Taco Bell, the wacky neighbor

You know the sitc0m cliché of the wacky neighbor? On restaurant row in the Wal-Mart outlot, that’s Taco Bell.

Funny pseudo hipsters in bars eating bacon! The wondefully-named Fourth Meal! Cheap gut fill! Another new food with a Mexican-sounding name made from already-existing back-of-the-house ingredients! Donnnngg!

They just sit over there with subplots and idiosyncratic punchlines while the main action happens over at McDonald’s.

This summer, they’re bolstering their reputation as a decent place to fill your gullet, borrowing interest from Comedy Central by drafting a funny spokesman whom leftish hipsters will recognize as one of Jon Stewart’s newest gifts to the world, Aasif Mandvi.

Unfortunately, this first one’s not that funny.

But the wacky neighbor doesn’t have to be. They just have to pop in, deliver their character’s current tagline, and get out.

Which Aasif can do very well. Truthfully, Taco Bell does provide a lot of pretty great food for low, low prices. You can run your tab up there like anyplace else, but you can also keep an artist from starving with their low price menu.

Maybe the series of ads gets funnier as they go. Daily Show skits often do. Other times, of course, they get tedious.

At least for the time being it’s fun to soak up a little of Jon Stewart’s reflected cool for :30 seconds.