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Posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Dave!As a television addict, there's three things that make me a homicidal mess.

1) Television networks canceling great shows before they have a chance to find an audience. 2) Television networks moving great shows around so people can't find them, then canceling them because of "low ratings." 3) TELEVISION COMMERCIALS THAT JACK THE VOLUME UP SO LOUD THAT YOUR TEETH ARE BLOWN BACK THROUGH YOUR FUCKING SKULL!!

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave watching 'The Walking Dead'

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave getting blasted with a hemorrhoid commercial

Television advertisers are Grade-A assholes who want to grab your attention at any cost. Even if it means hearing loss. Is it any wonder people want to record shows on their DVR and fast-forward through the crap?

Well, today Congress approved legislation that will hopefully fix this annoying bullshit. The Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act will force advertisers to adopt technology which prevents overly-loud commercials within one year. Now the bill lands on President Obama's desk so he can sign it into law.

And he had better fucking sign it.

If some Hollywood special interest group blows him so he'll take a pass, I will be very disappointed.


Next up on the bullshit list? DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!


  1. RW says:

    Probably ends up having about as much teeth as the Do Not Call Registry. Fat lot of good that one did.

    • Dave2 says:

      You know, it’s odd… I hear people say this, and yet the Do Not Call Registry has drastically reduced unwanted calls for me. Sure I still get organizations bothering me about donations and seminars and crap, but all the calls trying to sell me stuff are GONE.

      Ultimately, I am hopeful that television stations will be held responsible for making sure their advertisers comply. Fining their asses a couple hundred thousand dollars for violations would be a good start.

      • RW says:

        Do Not Call hasn’t worked for me. What can I tell ya.

        • Ren says:

          Do Not Call worked pretty well for us, but keep in mind that there are a number of exceptions. Any company with an existing business relationship can still call. Political candidates can still call. And, I believe that charities can still call.

          Also, it seems like we may have done both the state and federal lists.

  2. Donna says:

    Totally agreed on all counts.

    As for the do not call registry, I’ve never had a telemarketer call since I put my number on it.

  3. Alison says:

    What happened to the tvs sold with “smart sound”? I got one 10 or 12 years ago and it worked great for keeping the sound even between show and commercial. Then the option seemed to disappear. I hope Europe does some sort of similar ruling. It seems to be getting worse.

  4. Cricket says:


    I agree with you; he’d better sign it.

  5. Avitable says:

    Is that done on purpose? I always assumed that whatever lackey was putting together the commercials for that commercial break didn’t normalize the sound or something, because it’s usually the really poorly done commercials that are the loudest for me.

  6. Ugh! Ever since the holidays have started, the commercials have gotten louder and louder. I’ll be watching one of my regular shows where I can barely hear the main characters discussing dramatic issues, then BOOM! BUY THIS, BUY THAT, EAT HERE, EAT THERE, DO IT NOW!!!!!!

    HATE that shit.

  7. Becky says:

    I believe I heard at one time that commercials are limited in volume to only be as loud as the loudest sound in the show they are aired during. The problem with that is, if there is an explosion… well… BOOM! And an explosion sounds only a couple of seconds. A commercial lasts 30.

    Now that I’ve shown off my geekiness (isn’t it sexy?) I’m with you. Especially with Daylight Savings.

  8. Blimey, I’d never even heard of he Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation Act before. Good effin’ lord I hope that gets signed. Not that I really see any commercials these days but for when the TV is on in the background this will be awesome.

  9. As much as we don’t need more government intervention, I’m all for getting rid of these ads. If anything, it makes me want to NOT buy the product. People don’t buy things from being blasted at full volume or being annoyed by mindless crap peddling.

    And to echo your last line, DST is next. Sign it now.

    • Etienne says:

      Everything got a little better when Billy Mays died (but, I don’t believe his buddy Anthony Sullivan keeps dragging him back from the grave to help with his own infomercials)and the sleazeball Shamwow / Slap-Chop Vince has disappeared since he gave a hooker a slap in the chops in Miami last year, too. So, we have an idea of how much better it could be. Of course the republicans will probably block the bill and and call it “restriction of trade” or something. As for DST; I’ll say it again….I don’t mind resetting a few clocks (heck, half the stuff resets itself, nowadays, anyway). I’d far prefer my summer evening to stay light an hour longer, not to mention that I feel like the “extra” hour of sleep at the reset in the fall is a bonus, too (albeit imaginary in the long run). BTW do-not-call works great for me, too, (except at election time and for charities that I donate to but, that’s legal anyway).

  10. bo says:

    I don’t expect the act to do any good. The reason the commercials are so loud is an FCC regulation that prohibits commercials from being louder than the loudest moment in the program preceding it. The loophole is that it allows networks to turn the volume on the commercials to the LOUDEST point of the program. So if you’re watching a really quiet show that happens to have someone shouting at some point, the commercial will be set to match the decibel level of the shouting. Until this FCC regulation changes, nothing’s going to stop. Requiring technology won’t help, I fear.

  11. Sybil Law says:

    Whoops – sorry for shouting. This bill excites me!

  12. Michelle M. says:

    Exactly. Your cartoon is hilarious.

  13. josh says:

    That’s like when you have older CDs ripped onto your computer…they are so much softer than newer recordings! So you turn up the volume mad loud so you can clearly hear some Fleetwood Mac or Elton John…only to have your ears incinerated when the next song comes on shuffle by Deftones or 30 Seconds to Mars.


  14. LeSombre says:

    That drawing made me LOL.

    I solved that issue at my place by putting the TV sound through my amp, and turning “Night Mode” on.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one driven mad by loud commercials. 😉

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