I’ve decided that I need a catchphrase.
OK, I don’t need a catchphrase. But I want one. Just a word or three that I’ll utter every so often, and people will come to associate with Mark Petruska. They don’t have to break out into spontaneous applause (though who am I to stop them if they do?) or start laughing – I simply want the recognition that comes with a well-chosen phrase that can be delivered under a variety of circumstances. My own personal tagline, if you will. Call it a marketing ploy. Or a vanity project, if you must. I’ve got a book to sell, people! And an image to go along with it. Don’t hate the player…hate the game.
Catchphrases have been around for decades. Bugs Bunny has been uttering “Eh, what’s up, doc?” since the Golden Age of Television. That one’s great – it’s the quintessential all-purpose greeting. Conversely, The Terminator’s “I’ll be back” is the perfect exit. Homer Simpson’s “D’oh!” hits the spot whenever something goes wrong, and Fred Flintstone’s “Yabba Dabba Doo!” is an excellent expression for those happier occasions. Then there’s The Fonz: “Ayyy” could be used to convey a variety of emotions.
One option is to have another person deliver the catchphrase for you. Ed McMahon’s “Heeere’s Johnny!” is a prime example; Mr. Carson then stepped out from behind the curtains, and the crowd was all warmed up by the time he took a few imaginary golf swings at invisible balls. (This same phrase was also used to great effect by Jack Torrance in The Shining, only he was busting down a bathroom door with a hatchet to kill his wife instead of delivering comedic monologues. This just goes to show how versatile a good catchphrase can be).
There are a million good ones out there. “What you talkin’ bout, Willis?” “Book him, Dano.” “Come on down!” “The plane, the plane.” “Did I do that?” “I get no respect.” “Cowabunga!” “How you doin’?” “I love it when a plan comes together.” “Hi, I’m Larry. This is my brother Daryl. This is my other brother, Daryl.” “I know you are, but what am I?” “Up your nose with a rubber hose.” Surely, I can come up with a winner!
“Stop calling me Shirley.”
See? It can’t be that difficult to think up the next “Dy-no-mite!” or “That’s what she said.” I mean, sheesh, Charlie Sheen came up with half a dozen handy little catchphrases without even thinking about it. Without even being sane, for that matter. Which gives me a great idea: I’ll have somebody else come up with it. When in doubt, delegate. And I know exactly who I can coerce into doing my dirty work for me:
You guys. My dear readers.
Why not? One of my blogging friends is handing over the entire task of planning her wedding to her readers. Is she crazy? Nope…just Southern. I actually think it’s a great idea, though! So, will you help me out here?
- What should my catchphrase be?
- When, and how often, should I use it?
- While we’re at it, what should I have for dinner on Tuesday?
Thank you for putting on your thinking caps and helping me out with this! I’ll give the winner a featured spot in my blog – one whole paragraph (!!) to write about whatever his or her heart desires. You can promote your own blog or writing project or photography website or artwork or talk about politics or share a picture of your dog in a fuzzy pink sweater or try to convert us all to vegetarianism. The possibilities are endless! I can feel the excitement…can you?
- Funny or Die: Rachael Ray Gets a New Catchphrase (shoppingblog.com)
- Charlie Sheen’s “Winning” and Other Trademarked Phrases (savings.com)