Local cable TV commercials are a wilderness full of enchantment and mayhem, as anyone who stays up too late in front of the TV with no agenda is well aware. There, small business owners with wacky ideas (or friends/family who have wacky ideas that they’re able to convincingly encourage the owner to pursue) run free. There, some guy who has a Toyota dealership in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn, Illinois can finally, after years of fine-tuning and development, unveil his creative masterpiece: A full recreation of the 2006 Saturday Night Live digital short “Dick In A Box,” which once starred the Lonely Island and Justin Timberlake, and which now stars two dudes who presumably work at Oak Lawn Toyota.
It’s not clear why the dealership picked 2014 to unveil the parody of the eight-year-old sketch, but whatever the reason, we’re glad they did: As dated as it might be, the commitment that the fellas in the video show to their re-creation–“Keys In A Box,” naturally, urging viewers to deliver a set of keys to a new Toyota to a loved one for Christmas–is inspiring. It’s easy to imagine stumbling upon “Keys In A Box” late at night while channel-surfing and being absolutely mesmerizing. It’s the rare parody video that manages to be both more and less funny than the thing it’s parodying, but “Keys In A Box” pulls off the feat effortlessly. As local cable ads go, it’s an inspiring piece of Michael Scott-like dedication to a dated, inappropriate premise. The people of Oak Lawn are so lucky.