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The real tragedy in Dallas

By Jason Mack
On February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday is the one day of the year when people clamor for commercials rather than complain about them. However, much like "Saturday Night Live," the level of comedy has greatly decreased over the last 10 years.

The Super Bowl commercial break is a time for exotic animals and violence, most notably monkeys and nut shots. The day a company creates a commercial with a monkey kicking someone in the nuts, their stock will shoot through the roof. There was a little of each this year, but these few commercials were the exception and not the rule.

Most of the major companies, such as Budweiser and Doritos, were lazy and relied on updated versions of overplayed premises. Others such as GoDaddy.com and Skechers failed with the tradition of being vulgar for the sake of vulgarity.

Luckily the Black Eyed Peas were around to bring the humor with their comically-bad performance, which looked more like "Tron: The Musical" than a halftime show. Auto-tune already ruins the integrity of albums and using it live brings about new levels of disappointment. Ruining their own music is one thing, but did they have to enlist Slash's help to desecrate the classic "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses?

Usher could have lent some credibility to the performance, but he was too busy jumping around the stage like a cheerleader to actually sing anything. Christina Aguilera owes a nice thank-you card to the Black Eyed Peas for deflecting attention from her botched lyrics during the National Anthem.

Lackluster halftime performances in recent years by older performers such as Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones and The Who led to a push for a more current act this year. If they wanted to attract the young crowd, they should have brought in a quality band like The Black Keys or Arcade Fire.

Amidst the abundance of terrible music, movie previews and car ads, a select few commercials managed to generate some laughter. The following is a ranking of the top five Super Bowl commercials.

5. Audi A8: Prison Break - Their ad about escaping from old luxury made the smart decision to go over the top, featuring old people diving through windows and rappelling off the roof. It also featured Kenny G to stick with the night's theme of bad music.

4. "House" - Hugh Laurie managed to land Fox a top-five ad with this parody of the classic Mean Joe Green commercial. Instead of giving a kid some priceless sports memorabilia, House tosses his cane at the boy's face.

3. Bridgestone: Reply All - This ad played off the common fear of clicking reply all on an inappropriate e-mail. What ensues is the protagonist smashing and kicking countless numbers of laptops and smartphones to prevent anyone from reading the e-mail. Bridgestone earns bonus points for their "Karma" commercial where a beaver and a driver save each other's lives.

2. Volkswagen Passat: Young Vader - Who among us has not made a legitimate attempt at using the force at some point in our lives? The reaction of the little kid in the Darth Vader costume thinking he started the car is hilarious and adorable in a Pixar kind of way.

1. Careerbuilder.com: Chimps - The title of the commercial says it all. Chimps sell. Dressing the chimps up in business attire and giving them props such as a brief case and a purse is genius. Having a chimp driving and crashing a car is comedy gold.

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