Bartles and Jaymes

I always looked at them as a history and documentation of every silly client request ever.  I’ve said that Hal just wrote stuff that Ernest Gallo had said to him in the past but it goes further than that.  Hal’s taking shots at every cliché in American consumerist society.  His wit is equal to another Irishman, Jonathan Swift, and this body of work is mind boggling.  Each commercial contains a gem, sometimes five carats, sometimes a sliver.  I tried to evaluate them and cut them down but failed.  There are enough ideas here to support creative work for several multi-national advertising agencies.  They are perfect for internet attention spans and you can’t see just one.

On one of the last shoots, Hal was in a miserable state and that was unusual because these shoots had become almost like weekends with good friends.  When I asked him what was wrong he pointed to a smug yuppie type walking around with Gucci loafers and no socks, chambray shirt, khakis.  You know the type.  They are taught to dress like this so they can be recognized by their ‘peers.’ “Where did you prep?”

The guy had criticized one of Hal’s scripts by saying that “Frank wouldn’t say that.”  Hal had created the characters completely and a pretender was just trying to make his mark.  The end was near.  Hal resigned all the Gallo business soon after.  A courageous act since it was most of his business at the time.  The fact is that Ernest was driving Hal nuts, having him come to Modesto several times a week.  Going to Modesto once or twice in a lifetime is enough for any man.  I guess Ernest wanted Hal to share his misery.  Hal bought it for a while but then…