Stacy Wall was from the second generation of Wieden and Kennedy kids. He was impossibly young when we first worked together but impossibly brilliant. I had criticized Super Bowl automobile advertising in a USA Today article and Dan Wieden called telling me I had put their Subaru account in jeopardy. A couple of weeks later I’m filming some Subaru commercials with Stacy. I had done a Subaru commercial earlier that was memorialized (somewhat inaccurately) in the book Where The Suckers Moon and here I was again. That was the start of a longterm relationship that lasted until Stacy, himself, became a director. I guess he saw how easy directing was working with me. If I could do it, he could do it.
The work we did with L’il Penny, Dennis Hopper, the Poker Dogs, and the rest was weird and wonderful. Some of it was misunderstood and a lot of it infuriated the ad community, especially a spot called FROZEN PENNY. That spot was a sendoff of a pretentious Michael Jordan spot called FROZEN MOMENT where time stands still while the world watches Michael Jordan dunk a basketball. In FROZEN PENNY, Penny Hardaway dunks a basketball and nobody gives a shit. Stacy even rewrote the lyrics to the very song used in the Jordan spot. It was a sendup worthy of Jonathan Swift and Nike and W&K were brave to do such a thing to their most famous brand. It may be that they misunderstood or didn’t understand but Stacy got it through. Michael was upset with me for doing it. I told him, “Get over it. You’re Michael Fucking Jordan.”