Death and Taxes.

It started a few weeks ago, and it's been getting worse ever since.

Now that the political commercials are finally over, it's time for the tax prep commercials to start rearing their ugly heads. They are airing constantly, and it's really beginning to annoy me.

I don't know about you, but I enjoy getting raped by the federal and local government every year. It makes me feel good about myself; like I'm doing something to help out. Regardless, these twice hourly reminders of my exemplary civic duty do nothing to improve my mood.

There's one commercial in particular that creeps me out a little, for multiple reasons. Maybe I'm the only one. It's the new TurboTax ad, and it stars these guys:

I know the dude in the middle is supposed to be Andrew Jackson, and the one on the right is supposed to be Ben Franklin, and I am pretty sure the guy on the left is supposed to be Ulysses S. Grant.

So the premise is, these three guys show up where you are and give you money and tax advice. They are, ostensibly, money come to life. Or -- more precisely -- the people-who-appear-on-money come to life. However, for some reason they keep their "money-like" coloring when they accomplish this magical feat. I don't know why anyone thought this was a good idea. Maybe it's because if they didn't, they'd just look like three creepy guys dressed up for some kind of historical reenactment.

So the upshot of this decision is that they have a pale green cast to them, which is supposed to remind you that they are straight out of your wallet. There's one problem with that -- they don't look like money that has miraculously come to life. Instead, they look like walking corpses. Zombies, maybe. Somehow-or-other undead, and slightly gone-bad. Probably closing in fast on stinky, in other words.

I was hoping to find the commercial on youtube, but no luck. Instead, I had to take a few stills for your enjoyment.

Here's where Ben is asking the guy who is still alive how something so small can cost so much, and telling him that he can get big deductions for his kid. You can't see the guy's face in this snapshot, but he looks intrigued rather than horrified. I would have tucked that kid under my arm like a football and jumped head-first through the store's plate glass window to get to my car.

In this next picture, Grant tells the stroller guy that it smells like his deduction needs a diaper change, but my theory is that he finally just caught a whiff of his own decaying flesh. Also, I am pretty sure Jackson thinks he's an asshole.

In this next shot, Ben Franklin tries to convince the guy that a handy in the alley behind the store is totally deductible:

No, I'm kidding. I made that part up.

And of course this last frame is right before Ben lunges at stroller guy and tears his throat out, and then gives his fatherless infant a demo of how Turbotax can help you deal with your inheritance tax.

OK, I made that part up too.

Anyway, I've decided I'm going to use Tax Cut this year, even though that slacker guardian angel mascot of theirs is only marginally less annoying than the rotting presidents (and Ben*). Mostly because I don't want a rotting historical figure to be my backup if I get audited.

For a bar fight maybe. That'd be cool. But not for an audit.

*She's persnickety, all right.


  1. Anonymous4:01 PM

    Yes, I agree. President's Day and Halloween should be kept separate holidays.

  2. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Geez, I thought these guys were an advertizement for the new "Resident Evil" movie: Taxing Presidential Constitutional...

  3. You've done it again - made me laugh so hard I cried.

  4. Hey, was Ben Franklin played by John Malkovich? Sure does look like him.

  5. The only hole in your theories there? Ben wasn't a president.

    Just had to be that one annoying poster that pointed that out.

    But I totally agree with you on the creepiness factor all the way!

  6. Aww...I didn't mean for you to have to do a rewrite. I thought it was funny just the way it was.

    Thanks for that little shout-out though. Even if you did retype it while grumbling under your breath, "Who the hell does she think...." :P

  7. Persnick, I edited it for you.

    Also, my word verification was likeded. Coincidence? I think not.

  8. Haven't seen the commercial you are refering too (maybe I don't watch as much TV as I thought), but thanks for the giggles. I neede them today!

  9. Anonymous8:27 PM

    I skip the software part and just pay an old dude (though of normal living color, live, not an ex-president or Franklinesque person) to do my taxes. My taxes get done, and my money goes into the local economy, not scary/stupid ads. What money I have left over, that is.

    PS: Best. Photoshop. Ever.

  10. You know, I wouldn't mind money that comes to life if it decided to procreate..

    Then I'd make sure to find at least three or four dozen fertile women who were either blind and couldn't smell (because of the looks and decay) or were into fetishes to then have children with these three so that I could become financially set!

    All I'd need to do is find a really big press to squish the kids back down onto a couple of foldable bills!

  11. You are not alone. Definitely a 10 on the creepiness scale. In the commercial I've seen they are at an auto repair shop, oh the irony.

    How could no one in the ad agency notice that the green hue was disturbing?

  12. Watching that commercial in HD makes it even more horrific!

  13. I am going to lose my job b/c of this blog. I discovered it two nights ago. Yesterday, I sat at my desk from 8-2 reading all the 2005 entries. My students wanted to know why I was laughing like a mental patient while they were trying to do their work.
    Thanks for the sorely needed ab workout from laughing so hard.

  14. I always thought that ol' Ben looked a little vampirish.

  15. Did you hear they are filming a pilot for a sitcom based on these characters? It will be called "Show Me The Money" and will follow the hijinks and drama of three historical figures coping with like in modern-day Philadelphia. Michael Richards has signon to be the crazy neighbor "Roger".

  16. I've seen the ads. I thought it was a very bad remake of Shawn of the Dead....

    None of those historical people, had to pay Fed Income taxes. I think we should follow suit. Obama's just gonna print more anyway.....

  17. Anonymous9:35 AM

    These commercials remind me of "A Christmas Carol" with the whole past, present and future haunting things.....great post

  18. Anonymous10:35 AM

    The Ben Franklin guy? I'm pretty sure it's Karl Rove, moonlighting now that his career is pretty much cooked.

  19. Anonymous11:29 AM

    Those ghastly commercials would put me right off paying my taxes!

  20. I like your version of the commercial better.

  21. Anonymous3:17 PM

    Thanks! You always make me laugh. Only you could make me laugh on an awful day like today!

  22. Anonymous3:25 PM

    Ugh, I do taxes for a living. Yay tax season and the insipid commercials that come with it!!!

  23. Anonymous5:13 PM

    Jeez, JV, you sound pretty persnickety yourself, at least where zombies are concerned. You don't like fast zombies, and now they can't look like dead politicians, either. Any other criteria we should keep in mind? And where do you stand on werewolves?

  24. Werewolves? I'm a fan. Dog Soldiers, The Howling 1-47, teen wolf, you name it. I love them all.

  25. If you think that's bad, Wizard Home Loans here in Australia ran a series of ads featuring a Mortgage Beast a few years back that actually got a number of complaints it was that hideous.
    I've been unable to find to find any footage of it (youtube let me down), but in the link above you can see the beast, though not very well.
    There's some discussion and "picturesque" descriptions of what the mortgage beast looked like here:

    It really was so awful that I'm half surprised it's not been kept somewhere while the other half is glad that it's been expunged from the interwebs.

  26. benny franklin would totally rock in a bar fight. he could totally hold his liquor... and for some unknown reason, he had a way with the ladies, too.

  27. Love it when posts make me laugh out loud! This one certainly did that!

    I just saw that commercial tonight for the first time and was mildly disturbed by it.

  28. i actually thought the one in the middle of the first photo was Frankenstein, as portrayed in Van Helsing

  29. This post was a sistersender. My sister is a selective reader of your blog [she reads 'em whenever I send'em to her], though normally she wouldn't know a blog from a beehive.

    I thought I'd die from lack of breath when I read this at my desk at work late in the day.


    Happy new year. Blepsup [wd. verif., i.e.]

  30. Anonymous7:36 PM

    Andrew Jackson looks like Hugh Grant after a bad hooker experience. And your Ben Franklin? Right out of Dark Tower.

  31. Anonymous8:24 PM

    Dude, you're right on. Old Ben is fugly enough on my money. I don't need him walking around in a garish green hue looking like he's going to eat my brains.

  32. Anonymous8:50 PM

    There's something really weird going on with ben's mouth too...not the altered vampire one but the regular one. I can't pin point exactly what it is but it makes me think of a permanent grimace.

  33. word verification: props.

    exactly what i was going to give you for this post.

  34. You should check out the Mo Money Taxes commercial I have posted on my blog :

    I would embed the YouTube thingy for you but I am at work and YouTube is blocked here.

  35. Funny post. I liked your edits to the pics and the made up stuff made me lawl.

  36. omg! I found this thru a friend's link on facebook to your blog about finding the JC Penney catalog! I suppose the only thing worse than clothes (and housewares) from 1977 is death and taxes, presidential campaign robocalls, and long-dead people who come to life and chase you around claiming to save you money. Thanks for the laughs!

  37. I really should have kept up with your blog over the years. Outstanding work, sir.

  38. Anonymous4:27 AM

    The first time I saw the commercial, I thought "Andrew Jackson" was John Kerry. Very creepy indeed.

  39. This is my first time viewing your blog, but I must admit I agree completely with this post! Quite scary!

  40. You have a point about the ads, but I've tried TurboTax and Tax Cut - I hated Tax Cut. I have fewer technical issues with TurboTax and less need to call for a very slow-to-respond customer support rep.