Updated: November 24, 2012 6:16AM
They let Brad Pitt off easy.
Joining the chorus of viral spoofs, the good folks at “Saturday Night Live” took on Pitt’s begging-to-be-parodied Chanel ads in a series of devastatingly spot-on bits, with Taran Killam just crushing it as the goateed actor/philosopher.
Looking like a cross between Jesus, a homeless guy and the bass player on a 1980s band reunion tour, Killam as Pitt gazed thoughtfully at the abyss while mumbling, “It’s not a journey. Every journey ends but we go on. The world turns and we turn with it. Plans disappear and dreams take over.”
The funniest part of the bit to that point: that’s a verbatim re-creation of what Pitt says in the actual ad.
In the “SNL” piece, Killam/Pitt continues: “And then dreams wake up and smile at reality — I’m sorry, is there really no script? Because I’ve been talking to myself for like two hours straight, I’m starting to sound insane. You want me to sound less coherent? Really? OK, I can just start making up words? You like that? All right. Splendiferous. Magnificous …”
Hilarious stuff, as were the two even goofier mock ads that followed. But in having the Pitt character question the silliness of the ad, “SNL” put it back on Chanel instead of focusing the mocking squarely on the megastar who surely could have put the kibosh on the pretentious spots had he so desired.
From “SNL” to Conan O’Brien to a bunch of non-showbiz folks on YouTube to Leif Garrett (he’s alive!), spoof ads are popping up all over, and justifiably so. How could Pitt and Chanel not see this coming? You film an actor in black-and-white, talking about how, “Wherever I go, there you are, my luck, my fate, my fortune,” and you’re just begging to get slammed.
I like Brad Pitt. Good actor, seems like a decent guy, keeps smiling as he runs around the globe toting kids and strollers while his vampire wife saves the world.
But when he starts going off about architecture as if he studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts or he goes all artsy while hawking perfume, you want to say, “Brad. Buddy. Springfield, Mo. Kickapoo High School. Guest shots on ‘Another World’ and ‘Growing Pains’ and ‘Dallas’ and ‘21Jump Street.’ Let’s go easy on the ‘It’s not a journey’ stuff.”
Smells like … victory
Some major movie stars won’t do commercials in the States because they think it cheapens their image — but they won’t hesitate to do cheesy ads overseas for huge paychecks. Pitt, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruce Willis and dozens of others have done ads in Europe and Asia. These days the lines are blurred, with Oscar-winning actresses doing U.S. spots for cosmetics and hair products, but most A-listers continue to avoid doing ads stateside.
Why, then, would Pitt subject himself to this? How about a reported $7 million? When you have 114 kids, even a big movie star needs to keep that cash flowing.
Decades ago, “Saturday Night Live” spoofed Elizabeth Taylor’s “White Diamonds” perfume ads, with guest host Sally Field in such soft focus she was out of focus. Since then, dozens of celebrities have attached their names to perfumes and colognes: Liza Minnelli, Fergie, Will Smith, Kate Moss, 50 Cent, Jennifer Lopez (who has released more than a dozen fragrances), Halle Berry, Britney Spears, Beyonce, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Bieber, Snooki, a bunch of Kardashians, etc., etc., etc. According to Slate, there were some 73 celebrity fragrances released in 2011 alone.
What is wrong with us? Why are you people running out and buying colognes and perfumes because some pop star or reality fool endorsed ’em? (Not you people. Those people over there.)
Kudos to the Showtime series “Episodes” and to Matt LeBlanc for poking fun at celebrity scents with a plot line involving LeBlanc (playing Matt LeBlanc) stuck post-“Friends” with a garage full of “Joey” cologne, which smells like cinnamon.
A very silly scent for a grown man to cloak himself in — but still better than the essence of all of these celebrity-endorsed fragrances. If it looks like B.S. and sounds like B.S., that’s a smell we all recognize.