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What's the new South Park Commercials modeled after?
March 10, 2005 2:42 PM   Subscribe

It's driving me crazy. There's these new South Park commercials on Comedy Central that's a take on some interstitial, show intro, or commercial from my childhood (born in '76). It's the quasi-pinball roller coaster ad, where the silver ball goes by and flips up 3 flags. What are these ads a parody of?

I'm thinking it had to be part of a show, or common commercial/interstitial on nickelodeon or PBS or the like... way back in the early 80's
posted by rampy to Grab Bag (24 answers total)
 
Sesame Street? There used to be a short film on SS with a red rubber ball on a little roller coaster thing, flipping flags, making funnels fill w/red sand...
posted by tristeza at 2:45 PM on March 10, 2005


I haven't seen the commericals, but it reminds me of the Sesame Street thing with the pinball that would go through and knock against things and raise flags while the song counted 1-2-3-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 .

I was also born in 1976.
posted by duck at 2:47 PM on March 10, 2005


You can find the video here. It looks like my memory was flawed, though. There are no flags.
posted by duck at 2:56 PM on March 10, 2005


Hmmm... that's pretty well describes the clip I'm thinking of (and presumably what south park is riffing on).

Is it too much to wonder, what the heck that clip is called, and furthermore hope for an online clip of it?

I wonder if they still play that clip on SS, and how much new SS I could sit through on fast forward if I TiVo'd it for a week or two =P

Thanks for picking up on it and remembering where it was from.

rampy
posted by rampy at 3:00 PM on March 10, 2005


It's called 'Pinball Number Count' from the Electric Company/Sesame Street and sung by the Pointer sisters. Has been previously discussed but I cannot find the relevant link. I have two versions of the song and two videos.
posted by bdave at 3:02 PM on March 10, 2005


Oh...well if there's another version of the video, then it's probably still the same song as the video above.
posted by duck at 3:06 PM on March 10, 2005


now i'm even more confused... that video duck linked to via milkandcookies isn't the right one (I realize it's remixed)... the pinball animation I'm thinking of was more photo realistic or stop motion animation if i'm not mistaken...

I was excited to find a site with archived clips of electric company clips only to find it's been c & d'd =(

"Temporarily Offline

Due to a C&D letter from Sesame Workshop, the Electric Company Digital Archive is presently offline."

If you happen to watch any comedy central you're bound to see it and, maybe it'll jog someone's memory... unless the other pinball counting video is totally different than the cartoon one...

rampy

PS is it a wonder we're all not a bunch of LSD fiends with a counting compulsion?
posted by rampy at 3:10 PM on March 10, 2005


No luck finding another video (I did view the video without any problem, so I'm not sure why it's not working for you). It is remixed, but most of the elements look familiar to me.

Anyway, there's a letter from the composer here.
posted by duck at 3:13 PM on March 10, 2005


We're talking about 2 different things - the "Pinball count" with the Pointer Sisters was a cartoon on SS, and the pinball-roller-coaster-thing was a super 8 film (also involving counting)
posted by tristeza at 3:27 PM on March 10, 2005


There was another "rolling ball" segment on Sesame Street, different from the pinball song. I think this is what tristeza is describing. The ball would roll down metal tracks and trigger various flags and other items. I think it may have been associated with counting off in threes.

No luck on video yet...
posted by Galvatron at 3:31 PM on March 10, 2005


One two three four five, six seven eight nine ten, eleven twelve!
posted by gottabefunky at 3:31 PM on March 10, 2005


I think you're remembering one of the Nickelodeon interstitials from the early days of the network (~1983). There was a silver ball, color tubing, and three flags that went up as the ball rolled by. It was live action.

I can't find a movie online, but the logo at the end of the segment looked like this.
posted by eschatfische at 3:45 PM on March 10, 2005


There was another "rolling ball" segment on Sesame Street, different from the pinball song. I think this is what tristeza is describing. The ball would roll down metal tracks and trigger various flags and other items. I think it may have been associated with counting off in threes.

Precisely - I remember it really well - I was always particularly taken with the red sand that poured down into this funnel thing, and then the red ball was produced from the bottom. Whoa! It was kind of a Rube Goldberg device...
posted by tristeza at 3:46 PM on March 10, 2005


After searching some more, I now recall that the red ball turned into the cherry on top of a sundae at the end. Very much like the ball settles onto the top of Stan's head in the South Park promo.
posted by Galvatron at 3:53 PM on March 10, 2005


The ball would roll down metal tracks and trigger various flags and other items.

This clip is on the Sesame Street Learning about Numbers video. Kids love to watch that over and over.
posted by anapestic at 3:54 PM on March 10, 2005


Usenet discussion here. Man, now I wanna see this again.
posted by Galvatron at 3:59 PM on March 10, 2005


Previous Metafilter discussion of the "Eleven Twelve" remix.
posted by profwhat at 4:25 PM on March 10, 2005


That 1 2 3 4 5 ... animated clip has given me nightmares for over 25 years. Thanks, Sesame Street!
I would like to see it again, maybe some kind of cathartic cleansing could occur.
posted by luriete at 4:25 PM on March 10, 2005


FWIW The one stuck in my head, and parodied by SP/comedy central is the one tristeza is describing...

YES the ball turns into a cherry! That explains my penchant for eating superballs as a young tyke j/k

The closer I get to seeing the original or finding more about it, the more it gnaws at my brain! lol! At least i'm not the only one =P

Thanks for everyones help so far...

rampy
posted by rampy at 4:30 PM on March 10, 2005


Sweeeeeeet. The "red ball" clip is available on the eDonkey network. I won't link to it here, but it was quite easy to search for.

(And rampy, you can drop the signature from your comments here. It's redundant.)
posted by Galvatron at 7:11 PM on March 10, 2005


thanks galvatron... (for both tips) can you divulge the filename or search criteria?

I'm gonna buy the sesame street DVD mentioned earlier in the thread for my 22month old niece, I think... but in the meantime
posted by rampy at 8:00 PM on March 10, 2005


rampy, check your mailbox from the homepage linked in your profile.
posted by Galvatron at 8:18 PM on March 10, 2005


I thought it was a take on cheesy lottery interstitials.
posted by ?! at 8:49 PM on March 11, 2005


BTW... thanks again for everyone's help.

The clip I was talking about, was the red ball one "number 3" video from Sesame Street, back in the day....

I've seen it a few times and the insanity itch has been scratched =P
posted by rampy at 10:59 AM on March 14, 2005


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