WASHINGTON – Most individual investors’ portfolios, including mine, got their clocks cleaned in Monday’s latest stock market crash. I sat back later on Monday evening, and launched into my usual problem solving routine. A generous tumbler of single malt Irish whiskey (that’s the way the Irish spell it) and attempted to hard reboot an attitude change. And that’s when I remembered those classic E*Trade Baby commercials of yesteryear. And immediately decided that the E*Trade baby should return to CDN to comment on this Monday’s hideous stock market action.
Does anyone still remember these E*Trade commercial gems?
Each E*Trade Baby commercial consisted of what looked like a home movie of a baby fidgeting in his high chair or elsewhere in the house. But an adult voiceover, cleverly lip-synched with the baby’s babbling – and without the aid of current “fake video” wizardry – would transform the little tyke into a savvy armchair investor in each advertisement.
In the initial video in this series, the E*Trade Baby happily informs us just how easy it is to trade stocks on your home computer. Easy, that is, if you do business online with E*Trade (trading symbol: ETFC), one of America’s largest online discount brokerage houses. (Which is now in the process of being acquired by Morgan Stanley [MS].)
The initial E*Trade Baby commercial – which, as I recall, first appeared during a circa 2011 Superbowl telecast – was a surprise smash hit. It spawned a number of followup commercials featuring the same baby but with other props, characters and situations.
Let’s go to the video
Fast-forward a bit in time. After those E*Trade Baby commercials became a popular success, the crazy comics running the College Humor website* copied the video portion of one of the original Baby commercials. Someone (Josh Rubin?) subversively re-dubbed the Baby’s sales pitch into something completely different.
College Humor then posted this version online. Their over-the-top, hilarious parody attracted a huge, enthusiastic audience that may have rivaled audiences for the original TV commercials. That video appears below, a little worn out over the years, but still just as funny as ever.
I nearly fell out of my chair in full ROFLMAO** mode after viewing this College Humor parody commercial for the first time. It remains online today, one of many such parodies of the Baby still available on YouTube.
What goes around still comes around
So in light of this Monday’s latest edition of Wall Street stock portfolio butchery, I thought CDN’s readers might enjoy an instant replay of that College Humor parody.
Laughter, after all, is one proven way to get over a market disaster. At least temporarily. But a dram of quality single malt Irish whisky – or two – doesn’t hurt either.
There’s a lesson in here somewhere. But I’ve been laughing (and drinking) too hard to remember what it was. Enjoy.
(An earlier version of this article appeared on CDN February 6, 2018, after an earlier and equally horrible Monday full of negative market action. I updated this version with new information.)
*The original College Humor website lost its funding January 2020. It’s now offline. But it lives on via new and vintage videos posted on YouTube. And it still had a presence on Twitter and Instagram as of March 23, 2020.
**Jurassic Age texting abbreviation, generally translated as “Rolling on the floor, laughing my [derrière] off.”
– Headline image: Screen shot of the old E*Trade Baby as parodied in a College Humor video via YouTube.