We interrupt our chronological examination of the works of Jean-Claude Van Damme to bring you this special edition!
It was always my intent with the Report to go through JCVD’s works in the order they were released, but this is just too great to not comment on immediately. This is also a good time to emphasize that it’s not just Van Damme’s films I’ll be writing about. I want to cover everything, from that one Friends episode he starred in to stuff like this, a brand new GoDaddy.com commercial that aired during last night’s NFL football game. Here, take a look:
This is, apparently, the kick off to GoDaddy’s new marketing spin. The internet domain name company was infamous for its television ads that were juvenile at best, raunchy and tasteless at worst. Someone thankfully got wise and realized that rather than using buxom bimbos, the better way to market your service is to get weirdly charismatic 80s action stars to employ absurdist humor and a (tangential at most) connection what’s actually being advertised.
In other words, this commercial is amazing.
It at first feels wholly random. “Wait,” you think. “Is that Van Damme doing splits across two giant bags of flour whilst playing bongos?!” By the time you realize you actually saw what you saw, the commercial is in full swing and it cuts to Van Damme doing a wall split while simultaneously shaking maracas. Cut again to Van Damme doing splits inside a refrigerator while giving Ron Burgundy a run for his money in the flaming flute department.
The busy baker at the center of this commercial is now the perfect avatar for the audience as he does a double take, trying to understand just what the heck is going on. Is he hallucinating? Did he drunkenly make a deal with The Muscles From Brussels to come and provide musical inspiration as he worked (probably in exchange for free muffins or something)? Is Van Damme just trolling the guy? Maybe he randomly just shows up at bakeries or other establishments to play instruments? I really hope that’s the direction these commercials take. How amazing would it be for Van Damme to suddenly become the absurdist face of this company.
Or maybe they could get Dolph Lundgren to do one where he’s playing drums and an upright bass as a florist attempts to fill orders. Steven Segal could play a sitar as a plumber fixes pipes. Then they could all converge next year during GoDaddy’s obligatory Super Bowl appearance and do The Expendables of Super Bowl commercials.
Really, though, it’s just great to Van Damme playing up his greasy charm and (admittedly vaguely creepy) sense of humor. So many (read: pretty much all) of his movies are so straight-faced that it’s nice to be reminded that the guy can actually be pretty funny!
Also, he does more splits in one 30-second commercial than he does in some full feature-length movies!
I love this commercial. Genuinely love it. Here’s hoping we get more of Van Damme like this.
Dammage Report statistics for GoDaddy Commercial:
Number of splits: 3
Number of split kicks: 0
Reason for being European: He’s ostensibly playing himself.
Best line: “It’s go time!”
Previously on the Van Dammage Report:
Death Warrant, Lionheart, Kickboxer, Cyborg, Bloodsport.