Here’s one for the “uhhh…okay” books. Alt-rock legend Billy Corgan, best-known for his role as Smashing Pumpkins frontman, has just starred in his very first TV commercial. And it’s quite the production.
In the clip, Corgan is shown playing musical chairs in a wrestling ring with three suited men—who identify as the Smithe brothers, owners of the Chicago-based Walter E. Smithe furniture company. The musician watches in glee as real wrestlers come in and basically begin to beat the tar out of the businessmen. Corgan finally stops the action when a wrestler attempts to smash a chair on one of the Smithe brothers.
“"Wait!" he yells. "That's a Walter E. Smithe chair!"
Are you scratching your head, yet? Turns out there’s a method to all this madness: It may be a little confusing at first to those who aren’t from Chicago, but here’s a quick connect-the-dots for non-locals.
Corgan is an avid, longtime wrestling fan and the founder of wrestling company Resistance Pro. He is, of course, a native of Chicago. Wrestlers like to break chairs and furniture…so why not pair up with a Chicago furniture mogul to promote both companies?
Also—again, for those who aren’t locals--the Smithe brothers have a long history of goofy TV commercials featuring digs on celebs and current events. (You can check out their official YouTube channel to see more funny stuff.) Corgan met one of the brothers during a local radio appearance, and they hit it off over a mutual love of wrestling, leading to the idea for the spot.
As Corgan told the Chicago Tribune, "I can honestly say that if it had been anybody else in the country outside of Chicago ... I probably wouldn't have done it."
The commercial is set to debut Sunday during the Oscars red carpet telecast, and run through the month of March.