Saturday, January 13, 2007

Dude, You're Getting a Bowl of Soup

LOS ANGELES - Ben Curtis, better known as the "Dell Dude," from Dell Computer commercials, is working again.

Unfortunately for Curtis, it's in the food service industry and he's being paid in the form of soup. (And crackers, as he pointed out.)

As the unlovable Dell spokesperson, Curtis rocketed to the top of the Annoying Commercial Guy Pantheon, eclipsing such all-time greats as the Encyclopedia Britannica Guy, Sally Struthers, and Esteban. But after Curtis was caught with marijuana, Dell dropped him from their ads and replaced him with five annoying "Dell Interns." Fortunately for viewers, their combined powers of annoyance couldn't come close to equaling the disgust we felt for Curtis' vile and insufferable face.

After his dismissal, Curtis plunged into an abyss of self-destruction which included pot, strip clubs, gambling, and Zima. He even went so far as to speak highly of e-Machines in public. His life-savings blown, the former Dell Dude was broke and homeless.

In July of this year, hungry and alone, Curtis wandered into the Fourth Street Soup Kitchen in Los Angeles and asked for a soup. National television commercials seemed like a lifetime ago. Day after day he'd return, sampling unique Campbell's Soup offerings such as Tomato, Chicken Noodle, and Nacho Cheese. With each digested soup, Curtis gained momentum and confidence. Slowly, but surely, he's determined to work his way back into the public eye.

"I'm working on a script right now about a guy who gets fired from his high paying job, hits rock-bottom, and has to work his way back to the top. And guess what? He gets there," Curtis said. He also added that due to his lack of funds, the script is being written on the back of soup can labels.

Despite all the hardships, which he'll freely admit he brought on himself, Curtis maintains a positive outlook. Before returning to the serving line, he offered this thought: "The secret to believing you'll get your life back on track is a lot like soup. It comes in a Can, not in a Can't."

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