a metaphor for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Joey represents the American people, fearful and skeptical, so much so that the United States boycotts the 1980 Summer Olympic games held in Moscow, Russia. That is the kiss Sheryl gave Joey in front of everybody, in front of the whole world.

    The mother is Ronald Reagan, the great communicator himself. She/He will make things right, we can all go to him/her for our problems. Rather than continue to live in fear and ignorance, Mother Reagan tells Joey to take comfort in all that is good in America, here represented by a cookie with 32 chips for the 32 states of the Union (the south doesn’t count, traitorous secessionists!! Grrr!) Mother Reagan tells Joey to share the cookie, to tear down the wall of mistrust by teaching the Soviets all that is good with America.

    I know this is over 100 words but so what? The spirit of America can’t be contained within a measly 100 words. That would be like saying you’ve told the whole story with just one Police Academy. Preposterous. America won’t capitulate to your limitations. It is our Manifest Destiny to go over 100 words. You can’t stop America! YOU CAN”T!! USA!! USA!!

  • 29 seanf on Jun 27, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Um, I like pie.

  • 30 Len on Jun 27, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Mr Corbett:

    To your point about Joey Lawrence not not becoming the international, decades-spanning superstar we all hoped, one only has to look at TLC’s Master of Dance to know that this is just not true:

    http://www.tvsquad.com/2008/05/16/joey-lawrence-is-hosting-a-new-dance-show-for-tlc/

  • 31 Russ Rogers on Jun 27, 2008 at 10:08 am

    “Why did Joey Lawrence not become the international, decades-spanning superstar we all hoped?”

    Are you deranged or just trying to be “funny”?

    Joey Lawrence IS a SUPERSTAR!!! This Chips A-hoy commercial is not only the beginnings of his superstardom. It is the VERY cornerstone of the glory that is Joey! “Blossom,” BAH! Mayim Bialik thought she was SO smart. She can take her PhD and her investigations into Prader-Willi syndrome and run with it. They prove NOTHING! That will never prove she is smarter. That will never make her the star, the superstar, the near Saint that Joey is! Joey’s love is like an all pure and cleansing “Whoa!”

    Wait until “Lawrence-Space” is launched. Wait until there is a social network surrounding Joey! Whoa, that will be so sweet!

  • 32 Chris D. on Jun 27, 2008 at 10:56 am

    This commercial clearly disproves Joey’s own assertion that “There’s nothing my love can’t fix for you baby.” Really Joey? Because when you’re pretty clearly denying even the most innocent affections of one “Sheryl Brown” in lieu of cookies I lose all faith. Besides there have to be any number of things your “love” can’t “fix.” Can your love fix a worn out dishwasher motor? What about the holes in my muffler or a torn pair of bike shorts? I’ll hear no more of this “nothing my love can’t fix” nonsense!

  • 33 Matula on Jun 27, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Wow, mine went 62 words over, so I took out a few. I’ts now only 44 words, but I think the meaning is still clear:

    “Abstract: The early 80s were a post-Sexual Revolution adjustment.
    Mothers were forced to puberty in inappropriate ways. Young boys weigh heavily on aggressive teenage girls ,and these affectations would scar TV for life.
    These issues also affected Blossom who was moved to Lasik procedure.”

  • 34 Dan Noutko-Kennedy on Jun 27, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Bill,
    Clearly this is an updating of Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus Rex since there is no father in the picture (which is a denunciation of namby-pamby pretty boys raised by over-protective mothers). Joey (who represents big hair bands) has slain his old man (symbolizing the nasty competition of grunge) in order to clear a path to his mother (a Go-Go’s fan) who, in a jealous rage over his romance with Cheryl Brown (an angst fueling seductress), keeps him perpetually confused by making him count every chip in every cookie (Casey Kasem’s Countdown). This bittersweet enticement ensures his devotion to sickly sweet rather than edgy music. Eventually, when his cuteness fades, he must compete with his more moppety younger brothers (smelling up the place with teen spirit) for his mother’s affection and the cover of Tiger Beat. This unnatural love, coupled with his dimwitted whoa-ing on Blossom, is why in modern day Freudian psychology books his case is known as “Flowers in the Attic for Algernon”.

  • 35 RemmieBarrow on Jun 27, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    I was trying to get out of the 1980s but you and Vh1 keep dragging me back in!

  • 36 chrismartindeed on Jun 27, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    As architect Mies Van Der Rohe observed, “God is in the details.” Especially in your warranty for a new muffler.

    This breezy kitchen drama is symptomatic of America’s sad tendency to reduce complex problems to idiotic simplicities, a habit we acquired in the Reagan Era and stubbornly retain in a time of Bushisms.

    The superficial exchange between mother and son merely glosses over deeper, more profound issues that viewers lack the maturity to handle. Too many facts are overlooked; too many questions remained unanswered—

    — Was the offending kisser, Cheryl Brown, one of the boy’s precocious classmates… or his 36 year old math teacher?

    — Was the boy really kissed on the cheek as his body language implied… or was it someplace less obvious?

    — Why didn’t the son or mother stop to count the number of chips on their cookies before scarfing them down? Are they so easily swayed by Nabisco’s hyperbole regarding chip quantities?

    — What was the mother’s motive in suggesting Cheryl Brown receive a cookie? To gorge the hussy with bad cholesterol… or to entice her into providing additional favors to the son? Is it related to the mother’s conspicuous lack of fashionable eyebrows?

    These matters are left unresolved, simmering and boil below the surface, like acid reflux after a spaghetti dinner at a VFW hall.

    Fie upon the mother’s blandishments. Our facile outlook on life’s problems will ultimately leave us short-chipped. Especially those of us who had to replace our Xbox 360 twice.

  • 37 chrismartindeed on Jun 27, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I’m sorry… was I suppose add something about Joey Lawrence?

    Never mind. People are already adding too much to Joey Lawrence.

  • 38 jan with a z on Jun 27, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    I was extremely cool in the 80s. This commercial is disturbing, as it is apparent how low the bar was then, coolwise.

    I’ve been told (by my brother) that girls develop cooties at a certain age, so I can understand Joey’s initial reaction, but what struck me was how fast he could TASTE. That’s a talent that has gone untapped.

    If I remember the early 80’s, the most important message you could send was OUR PRODUCT WILL NOT GIVE YOU AIDS. WE THINK. I believe that informs the mom’s desperation.

    Anyway, that’s why I declined radial keratotomy. Sounded AIDS-y.

  • 39 Glyn on Jun 27, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Mom was hopped up on goofballs.
    She’s mowed the lawn, washed the dishes and finished the laundry and it’s only 7 A.M.
    She’s waiting for that ’special someone’ and in pops this kid.
    She’s not sure if it’s hers or not at this point because of the afore mentioned goofballs and the fact that she feels all ’squishy’ you know, ‘down there’.
    So she gives this street urchin cookies that contain enough sugar to give him a sugar rush for a week or at least the rest of the day in hopes that he will get enough energy to get the hell out of the house for a couple of hours or until her needs are met.

  • 40 Doktorsleepless on Jun 27, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Oh the anticipation of who’s going to win is killing me. Unfortunately laughter isn’t curing what ails me. In fact it gives me more pain.

  • 41 RemmieBarrow on Jun 27, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Frankly I blame Vh1 more, those reality show, “talking head” clip show dill weeds!

  • 42 Kyle on Jun 27, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Joey’s reluctance to kiss the girl is a metaphor for the AIDS epidemic, which brought an end to the Free Love movements of the ’60s and ’70s. The mother’s promotion of the cookies represents Reagan’s push of conservatism during his presidency. The mother represents the troubling economic times of that decade. Her husband, who lost his job at the textile mill, turned to alcohol, which lead to a messy divorce. How did this lead to where we are today? It explains the origins of the growing divorce rate.

  • 43 Adrienne on Jun 27, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Commercial mom was actually mother of Sheryl. She believed that by giving Joey the cookie, he’d form a Pavlovian connection between kissing her, sadly be-speckled, daughter and receiving a cookie, pulling them out of Reaganomic induced poverty. Such actions elicited the disgust evident in Joey but, conditioning is strong and her dream would’ve come true, if not for the LASIK accident.

    Joey purchased the surgery for Sheryl, alas this was before the advances in radial keratotomy we enjoy. Sheryl was blinded. Distraught, but bound to work, Joey gave only bland performances denying the world his talent.

  • 44 Edgewriter on Jun 28, 2008 at 5:34 am

    Ah, the commercial that begat the cookie eating craze of the 80’s. Remember the days when the teens in their pink leggings and poofy hair all had a cookie in one hand? Even my english teacher didn’t let a day go by without at least a half pound of cookie crumbs ending up in his beard.

    I remember how frustrated my sister was when she had to put a cookie in her pocket to free her hands while she cleared space on her wall for future Joey Lawrence teen-mag posters.

    But all that is over now. Joey lawrence is forced to eat cookies on demand at mall openings. Radial Keratotomy is the new Cookie.

  • 45 Jesse on Jun 28, 2008 at 9:13 am

    When Karen Lawrence discovered that her son, Joey, was, quote, “a gay,” the future grandchildren she’d always wanted vanished before her eyes. With her husband only revealing to her weeks before that he, himself, was gay (undeniably proven by the fact that he’s not sitting at the table reading the morning paper shooting the mom a smile), it was then when Karen realized that she’d have to kill Joey using a complex mix of chocolate, strychnine, and motherly love. Apparently, Karen’s inability to detect the gays in her life was on account of her shortsightedness.

  • 46 R.A. Roth on Jun 28, 2008 at 10:18 am

    This was Nabisco’s first, but not last, attempt to control America through chip addiction. By increasing the net chips per cookie, it was postulated that everyone would be a hopeless chip addict, like the mother in the commercial, before the end of Reagan’s first term, or before Nell Carter lost weight.

    When that plan failed, the shadowy forces running Nabisco installed the “adult” Joey Lawrence opposite Mayim Bialik postulating that the “budding” Lawrence’s “whoa” speech impediment might have the same effect but instead proved a slippery slope to NAFTA, CAFTA and the steady loss American manufacturing jobs due to globalization.

  • 47 euphoriafish on Jun 28, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Following Welcome Back Kotter’s cancellation, the world mourned the loss of Vinnie Barbarino. Refusing to let good idols die, studio execs determined to find a replacement. They would build a better Barbarino! Faster, stronger, and with less greasy hair; Joey Lawrence was born.

    Sadly, the TV execs were mostly MEN who were trying to forget women’s lib happened. The stereotypical homemaker and kid Joey’s dislike of women ultimately alienated the very demographic this commercial tried to attract. Hence Joey on Blossom was only a passing craze and eventually his Brooklyn accent and patronizing immaturity began to grate on everyone’s nerves.

  • 48 Heather on Jun 28, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    The beginning of the drug war led to a MASSIVE demand for chocolate. As fad dieting grew more popular, women began pushing their stockpile onto children. Intimidated by the sexual revolution’s empowerment of 7 year old girls to publicly kiss whomever they wanted, Lawrence was recruited by the New Right to spread anti-feminist propaganda. Now embroiled in politics, Joey found it impossible to keep up with demands for his catchphrase and retreated into seclusion. Optometrists, feeling that the only surrogate for Lawrence’s screen presence was lasers and diamond tipped blades applied directly to the cornea, stumbled upon photorefractive keratotomy treatment.

  • 49 BEMaven on Jun 29, 2008 at 8:35 am

    This antique tale of childish sublimation serves as a benchmark for the growing sophistication of mass entertainment in the past 20 years. What was once a concise, linear tale of the Eighties, 30 seconds in duration, would emerge today as a prime time series on ABC, a cross between “Lost” and “Real World”, weaving between multiple story arcs that operate on many levels.

    Joey would age one year with each progressive episode, but will only be six months the wiser. Tormented by Sheryl’s recurring overtures, he will struggle for recognition as a media icon capable of uttering lines other than “Whoa!” and “Yuck!” In one ground-breaking episode, a Vega audience will actually confuse him with a fifty-something pop diva. Each installment will end with Joey back in mom’s kitchen, as he seeks advice on proper sexual mores. She will continuously sideswipe the subject with the offer of a cookie. (SPOILER ALERT – SEASON FINALE: The school bag that Joey keeps tosses aside will begin to stir and move by itself.)

    By contrast, Sheryl Brown will a undergo a surreal transformation, assuming a different identity and age in each episode . She’ll begin as an innocent naif who misinterpreted Joey’s vomiting on her homework as a token of affection. Her other incarnations will include a well-endowed crossing guard and a transsexual primary candidate for President. (SPOILER ALERT – SEASON FINALE: Cheryl’s head, as portrayed by Jessica Simpson, will roll out of the school bag and ask Joey for one final kiss.)

    Joey’s mother will age as well, growing older and more infirm with each episode. There will no life for her beyond that kitchen and her son’s histrionics. (SPOILER ALERT – SEASON FINALE: There will be nothing left of Joey’s mom but a living brain protected inside a mobile support unit… the unfortunate victim of a botched radial keratotomy procedure. But she will continue to dispense Chips Ahoy to her son through a convenient slot in the front.)

    And that’s why I don’t plan on buying a digital converter for my tv.

  • 50 David TC on Jun 29, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Not only is the above entry awesome, it is exactly one hundred words, i just checked. Bravo!

  • 51 BEMaven on Jun 29, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Wait… I’m a little confused. Am I commenting in Bill Corbett’s blog… or is he commenting in mine?

  • 52 deldobuss on Jun 30, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Radial keratotomy enjoyed popularity during the 1980s and was one of the most studied refractive surgical procedures.

    Lawrence now stars as Clay Dobson on CBS hit show CSI: NY. He also recently starred in Broadway hit Chicago as Billy Flynn

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZHOCyhdPmyU

    For a time in the mid-1990s, advertising labeled Chips Ahoy having “1,000 chips delicious!”

    http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2007/startracks/070521/joey_lawrence.jpg

    With recent advances in blade design and technique, radial keratotomy’s advantages include minimal postoperative recovery time, little pain, and relatively low cost.

    So, in conclusion: Joey, like Chips Ahoy, has increased in size and popularity. Also, like Radial Keratotomy, Joey has become less likely to cause corneal pain and it relatively cheap to buy.

  • 53 Henk on Jul 7, 2008 at 12:06 am

    Doctor, drug yourself

  • 54 Tim D on Jul 17, 2008 at 4:42 am

    Congratulations to the winner!

  • 55 Tim D on Jul 17, 2008 at 6:56 am

    Nice work, congratulations!

  • 56 Heather on Jul 17, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks, Tim!