Well, when you’re Chevy Chase…it happens.
In early 1994, it was good to not be Chevy Chase. Or the Buffalo Bills.
Slightly less than two years earlier, Johnny Carson had retired from The Tonight Show, and Jay Leno had succeeded him. Arsenio Hall’s show was off the air by 1993, and David Letterman moved on to CBS, and some little known guy named Conan O’Brien was just taking over Letterman’s Late Night gig. Dennis Miller tried a late night talk show in 1992 (spoiler alert: he failed), and apparently someone, somewhere (it was actually Dolly Parton, who turned the offer down but recommended Chase) believed Chevy Chase had what it took to host a talk show. Hence, The Chevy Chase Show. It promised advertisers between five and six million viewers nightly, there was a desk with a built-in piano, a basketball hoop on set, a live fish tank, toys on shelves – even the theater was named for him, and he inked a $3 million deal with Fox to do the show.
Everything should have worked in Chase’s favor…right?
We want to believe it is possible, but unfortunately, it was not. The show struggled with ratings, and after six weeks, the show was cancelled in early October 1993.
And that brings us to today’s commercial, from a few months later, on January 30, 1994, and the evening of Super Bowl XXVIII. Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, and commercials. One of which stars Chase in a sendup that is probably an all-too-realistic telling of how his talk show got cancelled.
It actually is advertising Doritos Tortilla Thins, but it is dramatic and discusses cancellation, so…
Trust me on this one, you’ll just need to watch it!
Gotta love the old lady who risks danger and then tries to get the chips. She succeeded in getting the better of Chevy Chase. Which in 1993, was not difficult.
Apparently, you can get cancelled in the middle of a commercial!
The Dorito Tortilla Thin was introduced in 1993 by Frito-Lay, with their first commercials airing during the Academy Awards that year. The rollout was $50 million, the largest for Frito-Lay, with a projected $100 million marketing plan for the first year. The chips were the size of your standard potato chip, about two-thirds as thick as standard Doritos. I can’t find any information on when they were discontinued, but based on a Google search that would probably deem them non-existent save for this video and an Associated Press article that I got this much information from, it is safe to say Doritos Tortilla Thins are as extinct as Chevy Chase’s talk show prospects, but obviously lasted beyond 1993-1994.
Rough year indeed.
But I bet the chips were good!
Have a great Throwback Thursday!