Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sizzler’s forgotten bid to be “America’s choice” is terrifying

Illustration for article titled Sizzler’s forgotten bid to be “America’s choice” is terrifying

If you’re familiar with Sizzler, it’s probably as a chain of restaurants. But back in 1991, it had loftier plans. It’s not exactly clear what those plans were, but based a musical infomercial unearthed by Esquire, it either had something to do with running for national office or starting its own Scientology-like cult.

While Sizzler’s true intentions may be lost to the ages, there are a number of troubling clues that suggest an Orwellian attempt to enslave America under the yoke of false choice. Consider the evidence:

  1. The entire musical arrangement was likely the work of John Ashcroft.
  2. Young girls need to beware of predatory sea captains. You won’t find any of them at Sizzler.
  3. “Sizzler is the one who brings us choices.” The only one; never forget.
  4. While largely forgotten in our post-9/11 culture, in 1991, it was perfectly acceptable wear a generic “Navy Sailor” Halloween costume out on a date.
  5. Once the narration begins, Sizzler is quite frank in its harrowing assessment of homegrown terrorism, confirming that, “All over America, a quiet revolution has begun.”
  6. At 1:36, we learn that “Americans have redefined what’s important in their lives,” and what’s important is carousel rides.
  7. “Sizzler brings the choices.” Choices, and oversized sneeze guards. Getting your goddamn germs in our salad bar is not an acceptable choice, America.
  8. We’re not positive what’s in the Sundae that has the woman at 2:14 so aggressively licking her chops, but there’s a good chance it’s crystal meth.
  9. In case it hasn’t sunk in yet, “Sizzler is the choice of America.” The only choice; never forget.
  10. By the time we hit the three-minute mark, Sizzler reveals what the only choice is: grill or buffet. Huzzah.
  11. Sizzler hints at “an all new kind of courteous, friendly service,” which combines vague inappropriateness with plausible deniability.
  12. After concluding its campaign promises, Sizzler closes with more happiness montages, including a guy who shouldn’t have been interrupted from giving his dog “extra attention,” a really sweaty Pat Benatar fan, and proof that the sailor Halloween costume will get you to at least first base.
  13. The parting promise? Just “Sizzler,” whispered with the chilling confidence of a company who knows that the only choice is no choice at all.

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