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Daily Reminder: Guy Fieri Sold Mufflers Before Flavortown

Every story has a beginning. Every legend has roots. Every icon has an intro. 

"Boy, these look like they're Flowmasters -- but they're not!"

With that classic quip of misdirection, Guy Ramsay Ferry (yeah, that's his real name) inserted himself into the public consciousness -- not with a bang, but with a muffler commercial. Yes, that is Guy Fieri in the video above. 

Look, if you haven't seen this before, you probably have a lot of questions. That's normal.

  • Who is this toned-down, non-frosted shell of the man who would one day found Flavortown?
  • Why is he screaming at me?
  • Why is he screaming at me WITHOUT spouting off more cornball jokes than Tim Allen?
  • How can Flowmasters claim to the be definitive masters of flow?
  • Is this the real life, or is it fantasy?

Not sure about most of that, but I assure you this is very much reality: in 2001, before Fieri ritually soaked his flesh in Donkey Sauce and made a deal with the devil to become the most powerful/lovable guy in food media, he got his start hawkin' muscle car exhaust parts on TV like a dead-eyed Wilford Brimley. He's sanitized, stiff, and awkwardly non-sassy. It's so weird... like seeing your dad cry for the first time. 

But wait! There's more!

He's in on exhaust pipes, too. 

Alas, the re-branded "Fieri" would go on to launch the mega-successful Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives six years later, and inspire hundreds of hot takes in food media. But one has to wonder: would the world be different if Guy remained Ferry, and decided to keep his Smash Mouth charm in the confines of motor part infomercials?

Yea, probably. We certainly wouldn't have this to look at, whenever we're feeling blue.

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Wil Fulton is a Staff Writer for Thrillist. He likes Flavortown. Follow him @wilfulton