12 November 2009

[type] Mr Subliminal Tells A Joke In Type

2259.Back in the mid '90s, when Saturday Night Live was still cool and funny [1], repertory cast member Kevin Nealon got a great deal of mileage out a character who was originally named Phil Maloney, an ad exec, but who became known as "Mr. Subliminal". The character delivered a monologue but quickly and sotto voce at critical points inserted clues to how he was really feeling about what it was he was talking about, making it a round commentary on PR in general. As an example (culled from Wikipedia) here's what he had to say about a fellow who inexplicably made world news back in 1994 for being convicted of vandalism in Singapore and was going to be subject to that brutal punishment of which the island city-state is so very famous for:

… the boy admitted to spray painting cars but he's only eighteen and young people often do stupid and impulsive things they later regret Shannen Doherty. I happen to think [pause] that everyone's entitled to one mistake Euro Disney. And I'm not saying there aren't [pause] those who I'd love to see get a good flogging Urkel, it's just that [pause] I'm afraid we've become so insensitive that we've learned to accept the idea of a man's beating in public Pee Wee Herman.

A t-shirt I've seen recently reads "Hi, I'm Hot Sex Mr. Subliminal". You get the idea.

Type gives an excellent route for this. This a sort of "painting with type" that you may hear typographers rhapsodizing about from time to time, and it's quite funny (and since it has to do with web entrepreneurship, ever timely):

as the graphic says, copyright by @Boris,/

I can just hear Nealon sotto voceing the white type. And it's all quite funny, with the ring of truth that only a web entrepreneurship professional can bring. And the twist ending is quite good.

And you can all do it with type, and that's what I love about type.

[1] The period that SNL was "cool and funny" seems to be defined for everyone as about 3-5 years in the past, with the standard agreement for everybody being the original Not Ready For Prime Time Players era was pretty much awesome (essentially the first two seasons), though everyone agrees the sixth season was pretty much ass.

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