At the 2013 NRA annual convention, Guns.com sat down with R. Lee “The Gunny” Ermey and discovered the secret behind the hugely popular and successful Glock commercials.
While Ermey is most notable for his unforgettable performance as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in “Full Metal Jacket,” he has played in more than 100 titles. His presence on camera is often of an authoritative or comedic role, or both. His brand of humor is often crude, disgusting and politically incorrect, but hilarious nonetheless.
He said he developed his sense of humor while growing up on a farm in Kansas with five brothers and no relief and then he joined the Marine Corps, another setting where he’s surrounded by young men and what’s often a tedious routine. And with the hopes of breaking the day-to-day monotony, young men do what young men do: they push the limits of acceptable human behavior and physicality, sometimes cultivating a unique sense of humor in the process.
“People live on humor and in the Marine Corps it’s always a kind of strange, dark kind of humor. I describe it as so dark in a lot of cases that it might be like black velvet,” Ermey said. “It’s almost purple it’s so dark, but it’s funny.”
Although Ermey still works in Hollywood (or “Hollyweird” as he calls it), he has been a spokesman for Glock for a number of years. Recently Glock introduced a serious of commercials that mesh well with Ermey’s brand of humor, and the gun community has really taken a shine to them as well.
Often the scene is painted as a cliched scenario where a quintessential “bad guy” intends to harm a quintessential “good guy,” but little does the bad guy know that the presumably unassuming good guy is actually an armed and prepared self-defense advocate, meaning they have a Glock and they know how to use it. The commercials end with revealing the bad guy’s true colors: a coward afraid of an armed individual.
“My feelings are if a commercial is not humorous you do not get your point across, people forget you so quick it’s pathetic,” he said. Essentially, if humor is in an ad then people will want to share, he added.
“If you have a good, humorous commercial, it’s a good successful commercial. Serious commercials, they don’t fly buddy, they don’t sell products and they don’t bring attention to the product.”