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Josh Halter Claims Suburban Chicago for Ohio State


Watch this:

You are beholding young, still Supposedly Subdued Josh Halter, soaking up a good seven seconds or so of a 30-second spot for the Big Ten Network back in 2008.  Like any good professional writer, the first time I saw him after this was brought to my attention, I yelled at him.

"You held out on me," I said.  "Why didn't you tell me about this?!  It's awesome!"

"I forgot," he said.

Well, yeah, I can see how you'd forget three days on a commerical shoot in Chicago as a brand spankin' new Drum Major, watching Goldy Gopher shove a neighborhood kid off a bike and taking off with it as Sparty lept up behind him to ride on the pegs.  That happens ALL THE TIME here on the West Side.  Since Josh Halter apparently isn't writing this shiznit down, I'm going to do it for him.

This was the first appearance Josh made as Drum Major.  He'd nailed one of his now-specialites--strutting--not too long before tryouts, and here his first public performance was to be forever preserved at the Big Ten Network. 

He was so new that he didn't even have his uniform yet.  What you see him wearing here?  Is Stewart Kitchen's, and you could not have more of a mismatch body type nightmare if he had to borrow Matt The Badass'.  Josh is tall, and Stew is... not, and the lithely constructed Stew preferred a close fit on the pants of the uniform to match his gymnastic style.  Keep that in mind while you're watching Mr. Halter kick down the sidewalk here. 

You'll notice that some colleges in the ad are represented by gobs of fans, a coach or two, parts of a cheerleading squad.  Josh carries all of OSU on his (well... Stew's, actually) epaulettes.  And craft services didn't care about that, so much; each college cast got a table with the same amount of food:  One for Purdue.  One for Northwestern.  One for Ohio State.

"Is... Brutus coming?" he asked.  Nope.  It's just you, Josh, you and The Ghost Uniform of Stewart Kitchen and a tailor bill to be named later.

The camera technology on the strutting sequence was akin to what was used for the race scenes in Seabiscuit, with a dolly tracking Josh down the sidewalk as he claimed northern Illinois suburbia for Ohio.  And for those of you who haven't seen a full ramp entrance yet, that throw he gives in the last few seconds is a traditional goalpost toss.

The house you see Josh leading everyone into could be filmed from the outside but not entered, so he spent several takes putting his hand to the doorknob as Mascotpalooza piled up behind him. (My favorite non-Josh moment of theis entire thing are the images of Purdue and its big f'ing drum; I desperately wanted to go to Purdue for about five minutes in my freshman year because I knew it was quite the astronaut factory, and then I met algebra, and we all know how that went. ) Personally, I'd like to have heard the post-shoot conversation between the homeowner and the clean-up landscapers:  "WTF happened right outside the doorstep here?"  "Josh Halter, that's what.  He brings naught but glorious destruction." 

Well, God bless you, Enormous Drum, and Goldie and Josh and craft services table.  Long may you roll.

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