What hath Joe wrought?
In his commercials for FedEx, Dunkin Donuts, Wendy's and more during the 1980s, director Joe Sedelmaier specialized in hilarious, deadpan portrayals of put-upon time-clock punchers and timid middle-management types, with a humor that was equal parts Bob & Ray, Benny Hill and the Carol Burnett Show.
Yet despite our laughing at them, not with them, there was always something human and relatable in his charactatures, a strange affection for the foibles and travails of the common nine-to-fiver.
Of course, success breeds imitation, especially in advertising. But like any copy machine, the imitations always seem to duplicate only the surface characteristics, never the warmth underneath. Like this recent spot: