1991 promo video for Sizzler reveals that the 90s were much, much worse than the 1970s


mmmm … strawberry lip gloss

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Tomorrow belongs to Sizzler



The first minute or so, before the narration kicks in, could be a promo for . . . anything. Scientology, a GOP candidate, a giant new SUV.

Man, I remember after collitch being hungry and short on spending money, and a run to Sizzler with friends was a big deal. Food! Lots of food! Variety of food! Cheap!

Last time I went, on the way home from a road trip through OR, it was so miserable and sad, but it was the only non-fast-food joint in town. Never again!


21 sizzler locations closed in 2001, think about it people.

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I have a pet theory: [quote]The emotion of embarrassment has a half life.[/quote]

I’m a kind of self-reflective person, and when I look back at things I’ve done in the past, there are some of them that make me retroactively cringe and/or actually blush at what colossal idiocy I enacted at those times.

But as I get older, I find that I can forgive myself in proportion to how long ago the episode occurred, and that proportion is about half of my lifespan (so far).

In my 20s, the things I did as a preteen had rolled off the back end of the mortification scale, but the especially stupid things I did as a teen still really bothered me.

By my mid to late 30s, my teen self was enjoying the benefit of forgiveness, but my 20 something self was still being raked over the coals of post facto shaming.

I’m about done forgiving myself the foibles of my 20s, and in another half decade or so I’ll be able to smile indulgently at some of the memories of my early 30s.


I think there’s a cultural timing thing at work in the focus of this post.

The 90s were not “much, much worse than the 1970s” but the 70’s are now far enough in the past that we can accept the dated, embarrassing things we did then; time has dulled the edge of shame.


One of the reasons I never wanted to become a professional singer is that, at best, I’d only ever be good enough to sing commercial jingles and corporate crap like this.

Also, it’s fun to go through the video and think about where all these people might be now. The little kids are probably moms in their mid-30s; the old captain guy is almost certainly dead; the young military couple is now an old military couple, etc.


For me, this is less about Sizzler than it is about 90’s corporate video production. Love the cheesy B-Roll - and Mark’s observations, especially the Hard Hat Couple, looking away from the building (there could be another one in front of them…).

I wonder what this was for? A shareholders meeting?


Or, more likely, the young under employed actors are likely middle age under employed actors.


Probably looking for franchise investors.


That was my guess. Distributed on VHS tapes to Freedom and Buffet-loving people looking for business opportunities.


There are definitely too many cooks at this sizzler.


Hillary Clinton’s campaign video is really strange.


I’m really enjoying watching the memory of the 90s coalesce into a distinct decade, like the 80s, 70s, and 60s. Its finally distant enough. I still have no idea what the aughts will look like in 10 years.


Well at least they weren’t as bad as the '80’s, a decade that seemed like it was so bad that nostalgia for previous decades became a national industry. A friend of mine had a t-shirt that was quintessentially '80’s. It said “If you remember the 60’s then you weren’t there.” What an awesome decade the '60’s seemed for those of us who hadn’t even been born yet.


As bad as the 80’s?


Synthesizer Rock Music!!!


Ugh. As though it weren’t creepy and cultish enough already, they threw in that whisper at the very end, as though the Sizzler corporation personified were just over your shoulder, waiting for you to finish watching before announcing its presence and feeding on your soul.


My aunt has a friend who gave birth to her son Huckleberry while tripping acid on the corner of Haight and Ashbury. That always seemed so quintessentially '60s to me even though I didn’t live through the times.


Not to harsh your buzz but, like most decades, the 60’s were both awesome and awful. Certainly weren’t awesome for the Kennedy’s, or anyone who had someone serving in 'Nam. The 60’s had its share of heart-skipping as well as heart-breaking moments.

Doesn’t hurt to fantasize, but never trade nostalgia for the chance to live a fuller present.


It’s a buzz that needs harshing, so I really appreciate it. Even at the time I quickly realized we were romanticizing a decade that had serious problems. People I knew appropriated some of the looks and music of the '60’s but that was as far as they went. They ignored the riots, racial tensions, and other problems. For some in the '80’s this is all they knew of the '60’s: