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Opinion: Instagram Husband creators respond to Taco Bell’s Instagram Boyfriend

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Editor’s note: This column is republished with the author’s permission. Click here for the original post.

I love Taco Bell.

But, it was late at night, I knew I shouldn’t open this Taco Bell sitting in front of me.

I did it anyway, clicking open the Taco Bell commercial that multiple people had sent me.

At first, I was like, “Oh, an homage to our original idea and video. Delicious.”

Then later, as I digested it, I was like, “Oh, this isn’t settling well.”

You, like everyone who messaged me over the last few weeks, probably saw the commercial from Taco Bell with a man declaring himself an Instagram Boyfriend. You may have noticed its striking resemblance to a video and a term we created called Instagram Husband, resulting in over 60 million views, coverage in press around the globe, and entrance into the cultural zeitgeist as a worldwide term. Indeed, many celebrities have been called Instagram Husbands by the press, including Barack Obama, Tom Brady and Jay-Z.

Here’s our video …

Here’s their video …

Editor’s note: Here’s a comparison of the videos.

You’re right, it sure seems inspired by our video – but no, they never reached out to us. The overall concept, the opening line and the general tone are all the same, we just didn’t have any mouthwatering rolled chicken tacos.

How am I to react? The fast food that I love, and the video I’m proud of, now seemingly in conflict.

Yes, it’s our original idea, but guess what?

I’m not mad.

Because I know, my beloved Taco Bell was just trying to get my attention.

You see, Instagram Husband was made as part of my syndicated late night talk show, “The Mystery Hour.” An incredible American dream story where I created a late night talk show in Springfield, Missouri, of all places, and through teamwork, talent, grit and determination, we’re in 10 markets with dreams of national syndication. Glen Bell also had an American dream story, when he created Taco Bell in San Bernardino, California, of all places, and through teamwork, cheese, tortillas and thinking outside the bun is now in countless markets with a dream realized of creating a meal that comes after the third meal.

Taco Bell, and their agency, would know all of that, and would know that our show is built on sponsorships.

They were merely trying to get our attention so they could sponsor “The Mystery Hour.”

They were just too shy to ask.

We love your precociousness Taco Bell, and we accept your overtures. You can be our title sponsor for Season 9, beginning in September 2019. We would start you earlier, but by then with the help of our idea, you should be able to sell enough delicious rolled chicken tacos to easily cover the costs.

We “quireo” you Taco Bell. We’re just little guys trying “live mas.” We know you were just making a run for the border – of intellectual property decorum – so we would see you peering over the edge.

Truthfully, I’ve eyed you across the room for years, Taco Bell, and now I know you see me too.

It’s time for us to commit to this relationship.

Boyfriend’s not the right term.

I’d love for you to be my husband. My Instagram Husband.

I sunset heart you.

Jeff Houghton is the creator and host of Springfield-based “The Mystery Hour,” a syndicated late night talk show that airs on Fox and ABC. He can be reached at


2 comments on this story |
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Jennifer Jackson

I love the bold flavor of this response by Jeff Houghton! The Taco Bell execs are surely reading as well, right?

Monday, December 17, 2018
Todd Murren

You make me proud as a fellow Springfieldian!

Monday, December 17, 2018
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