Halloween Spectactathon!: Stephen King’s American Express Card Commercial

A lot of people dislike Stephen King because he writes a ton. I think it’s because writing is often pointlessly romanticized – someone is pouring their soul onto the page, and painstakingly pushing through the solitude to produce art. So, when you’ve written thirty best sellers about ghosts and shit, some of that romanticism appears to be lost. I don’t follow this line of thinking, no matter how logical it appears to be. I have never once gone to a Waffle House, watched a cook make his fourth pile of hash browns for the day, and commented “Hey, you with the career. Stop it.”

That’s not saying that Stephen King is without his flaws. He has a habit of over-writing, and this over-writing can dilute his climaxes. One of my favorite books of his is Cujo, but I’d like Cujo way more if they didn’t cut back and forth from a harrowing scene of a mother and her child, trapped in a sweltering car, being attacked by a huge, rabid dog,  to a scene where a jealous ex-lover jerks off onto furniture. I like Stephen King, but sometimes I wish he’d just get back to the killer dog already.

He’s a household name in a way that few horror writers that didn’t die in the streets from possible syphilis complications are. He’s also born in the age of being able to watch things on video, so, obviously, to capitalize on his fame, people are going to thrust him into things that don’t make sense. In this case, it’s an American Express Card commercial.

stephen king card

Stephen King is roaming around his haunted mansion, a place that I probably would’ve imagined that he actually lived in when I was a kid. In the very first shot, we see a hunched figure creep in the background. Considering that I’m going to take this fantasy as far as it will go before I get bored with it, I choose to believe that that’s not an Igor, but rather his son, fellow horror writer Joe Hill.

He starts out by saying “Do you know me?”, which indicates that we probably don’t. He then possibly answers himself by punning “It’s frightening how many novels of suspense I’ve written.” While Stephen King’s face isn’t completely recognizable to the public, (a fact I know for certain based off the box office for Sleepwalkers, a film he had a cameo in), you know it’s him, simply because it couldn’t be anyone else. I hear the words “frightening”, “novels”, and “suspense”, and realize that Stephen King is trying to sell me something. You would never watch this commercial, hear those lines and imagine that Junot Diaz is making some very odd financial decisions.

It must be noisy to live in a haunted mansion, especially one with an old organ. Poltergeists love that kind of thing.

“But still, when I’m not recognized, it just kills me.” Whoever wrote this knew that, since they’d nabbed Stephen King, they had to fill him with natural sounding material like it was their last chance at ever having success. I mean, he wrote The Shining. How else would he talk? Just now, sitting on a plane, Stephen King said aloud “Well, I’m just bored to death,” smirked, and then looked around to see if anyone noticed.

“So instead of saying I wrote Carrie, I carry the American Express Card.” Why wouldn’t he tell people that he wrote Carrie? That seems way nicer than flashing your credit card around enough for the entire room to know you’re rich. What party is Stephen King attending where they don’t know that it’s him? Immediately, I imagine scenarios where he’s comically mistaken as the butler, or forcibly handed some jerk’s coat while the jerk goes off to hit on Stephen’s gal. I really shouldn’t have written this. I feel kind of bad for Stephen King now.

“Without it, isn’t life a little scary?” I would say no, but after examining the tragic existence of Stephen King’s unrecognizable social presence, I think it might be.

stephen king

“The American Express Card. Don’t leave home without it.” Stephen King whispers the last line, to emphasize how spooky it is to not have everyone know how wealthy you are. He then disappears behind a bookshelf, probably into the pantry or something.


One response to “Halloween Spectactathon!: Stephen King’s American Express Card Commercial

  1. Pingback: The Stephen King Playboy Interview eBook | A Silicon Valley Writer·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s