Vinny Warren left Galway in Ireland and went to New York.

He got a job driving a horse and carriage around central park.

He had to wear a top hat.

He knew nothing about horses, but he didn’t mention that when he applied.

He started work at 7pm on a hot Saturday night at the height of tourist season.

He parked the horse and nipped off for a quick cigarette.

When he came back there was an empty space where the horse and carriage had been.

Vinny could see it in the distance, galloping away down 7th Avenue.

He ran after it but he was never going to catch a horse.

And horses don’t stop for traffic lights.

Vinny could see the headlines: Runaway Horse Crushes Tourists, or Family Dies When Car Hits Runaway Horse.

This was his worst nightmare.

But Vinny learned something about people that night.

Many blocks later he finally caught up with the horse and carriage.

It had been stopped by two young cops, an Italian and a Puerto Rican, in a police car.

They thought it was hysterically funny to see a horse and carriage running through New York with the driver chasing it in a top hat.

So, laughing as they did it, they’d used their car to cut the horse off and stop it.

And they felt so sorry for the dumbass driver they just gave him back the reins, laughing all the while.

Vinny didn’t learn much about driving a horse and carriage, but he did learn people love to laugh.

A little while later, that same horse fell over while it was pulling the carriage.

It dropped dead.

Vinny phoned the owner and asked what he should do, should he call the police?

The owner said whatever you do, don’t do that.

The owner came over straight away.

He said we don’t want them to start investigating, we don’t need the aggravation.

The owner said, wait here a minute.

And he went to talk to a guy nearby, sitting in a garbage truck.

A couple of hundred dollars changed hands and the dead horse was tied to the lifting arm on the garbage truck.

The horse was lifted up into the back of the truck.

They stood around and watched while the horse was compacted.

Then suddenly the horse exploded.

Blood showered all over them.

They started screaming with horror, but mainly with laughter.

Vinny didn’t learn much about driving a horse and carriage, but he did learn people love to laugh.

Which was a lesson Vinnie took into advertising.

Later, when he was a copywriter working on Budweiser, he wrote the “Wassup” campaign.

It became incredibly popular worldwide, one of the funniest, most repeated commercials ever.

In fact it was so funny, the phrase was repeated so often, it became the most awarded American commercial of all time.

Not because it was beautiful or stylish.

Not because it was alternative, or fashionable.

But because Vinnie had learned what people love most.


People love to laugh.