Anyone who reads this site often should know that I’m quite fond of the early 90’s and all of it’s many contributions to pop culture. That’s why if the opportunity to interview an iconic figure from that era ever presents itself, I’ll jump at it. In the meantime, I’ll conduct sit down interviews with largely forgotten pop culture dignitaries, such as The Noid.
The Noid was unleashed upon the world in 1986, as a spokesman of sorts for Domino’s Pizza. Things quickly turned however, and soon The Noid began to be linked to the destruction of pizza, and the phrase “Avoid The Noid” was soon invented. These events launched The Noid into a highly publicized spiral of self destruction, which culminated in 1992 on a tragic and fiery night in Wisconsin. The Noid has since been declared rehabilitated by the Wisconsin Parole Commission and has enjoyed a life out of the public eye. He graciously welcomed us into his home in Fairborn, Ohio for this sit down interview.
My Rotting Brain: Well Mr. Noid, to start, I’d like to thank you for agreeing to do this interview, I know you haven’t had much of a relationship with the press in recent years.
Noid: Your assertions are correct! Frankly, from the moment I emerged on the scene, I feel like I’ve been caught in an unending smear campaign. It seems reporters still come hounding from time to time, demanding to know about my latest schemes to obliterate delicious Domino’s Pizza. I’m glad to at last have the chance to set the record straight!
MRB: Indeed, your adversarial relationship with Domino’s Pizza is well known, would you care to shed some light on how it all began?
Noid: At the time, I was working for the post office–good, honest work for a freakish monster from beyond the stars, as I’m certain one Gordon Shumway can now attest. One dark afternoon, as I was driving down the road, a foolish Domino’s Pizza delivery boy interjected himself between my vehicle and my destination. I swerved to avoid him, but the pizza flew from his hands and was destroyed beneath the tires of my Gremlin!
In an outrageous turn of events, I was told that it would have been better to take the life of the delivery boy than to destroy the delicious Domino’s Pizza! However, there was something in that mutilated pizza that the corporate bigwigs liked. I was hired to shoot a few commercial spots as part of an attempt to work off our settlement, and the campaign escalated from there. In truth, I had been hoping to get into acting for some time, and I had spent several years performing freelance work mutilating Little Caesar’s Pizza, so the work wasn’t unwelcome. The bad press, however, certainly was!
MRB: Let’s talk about that bad press. Was there ever any indication that the company would take it to the, some would say, extreme lengths that they did?
Noid: Certainly not at first! Those early spots were entertaining–even chummy, dare I say? They’d roll film; I’d mutilate pizzas; I’d be thwarted by Domino’s; we’d all go out for beer. I suppose there were little things–those nights we’d spend vandalizing local Pizza Huts, where I’d always seem to end up with an indictment and the big shots would come out clean as the driven pizza. But I think it was the Ice-O-Matic freeze gun spot that really tipped me off that they were out for blood. The entire spot stresses nothing but my contempt for hot pizza! Here’s a little-known fact: Noids are COLD-BLOODED. This commercial ended with me covered in ice and snow. And it was even worse when the voicework was added; the result was–let’s face it–a Noid hit piece. That’s when I started to suspect that these guys weren’t being totally straight with me.
MRB: And so would you say it was after that point that life started to immitate art, and your real distaste for Domino’s began?
Noid: To be honest, I suspect it was the sheer redundancy of the work. Do you know what it’s like to have the public see you as an agent of destruction? Sure, the Noid destroys pizza, but did you know that the Noid also teaches embroidery classes at the local nursing home? Of course you didn’t! But all of that press, all of those prying eyes, all of those sneers and jeers… is it any surprise I started to come a little unglued? Watch those Pizza Crusher spots again! I’d begun spending money out of pocket to create the devices that would ruin your delicious Domino’s Pizza! When you see those unhinged expressions… that’s not acting. That’s art imitating life! And that’s when it all started to go wrong with that incident at the Domino’s opening in Green Bay back in ’92. The one everybody wants to talk about. Naturally.
MRB: Yes, the incident, are you legally allowed to speak on it these days?
Noid: My attorneys have advised me that it’s all been resolved at this point, but you have to understand… I was broken. Years of portraying a creature who could not destroy Domino’s Pizza led me to believe that Domino’s Pizza simply could not be desecrated! It was invincible! I was supposed to once again prove that at the Green Bay opening! But those weren’t props. That flame thrower was real. That Domino’s Pizza was very much inflammable. By the time the cops showed up to cuff me, twelve people had already been rushed to the hospital. I did seven years for that. Lost my job. Sales of my hit NES game tanked. For as much as I had come to hate being the fake bad guy, being the real bad guy… well, it sucked harder than Pizza Hut, man.
MRB: Once you were released from prison, you quickly removed yourself from the public eye, and have only since appeared on television once, in an episode of Family Guy. What prompted that cameo appearance?
Noid: Desperation. When we shot that clip I’d been out of prison six years. I’d picked up some work on the side doing yard work and the occasional bit as a mechanical rabbit in a greyhound race, but that wasn’t enough to support my hundred-dollar-a-day Pop Secret Pop Qwiz habit. McFarlane had cash, and if he didn’t give it to me, he was going to give it to that Cookie Crisp dog. What choice did I have? I was broke. I did the spot. And I can tell you that Adam West is a total lunatic. I lost three teeth during that “fake” spot. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who needed to punch years of aggression out of a cartoon mascot. That’s when I knew I had to get my act together, hitch up my spandex, and be the best damn Noid I could be.
MRB: Which of course has led to your emergence on the social networking scene.
Noid: Exactly! New media holds great opportunities for misunderstood celebrity mascots like me to not just rehabilitate our image, but to interact with fans who may not understand that The Noid you see on TV is not necessarily the whole picture. I do charity work, I chat with fans about the “glory days,” and I do what I can to take advantage of these new opportunities! It’s helped–I’ve even managed to start to repair my relationship with Domino’s. We’re moving merchandise again. I’m drawing in a few bucks. It’s not bad. I’m burnt out of the advertising game, though–I’ve got my little Noidlings at home to worry about now, and I’m trying to pitch a script to Spielberg for a Noid movie with Leo DiCaprio as me.
MRB: So what are your feelings about Domino’s today? Have you tasted their new and improved pizza, would you still recommend avoidance?
Noid: Honestly, I don’t touch the stuff anymore. Too many bad memories. My cousin Mr. Green–he played my rival in the Yo! Noid NES game–says it’s pretty great, but you don’t want to see the stuff that guy eats. So if you want to go by the recommendations of a bloated old Noid who hasn’t had a job in fifteen years, then yeah, dig in.
MRB: You mentioned a film script, could you tell us a little about that, and any other projects you’ve got in the pipeline?
Noid: The script is pretty personal–you’ll see it when it comes out, but it’s equal parts celebrity roman à clef a la Dreamgirls and heart-wrenching tale of redemption in the vein of Rocky V. It also has that sex scene with Charlize Theron that’s sort of accurate to real life, but I don’t want to spoil all of the surprises. Needless to say, it’s hotter than a freshly delivered Domino’s Pizza.
As for other projects? I’ve seen what the social media scene can do for other washed-up has-beens from the 80’s like Pee-Wee Herman, and I think it’s time for my take as well. I’ve been pitching around ideas for a comedy web show for a while, and I’ve been trying to get in touch with Stephen Schwartz for Noid!: The Musical on Broadway. So far nobody’s returning my calls, but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested!
MRB: Well Mr. Noid, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk with us today.
Noid: Any time! I’m on the up and up, and I’m looking forward to wrecking your pizzas well into the new millennium!
MRB: Well I’ll be sure to try and avoid that!
Noid: And thank you for not avoiding me!
Click here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Noid/349237920471 to visit The Noid’s facebook page and become a fan.
If you’re interested in seeing more of The Noid’s work, here are some TV spots: