Mr. Bill

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Mr. Bill is a clay figurine clown star of a parody of children's shows, created by Walter Williams. Mr. Bill got its start on Saturday Night Live as a Super 8 film sent in response to the show's request for home movies during the first season. Mr. Bill's first appearance occurred on the February 28, 1976 episode. Williams became a full-time writer for the show in 1978, writing more than 20 sketches based on Mr. Bill.[citation needed]

Each Mr. Bill episode would start innocently enough but would quickly turn dangerous for Mr. Bill. Along with his dog, Spot, he would suffer various indignities inflicted by "Mr. Hands," a man seen only as a pair of hands (played by Vance DeGeneres).[1] Sometimes the abuse would ostensibly come from the mean Sluggo, another clay character. The violence would inevitably escalate, generally ending with Mr. Bill being crushed or dismembered while squealing in a high pitched voice, "Ohhhh noooooooooooooo..."

Mr. Bill has subsequently appeared on other television programs and advertisements.

Characters[edit]

  • Mr. Bill - The star of the show. His catchphrase is "Oh, No!!!"
  • Spot - Mr. Bill's dog, who dies in most episodes.
  • Sluggo - The main villain.
  • Mr. Hands - A pair of human hands (Vance DeGeneres), which subject Mr. Bill to abuse, often at Sluggo's prompting
  • Miss Sally
  • Mr. Bill's Mom
  • Sluggo Clones

Film[edit]

The character's popularity spawned the 1986 live-action Showtime television film Mr. Bill's Real Life Adventures, with Peter Scolari as Mr. Bill.[2]

Advertising[edit]

  • In the 1980s, Mr. Bill was featured in advertising spots for Pringles.[citation needed] In 1988, Mr. Bill also appeared in a series of anti-drug announcements which showed him engaging in various activities until Sluggo would bury him under a bunch of pills, in which the tagline would be "Say OH NO! to drugs".[citation needed]
  • In the 1990s, Williams created The Pizza Head Show, a series of Mr. Bill-like advertising spots for Pizza Hut, featuring "Pizza Head" in the usual Mr. Bill role and a pizza cutter named "Steve" in the Sluggo role.
  • Mr. Bill appeared[when?] in a Burger King commercial where Mr. Hands tells Mr. Bill that Burger King changed their Whopper. Mr. Bill was upset about the loss of his favorite burger, but Mr. Hands tells him that the new Whopper was bigger than McDonald's Big Mac or Wendy's Single. Mr. Hands sends Mr. Bill into the restaurant and gives him one. Mr Bill loves the Whopper and asks for another one. Mr. Hands agrees but he says it's on him and drops the Whopper box onto Mr. Bill, crushing him.
  • Beginning in June 2008, MasterCard enlisted Mr. Bill for one of its "Priceless" ads. The commercial starts with Mr. Bill being served coffee by Mr. Hands (coffee: $2). Mr. Hands fills the cup too much causing the coffee to spill all over the floor and Mr. Bill, but Mr. Bill takes it with good nature, saying, "I always wanted brown shoes. Yay!" Next, Mr. Hands tells Mr. Bill at a gym, "Your fitness instructor says to take it up a notch. [gym membership: $59]" He turns the treadmill all the way up and drops Mr. Bill on it, causing him to fly across the gym. Luckily, Mr. Bill lands safely on a stationary bike, where he says, "Hey! There's a bike open!" Next, Mr. Bill is seen in his luxurious office, where Mr. Hands helps him unpack his suitcase (suitcase: $120). When the suitcase opens, it knocks into Mr. Bill, sending him flying out the window. He lands on the windshield of a bus, where he remarks, "Hey, the bus is right on schedule!" He is then knocked off the bus by its windshield wipers as the commercial ends (Getting through the day: Priceless).[3]
  • In 2011, Mr. Bill was in a commercial for Wonderful Pistachios.[citation needed]

Other appearances[edit]

  • Mr. Bill also made a cameo appearance during the 1981 "Get High On Yourself" NBC-TV anti-drug campaign.[citation needed] Mr. Hands suggests to Mr. Bill that he try getting high on himself. Mr. Bill agrees, and the camera pulls back to reveal that Mr. Bill is lashed to the exterior of a NASA Space Shuttle. As it lifts off, he cries "Oh noooooo...".
  • In the VHS release of Ernest Rides Again, Mr. Bill appears in the opening short "Mr. Bill Goes to Washington", a spoof of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
  • With Comedy Central producing many "We're all going to die" promos in the early 1990s, Mr. Bill starred in one of them,[citation needed] featuring him in a makeup room explaining how making movies can be dangerous, but the real world can be more dangerous, so he reminds us to always be careful. Mr. Hands tells Mr. Bill they need him on the set and has to blow dry his hair, resulting in Mr. Bill's entire face melting.
  • In 1998, Mr. Bill appeared in Ohh Nooo! Mr. Bill Presents on the Fox Family Channel. As well as featuring typical Mr. Bill-type sketches, other sketches, including Mr. Bean, were present in the one-hour variety show.
  • In 2004, Mr. Bill was part of a campaign aimed at teaching people, especially children, about the loss of Louisiana's coastal marshes and swamps. On May 27, 2004 CNN showed a segment with Mr. Bill being 'evacuated' from a New Orleans roof the year before Katrina. "Mr. Bill: Hurricane Sluggo". 
  • In early December 2008, Mr. Bill became one of Subway's spokesmen, along with Mr. Hands. In the commercial, Mr. Bill learns how to make bread with Mr. Hands, but suddenly Chef Sluggo comes in to roll the dough. But Sluggo never gets a chance to hurt Mr. Bill, as a boulder comes and crushes the whole Subway restaurant with both characters inside. When Mr. Hands finds Mr. Bill flattened with the dough on the side of the boulder, he says, "Great idea, Mr. Bill! Flatbread!"
  • The March 29, 2010 episode of Jeopardy! featured a category called "Mr. Bill Does the Bard".[citation needed] The category featured the character portraying various Shakespearian characters in CGI vignettes, who, like the sketches, all met their untimely demise.
  • On September 23, 2010, official Mr. Bill iPhone game was launched on Apple's AppStore by Capcom.
  • The October 22, 2010 episode of the CBS drama Medium, featured Mr. Bill being abused by the show's principal character during the opening dream sequence.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Oh Noooooo! It's Mr. Bill's 20th Anniversary (1995)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  2. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (1986-09-10). "The First Arrivals on the Home Front". Los Angeles Times (ProQuest). p. 1, Calendar section. Retrieved 2015-03-17. And 'Mr. Bill's Real Life Adventures' is a clunker Showtime special starring Peter Scolari as a real-life version of the ever-clobbered 10-inch clay character of long-ago 'Saturday Night Live' fame. 
  3. ^ Lee, Wendy A. (June 3, 2008). "Mr. Bill Returns (in One Piece) to Pitch a Debit Card". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  4. ^ Hodges, Patrick. "Medium Watch: Talk To The Hand". CinemaBlend. Retrieved 2015-03-17. For those of you who weren’t around when Saturday Night Live first started in 1976, Mr. Bill was a clay figurine who was the star of a series of short skits that was meant to be a parody of kiddie shows. He had a high-pitched voice, and usually met some kind of sadistically violent end at the hands of… well, “Mr. Hands”, a pair of human hands (complete with voiceover) that would proceed to squash or dismember Mr. Bill and his little clay friends, eliciting Mr. Bill’s trademark cry, “Ohhh nooooooooo…” Tonight’s ODS seems to be a perfect mimicry of one of those shorts, except that Mr. Hands this time is actually Mrs. Hands (Allison), who tortures Mr. Bill for a minute or so before accidentally spilling boiling water on her left hand.