Birkenstocks, we barely knew ye

TonylittleUsually when one refers scoffingly to a "Birkenstock-wearing" so-and-so, one’s not thinking of over-excitable exercise guru and informercial pioneer Tony Little. Known to himself and others as "America’s Personal Trainer", the ex-bodybuilder can now credibly claim to have muscled 37 million people into buying $2 billion worth of ab tighteners, elliptical trainers, Hyperactive clothes and other stuff you didn’t know you needed, purchased by and large at 2 a.m.

Alas, the Birkenstock insult will now have nuance, as the infomercial king—parodied, he proudly proclaims, more often than anyone in movies—and the secret satirical subject of a Rolling Rock Green Light’s commercial campaign—has just signed a deal for the Birkenstock Betula brand to make Tony Little "Cheeks" fitness footwear.

Little visited us to assure us that he will do conventional 30- and 60-second pitches for Cheeks. (We’re relieved: He’s currently on air 4,000 to 7,000 hours a year worldwide, causing The Boss to poison-pen the lyric: "Tony Little, America’s Personal Trainer, please kill yourself?") and tells us that longtime rep Ray Manzella ("America’s Personal Manager to the Personal Trainers"?)is moving Little toward conventional pitch-man positioning and lining him up with an agency (one of the most obvious agencies, but one which we can’t talk about yet).

Tony’s done it before, he said, for instance there’s that Hooter’s/Miller Lite spot (he’s almost lost in the bevy of busty beauties above) where he was touting the low-carb menu options at the restaurant beloved of meat lovers. "I want my fashion products to be separate from my exercise pitches," said Little. "I would be sweaty, hyper—not coming off as nice and designer-y."

—Posted by Gregory Solman