Kmart’s “Show Your Joe” commercial may not have achieved the longevity of Christmas commercials from the likes of Corona or M&M’s, but it succeeded in just what the company had hoped for in creating a buzz. But while many viewers argued over its content, others noticed its striking resemblance to a similar performance.
In 2010, the Las Vegas-based male revue the Chippendales performed a similar act. Lined up before a conductor, five buff guys pull down their pants to reveal their festive red underwear. Just like the subjects of the Kmart ad, the group is guided to shake their jingle bells to play the song before walking offstage. Sure, the Chippendales probably didn’t invent the comical concept, but the fact that “Show Your Joe” was released only three years after a recording of the Chippendales performance popped up online does make for an odd coincidence.
As for Kmart’s viral sensation, the company followed it up the next year with “Jingle Bellies.” As its name implies, the commercial sees the men use their stomachs to play the song instead, this time wearing Joe Boxer pajamas. Before you can call out course correction, however, the ad ends with the central performer getting pantsed and seemingly ringing the final notes with his testicles, making for a cheeky jab at the Scrooges from the previous year.