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The Flea Market Montgomery Commercial is a local advertisement video made for a flea market in Montgomery, Alabama. The video features local businessman and former radio personality Sammy Stephens rapping about the market with memorable catchphrases including “It’s just like a mini-mall.”
The commercial for Flea Market Montgomery was recorded some time in 2006 and a 30 second version was uploaded to YouTube by dogcows on October 7th of that year. A two minute version was uploaded by YouTuber teedadawg on November 30th, 2006. As of January 2012, the extended version has over 7.4 million views and over 165,000 Facebook shares.
The commercial first received mainstream attention in November 2006, when Alabama resident Kimberly Carr submitted the video to the daytime talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show in response to an open call for local commercials to air during the program. The video was broadcast later that same month and was parodied by the host Ellen Degeneres herself. A month later, Ellen invited Sammy to appear on the show, where he announced that he wanted to release a CD with remixes of the original rap.
In December 2006, a local Montgomery newspaper hosted a remix contest allowing people to download the audio or a blue screen version of the video and chose their favorite remixes to be streamed on the site over the next month. In January 2007, Flea Market Montgomery was shared and discussed on advertising sites AdWeek and Awful Commercials as well as entertainment sites CollegeHumor and the Break. It was defined on Urban Dictionary that February.
In June 2007, The Consumerist featured the video as part of a series called “Great Moments in Commercial History.” TBS blog Very Funny Ads shared the video in April 2009. That September, an mp3 version of the song was made available for purchase on Amazon as well as Sammy’s personal website. In March 2010, Flea Market Montgomery was named as one of TIME’s 50 best YouTube videos. That year, Rhett and Link named the video as one of their inspirations for their show Commercial Kings, which would go on to create the Ojai Valley Taxidermy commercial.
Actor Craig Robinson parodied the video twice on an episode of Reno 911! entitled “Deputy Dance” that originally aired on June 10th, 2009. His character, Levan French, made two commercials for linoleum floors and for the police department in the style of the Flea Market video.
Later that year, the Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show recreated the video in the fourth episode of the show, “Birth of a Salesman,” which first aired on October 18th, 2009.
Flea Market Montgomery began picking up search traffic in December 2006 and peaked in April 2007. Search picked up again in April 2009 when it was featured in TIME Magazine.
Awful Commercials – Montgomery Flea Market is Much Like a Mini Mall, So I am Told
The Consumerist – Great Moments In Commercial History: Montgomery Flea Market