Are the Commercials the Best Part of the Super Bowl if You're a Kid?

Amidst a smorgasbord of fried foods and salty appetizers, my husband -- who was frustrated at my children running back and forth in front of the TV -- yelled something like, “You will sit down. You will watch the Super Bowl, and you will like it!!!” I know, he’s a tyrant, right?

The truth is, not everyone enjoys the Super Bowl. To some, me included, it’s the commercials and half-time show that are the most interesting. I learned last night that the commercials are a favorite for the kids as well.

I wasn’t sure my kids would even get the references in those multi-million dollar spots. They’re clearly not geared toward children, but neither is the Super Bowl. Certainly, last night’s revival of The Who, held little in terms of interest or nostalgia for anyone under 20. While I was at the edge of my seat wailing the lyrics to Pinball Wizard and Baba O’Riley, my kids took it as their cue to take a Phineas and Ferb break.

But, when it came to commercials, we were all glued to the TV, hoping for a big laugh. Luckily, most of the sexual innuendo and drinking references were lost on my kids. Violence, animals, special effects and midgets reigned supreme in our living room last night. The Doritos commercials were a big hit. My kids loved the physical gags: The little boy slapping his mother’s date; the dog that got revenge with his anti-bark collar and the Doritos fiend who pelted Doritos like throwing stars.

The Denny’s screaming chickens were the No. 1 group of animals of the evening, with the sentimental Budweiser Clydesdales: Calf grows up ad, a close second. My kids had the giggles over the ETrade baby, who really went all out this year. Though my little ones missed the humor in the “milk-a-holic” reference, the mini-trader and his new friends spurned lots of laughs. As for midgets, nothing came close to Dr. Pepper’s "little Kiss" concert, which my son is already asking to go see.

So, overall the Super Bowl was a success. My kids watched it and liked it, just as their father demanded.

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