Subject: Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa’s faux cheesy mail-order commercial for their new album, Music for Pets, seen on E! and MTV.
Synopsis: A decidedly odd mix of stars (Cindy Crawford, Robert Wagner, Claire Danes, Ellen DeGeneres, Eleanor Mondale, Rosanna Arquette, Stephen Dorff, Kennedy) pitch the lite metal album.
Back story: ”To be blunt, we don’t normally get played on MTV,” says Dweezil about his group, Z, the combo that he and Ahmet head. So instead of producing a music video, the brothers of invention put together the spot, which includes impromptu testimonials from celebrities who were attending a birthday party for younger sister Diva at their house last July. ”Actually, they didn’t tell me it was for an advertisement,” quips Kennedy of her appearance, in which she suggests her idea of a romantic evening (a sick iguana, Music for Pets, and a bottle of chardonnay). ”I thought it was an entry for Cannes. I thought it would bring me more credibility.”
Cultural significance: The Ronco route may not be the conventional path to the top of the charts, but it has possibilities. Thanks to some less ironic ads, Andy Griffith got his gospel album into the top 100 this week. Given that Z’s album sold a paltry 2,400 units through more traditional outlets, Music for Pets could only benefit from going the way of Zanfir, master of the pan flute.