73. “When you’re out of slits, you’re out of pier.”

The episode:The Sword and the Dragon,” ep. 617 (Same as the last riff, but I couldn’t help including this one as well.)

The riff: Moodlessly intoned by Crow as the punchline of the “A Joke by Ingmar Bergman” segment, as Tom falls off a dock trying to “count the slits” between the boards.

The explanation: We’ve been over the writers’ mockery of the austere style of Bergman in a previous riff, but the actual dialogue here is actually a joke on an advertising campaign for Schlitz beer. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Milwaukee’s Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company was at times actually the largest brewer in the world, and they touted their greatness in a famous series of commercials that claimed “When you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of beer.” As you can see, there were many variations on this theme. The brand was reintroduced in recent years by Pabst (the current owners) with the updated theme, “Go for the gusto.”

Novelty factor: I have known this slogan for a while, at least as long as I’ve been a big beer geek. Even before then, I think I may have known it from listening to my mother’s description of my grandfather. On Sundays, the family would return home from church, and Grandpa would crack open a Schlitz (his brand of choice) to watch the football game.

EDIT: It turns out that “Sven and Ole” is also a popular joke format among¬†Scandinavian Americans. I can’t remember if I knew this from Garrison Keillor or not.

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3 thoughts on “73. “When you’re out of slits, you’re out of pier.”

  1. Google Sven and Olie jokes. Classic Minnesota humor, there are quite a few of them, Scandahoovian humor. I heard this one in grade school.

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