TELEVISION: YOUR SHOW OF SHILLS

THINK THERE ARE TOO MANY ADS ON TV? THE NETWORKS DON'T, SO THEY'RE STICKING THEM IN PROGRAMS TOO

WHAT WERE those hokey dancing taco-and-bell doing on the premiere of Dana Carvey's new comedy show two weeks ago--was this a plug or a parody of lead sponsor Taco Bell? It was hard to tell as the fast-food duo sang, "We're paying him a fortune to use our name, 'cause he's a shameless whore!"

In fact, this was an odd TV moment when parody and plug became one. The Taco Bell Dana Carvey Show was intended to be an ironic resurrection of 1950s-style brand-name TV shows like The Lux Video Theatre or The U.S. Steel Hour. The deal originally struck between...

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