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ETrade Baby wiped out in Monday’s massive stock market crash?

Written By | Feb 7, 2018
ETrade Baby

Screen shot of a College Humor video parody of a classic ETrade Baby commercial. (Parody, fair use)

WASHINGTON, February 6, 2018: Most individual investors’ portfolios, including mine, got their clocks cleaned in Monday’s stock market crash. I sat back later on Monday evening, and indulged in my usual problem solving routine. I promptly poured out a generous tumbler of single malt Irish (yes, there is now such a thing) and attempted to initiate an attitude change. That’s when I remembered those classic ETrade Baby commercials of yesteryear.

Does anyone else still remember them? Each ETrade Baby commercial consisted of what looked like a home movie of a baby fidgeting in his high chair or elsewhere. But an adult voiceover, cleverly lip-synched with the baby’s babble, transformed the little tyke into an armchair investor. He happily informed us just how easy it was to trade stocks on your home computer if you did business online with ETrade, one of America’s largest online discount brokerage houses.

The initial ETrade Baby commercial – which, as I recall, first appeared during a circa 2011 Superbowl telecast – was a surprise smash hit, spawning a number of new commercials featuring the same baby but with other props and situations.

Fast forward a bit. After those ETrade Baby commercials started running, those crazy kids at “College Humor” copied one of the original commercials. Someone there named Josh Rubin (I think) then 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 commercials.

I recall nearly falling out of my chair in full ROFLMAO* mode after viewing the parody commercial for the very first time. It’s still online today, one of many such parodies of the baby still available on YouTube.

In light of Monday’s insane stock market butchery, I thought our readers might enjoy an instant replay of that College Humor parody. Laughter, after all, is one way to get over a market disaster. Although a beakerful of whisky – or two – doesn’t hurt either.

There’s a lesson in here somewhere, but I’ve been laughing too hard to remember what it was. Enjoy.

Mild warning for families and viewers in an office environment: A bit of profanity here, although it’s purposely bleeped out throughout the video.

 *Jurassic Age texting shortcut, generally translated as “Rolling on the floor, laughing my derrière off.”


Terry Ponick

Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17