What does Subway Reuben have to do with Bill Haley?

The Subway Reuben is back for a limited time. The restaurant chain introduced its version in 2016.

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

What does the Subway Reuben have to do with Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock?”

Why use one of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time as the soundtrack for a TV commercial promoting Subway’s take on a classic American sandwich?

If you haven’t seen the commercial, here’s an abbreviated clip.

“Rock Around The Clock” signifies the rise of rock and roll in the 1950s, when English Teddy Boys were rioting and American teens were dancing in theaters because of the movie “Blackboard Jungle,” the tale of high school delinquents that opens with Haley’s song. I doubt the student thugs were rocking with a Reuben sandwich after trying to switch-blade their new teacher.

You can get a Rock and Roll Reuben, not at Subway but at Southway Pizzeria and Delia in Lewiston, Idaho. A customer described it as “a fantastic experience” featuring “fresh cuts of corned beef with little to no unwanted fat.”

The Subway Reuben shown in the commercial looks disgusting, and the food in TV ads is supposed to be tempting.

The Subway version of rye bread, corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing is nothing I would associate with 1950s diners, which are part of the visuals in the ad.

I’d prefer a big cheeseburger and a large chocolate malt. That’s what I associate with a diner. You know, Mel’s in the TV show “Alice” and Arnold’s/Al’s Drive-In in “Happy Days,” which used “Rock Around The Clock” as its theme song in its first season.

Since the Subway Reuben appears to be a wreck of a sandwich, I wish Haley’s 1954 hit was never associated with the ad.

Somebody needs to do a parody of the ad. This would be in the late Frank Zappa’s wheelhouse. The leader of the Mothers  of Invention came up with such 1960s albums as “Cruising with Ruben and the Jets,” “Lumpy Gravy” and “Uncle Meat.”

I imagine a Zappa cover of The Hombres’ “Let It All Hang Out” as a Subway parody in which lyrics would be revised and sung in the style of “Ruben and the Jets” doo wop.

Nobody knows what the Subway Reuben is all about,
It’s too much, man,
Let weasels rip my flesh,

Cook up  a Burnt Weeny Sandwich,
Let it all hang out

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Stupid Subway TV ad curbs my enthusiasm

Sandwich

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

One of the most annoying TV ads right now is the Subway commercial playing the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” theme.

What mad ad man thought this was good?

I want to associate the music with “Curb” creator and star Larry David and no one else because his HBO comedy show is better than anything at Subway.

A story on Thump earlier this year said Larry David discovered the tune when he heard it in a bank commercial.

“It just sort of introduces the idea that you’re in for something pretty idiotic,” he said in a 2009 interview.

The title of the tune is “Frolic,” a work by Italian composer Luciano Michelini.

Subway and Larry David go together well in this video and nowhere else: A hilarious combination you can see on YouTube.

After you watch the clip, it will be time to get back to reality.

The use of the “Curb” music in the ad curbs whatever enthusiasm I might have for Subway.

Every time you go to Subway, you will hear that music in your head when your sandwich maker goes through the process of getting your order from the toaster to the takeout bag, and this will be so overwhelming, you will hallucinate and believe your sandwich maker is Richard Lewis or Super Dave Osborne.

And those guys are too cool to be making sandwiches.

This reminds me of the gentleman who worked in the Polo men’s section of the pre-Katrina Dillard’s in Biloxi. He was a spiffy dresser and looked like a short and older version of Larry David.

Months after Katrina, I saw him wearing a nice Polo ball cap at the Super Wal-Mart in Gulfport. He was a Wal-Mart associate. He was slicing meat for a deli customer.

How can you go from selling nice clothes to cutting deli meat? I was in shock.

It was my “Curb” moment. Cue the music.

Illustration courtesy Pixabay

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