Fancy Ray McCloney is more than just the best looking man in comedy; he is also a man on a mission. Many Minnesotans know the local comedian best for his bombastic, late-night television commercials. One of those spots is for internet provider USI Wireless. But this is one ad that you won't be seeing on TV anytime soon--Comcast is refusing to air it.
Armed with a camera, City Pages proofreader Bryan Miller invited Fancy Ray to our offices to chat about the controversy.
[jump] The USI's ad campaign, which also includes several billboards around town, indirectly knocks Comcast and other internet providers for their inflated prices. Check out the ad below.
While McCloney is obviously talking about Comcast and Qwest in the spot (there are only so many internet options in this city), neither is directly named in the commercial.
As to why they are refusing to air the ad, Comcast states that it is within their rights to decline a commercial when it's for a competing service.
"We made a business decision that we're not going to accept advertising from a direct competitor," states Chris Ellis, Comcast spotlight spokesperson. As for McCloney and USI's use of the term "banned"? "I don't agree with that word," says Ellis. "That wouldn't be my word choice."
Either way, it seems like not running the commercial has merely brought more attention to it, as several news outlets have run stories on Comcast's refusal to run the spot.
So what does Fancy Ray have to say about the controversy? The dapper comedian visited City Pages offices recently to chat with comedian, writer, and City Pages proofreader Bryan Miller. Listen to him voice his frustration over the situation (and what you can do about it) in our interview below.