I noticed future Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells on TV the other day and I thought, “geez, he’s looking older. But at least he’s keeping the weight off.” And I flashed back to the campaign we did together for New York’s Tri-State Cadillac Dealers. He was a little heavier back then. Coaching the Jets. But a really nice guy to work with. If you didn’t know he was a maniac football coach, a tough leader of men who could, at any moment yell out, “drop and give me 40!” and half of Fifth Avenue would obey, you’d have thought this guy was a professional TV actor. He did a lot of sponsorships in those days. He had an agent right out of Jerry McGuire, complete with bad-ass wrap around shades and slick suit.
And what these guys did was pack all of Bill’s commercial production into one week before the start of summer training camp. I remember meeting Bill at the shoot on a Monday and he went through his schedule: three commercials for Cadillac today, two for this auto parts company tomorrow, flying to California for two commercials Wednesday, and so on. Back to back commercials.
We had some radio to do, along with the TV spots. He arranged for us to walk from where we were shooting, in front of the Plaza Hotel, to a radio studio next door and record over lunch. I thought, this is going to be a disaster. We are sunk. We had TWELVE COMMERCIALS to record. In an hour. And we’d been shooting a TV commercial since 5 that morning, and would be shooting another into the night after the lunch break. I was worried. This was going to SUCK!!!
Walking to the studio, I said to Parcells, “You sure you want to do all TWELVE? We can cut it down to three.”
Parcells said, “No problem,” and went back to joking.
Who was I to argue? And when he went into the booth, HE DID IT! He knocked them out perfectly. In one take. Masterful. As he left the booth, 47 minutes later, I gushed about what a great job he did.
He paused, looked at me, and said, in total seriousness, “Oh, that was nothing, yesterday I did 30 in an hour.”
And he walked away chatting and laughing with his agent.