Funny Business with Jane Wells

Dell "Dude" Taking A Bite Of The Apple?


Benjamin Curtis

Remember Ben Curtis? He's the actor who played Steven, the "Dell Dude," the only memorable Dell ad campaign ever. Curtis was eventually phased out--he wanted to move on, and there was also the little matter of getting arrested for trying to buy marijuana. Since then, Curtis has done a little of this, a little of that. He was hired to promote Gameznflix, an online game and DVD rental company. He received good reviews off-Broadway, and he recently had a part on "Law & Order."

Well, the other day, CNBC producer Jeff Daniels was asking someone who knows Curtis, "Whatever happened to Ben?" And before you could say "Action!" Curtis was on the phone. Jeff asked him, "What do you think of Dell today?" Steven, I mean Ben, replied, "I think they're (Dell) definitely not making the right decisions. Crazy not to have me back (as pitchman)." However, when Jeff asked if he still owns a Dell computer, Curtis replied, "I'm having problems with my Dell--and thinking of going to Apple."

Now, am I the only one who would love to see "Steven" pop up with my other two favorite commercial tech icons--Mac and PC--all in the same ad? Maybe Microsoft should make its own parody ads, hire "Steven" and rename him "Vista," and make him be PC's hip, cool friend. Vista would get more girls than Mac.

LG has filed a patent to make a washing machine that also has an MP3 player. Why? I mean, really, why? Is this for high-end laudromats so you can download or upload tunes while you wait? Now, I have an LG washer, and it's great, but what the heck would I want an MP3 player in it for? My goal is to spend as little time at the washing machine as possible. LG officials say the washer would have speakers in the lid, and they tell a Korean newspaper as saying, "This washing machine looks like a bold idea, but who knows? Someday, every housewife in the world might want to listen to music in front of their washing machine." Isn't that what iPods are for? Here is the patent application.

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