Those brand-friendly Top Ten lists

Tuesday night’s rerun of The Late Show with David Letterman and its Top Ten list reference to a popular soap tagline (one of the top 10 most important things Dave’s mom was supposed to have learned in her first 84 years: “You’re not fully clean until you’re Zestfully clean”) brought to mind the cornucopia of brand references in Top Ten joke writing. August has featured an average of just less than three brand references per Top Ten: Top Ten Signs That Martha Stewart Is Losing It: No. 10. Every night the same routine—tin of Skoal and Kung Fu magazines; No. 8. Spikes her coffee with a shot of Lemon Pledge; and No. 1. Digging a tunnel to see Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. Top Ten Signs You Have a Bad Travel Agent: No. 8. The itinerary shows you crossing the Pacific Ocean on Amtrak; No. 5. Books you on something called “Dulta Airlines”; and No. 1. You say you want to see the world—she hands you two tickets to Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. Top Ten Strategies of Saddam Hussein’s Attorneys: No. 7. Explain he was driven insane by the intense flavor of new Spicy Nacho Doritos. Top Ten Questions to Ask Yourself Before Seeing The Dukes of Hazzard: No. 7. They allow Skoal chewin’ in this here theater? Top Ten Signs Your Kid Is Spending Too Much Time on the Internet: No. 6. Bought his prom date on eBay; No. 5. Only thing on his iPod—that dial-up modem connection sound; No. 1. You catch him Googling himself. Top Ten Rafael Palmeiro Excuses: No. 9. There wasn’t a Starbucks around, and I needed a quick pick-me up; No. 6. Somebody must’ve slipped something into my Viagra.

—Posted by Gregory Solman