The Sad, Somber Hilarity of Monster.com's 'When I Grow Up'

Mullen's 1999 spot still stands out today

Humor on the Super Bowl is usually supersized and slapstick. But Monster.com's "When I Grow Up" commercial, from 1999, was the opposite—exceedingly dry and especially hilarious, with kids around the country talking about the dead-end jobs they're looking forward to having. In our latest look back at memorable Super Bowl spots, we revisit Mullen's black-and-white comic gem, which proved quiet and subtle humor can break through on the noisiest TV night of all.

Featuring:

  • Judy John, Global Chief Creative Officer, Edelman
  • Danny Robinson, Chief Creative Officer, The Martin Agency
  • Matt Wallaert, Behavioral Science Expert 
  • Tim Nudd, Editor in Chief, Clio Awards and Muse by Clio

See more episodes of our series below:


Always 'Like a Girl,' From Online Viral Hit to Super Bowl Champion


The Sad, Somber Hilarity of Monster.com's 'When I Grow Up'


Chrysler and Eminem's Epic Salute to Detroit and Its Auto Industry


The Enduring Charm of Coke's Mean Joe Greene Ad


The Night Alexa Lost Her Voice but Spoke Louder Than Ever


Eli Manning on His NFL Ad and Those Sweet Dirty Dancing Moves


The NFL's Epic Super Bowl Ad That Was 100 Years in the Making


When Every Ad Was a #TideAd: How P&G Hijacked the Super Bowl


Nothing but Net: Jordan and Bird's Epic Showdown for McDonald's


How Reebok's Terry Tate Smashed His Way Into Super Bowl History


Cindy Crawford for Pepsi: Two Icons, One Perfect Super Bowl Ad


Budweiser's 'Puppy Love' ... the Cutest Super Bowl Ad Ever?


How Doritos and Mountain Dew Created a Rap Battle for the Ages


Betty White and Snickers: A Match Made in Super Bowl Heaven

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards, editor of Muse by Clio, and host of the podcast Tagline. He is the former creative editor of Adweek.

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