KFC Double Down Hits Wall

Comics and satirists out-manoeuvered by reality

Apr 14th, 2010 | By Coco Cabrera | Category: News

Harland Saunders

Kentucky Fried Chicken’s new Double Down Chicken sandwich — a seemingly large slow-moving target for comedians and social satirists — has crossed the so-called “Bruce Barrier.”  Named after comedian Lenny Bruce, the “Bruce Barrier” refers to an actual event or social phenomena that is so ridiculous in and of itself as to resist satirization.

“A sandwich of bacon and cheese with fried chicken standing in for a bun?” said comedy writer Herb Jackman, “that’s something I’d make up.”  Yule Franks, a comic writer working primarily in print, agreed. “It’s a disgusting fat-bomb by design. What am I supposed to do, call it a disgusting fat-bomb?”

Indeed, portraying the fast food item for what it is (the sandwich is as described, bacon, cheese and fried chicken) has proven a commercial success for KFC. “I worked up some gags about how they got rid of the bun to reduce the carbs,” said Jackman. “but then when I saw some people actually putting them in their mouths it didn’t seem that funny.”

“I heard about it and thought it was a joke,” offered sitcom writer Sherry Jones. “Then Barry (Barry Hollister, a fellow comedic writer and long time bachelor)  just came rushing into the writers’ room, with like mayo and grease all over his chin, shouting “KFC have broken the Bruce, they’ve broken the Bruce!”  Then he cried like a baby, had a heart-attack and died … the last part was actually kinda funny.”

The re-election of George Bush Jr. for a second term was initially thought an event that had broken the Bruce Barrier but was later recognized as a simple tragedy.

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