Seriously annoying

The “holiday” season is upon us.   I don’t watch much broadcast or cable TV.  I try not to watch commercials when I do.  I keep a remote handy to “mute” the thing when commercial time comes.  But sometimes I can’t help it.

The most annoying commercials (on American TV) I have seen this “season” – so far – are for


They make me crazy.  In the case of the first, it has to be the music, second, turning women into sl….. trash, third, the quality of the voices.

Color me annoyed.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. jge313 says:

    I agree. I watch very little tv. I do like movies…the older ones…as for commercials they are muted.

  2. Pnkn says:

    most horrific commercial – “Jingle Bells” for Kmart

  3. Fiat Domine says:

    We try not to watch commercials when we watch (not much television).
    When we do, we try to record programs to zoom through the commercials, but when we have to watch them, it gets pretty disgusting; sex is the main topic in most commercials, alcohol and just the dumbing down of intellect.
    As far as popular programs and commercials, we all look like dopes. We must look pretty much like Sodom and Gomorrah without the technology.
    Pretty sad and disgusting to watch the media; there are very few good programs (programs that you wouldn’t be embarressed to watch with Jesus).

    You aren’t the only one dear Father that gets thoroughly annoyed with commercials.

  4. Lin says:

    Commercials annoy me too! As well as most sit-coms. Always pushing the secular agenda. Indoctrination of our children, etc. I watch very little TV except for EWTN and FOX news. Commercials are used for reading the Father Z blog! :):):):)

  5. johnnyDmunoz says:

    Father Z I am with you brother, I have cut the cable and watch very little network TV, other than football and baseball. I told my friend the other day to stop watching TV other than sports and when commercials come on mute them and look away! It’s all brainwashing.

    And to any conservatives reading, from one of your fellow travelers, turn off Fox News it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing…

    May God bless you all and please pray for me..

  6. mamajen says:

    I watch TV almost exclusively through streaming now, so miss out on most commercials…though the online commercials that some networks use are bad enough. My mom wanted to buy (vastly overpriced) Stuffies for my son and his cousin. Thankfully my sister successfully steered her away from the idea.

  7. mamajen says:


    Agreed!!! A couple friends posted it on Facebook as the “best commercial ever”. Call me a prude, but I found it utterly disgusting and can’t believe it was approved for TV.

  8. de_cupertino says:

    I had to go look up what the heck a “stuffie” is — the horrors! I’m in my late twenties, and don’t watch TV at all. I think that’s more common in my generation.

    The other day my mom said “did you see that commercial on tv about the…” I had to remind her that I haven’t seen a commercial at home in years.

    (Of course, three kids under four leaves little time for couch potatoes…)

  9. gracie says:

    I never heard of Stuffies until the other day when I caught their commercial. I now hate them.

    I mostly watch TCM or pre-record shows and ff through the commercials.

  10. BBC American and their almost non-stop insipid Santa Claus in a Mercedes sleigh claptrap.

    (Now, if was an Aston or Veyron, it would make more sense. After all, only a Yorkshire pillock would be seen dead dressed in a red suit driving a convertible Mercedes with the top down in the winter…;))

  11. Legisperitus says:

    Suddenly I feel very privileged to have no earthly idea what Stuffies are.

  12. Elizabeth D says:

    I don’t have a TV. At my job I am required to watch EWTN and FoxNewsChannel and the local news. I have seen that “stuffies” commercial and once was too much for me. EWTN has far and away the best “commercials.” On Monday there was an extended “commercial” about the Benedictines of Mary and their amazing-sounding CD Angels & Saints at Ephesus.

  13. wmeyer says:

    We dropped cable nearly two years ago. We see no commercials, as we do not stream programs which contain them. I am pleased not to have seen any of the commercials on Father’s least wanted list.

  14. BLB Oregon says:

    It is easier to list the ones I like–
    T-Mobile: “I am going to hunt you down…all caps” and
    “Do you want the charger?”…“No no no no no it’s good, it’s a good phone man!”

    And pretty much anything with Mr. Mayhem in in it. I particularly like that they blur his 3-piece suit when he’s portraying a fleeing streaker. As for the other ones, my kids tease me about how often I say that a particular commercial is the “worst ever made”. (You can’t have that many as the worst ever, Mom.)

  15. pannw says:

    Oh the pajamagram…ugh…I haven’t seen it on TV, but listening to Sean Hannity go on and on about making your wife hot…the zipper could be good for you and your wife… Gross! I was so glad I was in the car alone. Really embarrassing. I don’t know how he read it and I really should have turned it off sooner but it was like a train wreck I couldn’t look away from. I kept thinking how weird it was for him to be doing it. *shiver*

    The other two I don’t guess I’ve seen. I’ve also never heard of Stuffies… Maybe it is a northern product that hasn’t spread to my neck of the woods.

    I hate most commercials too. It is becoming increasingly difficult to watch anything, including sports or Pawn Stars, etc… with my youngest. He’s 13 and I hate that he has had to be exposed to ED meds and all the filthy TV Drama trailers where apparently all that ever happens on these programs is people hopping in bed together. There’s even a shaving cream or aftershave commercial where a woman shoves the man onto the couch and rips her shirt off and throws it at him. Honestly, what does that have to do with shaving products? I hate our culture…

    But there are a few good ones. Like BLB Oregon, we love the Mayhem man, especially the guard dog that get’s zapped with the invisible fence! And the other insurance one, with the ‘other people’ destroying your property, where the guy is tailgating and someone throws a football and knocks his grill into his open hatchback, setting the car on fire! I just love that one. The look on his face. Or the guy driving on the highway and the car passes with the mattresses barely tied on. Another great face! They can make good commercials, but too often they go for the easy low hanging fruit and just use sleeze. Apparently it sells. :(

    @Fiat Domine, indeed.

  16. Mr. Green says:

    BLB quotes: “You can’t have that many as the worst ever, Mom.”

    And why not? They can all tie for worst place! I would, however, quibble with the word “ever”: you should say, “worst yet”, because people will continue to make advertisements that are more and more horrible… at least until society breaks down completely. (Civilisational collapse does have its silver lining!)

  17. frjim4321 says:

    The only one I am really annoyed with is “Joseph A. Bank.” Sounds like the v/o guy is confusing “Joseph A. Bank” with the Second Coming. I hate that commercial.

    I must not be watching much TV because of the ones listed I only have seen Deal Dash. But I will agree, it’s horrible.

    The last few weeks I’ve been having a Netflix marathon and just now starting the 5th and final season of Six Feet Under. No commercials! And a pretty darn good show, slow to get moving, but pretty decent. Also this morning watched “Saint of 911.” (Is my day off. I do NOT watch daytime television on work days!)

    What are Stuffies? It sounds obscene.

  18. StJude says:

    The K-Mart gif one.. seriously.. ugh.. awful.

    I basically only watch TCM and there are no ads. But I have seen the Kmart and that stuffie ad..
    like nails on a chalk board, father.

  19. Nan says:

    I don’t own a tv and rarely stream anything online. Tues. I watched part of Bp. Cozzens Episcopal Ordination Mass but before that? Once in awhile short videos brought to my attention but rarely TV shows. Nor do I have Netflix. So didn’t have a clue about any of the commercials or commercial products.

    I have the impression that Pope Francis speaks against our rampant consumerism; otherwise, why remind the wealthy of the good they can do with their donations? Maybe I was just stuck on Mass and remembered Lazarus and the Wealthy Man. And the widow who gave from her poverty rather than from excess. To me, that’s the crux of the issue; what do you do with what you have?

  20. Hans says:

    The mute button is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

  21. anna 6 says:

    And have you noticed that it isn’t even “THE Holidays” anymore (which implies Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years etc). Now it is simply “Holiday”…some ambiguous celebration not attached to any religious or cultural tradition, but a mercantile event. I have heard “what will you be doing for holiday this year?

    And the Deal Dash lady? Chalk on a blackboard.

  22. Nan says:

    Oh, and Father? You could always work on your Roman Holiday Cookbook.

  23. smittyjr63 says:

    TV annoys me, period. I avoid it at all costs. So TV commercials to me are completely foreign. I got rid of my cable TV – a zillion channels with no substance, and shows full of mindless, trashy entertainment. I’m all for a media boycott. Remember when TV was free, and it wasn’t an extra bill at the end of the month? Bring morality back to the tube and maybe I’ll tune in. Otherwise, I’m all about renting old movies on Netflix. Just watched an old Gene Kelly movie tonight, and watched The Andy Williams Christmas Specials DVD earlier. The days of “clean” entertainment are gone. If you want something good you have to dig deep.

    Our society is so tied up in looking at screens. The only reason I’m on a computer is that it’s part of my career. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t own a computer at all. Ever notice how when you’re in a waiting room, everyone around you is checking their iPhones? It’s like people are addicted to them. It’s disturbing.

    Let’s change the 60’s mantra from “Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out” to “Tune Out, Turn Off, Drop In”….like, actually visit a friend instead of texting them.

  24. Siculum says:

    I love this blog, and most of the commenters are just plain my kinda people.

    Life is good tonight. It’s nice knowing there are like minded people out there.

    [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

  25. Dienekes says:

    I spent a year over in Southeast Asia in 66-67. In those far-off days it was like being on another planet, so naturally we were insulated from any TV. I was always leery of TV anyway, and when I got back the programs, commercials, etc. struck me as so tacky and ridiculous that none of it was remotely believable anymore. I have never lost that conviction in the 46 years since.

    When my kids were teens we rebelled and killed the cable. We have it again now but principally for watching Fox News (the least awful of a bad bunch) and TCM. My wife still watches the idiot lantern but I generally avoid the thing. I look forward to the day we dump the whole thing again. If it could be uninvented I would be all for it.

  26. MikeM says:

    I think that some of you might be missing what the Pajamagram commercials are going for. I find them uncomfortable, but they’re meant to make fun of racy commercials, not to be one. It’s supposed to be ironic, because most of the pajamas that they sell are fairly conservative and none of them are exactly provocative by today’s standards.

  27. Priam1184 says:

    Yup all women turned into sl… and men transformed into sex starved morons whose collective IQ can’t even reach the high temperature in Minneapolis today. That is about the state of modern American ‘culture’. @MikeM I think that the irony that you refer to would be lost on most people.

  28. Priam1184 says:

    Just to clarify: the qualities I listed above are how the media and pop culture want to portray American society and how they want it to become. Whether it will ultimately be successful or the people will snap out of their current delerium is anyone’s guess right now.

  29. Andreas says:

    I fear that a great deal of television broadcasting here in Europe (including commercials) has taken to imitating that seen in the US. Many of the programs of certain Sender (broadcasters) are (with some exceptions) the lowest caliber US shows that have been dubbed over with German whilst others are merely German-language copies of US shows. Interestingly, commercials for these types of Sender tend to be ‘bunched’ into blocs that appear for about 8 minutes each half hour or so. Thus, one can escape to whatever other activity one wishes for that period of time. Other Sender have few if any commercials and typically the highest quality programming. When we watch at all, these are the broadcasters my wife and I tend to seek.

  30. JonPatrick says:

    Haven’t watched TV since the Red Sox were in the World Series. Used to watch Fox News but gave up on that except sometimes I like to watch Krauthammer’s commentary but for the rest there are better sources online for real news. Right now I have so many books to read – just found a used set of Lord of the Rings trilogy – I don’t know where I’d find time to watch shows.

    [I know to turn on Fox at 38 minutes into the hour: that is when the panel starts.]

  31. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Andreas, yes, German commercials are much more spectator-friendly, and, I assume, much less effective by their very distribution.

    Not two minutes after five minutes, but, like, 7 or 8 after fifteen.

    Which means instead of being disturbed any minute, you can cut the tone, make tea,and read what is left over from morning’s newspaper.

    I don’t know, but assuming the wont be willingly less effective, I believe they are probably being compelled by the force of law to show no more than two sets of commercials in a broadcast, or something alike.

  32. Nae says:

    I hear the pajamagram ads on the radio and they don’t sound ironic to me; they sound sleazy. I turn them off before the kids can hear them.

  33. Facta Non Verba says:

    Not a fan of the commercial for “No Nos”, in addition to those you named.

  34. Netmilsmom says:

    We ditched the cable 7 years ago. We watch our Roku mostly “The Blaze” and “Top Gear” on Netflix.
    I’m so glad I haven’t seen most of these commercials.

  35. B16_Fan says:

    Yep. They are bad, but the ones I am most tired of are the ones for catheters. What’s with that? All of a sudden in the past year or so they are on all the time. Was there a sudden epidemic that hit??

  36. aviva meriam says:

    Color your responses appropriate and a sign of a healthy mind.

    Modern culture is seriously flawed….

  37. SKAY says:

    I agree with your choices, Father–especially DealDash. Ugh.
    The mute button does come in handy.

    I do like certain historical period pieces and mysteries on PBS–usually done by the BBC — and of course I like EWTN.

    johnnyD–Obama and his fellow travelers also say to turn Fox off – so Fox must be doing something right once in a while.

  38. kellym says:

    We kicked cable to the curb about a year ago in favor of more bandwidth for streaming. We do record stuff from our local over the air stations – mainly reruns and PBS Mystery series – but for the rest we stick to Netflix. I subscribe to the MLB network online for the Red Sox, and NFL Rewind to catch the Patriots during the week. (When you live out of market you have to get creative.) TopGear UK is always in heavy rotation but on for background noise while we do other stuff. For those who are TopGear fans, check out the episode where James May takes a Range Rover to Death Valley – probably one of my most favorite places in the world.

    @ Bryan_D._Boyle: I’ll meet your Veyron and raise you with a Phaeton. How’s that? Seriously, both those offerings are just luscious to drool over.

    I will say that it’s discouraging to watch a recording of a sporting event and see nothing but commercials for cars, with perhaps a dopey Pizza Hut/Taco Bell/Domino’s thrown in as an alternate. I remember as a kid you’d see commercials for kinds of normal everyday stuff – Alka-Seltzer, Ragu Spaghetti Sauce, etc. Does anyone else remember the Calgon commercials? Silly but funny.

  39. OrthodoxChick says:

    Wow! You folks are inspiring. We’re t.v. addicts in my house. We mute the commercials too. If it’s a Victoria’s secret ad or something really racy, we change the station for a few minutes.

    kellym, we watch the U.S. version of TopGear. Love that show. Haven’t seen the UK version of it yet. I’m also totally hooked on American Pickers and Duck Dynasty.

  40. RobW says:

    Lol…I just read my mother this piece, she said “so we’re not the only ones huh?” Thank God for mute…we might have to watch the insanity to see when the show comes back on but listening to it is beyond my endurance. I watch as little tv as possible. If it wasn’t for EWTN I’d seriously think about getting the cable removed.

  41. The Masked Chicken says:

    I remember, vividly, the day I finally decided to stop watching broadcast t.v.. It was March 19, 2003, the feast of St. Joseph and, coincidentally (has nothing to do with anything, but it makes it easy to remember), the day we invaded Iraq. It was a Sunday and I was starting to watch Alias, which came on immediately after the Superbowl. The episode started with the character played by, Jennifer Garner, under cover as a Victoria Secret lingerie model on an airplane. The thing is, it had nothing to do with the story line. I, finally, realized that I was just being played. This was gratuitous flesh exposure to try and captivate, mostly, the androgen-steeped post-Superbowl men tuning in. That was it. Television programs are a delivery vehicles for advertisers. They don’t care about the viewer or artistic sensibilities and certainly not moral ones.

    So, I refused to play their games, anymore. NBC bought the Sci-fi channel and changed the name to, what? Syfy. It sounds venereal. They, routinely, cancel their programs after 5 years so they don’t have to pay the actors more money (they sign 5 year contracts), among other reasons – that includes cancelling their top two programs in terms of viewship. Who does that?

    Commercials can be near occasions of sin. I haven’t watched one in years, at least when I am by myself.

    T.V. is, to use Newton Minnow’s classic term, a vast wasteland.

    Of course, guess what present I got for Christmas that year – a big screen t.v :( I still did not watch broadcast t. v., although I did buy a DVD player so that I could use the t.v. set.

    Personally, I think the Standards and Practices people have been replaced by their Stepford equivalents.

    The Chicken

  42. Mandy P. says:

    Not a TV fan. I will let my kids watch Tranformers Prime (for my son) or My Little Pony (for my daughter) which tallies up to about an hour a day. Unfortunately those broadcast on the HUB channel which is terrible about the commercials. The Stuffies one is so annoying. I have gotten into the habit, though, of just letting them watch their one episode on Netflix instead so we don’t have to endure the stupid commercials.

    The most TV we watch every week is, hands down, on Sunday afternoons after mass. My husband is a HUGE Tampa Bay Bucaneers fan and of the NFL in general, so we spend a lot of Sunday hanging out together and watching football. The commercials that are by far the most annoying to me are all the jewelry store commercials, and especially at this time of year. I swear, the make it look like the only way to make a woman happy is to buy her a huge pile of diamonds. It’s despicable. And the worst thing is it works, too. My son, who is almost seven and is adorable and sweet, asked my husband a week or so ago if he would take him out to buy a Christmas present for me. And then he asked him if he thought they should go to Jared. It was hilariously funny, one of those out-of-the-mouths-of-babes moments. But it definitely made me and my husband think twice about all the commercials we (especially our kids) absorb on Sunday afternoons and we’ve started muting the TV as soon as they go to break.

  43. Moro says:

    The problem is not just the annoying commercials, but the culture that buys these products. Stuffies may have annoying commercials but it’s a pretty innocuous toy. On the other hand, I’m dumbfounded that people actually buy Pajamagrams. Their commercials must sell product since they keep doing it. Who are the guys buying them?

  44. Luvadoxi says:

    Worst commercial ever: the original T-mobile music–enough to make me check myself into the looney bin……

  45. Luvadoxi says:

    I have to say I love all the Budweiser commercials with the horses. And most of the clever Geico commercials except for that awful pig!!! I hate the pig!

  46. Luvadoxi says:…ch….chia! Bwaaaahhhaa!

    I do like Mr. Mayhem. :)

  47. HyacinthClare says:

    I’m with you, Legisperitus. Not a clue what they are and no interest in finding out.

  48. @kellym: just finished watching that TG episode last night on Netflix. Good one.

    While their antics may be a bit high-schoolish at times, and they certainly push the taste envelope occasionally….like Monty Python, it’s all so British understated, it’s not really offensive.

    FWIW, tried watching the US franchise show on the History channel…no comparison.

  49. StJude says:

    I am in my car all day so I cant get away from radio ads…

    there is this woman duo that do the ads for a local car dealership.. ugh.. seriously father.. those ads make you long for a good stuffie ad.
    After they inform how many great cars they have they say…. “too much twerking.. not enough working?” then they launch into the bad credit financing stuff.
    That’s the kinda stuff to make a person intentionally run their car into a tree.

  50. Kathleen10 says:

    Siculum, yes, absolutely. Amen to that for sure.
    I have not heard of any of those things. I did see the Kmart commercial and I wouldn’t buy a thing from Kmart now. It is horrible, a new low. We are a vulgar culture.

    Fr. Jim. Isn’t Jos. A Banks the men’s clothing company? If so, they were having a fantastic sale. Buy one suit and get two free? Maybe you are talking about a different company.
    A great invention is the DVR. We record and watch later, zipping through the commercials. Much better. We also watch TCM for the old films that are far and away better than contemporary ones, which I have completely given up on. EWTN is always good. I’ve watched thousands of hours of EWTN.

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