HomeThe GrooveBarbers ARE "The Astelins"

SeanAltman's picture

{mosimage}In a spectacular turn of events that proves either the absolute existence or nonexistence of God, The GrooveBarbers have landed a national TV commercial.  Preposterous?  Utterly, but in mid-February 2006, your fave ever-plumpening, middle-aged quartet of male pattern baldness victims will play the role of a super-hero vocal group named "The Astelins" on your small screen.  When a helpless allergy sufferer gets stricken with a case of the sneezes, The Astelins literally drop from the heavens to rescue her with a nasal spray called — you guessed it — "Astelin."

How did we four over-the-hillbillies score this lucrative gig?  Surely we aren't the most attractive group out there. Surely we aren't the most diverse group, unless a chubby guy, a bald guy, Dorian Gray and a Jew qualify as "diverse."  Surely we don't have the most contemporary repertoire, "Wild Irish Rose" notwithstanding.  No; it was plainly something else — that intangible GrooveBarber je ne sais phart, which the client summed up as "human, likable and approachable," all characteristics which distinguish us from other acapella groups — an inhuman, unlikable and entirely unapproachable lot.  The client didn't mention my cheekbones, but it's axiomatic that my most pleasing feature was the casting clincher.

The spot was directed by Danny Ducovny, the ruggedly handsome brother of actor David.  No other siblings of the famous were involved, although Puddle Phoenix was rumored to have been considered for the catering job.

The shoot was on a ranch north of Los Angeles, where thousands of crusty, bearded set designers created a faux traffic jam replete with monster trucks, bored extras sitting in fancy cars, and fake exhaust which smelled dangerously like the real stuff.  The mock pollution served to highlight Astelin's salient feature: it combats environmental irritants like smoke and smog, not just garden variety allergens like pollen, dander and the stench of the undead.  The villainous competition — Allegra and Claritin — can't make this lofty claim (and even if they could, I would renounce them to the death, as I am now wholly owned and operated by Medpointe Pharmaceuticals).

The letters comprising the product name were stretched across our jackets; Steve wore "AS," I wore "TEL," Charlie sported "IN," and Kevin, in the final indignity (the first being his uncanny resemblance to Vladimir Lenin), was left with the lone "S."  Much fuss was made over the exact positioning of the letters on our jackets and how tightly we four previously hetero men had to hug each other in order for the ASTELIN name to have sufficient sass and dazzle.  Oh how we embraced, tightly and for long periods. Suffice it to say that if I spawn a singing tot in the next nine months, I'll be calling either Steve or Chuck for child support.

When the GrooveBarbers got the call a mere few weeks ago, we did the thing that most groups of our stature would do: we ordered matching girdles.  I also whitened my teeth, blackened what's left of my hair, and went back on the nifty Biafran diet that I read about in Third World Cuisine magazine.  I'll be damned if I'm not gonna look hot in my second fifteen minutes of mid-level TV fame.

How long will the campaign run, will they do print ads or radio, are more commercials planned?  The answers to these questions, arguably the most pressing queries of our time, are dependent on your Astelin consumption this allergy season.  So if you are prone to wheezing, sneezing, or watery, itchy eyes; if you're unperturbed by the list of potential side effects (drowsiness, nasal inflammation or burning, erections lasting 10 hours or longer, the sudden appearance of a third nipple, a desire to whittle, and a penchant for murder); if you think that TV has sucked since Carmen Sandiego was cancelled; or if you simply like to see and hear middle-aged men sing, please ask your doctor about Astelin.

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