News & Politics

Best of 2004: TV Advertisement

The cheesiest (in a good way) commercial.

Some TV-commercial catch phrases hit it big: "I can't believe I ate the whole thing," "Ring around the collar," "Where's the beef?" For ten years, actor and standup comic Howard "G" has been doing for Washington-based Senate Auto Insurance what Michael Jordan did for Nike.

The campy "G" poses as a news anchor, a choir-robe-wearing angel, a Jerry Springeresque talk-show host, and most recently Grandma "G"–an homage to Flip Wilson's Geraldine–and crows that Senate has the lowest rates around. "Kiss my bumper!" he tells his competitors. "Just kiss it!" Asked if the commercials are so bad they're good, Howard Maleson, president of the Breakthrough Group, which created the intentionally kitschy spots, says: "I like to think of these commercials as so good they're good."

Washingtonian staff contributing to this section were Chuck Conconi, Sherri Dalphonse, Susan Davidson, Mary Clare Fleury, Cynthia Hacinli, Thomas Head, Stephanie Jones, Ann Limpert, Drew Lindsay, Chad Lorenz, Leslie Milk, William O'Sullivan, Cindy Rich, and Jeremy Stahl.  Also contributing were writers Cathy Alter, Ann Cochran, and Jenny Sullivan.