Ode to the Yes Guy

Posted: September 30, 2009 in nostalgia, random

I am a huge I Love Lucy fan… Ever notice how half the stuff I write starts with “I’m a huge ______ fan”?  Would that make me fanatical? Definition: possessed with or motivated by excessive, irrational zeal. 

I think yes.

So I wake up late this morning, and I’m trying to be mad about having to work on one of my normal days off… But somehow, I just can’t muster the bad attitude I longed for.  I caught every green/yellow light, I coasted to work on a mysteriously trafficless highway, and I had a great song stuck in my head (‘Cupid’ – Sam Cooke.)  By the time I got to work I was feeling absolutely jovial.

It’s funny how confused my co-workers get when Mary and I switch a day.  We never get to see that our schedule affects how other people look at their work week.  IE: I work Monday and Tuesday and Mary works Wed, Thur, Fri, which means: I’m the “it’s the beginning of the week, we’re not even close to the weekend” girl… and Mary is the “yay it’s the end of the week and we’re happy” girl!  So you can only imagine how many times today I’ve heard, “It’s Wednesday right?” 

I love freaking people out.  It’s why I like to cut my hair off 6 inches at a time.  The shock factor.  Maybe that’s another reason why I’m in a great mood today.  I get to be the “Yay!” girl.

Only after I replied “Y-E-E-S-S-S.” to a friend… did I realize that I may need to tone it down a wee bit.

So let me start this blog again, I am a huge fan of ‘The Yes Guy’.  You know…. the guy that no one really knows.  The guy that has the pencil thin mustache and replies, “Y-E-E-S-S-S.”  He’s famous I tell you, but does anyone know why???

If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of Wikipedia too… so this morning I set off to find my answer to the question: Who is The Yes Guy?  And the answer?  I probably fell in love with the Yes Guy from an I Love Lucy episode, that or the Simpsons (<-BIG fan).  Isn’t it funny how pop culture references end up connected in the strangest ways?

So here’s to you Yes Guy!  Now that I know who you are… I’m gonna spread the word!

From the Simpsons:
Name: Frank Nelson Type aka ‘The Yes Guy’
Gender: Male
Hair: Black Widow’s peak
Age: 48
Job: Various
Relatives: Unknown
First Appearance: Mayored to the Mob
Voiced by Dan Castellaneta
Biography from Wikipedia: Frank Nelson (actor)
Nelson first found fame as the put-upon foil to Jack Benny on Benny’s radio show during the 1940s and 1950s. Nelson’s typically portrayed a sales clerk or customer service worker. For example, needing airline tickets, Benny would call the ticket agent, “Oh Mister? Mister?” Nelson’s appearance began with his catchphrase, a bellowed “Yeeeesssss?”. The two men would banter, with Nelson gleefully delivering one-liners such as “Is that a hairpiece or did someone plant moss on your head?” and sarcastic responses like “Do I work at this airport? No, I’m a DC-4 with a mustache.”

Nelson continued to appear on Benny’s television show in 1950, doing the same “rude clerk” shtick. His other catchphrase, that would be worked into every routine, would have Benny asking something mundane, such as, “Do these shirts come in a medium?” and Frank would bellow, “Oo-oo-oo-ooh, DO they!” He also appeared on several other radio programs. Nelson’s sudden appearances usually led to spontaneous laughter or applause on the part of the audience.

After Jack Benny, Nelson continued to work in sitcoms in similar roles, most notably in The Hank McCune Show and I Love Lucy during the 1950s and Sanford and Son during the 1970s. In 1981, Nelson did a string of commercials for McDonalds doing his trademark “Y-e-e-e-s?” catchphrase. Garfield in Paradise in 1986 was the last recorded time he used his signature phrase.

Frank Nelson: (May 6, 1911 – September 12, 1986)

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