Accidentally hilarious

Hey everyone, let's make fun of Peloton! Also 7 other things worth reading.

The last two days' emails have been a bit intense. So let's do something today we can all enjoy.

Oh, I know! We can make fun of Peloton!

I'm not the world's best gift-giver. But even I would know better than to do what the husband in this viral Peloton commercial does for his wife.

I’m Bill Murphy Jr. Welcome to Understandably, my daily email newsletter. I put a lot into this everyday, and I hope you like it. If you’re new, please sign up here. Also, please share this and let other people know that they should sign up too.


Grace from Boston

To recap, in case you don't have images enabled or you simply aren't the link-clicking type, here's what happens:

  1. Husband leads wife downstairs with her hands over her eyes. Actually, he lets their daughter lead her; he's busy filming her.

  2. Husband reveals his Christmas gift: a stationary bike, prominently displayed in their living room.

  3. Wife rides all year. The bike stays in the exact same spot, blocking access to the sliding glass door to their deck.

Do you work out in your living room? Do you move things around? Do you sweat in your dining room? None of this is an issue.

"Grace from Boston" is fine with all of it. We learn her name about 21 seconds into the 30-second commercial, when the instructor on video shouts out words of encouragement. Grace is thrilled.

(If I were still in college, I would be very tempted to start a garage band now just so I could call it Grace From Boston.)

Comments are turned off

Weirdly, Grace vlogs the whole thing. It's not clear until the end who her audience is.

But the big reveal: It's all for her husband! An audience of one!

She's spent the entire year working on a video as a way of saying thanks before the following Christmas.

“Comments are turned off” reads the label this video on the official Youtube channel, which is rarely a good sign.

We live in a divided time, but the one thing that everyone with an Internet connection seems to agree is that this ad deserves to be mocked.

People call the ad sexist, privileged, and stupid. A Washington Post review says people find the ad, “downright dystopian. … And accidentally hilarious.”

(I love it when other publications write my subject line for me. Makes life so much easier.)

The last laugh

Everyone’s making fun. But if there’s one thing Peloton is really good at, it’s laughing all the way to the bank.

A year ago, Peloton was valued, as a private company, at around $4 billion. It went public in October, and some people guffawed at its projected $8 billion valuation, especially after the stock tanked.

But guess what? It’s back. Goofy advertisement or not, when you look at the stock market, Wall Street now values Peloton at about $9.25 billion.

(Not that you read Understandably for stock tips, but shares dropped today — not because of the ad, but apparently because the company dropped the cost of its digital-only monthly subscription.)

I have to admit, I’ve never tried Peloton. This guy’s review suggests it’s a good workout.

Still, the bike alone costs more than $2,245, which is about $245 more than my first car.

So, for the beautiful people with glass-lined living rooms and money to burn, there’s Peloton.

For everyone else, there are pushups.

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow!

Thanks to the 100+ volunteers who responded to my — er, my call for volunteers yesterday. That was really great.

On Friday, I’m going to try something a bit different. I’m going to flip a few switches behind the scenes, and send a shorter email that invites you to comment, interact with other subscribers, etc.

Obviously, it’s 100 percent optional. It’s just a test to see how well it works technically, and if there’s an appetite for this.

I’m told that you’ll be automatically logged in at if you access this as an email subscriber. You might have to fill in your display name or add a profile photo if you want to comment.

But I hope you’ll give it a try. I truly believe you’ll see what a great, interesting, intelligent group of people your fellow subscribers are. Fingers crossed!

7 other things worth a click

  1. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, at least, will lose food stamps under a new rule from the Trump administration. (The Associated Press)

  2. There are now 1.2 guns in America per person, and the U.S. arms industry produced 8.1 billions rounds of ammunition last year. (Washington Examiner)

  3. Meanwhile, George Zimmerman is now suing the family of Trayvon Martin, the teenager he killed in 2012. (Miami Herald)

  4. Presented without comment: Hillary Clinton went on Howard Stern's show and did an interview where she talked, among other things, about whether she's ever had a lesbian affair. (The Daily Beast)

  5. Joe Biden proposed to raise $1 trillion in new corporate taxes, partly by going after companies like Amazon that don't currently pay a cent. (The Wall Street Journal)

  6. Why making the Tesla Cybertruck ugly was actually kinda brilliant. (Inc.)

  7. Sergey and Larry are stepping down from Google. (I linked to a report about this yesterday). But let's be honest, we've barely heard from them for five years anyway. (The Verge)

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