Monday, September 7, 2009

AiAA: Pizza Hut – JACKPOT~!

I haven't eaten at Pizza Hut in close to 15 years.

For those of you who would NEVAH eat "chain pizza", the previous sentence doesn't mean much. But, if you'd told me in 1995 – when I was living alone, getting by on $8.00/hour and subsisting off of whatever nonfat frozen yogurt I could smuggle from Heidi's Frozen Yogurt Shoppe in Long Beach (where I managed eight or nine well-to-do high school kids who'd never before known a Black guy) – that me and Pizza Hut would go our separate ways, I wouldn't have believed you.

Growing up, they were the first pizza brand that my family was loyal to – which is to say Pizza Hut must've printed tons of coupons because my mother didn't buy anything unless she had a coupon for it. In the early 1990s, my friends and I discovered Pizza Hut's all-you-can-eat lunch buffets, systematically bankrupting one franchisee after another.

A few years later, one of my friends began delivering for Pizza Hut. I lived two blocks away, so he'd bring over unwanted "mistake" pies (pepperoni, pineapple and jalapeño!) or just, uhh…"smuggle" out orders, pick up a six-pack and kick it with me at my place while he was supposed to be working.

In 1995, Pizza Hut introduced Stuffed Crust Pizza nationally. Cheese and pepperoni baked into the crust?! This kind of crazy-talk needed a pitchman who was universally loved and could relate to the working class need for inexpensive, low-quality meals:

Anyways, my friend got fired from his delivery gig after a month or so. Here in 2009, I am pretty much burned out on ALL pizza – good and bad, mom n' pop or chain. This will happen to all of you when you have kids and they eat it at every meal.

In the past week, pizza and I have gone from simply "not dating" to outright hatred. Have you seen Pizza Hut's "JACKPOT" spot featuring SNL alum Jim Breuer?

Who carts around an entire pizza box to a basketball game? And, flaunts it between two anorexic TV extras, no less?

Who above the age of eight gathers their friends over for "pizza night"? And, what kind of DJ (wait, a girl DJ?!) would spin music with one hand and a slice in the other?

Who gets THIS excited over pizza? I mean, really…no one on the set thought of telling Jimbo to take it down a notch or four? No one?

Full disclosure: I've spent almost 30 minutes re-watching the commercial and pausing it right in the middle of each "JACKPOT" line. This kills me for some reason. He looks so silly. Try it!


SHough610 said...

Pizza Hut and I had a parting of the ways after the stuffed crust pizza played Russian roulette with my insides; I puked every other time I had it.

Actually, come to think of it, me buying pizza from a chain ended about that time (there was a little mom and pop place I went to in Richmond) until high school. During my massive growth spurt (I grew nine inches in 18 months) I used to get intensely hungry and Papa John's would bring me a pie in 15 minutes in exchange for a 50% tip.

As for the pizza night question, a friend of mine and I used to eat pizza and watch shitty horror movies all through middle school.

Hasn't Jalen discovered the magic of chicken nuggets/chicken tenders? And how did his first week of school go?

That Bootleg Guy said...

A very good friend of mine (hmm, I need an alias for him...we'll call him "Thai") HATED the stuffed crust pizza. And, much like me, if Thai didn't eat something it was one of three things: poison, vegetables or disgusting.

By only beef, IIRC, was that the crust was inedible once it got cold. Like cheese gum in the crust.

And, J eats most of the 5-year-old boy staples. But, he'd trade both his parents for a slice.

Tom said...

Ah the lunch buffet. My friends and I also crushed most of the local lunch buffets.

I still love Pizza Hut but city-based YUM chains scare the holy bejesus out of me. The girl and I must be the only two people on Earth who look forward to going home for the presence of Hut, Bell, and Dunkin.

BigShow said...

I thought this commercial would make it to AiAA sooner or later. When the stuffed crust first came out I thought it was amazing. Pizza Hut was a rare thing for me growing up, b/c there's 175 other local pizza joints in every town on Long Island. I feel like this incarnation of cheese-in-the-crust pizza falls a bit flat, tho. throwing more cheese around the inside edges of the crust just makes it look like the thing was on a pottery wheel before showing up at the door.

Definitely in agreement about Breuer's cranked-to-11 enthusiasm, tho. And everyone knows you can only get personal pan pizzas at sporting arenas anyway. How'd he get past the gate?

Eugene Tierney said...

I worked at Pizza Hut and it pretty much killed the chances that I'd eat there again.

What really did me in was the Triple Decker pizza (2 crusts, with cheese in between and the sauce, cheese, and meat on top). When we were being trained on making them, the video said one would feed 3-5 people - it was a medium pizza, so it was only 10". I took it as a challenge and ate a full one in 1 sitting. I didn't move the rest of the night.

Tom said...

he Triple Decker pizza (2 crusts, with cheese in between and the sauce, cheese, and meat on top).


Anonymous said...

I still love pizza hut. no matter how many times a week I had to eat it as a kid. they had those "read a certain amount of hours to get a free pan pie" coupons back in the day and it was better for my family more financially.

I'm not a fan of stuffed crust. I'm just not. its overbearing & I like to eat a lot. quite frankly pizza hut has kept me with wingstreet & their new pasta. I live in metro atlanta, north rural georgia so I guess its not like "city chain" pizza.

as for jim. come one guys. he's from half baked! of course he's gonna be excited about food. if you've ever seen half baked, his character ordered like the most food. because he's a stooooner. I think you gotta know his most famous role to understand his excitement lol.

to understand the excitement of jim, you have to understand who jim really is. (play off one of his lines from the movie.)