The nice thing about watching TV four hours a night starting at 8pm – beyond the obvious health benefits of Friendly’s ice cream sandwiches at midnight – are the occasional entertaining commercials.

Each hour of a TV show contains 12-17 minutes of commercials, which suggests two things: 1) With that many ads, there’s bound to be a few worth watching. 2) CBS should change the name of its Sunday night news magazine to “Forty-three Minutes.”

The other night, one of my History Channel shows paused to air a few ads. One was “The Luxe is in the Details,” a 30-second spot for the 2024 Genesis GV 80 luxury SUV. If Pink Floyd produced car ads, this would be the one.  

Featuring quick edits, seductive lighting and funky music, the camera makes high-speed, low-altitude passes over the surface of body panels, taillights, grille and upholstery. At times the zooming camera is sideways or upside-down, prompting me to wonder if I were watching a commercial or riding the Corkscrew at Canobie Lake Park.

The un-narrated commercial is a high-tech marvel fitting for a $79,000 vehicle. But soon the commercial will get parked in the corner of my brain designated for THINGS TO FORGET like user names, passwords and the 2020-2024 Patriots seasons.

Most TV commercials make little to no impact, but here are a few others that did make an impression on me:

Purina Chuck Wagon dog food commercials of the 1970s and ‘80s. An apparently hallucinating dog is half-asleep in front of the TV set when a shoe-size covered wagon pulled by a team of horses exits the TV screen, lands in front of the pooch and races across the room. The kitchen-bound rig with Purina’s red-and-white-checkered wagon cover apparently is hauling a load of food good enough to motivate said dog into chasing it. However, the horses and wagon vanish into a kitchen cabinet before the hound can catch them. Like every other American watching this unfold, I was rooting for the dog to catch his prey, which he never did. We also rooted for the shark in “Jaws.”

The animated spokesman for Good & Plenty was a derelict child train engineer named Choo Choo Charlie. As the TV commercial went, Charlie would half-heartedly aim his train down the tracks while shaking a box of candy-coated licorice. A voice-over song delivers nonsense about the train running on shaken candy and the catch phrase, “Charlie says, ‘Love my Good ‘n Plentys!’ “

Charlie spends more time shaking the box of yuck than actually trying to avoid a televised train derailment. Revised lyrics: “Charlie says, ‘Love my no-fault Amtrak insurance policy!’ “   

Speaking of train wrecks, one Rinvoq commercial features a family skiing and snowboarding merrily down the alps. The drug is taken for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. I know people with moderate to severe arthritis. None of them take to the slopes merrily.

But it’s the side-effect warnings that are alarming: “Rinvoq lowers your ability to fight infections including TB. Serious infections and blood clots, some fatal, cancers including lymphoma and skin cancer; death, heart attack, stroke and tears in the stomach and intestines occurred. Also, if you’re pregnant …”

Here’s a testimonial: 

Doctor: It looks like your severe rheumatoid arthritis is hindering your skiing today. Perhaps we should get you a prescription for Rinvoq.

Patient: No thanks, Doc. I’ll just ski into the side of the lodge at 85mph.

Some of my favorite and despised commercials were for the same company: GEICO Insurance. They’ve aired so many creative TV commercials I wouldn’t know where to begin. One of my favorites featured the smart-aleck pig Maxwell hanging out the window of a car wailing, “wee wee wee” all the way home while waving a pair of spinning pinwheels. I don’t know if anyone purchased insurance through GEICO, but they got laughs.

On the other end of the GEICO spectrum were the commercials featuring cavemen. Until those commercials aired, I never had a beef with cavemen. But those hairy freaks and their horrid overbites traumatized me to the point where I would lunge for the remote every time they appeared on our TV. They were this century’s Hamburglars who, like the McDonald’s inept villain, would eventually be banished from the boob tube.

I’d estimate that 99.999 percent of all TV commercials fail to pry open my tightly clenched wallet. The one exception was 1989 when guitar god Eric Clapton appeared in a Michelob commercial, performing a different version of “After Midnight.”

Maybe it was Slow Hand’s cool factor or maybe it was just that I happened to like Michelob beer, but within seconds of watching that ad, I was racing off to the closest beer dispensary for a rack of Michelob. Unfortunately, not even Eric Clapton could save Michelob, as it appears to have gone the way of Lowenbrau, Bartles and James wine coolers and Zima.

For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t mind watching a cross-marketing TV commercial featuring the popular weight-loss drug Ozempic and that giggling morbidly obese Pillsbury dough boy, even if it means trusting a skinny chef.