So, if you’ve been following the Yum! Brands saga, you know that I’ve been messing with them for a while on both legitimate and goofy levels, and that I had this idea a while ago. I finally acted upon it. I had to set up an alias to do it, as I’m sure most of my contacts just cringe when email from me hits their inbox. Mel Brooks either doesn’t have an email address, or it’s a closely guarded one… as it’s very difficult to find anything for him. I may have to print this out & snail mail it. I’m sure it has the potential to get a funny reply.
I see, your Shwatrz is as big as mine…
from: Arik Cearbhall <email@example.com>
to: [All kinds of people]
subject: Spaceballs 3D – featuring more Yum! Brands characters?
Hello my friends,
At last we meet again for the first time for the last time.
I write to you today with a revelation regarding Spaceballs. It is my belief that something needs to be done before George Lucas releases Star Wars in 3D, Spaceballs needs to have a re-vamped special edition (like the Star Wars ones released in 1997), possibly even jumping in to 3D before Star Wars.
The reason that I’m writing to both “Yum! Brands” and MGM employees is because I can’t find a good email address for Mel Brooks. Does Mel have an email address?
MGM still owns the rights to the movie, correct? Also, I address “Yum!” because, as you well know, two characters that are parodies of “Yum! Brands” brands appear quite prominently in the Spaceballs saga. If you don’t know, here’s some help from Wikipedia:
- Pizza the Hutt, named after the pizza restaurant chain, is a half-man, half-Pizza Mafioso and a parody of Jabba the Hutt. He forces Lone Starr to pay one million credits to him. By the end of the film, however, a “news segment” watched by Lone Starr and Barf reveals that Pizza got locked in his limo and ate himself to death, thus meaning Lone Starr and Barf won’t have to pay anymore. The voice of Pizza the Hutt is performed by Dom DeLuise.
- Colonel Sandurz is a parody of the leading Imperial Officers from Star Wars, such as Veers and Piett or Grand Moff Tarkin. ‘Colonel’ is his rank; however, ‘Kernel’ is his real name. His name is a pun on KFC‘s founder Colonel Sanders. (At one point, Dark Helmet taunts him into action, saying, “What’s the matter, Colonel Sandurz? Chicken?“)
I believe that the Schwartz has aligned because at the time of the filming of Spaceballs, these were parodies of two wholly separate fast food companies. (Or were PepsiCo or TriCon in control at that point?) Now, they are just two of many systems in the “Yum!” galaxy, if you will.
The opportunity exists to film news scenes and digitally insert new characters… and in the spirit of the original; “Moichandizing! Moichandizing! Moichandizing!” I still never did get Spaceballs, the flamethrower. We are at a point in time with advertising and merchandising where a once preposterously offensive idea would now be considered almost normal.
This could be a huge cross-promotional tie-in empire, and may even save MGM from its current financial woes. I propose a set of new characters, new scenes, and new toys/products…
- AN-UU (pronounced “Ay – en – double – you”), the fearless side-kick to Dot Matrix. After all, this is the most obvious glaring omission from the original Spaceballs movie. Yeah, you can combine Luke & Han, but you can’t drop R2-D2! He is the undeniable (albeit mechanical) heart of the Star Wars franchise. Imagine, he could be like a little root-beer bottle or vending machine shaped droid.
- Tako Juan Bellobi, Lone Star’s other mentor, who gives him the Schwartz ring saying it was his father’s, then sends him to Yogurt to learn how to use it. Living in a desert, the Mexican tie-in, a colorful Mexican-styled blanket instead of the Jedi robe… a “Stinking Badges” Blazing Saddles reference, a cojones joke or two, this could be a comedic gold mine.
- Long Jon Argbar, arguably one of the most recognizable internet memes of all time would be Admiral Ackbar’s “It’s a Trap!”. This simply cannot be ignored. Long John Silver and Admiral Ackbar would be a perfect mix given their similar aquatic nature. I see the character almost like Davy Jones from Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Also, if we want to get super nerdy, I have derived the name Argbar from (obviously) Ackbar and the Latin for silver, argentum. Tie in fictional pirates’ proclivity to exclaim “Argh” or “Arg” or “Arrrr”, and we have a win-win-win situation.
- The Wing Fleet – Not a character per-say… but a play on Tie-fighters and X-Wings, a rebel alliance and empire (“Yum!”-pire?) ought to be created… legions of the Spaceballs’ fighters could be shaped like chicken wings and fly out of a large bucket on top of the ship.
(Please see my character design concepts in the attached *.jpg)
- To parody the interrogation scene from Star Wars: A New Hope and to tie into KFC’s new healthier image… Colonel Sandurz could “grill” Princess Vespa much like the “comb the desert” scene. Can you see the giant grill now? The lines on her back? Perhaps a smells/tastes like chicken joke?
- In the “It’s a Trap” spirit… Long Jon Argbar’s shtick could be to exclaim “It’s a ___!” over & over again, perhaps stopping all the action and looking at the camera after a particularly bad one… and shrugging his shoulders before moving on with it. The blank could be many different things; Tap (in reference to AN-UU’s root beer tap perhaps?), Carp (an aquatic fish reference), frap (Mr. Coffee/Mr. Radar joke), or many, many more things… like Tarp, Part, Wrap, Crap, etc.
New Products & Tie Ins:
- Yogurt – Perhaps most obviously, yogurt ought to be offered as a dessert item on all “Yum! Brands” restaurants’ menus… perhaps in collectible cups? Everyone’s into this health-food malarkey these days. Perhaps even frozen yogurt, as to not be so disgusting?
- Toys – Obviously the toys associated with kids meals would be big hits with kids & collectors alike. The toys from all the chains could represent their parodied character and a few of his friends… needing to visit all of the chains to complete your collection… possibly even getting a part of the Spaceballs ship (Mega-Maid) at each chain that are all put together Voltron-style, much like the Transformers reference in the Spaceballs movie?
- If you guys want to get crazy, we could reach out to Starbucks and infuse them into the Mr. Coffee scene, and replace all references to “spacebucks” as “starbucks”. Perhaps “Yum!” could acquire them before the release of the film?
As you can see, this is a no-brainer, and once you have had the time to review my email, and perhaps forward it to Mel Brooks and/or Brooksfilms Ltd., you will most assuredly be prepared to move along at ludicrous speed. There is no way to not make money with this. Star Wars fans will rabidly go after anything remotely associated to the movie, and most are geeks who love Mr. Brooks’ style of humor.
If new scenes need to be filmed, I’m sure Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, George Wyner, Daphne Zungia, and the others would appreciate the work. Perhaps Barf could be wholly replaced by new hot funnyman Zach Galifianakis, as John Candy would be currently unavailable due to his deceased nature. You wouldn’t even need to add much fake fur to the costume. Have you seen the guy?
As far as my involvement, I expect nothing other than to be credited with the inception/inspiration of the project. I would just like to see it happen; perhaps a producer credit? From what I understand, those are mostly meaningless anyway.
I’d like to thank you for your time, and I’m sure you’re as excited about this as I am. These are the droids you’re looking for.
May the Schwartz be with you!
And, this was the attached photo…
I know, I have mad photo-editing skills. You don’t have to tell me.
As an afterthought, I felt that all of the other fast food chains out there shouldn’t be denied, so… I re-sent the message with this as a forward:
I write to you to present an opportunity that may titillate your funny bone. I have recently written to Mel Brooks, MGM, and your competitor, “Yum! Brands” in the interest of putting together a “Special Edition” version of Spaceballs (perhaps in 3D) featuring new Fast Food related characters. I have not yet received a reply, but after it was sent, I felt that I had been leaving out many other fine establishments. Would you have any interest in participating in such a project? I can certainly come up with new character designs as a parody of your brands. I consider myself an expert on both Star Wars and fast food.
Please find my entire original message below, and see what you think as it pertains to you!
Heh. This message actually got me the first few replies…
From a local Chick-fil-A:
from: Chick-fil-A South Hills <firstname.lastname@example.org>
to: Arik Cearbhall <email@example.com>
subject: Re: Spaceballs 3D – featuring more Yum! Brands characters?
Hello Arik. My name is Rebecca Thornsberry and I am the Marketing Director for the Chick-fil-A at South Hills. Each store is individually owned and operated, so this sounds like something that you would have to get permission from our Corporate Office in Atlanta to do. If you feel like you’d like to pursue this, you could start with the 1-800-CFA-CORP. Thanks for offering this to us, but I am sorry that I cannot help you with this.
Chick-fil-A at South Hills
1620 Washington Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
From an irritable Quiznos employee:
from: Creative Requests <firstname.lastname@example.org>
to: Arik Cearbhall <email@example.com>
subject: RE: Spaceballs 3D – featuring more Yum! Brands characters?
I’m only writing you back to say that it is very inappropriate to include all recipients in the “TO” field and not the “BCC”. Not only is this SPAM mail – unwelcome and unsolicited – it allows anyone on this email to know the emails of all recipients.
Please DO NOT email this address again.
The first reply from anyone actually associated with the project:
from: roger paul <firstname.lastname@example.org>
subject: Re: Spaceballs 3D – featuring more Yum! Brands characters?
My client Michael Winslow would be up for the challenge
NY NY 10019
Yeah, that’s actually Michael Winslow‘s management. He’s “that Police Academy guy” relevant here as the radar operator in Spaceballs. Dude is awesome.
Then we have… Silence from everyone else, so far. I can’t wait to get some more replies. I just may have to send out some snail mail on this one to the actors & studios. It is still early, hopefully more responses will pour in!
Posted in Fast Food Fail, Funny Stuff, Letters, Star Wars, W(aL)D
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