I have no idea what I just watched, yet I found it quite amusing. John Bronco is a comedy short (37 minutes) that tells the unbelievable story of the rise, fall and ultimate redemption of John Bronco, legendary pitchman for the Ford Bronco. Unbelievable, because it’s fiction. I thought so, but wasn’t 100% sure… until Tim Meadows appeared as Bronco’s manager Donovan Piggot. John Bronco is a mockumentary that creates a legend who never was, yet resembles vintage pitchmen who did exist. Think the Marlboro Man aka Bob Norris, or Robert Conrad pitching Eveready Batteries. Classics in a rugged, golden age of advertising complete with earworm jingles, loyal followers and guest appearances on Carson.
The film is from Imagine Documentaries (formed by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard) so it plays like the real deal, asking the all-important question: Who and where is John Bronco? There’s even a website, an Instagram page, and the hashtag #WhereIsJohnBronco to report sightings.
Walton Goggins (Justified) embodies the title role, supported by a quirky cast of characters, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bo Derek (sort of) as themselves. And the whole thing is narrated by Dennis Quaid.
John Bronco may simply be a publicity stunt for the Ford Motor Company, in celebration of the reemergence of the real Ford Bronco SUV. But that’s okay. It’s a simple pleasure worthy of a quick joy ride on the small screen.
John Bronco starts streaming on HULU on October 15th.