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Home » Culture and Criticism

14/31: Candyman: The David Klein Story

Submitted by on December 14, 2011 – 7:01 PM10 Comments

That's my car up towards the top there.

"In life, you only have to be a genius for 15 seconds."

Despite that promising quotation towards the beginning of Candyman: The David Klein Story, and the intermittent presence of Weird Al Yankovic, the documentary is slight, even at a modest hour and 16 minutes. The story it's telling is a worthwhile enough cautionary tale about what can happen to an inventor whose blood isn't quite cold enough to swim with the sharks of etc. etc., but it's also a fairly short story. David Klein invented the Jelly Belly; David Klein failed to avail himself of decent legal advice, or to call the bluff of the large company that wanted his trademark; David Klein got forced out before Ronald Reagan could make him a gazillionaire; end.

A mildly diverting time capsule in the first third, the narrative is muffled after that by interviews that tend to ramble. It's fine that the subjects don't generally give good sound-bite, and if that's the source pool, that's the source pool, but tighter editing would have toned up the pace a bit.

Tighter editing would also have slimmed it down to an hour, and I assume the director wanted or contracted for a feature, but it would have worked better as an hour-long Independent Lens episode. There just isn't enough there. I got more out of reading the Wikipedia entry (love the name "Belly Flops" for flavors they don't make anymore).

As a Revolting Snacks history lesson, though, it's pretty amazing. Klein also invented the snot candy that came packaged in a plastic nose, and his daughter is the brains behind Sandy Candy. A good story as a short; a bit of a snooze as a feature.

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10 Comments »

  • david klein says:

    Dave Klein here—the Candyman. Thanks for the blog. Just wanted to give everyone an update…Candyman:the David Klein Story is now streaming on Netflix, our new beyond gourmet jelly beans David's Signature has been shipped to our distributor and our candy urine in an actual urine container is being sent all over the world…Thank you

  • david klein says:

    Would love to answer any questions….ANY

  • anna says:

    Well, how often do you get to ask the man who invented the Jelly Belly questions!

    So, what's your favorite flavor?

  • david klein says:

    My favorite flavor Used to be the pear…..outstanding flavor—this was before we introduced David's Signature Beyond Gourmet Jelly Belly. Now my favorite is our new David's Signature ginger jelly beans..

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    OMG, ginger?! My husband's favorite! Are they available in Seattle? I sense a stocking stuffer…

  • Shani says:

    Did you just say candy urine in an actual urine container?

    Does it sell well?

  • david klein says:

    Yes…….this is the Same urine container you would use when taking a urine test. We hesitated(for 5 minutes) coming out with this product and then we said "what the heck." It is sold in candy stores around the nation(we suggest to them that they put the product in a microwave for 20 seconds before handing it to the costumers. We also suggest to the stores that they display the product in a bedpan.It can also be found on the web at candy and gag on line stores. By the way our candy Farts are almost ready to be released. If you have any suggestions please contact me at our facebook page–Candyman:the David Klein Story….thank you david klein

  • david klein says:

    Seattle Ginger Lady…..your husband will LOVE these David's Signature Beyond Gourmet Ginger Jelly Beans. They are available in a ten pound box(you only live once so I have heard) and our distributor is Garvey Nut and Candy (562-942-34000…Give them a call.

  • Annie S. says:

    I literally laughed out loud when I read that the urine candy comes in actual urine sample containers! That delights me, and I salute you, sir.

  • Sandman says:

    Candy Farts about to be released? I worry for Ma Bunting.

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