Tragedy + time = comedy? Not in the case of JFK
Steve Dahl was no stranger to controversy. His edgy Chicago FM radio shows took on all comers and much of his material was ripped from today's headlines.
Sometimes, a bit too soon.
His "Another Kid In The Crawl" song parody about the crimes of serial killer John Wayne Gacy won him a goodly amount of heat, raising the question as to whether there is ever a moment when such a horrific crime can be turned into radio fodder? It is Dahl who gets credit for the phrase, "tragedy plus time equals comedy" but it's a dicey equation for any entity to do business by.
Which brings us this commercial, from a gambling concern that no doubt is digging on the pub this controversial ad is garnering on the web.
I can hear the peals of laughter from Caroline Kennedy all the way from here.
It's not funny. It's not clever. I'd never heard of this outfit before and their decision to run such a spot doesn't make me want to do business with them. In fact, it makes me question their thinking process to the point where this would be the last concern I'd want to do any manner of transaction with, starting with and including the purchase of chewing gum.
Who thought this was a good idea? Worse yet, is this the best they could come up with?
True, Jerry Seinfeld turned "back and to the left" into a national catchphrase with the "second spitter" episode of his iconic prime time sitcom.
That was in 1992, a year after Oliver Stone's controversial "JFK" came out, a movie that re-ignited a national debate about the assassination. Seinfeld used that frenzy for humor, spoofing the movie more so than the crime itself.
I love dark stuff--drama and comedy. I laugh at stuff others find fairly distasteful, if not sophomoric. An ill-timed release of gas will put me in hysterics.
This ad? No. Not now, even 50 years after the murder the nation commemorates some two months from now.
Bad concept. Bad idea.