Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The luckiest/saddest son of a bitch in show business.

My friend Jason is an actor, and does a lot of work in commercials. Several years ago, we began casually compiling a list of people that we could consider "the luckiest son of bitch in show business". The criteria was actually very simple: they had to be people who had little to no acting talent, but somehow made a bazillion dollars by being in the right place at the right time, and ended up being cast in a role that is literally too easy to screw up.

Consider the following:

Example

The Verizon guy.


Example

Richard Karn from Home Improvement


Example

John Ratzenberger from Cheers


Example

and of course, the all-time winner was anybody ever hired to literally just say "Zoom zoom" for a Nissan commercial.



All right, so there was another that one could have easily added to this list:

Example

Ron Michaelson, also known as the Ditech.com guy.

Now I say could have been added because I read this interview with Ron today that appeared on CNN, and I have to say that, unfortunately, not only is he not on this list, but he now appears at the top of the "saddest son of a bitch in show business" list.

Why? According to his interview, Michaelson does not receive residuals from his appearances on those commercials. That's right! Turns out they bought him out at a low rate, so now he just watches himself all god damn day on TV with no residual cash to show for it, despite the fact that he basically established their brand name.

For those who do not know, commercial actors basically live on the residuals that they make. When an actor lands a national spot like this, usually it means that they are set for life and their years of hard struggle are over. For Michaelson, however, he got one buyout rate for a bunch of ads that they filmed all at once, and now they play on an endless loop with no additional compensation for him! You think those ads are painful for you, imagine what they do to him!

Wait! It gets worse! When asked by CNN if he, in fact, refinanced his house with Ditech.com, he explained that he does not actually own a house. In fact, he actually still lives with his mom! Worse still, his mom refinanced with Ditech! Twist the knife a little deeper, mom!

I'm practically loading the gun myself for this guy and then I read this from the transcript:

CNN: The next role for you perhaps? Anything you haven't tackled, beyond Ditech? And I do realize that that's the role of a lifetime, but beyond that?

MICHAELSON: Well, I'm willing to go to be a 2-minute to 8-minute actor in films, et cetera. I've done some of that, but would like to do even more.

CNN: So put the word out, you're available.

MICHAELSON:Yes.

This is what this guy is looking to do? Increase his screen time up to 2 minutes? This is his goal?

Congratulations, my friend. You are officially the saddest son of a bitch in show business.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Heath said...

My dad knew the composer of the guy who did the Mazda "Zoom, Zoom" stuff. He not only hired himself, but also his wife to sing the backgrounds.

Worked great for a while. The money rolled in...

Then stopped. You see, Mazda hired someone else to knock off the and re-record the jingle. Apparently, they do it all the time.

Sad.

2/10/2006 1:39 PM

 
Blogger Jason said...

The infamous jason here...

I was actually ON HOLD to play the Verizon Guy.

That's the unwritten rule of commercial acting...you can go from being a starving, bitter artiste to the Luckiest Guy in Show Biz in two seconds flat!

As Heath said...sad.

2/10/2006 3:44 PM

 

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