Better than 'Cats'

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EricDSnider
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Better than 'Cats'

Postby EricDSnider » Mon 16 Jun, 2003 03:25 pm

Does anyone else remember an old commercial for a movie or play in which an exiting audience member says, "It was better than 'Cats'! I'm going to see it again and again!"? If so, do you remember what the commercial was for?

There was an SNL sketch that used the line, too, with people exiting a hypnosis show all saying, "It was better than 'Cats.'" But that sketch was referencing the original source, which is the source I"m trying to determine.

Anyone remember?

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VANDERTRAMP
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Postby VANDERTRAMP » Mon 16 Jun, 2003 03:35 pm

[shamelessly deleted]
Last edited by VANDERTRAMP on Mon 16 Jun, 2003 03:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm looking for a twin of ImAdhis

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VANDERTRAMP
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Postby VANDERTRAMP » Mon 16 Jun, 2003 03:39 pm

kidding. I got the SNL sketch name. sorry
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Postby Spencer » Tue 17 Jun, 2003 07:23 am

This is a toughie. I've been buring up the Google, but to no avail.

I've found quite a few references to the SNL parody commerical. And a lot of people use it as a quote. But that's about it. I haven't been able to find what original commerical it came from.

Perhaps it was originally from the SNL parody? I'm not sure.

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Postby ~Zesdy~ » Tue 17 Jun, 2003 07:53 am

In the searches I did, Like you Spencer, I did find that the quote Eric gave us is attributed to SNL. However, I did find this:

"As the famous commercial line went, "I laughed, I cried...It was better than Cats."
(http://e1.eonline.com/News/Items/0%2C1%2C7069%2C00.html)

This proves that Eric is not a nutso! The commericial does exist and it is famous. Sure the above column doesn't even mention what the commericial was for (It's just THAT famous that everyone SHOULD already know!) but it does prove that there WAS an original commercial out there......Somewhere. "Perhaps we are just not looking hard enough." (name that movie)

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Jersey Girl
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Postby Jersey Girl » Wed 18 Jun, 2003 12:12 pm

Eric,

I'm a librarian and I'm beginning to think that the commercial may be just a fake SNL thing. The date and name of the SNL spot is in the following link.

http://pub20.ezboard.com/fsnltranscript ... =299.topic

This quote names the episode

You can try posting your query on the Quoteland message board

http://forum.quoteland.com/1/OpenTopic? ... =099191541

I tried all the quote references in Library Spot. You can look up the quote links in IPL.org to see if they give you anything. I wish I could be of better help.

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stvngrdnr
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Postby stvngrdnr » Wed 18 Jun, 2003 01:13 pm

"Better than Cats" isn't setting the bar very high.

I saw this on a message board.

The Sixth Sense*
_____ The kid's school just had a school play. The kid and the doctor guy were walking down the halls of the school, and the kid asked him if her liked it, and he said "It was great! Better than Cats." The kid went "Cats?" Then the guy then said, "Nevermind . . ."

Apparently the Better than Cats comment has a life of its own, though I can't seem to find anything to suggest that it didn't originate on Saturday Night Live. "I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats."

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Postby EricDSnider » Wed 18 Jun, 2003 01:24 pm

Here's why the quote DIDN'T originate with SNL:

1) I remember the original commercial very vividly. It was a woman and a man outside the theater, and the woman was saying, "It was better than 'Cats'! I'm going to see it again and again!" It sounded semi-fake, like those things always do, and ripe for parody. I mean who would say, "I'm going to see it again and again!"?

2) Which brings me to my next point, which is that comedically, it doesn't make sense for SNL to have originated it. The SNL sketch was funny BECAUSE people (in 1986, when it aired) had seen the original commercial and knew where the line was from. It was like "I've fallen and I can't get up": a stupid line from a commercial that everyone had seen.

3) Furthermore, in 1986, "Cats" had been running for four years. If SNL were making up a line for someone to say, they wouldn't have had them reference a four-year-old Broadway show. It would be like someone today saying, "It was better than 'Full Monty,'" which was the big Broadway show in 1999. Today, someone would say, "better than 'Hairspray,'" or maybe "better than 'The Producers'" -- you know, some show that everyone (in New York, anyway) is talking about a lot. If SNL were making up the line in 1986, they would have come up with "better than 'La Cage aux Folles'" or "better than 'Big River'," or one of the other big-at-the-moment shows.

4) See #1. I REMEMBER the commercial. And I never saw the SNL parody.

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Postby ~Zesdy~ » Wed 18 Jun, 2003 01:26 pm

I remember the commercial, too. The guy had dark hair. (I think)


Also, in one of my searches...it mentioned that the 1986 skit done by SNL was a parody of the stupid 80's commercials.

I believe Eric, although I can't find the darn original commercial... I know it exists...

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Postby ~Zesdy~ » Wed 18 Jun, 2003 02:24 pm

Here is the original quote:

* "I laughed; I cried; it was better than Cats" is a quote from an old episode of Saturday Night Live - it was a mock commercial parodying those movie TV ads where they show the people on the street with their immediate reactions to how great the film was. In the SNL version, they're all leaving a hypnotist's show, and every person says in a total monotone, "I laughed; I cried; it was better than Cats." I dunno, maybe I'm weird, but I found the whole thing hillarious, and the quote still fills me with mirth. Mmm, I'm fully of mirthy goodness.

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Postby Jersey Girl » Wed 18 Jun, 2003 07:22 pm

OK I believe you guys that this was a separate commercial. I was 9 in 1986 so I guess I was too busy watching She-Ra to pay attention to the Broadway commercials that blasted on of NYC television stations.

I found Favorite Commercials of the 80s. It may not have the answers but is fun to go down memory lane.

http://www.inthe80s.com/tvcommercials/a.shtml

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Postby ~Zesdy~ » Wed 18 Jun, 2003 10:55 pm

speaking of commercials, I found this site:

http://www.x-entertainment.com/downloads/

I haven't gone through them all (yet)...but what little I have gone through sure has taken me down memory lane. They even have the Encyclopedia Britannica Boy...See:

Image

Remember him?

little timmy
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Postby little timmy » Wed 18 Jun, 2003 11:27 pm

oh good sweet lovin' i remember that kid...
i just didnt remember his terrible hair
i always thought the best part about that commercial is the voice over

man, they were a great comic duo, geeky kid and the voice over guy
i wonder why they didnt go on and have a late night show

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Postby EricDSnider » Wed 18 Jun, 2003 11:46 pm

little timmy wrote:man, they were a great comic duo, geeky kid and the voice over guy
i wonder why they didnt go on and have a late night show



Funny you should say that, Little Timmy. The kid was Donavan Freberg, son of the great Stan Freberg. Stan was a writer and satirist who recorded dozens of novelty records in the '50s and '60s, and is well-known to any listener of the Dr. Demento Show. (He was probably best-known for his "Dragnet" parodies.) He also wrote a lot of TV commercials, and is generally regarded as the father of the funny TV commercial. For real: Before Stan Freberg, commercials were generally pretty straightforward and dry.

Anyway, that's his son in those commercials, and the voice-over is none other than Stan Freberg himself. And yes, he wrote those ads, too.

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Postby ~Zesdy~ » Thu 19 Jun, 2003 10:21 am

What about this guy?

Image

crystal the cute one
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Postby crystal the cute one » Thu 19 Jun, 2003 12:47 pm

I think he grew up to become my now-ex-boyfriend.

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Postby ~Zesdy~ » Thu 19 Jun, 2003 03:22 pm

Oh...I'm so sorry for the pain I might have inflicted by posting his picture. Would you like me to make a dart board out of it?

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Postby petullant » Sat 21 Jun, 2003 03:10 pm

Jersey Girl I really loved how you started out your first post on this thread with "I'm a librarian." In times of emergency I always want to call - "Is there a librarian in the house?" Perhaps, you should start carrying around a badge with you...

rib-rib-rib from the bookshop girl.
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Claytonius Maximus
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Postby Claytonius Maximus » Sat 21 Jun, 2003 08:13 pm

I grew up in Southern California, and I think I remember seeing that commercial. I'm trying to remember if it was for a play at either the:

Mark Taper Forum, or the
Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, or the
Pantages Theatre.

Those are the places I remember being advertised in the middle of my afternoon cartoons.

Anybody with me?

CM

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Postby ~Zesdy~ » Sat 21 Jun, 2003 10:25 pm

Funny... just today, I was talking to my older brothers and sister about that commercial. They all remember it but, like me, they can't specifically remember what it was for. (We were all living in Southern California at the time too.) I think maybe you are onto something CM.

::starts doing searches on the theatres he mentioned::


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