Tim Dillon Broke the Internet's Brains With This Ad for His Boston Show
I've watched this at least two dozen times because I couldn't be sure that it's real. Mostly due to the fact I couldn't imagine anyone plugging a comedy show this way. I guess on my 25th or so viewing it finally hit me that this is Tim Dillon. Who absolutely could. And that's what makes him a national treasure. Even if this is faked somehow, it's pure Tim Dillon.
First, consider the impenetrable balls of depleted uranium it takes to attempt this. World War III could be breaking out before our eyes. TV is positively lousy with the kind of virtue signaling we haven't been beaten over the head with since the early days of Covid when you couldn't run a PSA, an ad for healthcare, or a beer commercial without some sanctimonious claptrap about how "the best way to stay together, is by staying [dramatic pause for effect] ... apart." Now people who can't find Ukraine on a globe or tell you a thing about it without checking Wikipedia first are experts in history and geopolitics of the Slavic world and what needs to be done. 99.999% of comics would give the whole horrible situation a good leaving alone. Dillon is sum total of the 0.001% who leans into it. Who seizes the opportunity to hold a mirror up to how ridiculous Americans are and promote his show. Goddamned brilliantly.
The only thing better than the concept is the execution. That song choice is perfection. The most insipid thing since the celebrity version of "Imagine." And every time it fades to the ticket info for his show, it's funnier than the time before. Inviting the sort of deranged, indignant outrage this will most definitely attract takes a special kind of courage. The kind Lenny Bruce showed when he told jokes that included the word "cocksucker," knowing that there were cops in the club with orders to arrest him if he did. And they did. You won't spend a night in jail for using war footage in your comedy ad. But in 2022, incurring the wrath of the easily offended can be a lot worse.
But to be clear, those reactions are a very tiny minority. The vast majority of his podcast listeners and Bostonians love the audacity of this as much as I do:
On a small scale, this is ingeniously subversive marketing. In the big picture, maybe it's a sign that wildly inappropriate humor is still something to be celebrated. That when times are terrible and bad things are happening in the real world, that's when you need a genuine laugh. And if the joke is in bad taste, so much the better. If Putin's going to start launching nukes like he's threatening to, we might as well go into the barren, radioactive hellscape that follows knowing we went in laughing. And if we do get through this unharmed and life gets back to semi-normal, let's take the sticks out of our collective asses and let the comics like Dillon do their jobs again.