Baltimore has produced an incredible amount of so-bad-they’re-good commercials over the years. Sometimes they’re bad for their production values, sometimes they’re bad because they’re so darn catchy, and sometimes they’re just confusing. Here are some of our favorites:
At some point, Mercy decided to market themselves as the city’s best cruise ship/resort/casino: tuxedos, dulcet sounds of a reworked oldie, fireworks. Oh wait, you’re a hospital? That does medical stuff? It’s actually one of the best produced local commercials, but there’s something strange about a hospital that makes you hope you get maimed soon so you can check out that rooftop garden.
10. Kiss My Bumper I’ve seen the “Kiss My Bumper” ads since I was a kid, but I honestly couldn’t tell you the name of the insurance company until I looked up the commercial. And now I’m praying that I never get hit by someone who’s covered by Senate.
9. Maryland Lottery’s Ravens Tickets For Life
This is another one that’s a good commercial, but the song gets stuck in your head, and sometimes you don’t want to be singing about Ravens tickets and some dude’s wife that’s going to get one.
8. Ray Lewis Eastern Motors
Eastern Motors is more D.C.-based, but they do have Maryland locations, and they’ll occasionally bring in some Baltimore celebs to sing their annoyingly catchy song…or is it more of a hypnotic chant? Usually, the stars are on the street, so it seems like Eastern Motors just drives around looking for Ray Lewis or whoever, finds them, and says, “Will you lip-sync in our ad? If you do, we’ll give you this car.”
Kegasus will be more fun when we can be nostalgic about it. “Hey, remember when they had Kegasus? What was that all about?”
6. Shoe City
Yo city? Ma City? Shoe City.
5. Mr. Ray’s Hair Weave
An oldie but goodie. According to Wikipedia, Mr. Ray’s inspired one of John Waters’ earliest movies, Pink Flamingos. Supposedly, John wanted Mr. Ray to narrate the film, but Mr. Ray turned him down.
4. Scott Donahoo’s Foreign Motors
“Everybody rides at Foreign Motors. Errrrrryyybodddeeee!” As incessant as those commercials were, it paid well for the hammy star, Scott Donahoo: He recently put his Cockeysville home up for sale for over $1 million, and he has a summer home on the water in Anne Arundel County.
3. Jesus Christ Bail Bonds
WWJD? Apparently, bail you out of jail. This one’s all over the Internet, and many people claim it’s not real. For Baltimore’s sake, we wish it weren’t.
2. Stephen L. Miles
As a kid, Stephen L. Miles was one of the biggest celebrities in my head, and I was glad that he was always willing to talk about it. I was never sure what “it” was, but was glad that he was there. After all, he’s an attorney who works hard…an attorney who cares.
1. Barry Glazer
The ad has everything we love in local ads: An apparent production budget of zero dollars, a gruff spokesman … and a totally bizarre quote to bring up in a commercial: “Don’t urinate on my leg and tell me it’s raining!” Because if there’s one thing I want out of my lawyer, it’s to know he’s been “urinated upon”? The only thing Barry’s missing is fly girls.