Of course, Vern Fonk (as Pete Ferryman noted in their report) isn't exactly new to the greater Portland area, but to be aware of them, you'd of had to be a night owl (which we are). We noted Fonk's–well, peculiar–style of promotion back in 2005. So, once again, we're ahead of the curve (and once again, sigh, nobody noticed. Oh, well. Being so cool nobody knows you're cool is kind of a tough job).
Anyway! Vern's insurance stores are spreading southward from their base in greater Seattle and everyone should get used to seeing more Fonkiness in the subprime advertisers (you know, KPTV 12 and channels with higher numbers).
What really set the GDO crew apart with this one, though, was the mad silly fun they had with it. GDO is FOXified-12's most watchable news show because of the chemistry of the crew and they way they aren't afraid to have a bit of fun with it all–they've always been that way. They did a parody of the "Or You Can Drive Your Car!" commerical. Andy Carson was quite O.T.T., but Pete Ferryman (playing the part of the bald dancin' guy) had a particularly inspired insanity going on. I laughed out loud at it. To view it, click on the LOLAndy illustration above and on your left there, surf this link, or if that doesn't work, go to the KPTV Video page (via this link hyar) and look for the video titled FOX 12 Spoofs Popular Vern Fonk Commercial (just for the record, I find the KPTV 12 video page very browser-unfriendly–just like every local station's). Note to KPTV–do what you have to to get permission to upload those to YouTube. You'll get more viewers that way...
I'm not that crazy about FOX 12, but there are some bright spots, and the chemistry and fun the GDO crew have are definitely worth watching.
Here's Some Interesting stuff about The Fonkster:
- Vern Fonk hasn't (as far as we know) actually appeared in any of his commercials. He, as a matter of fact, died in 2006: he was 75 years old. He did love the commercials, however. His obituary (and an actual headshot of Vern Fonk) can be seen here (via the Seattle Times)
- The bald fellow in most of the Fonk commercials is Rob Thielke, who, according to Wikipedia's article on Vern Fonk, is the manager of the Everett location–and who has been described elsewheres as a part-time actor.
- Rob Thielke has come up with most of the ideas for the commercial campaign, and he's been so identified with Fonk that apparently quite a few people think he is, in fact, Vern Fonk (the Forrest Gump parody commercial probably went a long way towards that)
- The Good Day Oregon report about The Vern Fonk Experience can be seen here (if this link doesn't work, go to the FOXified 12 videos page and look for the video titled The Genius Behind Vern Fonk Commercials).
- Oh, and before I forget, here's a link to Vern Fonk's commercials on YouTube, and here's a link to the commercial video library on Vern Fonk's site honkforfonk.com (beware of the Photoshopped images in the left sidebar, tho...they give me that uh-oh feeling). You could probably buy car insurance there too. We recommend the commercial titled "Slapped Around".
Tags: Vern Fonk Insurance, TV Commercials, Good Day Oregon, KPTV 12, FOX 12 Oregon, Pete Ferryman, Andy Carson