From Entertainment Weekly: Joe Lawson, one of the ad writers who devised Geico's caveman commercials and the new ABC sitcom Caveman, recently acknowledged that he'd been inspired by the Neanderthal-themed title story in [George] Saunders' 2000 collection, Pastoralia. Far from being upset, Saunders tells EW he's pleased to get Lawson's shout-out. "Actually, I'm gonna write a novel now about a green lizard with a British accent," he jokes, referring to Geico's spokes-gecko, "and it'll even out."
This is wild. It turns out George Saunders, a writer who has expended a significant amount of ink jousting with commercialism, commodification and pop culture in his absurdist satires, actually inspired one of the undeniable low-points in American Culture. Layer upon layer of, dare I say, irony. Quite a puzzle.
By the way, I stumbled upon that tidbit adjacent to a review of Saunders' new essay collection, The Braindead Microphone. For what it's worth EW compared Saunders' journalistic talents to those of fellow fiction writers Norman Mailer and David Foster Wallace.