Robert L. Hines

@ Crackers in Broad Ripple

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Hines started doing stand-up comedy at the age of 21. His first performance was in June 1991 at the Funny Firm, a Chicago comedy club owned by Len Austrevitch, who would later cast Hines in his first film roles. After his set, Hines met local comedians Bernie Mac, Evan Lionel, Daran Howard and Shay Shay (Phillip White). Mac and Lionel booked Hines on the spot for their Monday night show at Chicago's Cotton Club, where Hines continued to appear for nearly a year. All four comedians became mentors and friends of Hines. From 1991 to 1996, Daran Howard tapped Hines to perform in his Laugh Fest College Comedy Tour with shows targeted to historically Black colleges. Hines credits Shay Shay with helping him learn to make his comedy more personal, telling Steven Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, “Shay told me I've got to show them my pain.”

In addition to touring and club performances (primarily in the Midwest), Hines has made a number of national TV appearances, including BET’s Comic View, Comedy Central’s Comic Justice and Fox’s Uptown Comedy Club. In 1995, Hines was nominated for the Sammy Davis, Jr. Musical Comedy Award by BET’s Comic View Comedy Awards TV show.

In 2008, Hines was cast to portray the character Toby Jones in an internet commercial spoof titled Jones’ Big Ass Truck Rental and Storage produced by Big Dog Eat Child— a Chicago sketch comedy group. The ad featured a real web address and Hines’ actual cellphone number and was inspired by the local hard-sell TV commercials the creators— brothers Pedro Castro and Ramiro Castro— saw growing up in Chicago. The two had spotted Hines during a stand-up comedy performance at Chicago’s Lakeshore Theater in January 2008.

The Jones’ Big Ass Truck Rental and Storage video was released in November 2008, and became a viral video sensation, garnering over 700,000 hits in its first two weeks of release. Hines received hundreds of calls to his cellphone from all over the world, with many people believing the spot was advertising a real business.

In April 2009, Big Dog Eat Child released Jones’ Good ASS BBQ and Foot Massage, and followed with Jones’ Cheap ASS Prepaid Legal and Daycare Academy in November 2009. Subsequent releases have included recordings of actual phone messages left on ‘Toby’s’ voice mail, a series of “Ask Toby” advice videos and spoofs of ‘Legal Retraction & Clarification’ videos from the ‘urban entrepreneur’.

Recognition for the videos (often in competition with real commercials) has often been as wacky as the spots themselves:

Esquire.com’s Daniel Murphy included Jones’ Big Ass Truck Rental and Storage among “The Five Most Terrifying Local TV Christmas Commercials”.
Jimmy Traina at Sports Illustrated.com named it “Commercial of the Day”.
In the UK, Channel 4’s Rude Tube TV show listed Jones’ Big Ass Truck Rental and Storage at #13 on its list of the top 50 viral videos.
Duncan Riley of The Inquisitor urged his readers to, “Check out the funniest home made commercial of the year.”
Zagat, the famed food and restaurant guide, named Jones’ Cheap ASS BBQ and Foot Massage one of “The 8 Wackiest BBQ Commercials”.-taken from Wikipedia
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Broad Ripple Location:
Crackers at Broad Ripple
6281 N. College Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46220
317-255-4211
Downtown Location:
Crackers Downtown
235 S. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46225
317-631-3536
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Text crackers to 88202
Use your mobile and text crackers to 88202 for special VIP deals!
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Tickets
We do not mail tickets. Please present your order email confirmation at the box office to redeem your tickets. A $2.50 service fee is added to each ticket.
All shows are: 17+
Valid ID required:), All sales final
2 Drink Minimum
Each person is subject to a 2 drink minimum once inside the showroom.