#TBT: Five Hilarious Drug Commercial Spoofs From 'SNL'

The AMA Wants Pharmaceutical Companies to Stop Advertising Prescription Drugs. Maybe This Is Why?

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With the news that the American Medical Association wants drug companies to stop advertising directly to consumers, we here at Ad Age suddenly got nostalgic about some classic prescription drug commercials. Not actual ones -- everyone knows they're generally awful -- but parodies produced by "Saturday Night Live," which over the years has mined drug ad cliches to hilarious effect. In honor of the AMA and Throwback Thursday (#TBT), we've got five for you:

First, from Season 25 (2000), a young Ben Affleck pitches Trilocaine, a medication for itchy scalp, which sounds great except for the terrifying list of possible side effects listed in voice-over:

From Season 33 (2008), Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Casey Wilson and Kristen Wiig promote Annuale, a birth control pill that lets women have a single, annual period. Great, right? Well, there's a caveat: "When it is time for your period," an announcer explains, "hold onto your [bleeping] hat."

From Season 35 (2010), Abby Elliot portrays Preniva pitchwoman Sally Field in a parody of a real commercial starring Field (in which she promotes Boniva, an osteoporosis drug).

From Season 37 (2012), Kristen Wiig portrays a woman on Chantix, the actual (and controversial) drug that helps some people quit smoking. Unfortunately, her supportive husband (Bill Hader) has to witness the side effects in real time.

And finally, from Season 40 (2014), "SNL" cast members and guest host Chris Rock experience vertigo upon the sudden realization that they love Taylor Swift. Fortunately, there's Swiftamine, a pink and bubbly drug that treats Taylor Swift-onset vertigo.

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.