When I was eight, nine, and ten years old, I had my birthday dinners at Sizzler, where no one was going to stop me from eating a soft-serve appetizer and canned peaches in heavy syrup as an entrée. Years later, I asked my mother what the hell would possess her to take us to Sizzler.
“It was cheap and you kids liked it,” she said, exhaling from a puff on her Merit Ultra Light 100. (That Sizzler, in Floral Park, New York, finally closed its doors at the nadir of the recession.)
Suddenly, Sizzler's gone viral, and it's not because somebody disregarded the sneeze guard. It's because of an absurd promo that depicts lunch at Sizzler in such a light that it looks almost like a requirement for U.S. citizenship, or a step on the Noble Eight-fold Path to Enlightenment.
Just the idea that people once had the attention span to watch a commercial that lasts almost five full minutes tells you that 1991 was a very different time. It opens with a dog catching a Frisbee somewhere in the Heartland, and goes on to nail all the Morning Again in America
tropes that give you all the feels: Women in hardhats holding blueprints, a cowboy and his cowgirl, a sea captain, a little girl hitting a line drive, cusp-of-retirement joggers, a man scratching his dog behind the ears, and a guy in a suit closing the deal on a very large cell phone outside his Mercedes.