In 2002, GEICO unveiled its new ad campaign characters: cavemen. GEICO's slogan was "It's so easy, a caveman could do it!", which would immediately offend a caveman who was just walking by. Becoming incredibly popular a few years later, ABC decided that it was enough to warrant a half-hour sitcom. However, it quickly became infamous as one of the biggest bad calls in television history, as the show proved to not only be a one-joke premise that was unfunny, but also offensive as it had white characters behaving in minority stereotypes, and had the misfortune of being one of many scripted shows affected by the 2007 Writer's Guild strike. It was cancelled after only six episodes.
The series, like the ad campaign it was based on, centers on three cavemen who live in a modern apartment, as cavemen were integrated into Homo sapiens as a separate sub-group.
Tropes from the series included:
- Alternate History: Cavemen have survived into the present day and exist as a minority group alongside Homo sapiens.
- All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Joel, Andy and Nick have the appearance of Neanderthals but claim to be Cro-Magnons.
- Berserk Button: Do not say "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!" around Nick.
- Contemporary Caveman: With Neanderthals still living alongside Homo Sapiens.
- Failure Is the Only Option: A lot of the common complaints made against the series only occurred in the unaired pilot. The premise seems to have been doomed from the start. While they fixed a lot for the actual series, the damage had been done.
- Fantastic Slur: "Magger" being used as a stand in for..... that word.
- Like a Duck Takes to Water: The entire basis for the whole show.
- Non-Indicative Name: The cavemen don't live in caves anymore.
- The Whitest Black Guy: The unaired pilot has two of the main cavemen making fun of one working as a news weatherman for acting like a stereotypical white human. (In the actual first episode, there's a throwback with one of the cavemen exclaiming "I love this guy!" when the character appears on TV.)