So there's this reality show on cable where two Internet comedians travel around the country making goofy-but-real commercials for real-but-goofy local businesses.
There's one about a hotel for cats and another about an eco-friendly funeral company called Bury Me Naturally.
Then there's one where "Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings" decide to promote an entire town. Specifically, the town of Tonopah, Nevada.
Local officials were a little leery at first.
"I was very worried about what they were going to do," said Town Manager James Eason, who grew up in the Nye County mining town halfway between Las Vegas and Reno. "We're very proud of our town and who we are. We don't want to be the butts of anyone's jokes."
Eason put it another way during his appearance on the show, which aired on cable channel IFC. He was the one who, during filming at a town meeting earlier this year, called Rhett and Link's initial ideas "asinine."
Luckily, the "Commercial Kings" don't take such things personally. Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal said most people they feature in their show tend to relax once they realize the duo is laughing with them, not at them.
"The tension that you feel in that board meeting was very real," Rhett explained, "but everyone was really welcoming."
That includes Eason, who wound up liking the finished product.
"I thought the commercial, the way they put it together, was pretty cool," he said.
The 80-second spot hits all the highlights -- the mining museum, the opportunities for hiking and off-roading, the dark night skies perfect for stargazing. But it also includes plenty of nods to the paranormal and just plain abnormal.
The slogan at the end is "Tonopah, Nevada: We're different."
Town Board member Duane Downing likes that message just fine.
"I think they found some of the strangest people in our town, and they found all of them," he said, but the overall ad is as entertaining as it is accurate.
Truth is, Tonopah is different.
"It's a quiet, slow pace of life. Everybody knows everybody," Downing said. "It's a good place to live. It's a great place to raise kids."
The old silver mining town has full rights to the finished commercial to use as it sees fit. Eason said the community of about 2,500 people can't afford to buy any big-city TV time, but Downing hopes they can find a way to get the ad out there somehow.
"It might generate some interest from people driving through between Las Vegas and Reno," he said.
That's how Rhett and Link discovered Tonopah: through a windshield, a midpoint surprise on U.S. Highway 95.
The lifelong friends turned self-described "Internetainers" had just finished making a commercial for a Reno roller rink and were on their way to Las Vegas to film a spot for Designated Drivers, a business that shuttles drunk people and their cars home safely from the bar.
Link said they originally planned to pick out a storefront in Tonopah as their next subject.
"There was something very appealing about helping a business in what we thought was the middle of nowhere," he said.
They went in expecting the Wild West -- dusty saloons, six guns and cowboy hats. What they got instead were ghost stories, new age spirituality and a man who used facial tattoos and plastic surgery to turn himself into a cat.
Rhett and Link quickly decided that what Tonopah really needed was an official tourism campaign.
As Link put it: "My feelings were confirmed: It is indeed the middle of nowhere. But it's worth visiting.
"That's what I discovered. It's worth the drive."
Contact reporter Henry Brean at email@example.com or 702-383-0350.