Whassup?

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Whassup? (also known as Wazzup) was a commercial campaign for Anheuser-Busch Budweiser beer from 1999 to 2002.[1] The first spot aired during Monday Night Football, December 20, 1999. The ad campaign was run worldwide and became a pop culture catchphrase. The phrase itself is a slurred version of the phrase "What's up?".

The commercials were based on a short film, entitled True, written and directed by Charles Stone III, that featured Stone and several of his childhood friends – Fred Thomas, Paul Williams, Terry Williams, Jimmy "Puerto Rock" Perez and Kevin Lofton. The characters sat around talking on the phone and saying "whassup?" to one another in a comical way. The short was popular at a number of film festivals around the country and eventually caught the attention of creative director Vinny Warren and art director Chuck Taylor at the Chicago-based ad agency DDB, who took the idea to August A. Busch IV, vice president of Anheuser-Busch, and signed Stone to direct Budweiser TV commercials based on the film. Scott Martin Brooks won the role of Dookie when Kevin Lofton declined to audition.[2]

Whassup? won the Cannes Grand Prix award and the Grand Clio award, among others. In May 2006, the campaign was inducted into the CLIO Hall of Fame.

Eight years later, Stone made another version of the ad with the same cast, called Wassup 2008. The 2-minute short film was heavily critical of the presidency of George W. Bush and was a clear endorsement of the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.[3] The 2008 video was nominated for the Favorite User Generated Video award at the 35th People's Choice Awards.

In culture[edit]

The film Scary Movie (2000) parodied the ad in one scene.

In 2001, the British music duo Shaft released a song and video titled "Wassuup!" under the name Da Muttz, referencing the Budweiser ad, set to a sample of "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer (which, in turn, sampled Rick James' "Super Freak").[4] It reached number 11 on the UK Singles Chart,[4] and was also a hit on charts across Europe and in Australia.[5]

Professional wrestling tag team The Dudley Boyz incorporated part of the ad as one of their signature moves. D-Von would climb to the top rope while Bubba Ray held an opponent's legs apart, before they both stuck out their tongues and did the Whassup head shake. D-Von would then execute a diving headbutt to the crotch of the opponent.

The Simpsons episodes "The Bart Wants What It Wants" (2002) and "See Homer Run"[citation needed] (2005) both feature the character Milhouse using the expression in an attempt to be cool.

The Greg the Bunny episode "Father and Son Reunion" (2002) featured the character Gil trying to bond with his son Jimmy. Gil thinks all young people use the expression to be cool. They go out together along with Greg the Bunny and Gil shouts the expression at everyone they meet, much to the embarrassment of Jimmy.

In the 2003 Friends episode "The One With Phoebe's Rats", Ross enters Monica and Chandler's apartment saying "Whassup" trying to imitate the commercial, to which Chandler replies, "Seriously dude, three years ago!"

The Office episode "Pilot" has Michael Scott, Jim, and Dwight exchanging the expression with each other. Jim wryly tells the camera that Scott is still doing it constantly, seven years after the ad was popular.

The Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Multiple Meat" (2010) had Frylock using the expression to Master Shake and when the latter does not react to it he asks "I'm sorry is that out now?"

The ad is also parodied in four episodes of the web series The Annoying Orange.

The band Falling in Reverse parodied the ad in the music video of the song "Good Girls, Bad Guys" (2011).[6]

In the film Central Intelligence (2016), Bob Stone sends Calvin Joyner a video clip of the ad and asks, "remember those commercials?"

In the How I Met Your Mother episode "Trilogy Time" Barney Stinson uses the expression in supposed "dream" futures.

In Season 1, Episode 8 of Santa Clarita Diet, Drew Barrymore’s character says "Whassup?" to a “dead” undead character Loki, played by DeObia Oparei.

In the film Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) Luis pulls up next to Scott and says it multiple times.

June 2018, Burger King and Budweiser partnered to create a new Whassup? commercial.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Drea (February 2, 2011). "Best Super Bowl Commercials 1989-2010". Business Pundit. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ ""They're up: With a stop at Comerica Park, the friends starring in Budweiser's 'Whassup' commercials say hello to success, thanks to the beer guzzling of Dami Stanworth"". Detroit Free Press. April 21, 2000. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ Luning, Earnest (2008-10-24). "'Wassup' commercial returns with same cast, political twist". Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  4. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 491. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ "Da Muttz – Wassuup!". australian-charts.com. Retrieved September 5, 2018. 
  6. ^ Grant Trimboli (June 18, 2011). "MUSIC VIDEO: FALLING IN REVERSE – GOOD GIRLS BAD GUYS". www.underthegunreview.net.