One amusing aspect of visiting America is American tv adverts, particularly those made for the local region. Unlike in the UK, American advertisers have a tradition for getting the owner of a local store to feature as the star of his own ad - resulting in some rather sweet, yet hideously amateurish hard-sells. Especially good are the adverts which aim to sell pieces of nasty kitsch to poor families - trying to convince them that it will make them appear like sophisticated urbanites.
Saturday Night Live also has a long history of parodying these adverts, which often feature terrifying working-class women with strangulated New Yawk accents. Scarlett Johnasson turned up recently playing Lexi, the overly-aggressive daugher of a family business who are in the trade of porcelain fountains "You gotta get yourself some porcelain fountains!"
What! Are you kidding me? How can you not have porcelain fountains all over your house? Look at this one! Look at that one!"
The sketch also has Ryan Reynolds as Lexi's terrified, hyper-ventilating husband "I come to you!" (The sketch doesn't start until 2.45 below).
And in a later episode newcomer Jenny Slate (who distinguished herself by saying "fucking" live on air, in her first episode) is Tina Tina Cheneuse - an East European beauty who has her own range of custom-made doorbells, which all feaure recordings of her own voice:
Are you an individual? Guess what? I know, we got a doorbell for every person. Just come up and ask me.... I can even do fancy doorbells: [ she pushes a button ] Voice on Doorbell; Hello! Wine and cheese! Ding dong!
Do you enjoy a fly, fancy lifestyle? Then why is your doorbell so vanilla?
Even better, apparently, the Ding Dong advert is a rip-off of the real-life Krystal Touch doorknobs.
Are those nails legal? I love the way she says "door". I want one.