Mr. Six

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Mr. Six
First appearance 2004 Six Flags advertisements
Created by Doner Advertising
Portrayed by Danny Teeson and other unknown actors.
Information
Gender Male

Mr. Six is an advertising character, first featured in a 2004–05 advertising campaign by the theme park chain Six Flags. Appearing as a bald, decrepit, wrinkled old man wearing a tuxedo and thick-framed glasses, he is usually shown stepping off a bus and inviting stressed and over-worked people to Six Flags by performing a frenetic dance to the Vengaboys song "We Like to Party".

Origin[edit]

According to USA Today, Mr. Six is the creation of Doner Advertising of Southfield, Michigan. The success of the ad became such that Six Flags toured the vintage bus featured in the ad to all of its 31 parks and sold t-shirts based on the Mr. Six advertisement. Mr. Six also appeared on the nationally broadcast U.S. TV morning show Good Morning America.[1]

The first airing introduced Mr. Six as an apparently elderly, slow-moving man dressed in his trademark tuxedo and large glasses, pulling up in front of a house in a retro-style bus. The occupants of the house are sitting around the front yard apparently very bored. Mr. Six slowly shuffles off the bus, then suddenly comes to life and performs a high-energy dance routine as "We Like to Party" begins playing, and invites the bored family to Six Flags. The dance he performs borrows moves from the Melbourne Shuffle, Jumpstyle, and Techtonik.[2] Subsequent ads showed different variations of Mr. Six dancing and inviting people to Six Flags. The role was, initially, non-speaking.

Meme and cancellation[edit]

Soon after the character's introduction in television commercials, Mr. Six became an established pop-culture meme. Parodies of the commercials appeared on television shows and on video sites such as YouTube, while media outlets and blogs attempted to unmask the identity of the actor. The popularity of the character continued even after Six Flags officially cancelled the ad campaign.

Mr. Six impersonators[edit]

On July 9, 2004, Six Flags Great America held a contest to find the best person who could impersonate the new "Ambassador of Fun" Mr. Six and dance like him. The reward would be $2,500 cash and other small prizes. About 200 people, who wore tuxedos and red bow ties, went out onto the stage and danced. The winner of the contest was 13-year-old Jordan Pope. Jim Crowley, Six Flags Great America marketing director, said, "Jordan truly embodies the spirit of Six Flags!...He had Mr. Six's unique dance moves down to a science, the crowd went wild when he took the stage!"[3]

Retirement and revival[edit]

On November 29, 2005, Daniel Snyder, owner of the NFL Washington Redskins football franchise, took over Six Flags and on the very next day, he announced the retirement of the ad campaign. Snyder said that Mr. Six was "pointless." Mr. Six and the "It's Playtime!" motto would be dropped and Six Flags' next ad campaign would be called "Friendly, Clean, Fast, Safe, Service." (Despite this, he was still prominently featured at Six Flags theme parks on merchandise until his revival in 2009.) The Mr. Six campaign was replaced by the "More Flags, More Fun" campaign, which introduced an unnamed Asian character shouting the tagline at viewers.

On February 2, 2009, Mr. Six began appearing in place of the unnamed Asian character in the "More Flags, More Fun" ads on the Six Flags website. In March 2009, Six Flags announced the return of Mr. Six to promote their 2009 season opening in numerous press releases.[4] Mr. Six also resumed appearances in a number of new television commercials where he dances and says the "More Flags, More Fun" tagline, alongside his sidekick Little Six, a much younger version of himself.

Though Mr. Six was popular with the general public and park-goers, the character was described as "creepy" and his reintroduction was criticized in a Time Magazine opinion piece.[5][6]

Parodies[edit]

  • Mr. Six was parodied on a 2008 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Tina Fey. In the sketch, NBC has over-scheduled The Apprentice and dozens of spinoffs have been created, including one in which the contestants are TV commercial characters. Donald Trump (played by Darrell Hammond) asks Mr. Six (played by Amy Poehler) if he would dance for him. Mrs. Six says he'd rather not, but the skit ends with Mr. Six next to Trump dancing to "We Like to Party".
  • Mr. Six is also parodied in the Robot Chicken episode "Celebrity Rocket". In a sketch, Mr. Six appears at the site of a car accident and whisks all involved to Six Flags (including a woman, a man, a cop, and a fatality in a body bag). At one point he dances behind the woman in a very provocative manner, causing the cop to yank him away from her. At the end, Mr. Six begins driving them away from Six Flags only to cause another fatal accident. As the bus passengers look on at the horrifying results, Mr. Six begins dancing again. The cop gets annoyed and shoots him in the head.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Dancing Mr. Six scores with viewers of Six Flags ads" at USATODAY.com
  2. ^ "Mr. Six dance performed to Hardstyle". Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Prophetstown, Illinois Resident Bags $2,500 in Mr. Six Look-Alike Contest at Six Flags Great America" at PRnewswire.com
  4. ^ "Six Flags Great America Brings Summer Early With More Days... More Value... More Flags... More Fun". Studio-5.financialcontent.com. March 25, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  5. ^ Gregory, Sean (July 24, 2009). "Why Is Six Flags Targeting Kids with a Creepy Old Guy?". Time.com. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  6. ^ "Mr. Six's Slightly Less Creepy Sidekick". Brandchannel.com. April 29, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 

References[edit]