I remember when I was in college, I visited New York City and one of the things on my to-do list was to watch an episode of The Robin Byrd Show, the famous local-access show that was parodied on SNL. I wanted to know everything about being a “REAL” New Yorker, and apparently, watching this show was an important piece of that puzzle. But to all of you aspiring New Yorkers, let me advise you, don’t be like me. Late night cable access is not where it’s at anymore. What makes you a true New Yorker is an obsessive knowledge of our local commercials. Our local cable station, NY1 (and its glorious morning anchor Pat Kiernan) do a great job of running some real classics, and we’ve picked our favorites through the years so you can get acquainted with what to expect when you move into your new apartment in SqaViNetA (that’s the new, hot neighborhood, it stands for the Squatters Village In Nets Arena).
10. Grand Prospect Hall
The Grand Prospect Hall. This is the mother of all New York television spots. Trust me when I say that all New Yorkers are conditioned to say “The Gran’ Prospeh Hall…We make you dreams cahm true!” the instant that Vivaldi starts playing.
9. Raymour & Flanigan
My only goal in life, other than to be a world-famous blogger of local TV commercials, is to sing in a local TV commercial. Specifically, I want to be one of the “Oh..Oh” singers in the Raymour And Flanigan spot.
8.Empire State Gold Buyers and Gino’s Pizzeria (Tie)
7. Hillside Honda
The Hillside Honda couple is legendary. Their relationship epic. They’re basically this generation’s Taster’s Choice couple. The pair met, if you can believe it, while they were both waiting for the Hillside Honda dealership to open, and from there, well, you can figure it out for yourself. And the best part is that these crazy kids actually got together in real life.
6. Dramatics NYC
If you’ve ever gone to a gym in Manhattan (okay, maybe just my gym?) Dramatics NYC commercials are pretty prevalent on the Sports Club Network music channel. What’s so important about these commercials is that every salon I’ve ever been in has posters of that woman’s haircut on the wall, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a living person with it.
5. Gallagher’s 2000
New York City: Where aliens can’t get enough of our strippers.
4.NY Alliance Against Insurance Fraud
The New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud: Look, I don’t personally know anyone who committed insurance fraud, so I don’t know what emotions I’d feel if I found out my own dad was guilty of it. Somehow though, I think my Betrayal Button would not be turned up as high as this kid’s. LIAR!
3. Behr’s Furniture
Behr’s Furniture. For your babyTADHLERorteen.
And finally, the grand jewels of New York advertising, the dueling car services that are best known by their phone numbers, 666-6666 and 777-7777.
I don’t know who I feel more sorry for in the Carmel Car Service commercial, the actors or the driver of the car who is clearly blocked by the double-parked car in front of him.
1. Dial-Seven Limo Service
Like the Statue of Liberty herself, the “TAXXXXIIIIIIIII!” guy is an institution in this city.
An honorable mention to Dr. Zizmor, whose television ad I have never seen before today, but who every subway rider knows intimately for his ubiquitous posters. Thank you for improving our skin. Thank you for improving our lives, Dr. Z:
*Special shout-out to our fallen (a.k.a not online) commercials for Select Dental and Kreiser Dental Center, whose respective tag lines “We should have done it years ago,” and “I don’t even feel my implants, and they work like my natural teeth,” are burned in our brains forever.