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Starts With A Bang

Weekend Diversion: How did I miss Mr. T doing this?

How an iconic athlete, actor and role model took the world by storm in a way you’ve probably never seen before!

“I’m going to fight if you touch me or hurt me or do harm to my family. But if you call me a bad name, or whatnot, I’m too smart for that. That’s the message the kids need to hear coming from me. I tell them, ‘If I fought every time somebody called me a name, I would never get out of jail. But I’m disciplined. I’m smarter than that.’ So I tell them, like my mother said, ‘Consider the source.’ When you see who called you the name, then you understand why they’re doing it. Then you don’t have to stoop that low.”
-Mr. T

Ahh, Mr. T. Perhaps my favorite of the muscular, brash, but positive role models from my childhood.

If you asked him what it stood for, he’d tell you:

First name? Mister.
Middle name? Period.
Last name? T.

Not only do I remember him on TV from the A-Team (as well as cameos in Diff’rent Strokes and Silver Spoons), but from movies, saturday morning cartoons, breakfast cereal advertisements, and public service announcements. (Where he’d give you a lesson on how to act in a difficult situation, punctuated with the line, “Take it from me, Mr. T!”)

As I got older, I learned the story of where his signature gold chains came from, and decided I liked him even more.

Back when he was working as a bouncer in Chicago, he knew not to let anyone with a gang affiliation in. The gold chains people wore were a sign of that, so if he saw you wearing one, he made you give it to him on your way in, and said you can come get it back on your way out. But, as he recounted, no one ever came to get their chain back! So he wore them as part of his persona, and they added up very quickly.

As best as I can tell, he continues to be a positive role model to everyone out there: kind, generous and always promoting peace, intelligence, and being a good citizen and a good human being.

And yet somehow, I entirely missed his recent Snickers Ad Campaign!

If you’ve never come across these commercials on the web… well, wow is all I can say, are you in for a treat!

I don’t know what’s the solution to all the problems in the world today, but I am sure that we need more of this!

(And you have to love the homage to the old A-Team series, with the accompanying wanton destruction of property.)

This is completely brilliant marketing from Mars, Inc., and if you need an astrophysicist to sponsor (and you know you do), I’m here! I await your call for an endorsement deal.

In the meantime, allow me to express my undying admiration for Mr. T, and I hope you found these videos as amusing as I did!

Travel the Universe with astrophysicist Ethan Siegel. Subscribers will get the newsletter every Saturday. All aboard!

An earlier version of this post originally appeared on the old Starts With A Bang blog at Scienceblogs.


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