The Law of Diminishing Jean-Claude Van Dammes

Simple math would say that combining Jean-Claude Van Damme with a Jean-Claude Van Damme yields two Van Dammes, but not so says the Law of Diminishing Van Dammes. The law states that as you increase the number of Van Dammes in any environment, the tolerance of Van Dammes decreases.

Not to sound bias but two things you should know about me: I love full splits and I love bad accents. Yet there’s a ceiling, and it’s a relatively low ceiling of how much I can handle seeing Jean-Claude Van Damme. I wish the world could handle more, but it cannot.

He’s just been in one commercial after another recently:

Van Damme Coors Light Commercial



Van Damme GoDaddy Commercial



Van Damme Volvo Commercial



These are all great commercials, too, and on their own they’re wonderful. The concepts are good and he’s good in them. These commercials make him seem like not a coked out lunatic (legally you see I specifically just said that he is not a coked out lunatic). However, when viewed together they become less wonderful.

It’s like running into an old friend: which can be great. Then having to talk to that old friend about their job and/or kids and/or nerd blog: which can be less great. Then running into them the next day: which is now terrible.

Go away “old friend.” *Footnote

Follow up:

The Five stages of Van Dammepression

These the emotional states on seeing Van Damme in a commercial then in each subsequent commercial.

  1. I Remember Jean-Claude Van Damme, he was awesome in Bloodsport
  2. Good for him. JCVD was pretty good, too.
  3. Yup, there he is… again. Doing a split… again. I still like Time Cop
  4. What’s wrong with his face!?
  5. If I see one more goddamn split, I’m going to split someone’s skull!

The key to nostalgia is forgetting about it. You can’t be nostalgic about anything that you’re actively thinking about. That’s what we have to remember: we have to remember to forget. He’s actually really good in all these commercials; the problem is there’s like 20 different commercials for three different companies. All that I’m saying is I want to see Jean-Claude doing splits, you want to see Jean-Claude doing splits, but a significant time has to pass between those splits.

He won’t go away though. Perhaps the issue is that Stallone and Schwarzenegger are back to churning out a movie a year and Van Damme feels that he needs to keep up. Or it’s even as if he needs money for the aforementioned coke abdication that I did not allude to earlier that he may or may not have. How can we appreciate him if he won't give us a chance to forget about him? The secret to any great comeback is going away. You make your big comeback, then go away for a significant amount of time, then come back again plus an addition. That addition is also key, it means adding something or doing something different in your next appearance. You can’t just do another split (even if it’s a split in space [okay, I’ll give a space split a pass {I’m not a monster}])!

It’s the same as Betty White… this is where you gasp and say, ”Not our Betty White!” But remember the unadulterated joy of that first Berry White Snicker’s commercial? Now think about each following time that Betty and her octogenarian cohorts blanketed the airwaves with Rascal scooter pranks; that joy lessened just a bit. The only difference between White and Van Damme is that White has a higher half-life (meaning I get less angry each time I see her) and Van Damme abuses his appearances far more often.

Each time I see Jean-Claude Van Damme now, I want to see Jean-Claude Van Damme a little less. I fully support his career and his comeback though. I don’t want a Van Dammless existence, I just want to Van Damme less.

*I don’t have friends.

  • Dave White
    Comment from: Dave White
    03/31/14 @ 10:44:20 am

    I think Double Impact proved a long time ago that Van Damme + Van Damme != twice the excitement. Van Damme it all to hell.

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