Steve Eighinger

Put an end to these commercials -- please

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 17, 2019 7:45 am

They're not funny.

In fact, they are downright annoying.

If I never see another Verizon TV commercial, it will be too soon. It's to the point now that I almost cringe when Verizon's gangly and rather unkempt spokesman, Thomas Middleditch, appears on screen.

And most of it is Middleditch's fault. His character is not even the slightest bit entertaining, plus more irritating than a case of athlete's foot.

Obviously, the Verizon cellphone folks are smarter than I am because I would have ended those commercials after the first one. Middleditch and those ads are constantly roasted by the media for their annoyance, yet Verizon keeps churning them out. And if you think it's simply a matter of media snootiness, just check out 99.9 percent of the online comments.

In one sense, Middleditch is probably receiving a bum rap. He's simply playing the role the Verizon hierarchy envisions, but I don't care whose "fault" those overbearing commercials are. I simply want them stopped.

It's a shame Middleditch arguably will be best known for his role in those ads because the Canadian actor also appears in the HBO series "Silicon Valley," for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award.

But I don't care about that Emmy nomination. Just put an end to those commercials.

Annoying, part 2

While we're on this subject, those two Sonic Drive-In guys, T.J. Jagodowski and Peter Grosz, rank just behind Middleditch and Verizon on the annoyance-ometer.

The lame jokes and even lamer overall dialogue almost are enough to stop me from frequenting Sonic. "Almost" is the key word in that sentence because I truly love to go to Sonic.

Jagodowski, the one who is always sitting on the passenger's side of the front seat in the commercials, and Grosz are professional improv comedians. I assume they are funnier on stage than in these commercials.

For the life of me, I don't understand how these two have played the Sonic guys for more than 15 years. I will admit, at one time, the commercials were (almost) amusing, but over the past five years or so they have steadily morphed into fingernails-on-a-blackboard.

Annoying, part 3

Let's just go for the trifecta today. My third pet peeve among annoying commercials centers around Flo and those Progressive car insurance ads.

Flo is the fictional salesperson character who has appeared in more than 100 commercials for Progressive, beginning way back in 2008. Portrayed by actress and comedian Stephanie Courtney, Flo also has emerged as the face of the company in not only TV commercials but print media, too.

Occasionally, there is a mildly amusing Flo/Progressive ad that interrupts whatever sports event I might be watching, but most of the time when one of those commercials appears I want to change the channel.

But I don't -- because I'm afraid whatever channel I change to might be airing a Verizon or Sonic commercial.