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And they can’t fly EITHERRRR!!!

[Mel Farr TV commercial]

Mel Farr1, Detroit car salesman and former Detroit Lion, owns a dealership named “Mel Farr Superstar.”2 In 1980, Farr teamed up with Detroit Lion Billy Simms to tape a sales commercial. Since they were “superstars,” Simms reasoned, they should by flying in the advertisement. The cape followed a short time later, and Farr was soon ending his television commercials claiming dealer predominance with a catchy phrase: “Other dealers can’t beat my low prices ... and they can’t fly EITHERRRR!!!” With this, of course, Mel would “fly” off the screen. He hasn’t said this for years, but he still wears the cape. He was very careful not to claim any super power, even flight. He merely said his competition could not beat his low prices, and they also could not fly. He never said he could fly, though someone not familiar with the wizardry of low-budget TV production could easily walk away feeling that he had, right there, on the screen. Also the cape may have led some to believe that Mel had some sort of super power, but really, when you think about it – didn’t Dracula have a cape? Also: Batman. They don’t really have any super powers, except biting and repelling, and anyone can take classes on that. Say this anytime you’re feeling vastly superior to a large group of people.

Jeff Stendec (May 15, 1989)

1 Mel was also one of the backup singers on the 1971 Marvin Gaye single “What’s Goin’ On.”

2 In 1998, Mel was riding high on a half-billion dollars of sales a year; by 2000 Ford shut down his dealerships citing mounting debts and a 36 million-dollar loan default. The “Mel Farr Superstar” franchise now consists of one Hyundai/Kia location just outside of Detroit.

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