Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No Reason to Smile?

It's a fact that truth is stranger than fiction. Take this guy. We all know him. That's Smilin' Bob, the guy in the Enzyte commercials. As much as I hate the way Madison Avenue preys on men's insecurities about size the same way it preys on women's insecurities about weight, I like these commercials. I liked the first one best though, the one with the conga line. Not long after though, someone removed a shot of a woman holding a tiny, limp cocktail weenie. The ads were really popular, then they suddenly disappeared. I found out why...

A year or so ago the founder of Enyztye, Steve Warshak, was convicted of money laundering, false advertising, and fraud. He was sued for $450 million and sentenced to 25 years.
“This wasn’t a series of little frauds here and there,” Mark Josephs, a U.S. Department of Justice lawyer, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “This was a big scheme.”
But here's where it gets weird. Immediately after the judgment, the Enzyte people started making plans to change the product's name and to replace John Larson, the actor who played Smilin' Bob. Then, low-and-behold, Larson turned up missing and presumed dead after a boating accident near the Caribbean island of Martinique last June. Now the commercials are back on the air, which makes me wonder what's going on. If he's alive, then great, but why is the product back on the air? If he's dead, then that's kind of creepy and in really bad taste, and again, why is the product being marketed?

Smilin' Bob, indeed.

2 comments :

  • Wendy says:
    October 8, 2008 at 9:02 PM

    I. Am. Lost.
    Is this an Ohio joke? An erectile disfunction joke? I love that smilin' guy...is he dead? If so, he's a prime candidate for a Direct TV ad.

  • Merisi says:
    October 9, 2008 at 12:36 AM

    That reads like the intro to a mystery novel! Some brilliant minds are being wasted, as if there were a dark side that pushes them onto the criminal path, it's too sad.

    Let's hope that poor actor turned up alive and well, somewhere!

    I remember a case in the Eighties, in the Washington DC area: An apparently successful wine wholesaler died in a fiery crash on inbound George Washington Parkway. Turned out that the burned bones found in the wreck were not from a human, but from a pig! Insurance fraud. ;-)

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