9/1/15

Read Heart dog food. Fort-two to get Reddy.

Does any food manufacturer do send-away premiums any more? I never read the backs of packages when I buy food, so I don't know. This big stuffed dog from Red heart dog food would have been a pretty sweet one, way back in 1957. However, "Reddy" was far from free. First you had to send in six labels from their product (natch), and also mail in $4.95 in 1957 bucks. Let's see... accounting for inflation that comes out to. Jesus Christ! Forty-two bucks!

For forty-two dollars, you could probably frikkin' buy a frikkin' actual dog for frikkin' out loud... which you probably already had, if you were going through six cans of actual dog food to get this fake one. Weird. But, if you think about it, every kid has stuffed animals, and many families have dogs, so, that's not that scandalous. I probably shouldn't have said all those frikkin' swears.

When an Alert Intern plopped this 1957 ad on my desk, the first thing that occurred ot me was how frikkin' much Reddy looks like Cuddly Dudley, the puppety co-star of the Ray Rayner show. "Who the frikkin's Cuddley Dudley, you frikkin' jerk?" you ask? Thanks for calling me a jerk, and here's who he frikkin' was.

Chelveston, Ray, Random Dog, and Fake Dudley.
In The Sixties and Seventies, there was a brilliant kids' show on WGN, the best local TV station in Chicago. the show was Ray Rayner and his Friends. It was a perfectly low-budget show with a reassuringly consistent variety format that's a big hit with kids. (Kids like reliability.) Ray was the host, of course, and his show featured regular in-studio characters like Chelveston the Duck (actually a goose).

Real Cuddley Dudley and Ray.


Once per show, Ray would walk over to camera two and read the fan mail with Cuddley Dudley, a life-sized cocker spaniel puppet. The patter was nearly always improvised, sometimes had a subtext of dirty humor, and usually went over the heads of the audience. Ray's show was also a good source of cartoons, like Mr. Magoo and Looney Tunes, which were sprinkled throughout each episode. Great stuff.

Incidentally, you can see the puppets and other artifcats from the Ray Rayner show at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, down on State Street. I really gotta get down there and see it.


You could also get a Cuddley Dudley doll as a special promotional item for subscribing to the Chicago Tribune. Dudley looked exactly like Reddy, as I will now demonstrate with a side by side compariso...

Oh.

Not very similar after all.

Hell. Now I have no post for today. Double you tee eff am I gonna do now? Just run it anyway and post a few Ray Raynor videos? Sounds like a plan. See you tomorrow, kids!



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8/31/15

Stacomb - The very picture of manhood.

Listen up, hair-havers! If you want to be as handsome and respectable as a College Man, the hair goo of choice is Stacomb. Observe this 1927 ad for proof...


The secret to that shiny varnished hair helmet is Stacomb. It helps your hair "stay combed". That's why the name is so clever, in case you couldn't tell what they did there.

So, with a heapin' helpin' of Stacomb on your head, you can be the very model of admirable manhood - exactly like every college man, all of whom are men, and conduct themselves as men, which is a type of grownup, by the way, which means they always conduct themselves as model citizens and almost never ever act like felons or sociopaths. Here's a picture of a grownup college man, by the way, to help you understand how reassured you should feel if you wake in the middle of the night to find him standing at the foot of your bed, watching you sleep, in a perfectly admirable and manly way. Nighty-night!






8/27/15

Auto Maintenance Tips - Wheels and battery.




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8/26/15

Lucky Strike. So Round, so firm, so fully packed. - Smoking with Woody.


Time for some cartoon lore, citizens! If you're of the right age, you are too young to have seen lucky strike ads like this one first hand, and don't know the reference when it popped up in cartoons from The Forties, which were a part of this balanced breakfast every day of your life until the age of twenty.

First, the old ad.




"So round, so firm, so fully packed." Hey, if the American Tobacco Company can disregard proper use of capitalization, I can disregard their disregard of proper use of capitalization. Besides, those dickwads probably fragged my dad about ten years prematurely, so screw their capitalization.

Until I became a big grownup with a weird obsession with commercial materials from before my time, I only knew that phrase from a couple of Woody Woodpecker cartoons where his voice becomes French and he tries to make it with an incompatible animal species. Observe this clip from Solid Ivory, in which Woody wants an egg, and will sleep with a chicken (apparently) to get one. Try to ignore the bizarre blurring and vignetting applied by the poster to throw Google's automatic copyright violation detection bots off the scent. It all but ruins the point of even looking at this. But here's the line.

FaceTube's embed function doesn't allow time code indexing, so here's a link to the video at just the right spot... until Google catches on and the cartoon is pulled, anyway.

https://youtu.be/df4dMhyCMP0?t=5m23s

It's the Woody Woodpecker cartoon "Solid Ivory". The line occurs at 5:23.

"Oooh la laaa! Pardon, madame. Have we not met before in Pareee? No? Or, was it in ze Riviera, yes? You are so round, so firm, so fully packed! Come, mon cherie, and we will fly to ze Cazbah!"

So, mystery solved, like thirty years later. Walter Lantz was making a trendy reference to a successful cigarette commercial of the time. Bury that reference in the ground for a couple of decades, to be unearthed by Channel 32's Super Cartoon Sunrise for the entertainment of pre-teen Phil, and the reference lands with a thud on the ears of its young audience.



The thud of the reference was un-thudded about ten years ago when I started listening to old radio programs, occasionally peppered with live reads of the Lucky Strike promo mentioning the cigarettes' roundness, firmity, and fully-packeddom.

Also in the Lucly Strike live reads (examples of which were not easily found, sorry) was the recitation of the acronym "L.S.M.F.T.!!!" This was repeated a few times per spot in the odd near-shouting-voice of old time radio actors. If your slogan is a string of five letters and you want it to catch on, you'll need to repeat it - first, so that people can remember so cryptic a phrase - and second, so that they can be annoyed by your blatant hammering of the advertising anvil. This stands for "Lucky Strike means Fine Tobacco". Incidentally, learning something and believing it are two different things. Just ask my religion teacher, Sister Margaret Ann. Sister Margaret, if you're reading this, I respect your wielding of the +3 Yardstick of Jesus against nine year old children, but come at me now and I'll disarm you and then paddle your ass with your own weapon. "LSMFT, mothafuckah!"

Need a good laugh? Please enjoy some bizarre Lucky Strike commercials of the kind that would never see the light of day in this century.

First, a Lucky Strike commercial from the Jack Benny show. It's got a trio of guys singing a parody of "You Belong to Me" in rock solid three part harmony. "Take good care of yourself. Smoke a Lucky Strike." I swear I am not making this up. Here's another non-embedable indexed link.

https://youtu.be/h96cQtJExt8?t=1m44s

This one is only a minute long, and worth watching, because it's a bunch of stop-motion cigarettes having a square dance. Freaky-deaky, man. The money shot comes at 0:26 where the announcer shouts "Smoke 'em! Smoke 'em! Then you'll see! L.S., L.S./MFT!" American Tobacco was trying so hard to make you learn their weird rhythmic acronym they  stuck a foreslash in there to help you learn the specific phrasing. Thank you, advertising. You never disappoint.




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8/25/15

Milstone's Acme


Joke #1 - During World War II, all consumer good were in short supply - even giant hammers, explosive bird seed, and jet-propelled unicycles. As a result, rural America echoed with the constant "meep-meep" of road runner populations out of control. For the duration, patriotic citizens were rarely able to put a road runner on their dinner table. A resourceful few turned to pursuit of rabbits to feed their families, but many would-be hunters found they were not up to the task, as the creatures were often found to be "wascally".

Jim D. wasted no time in whipping out Joke #2 in record response time. Thanks Jim! - Hollywood Trivia: after a preview screening drew an entirely male audience (including one drag queen), Warner Brothers hastily changed the title of "Milstone's Acme" to "Casablanca" before its general release. The rest is cinema history!

Joke #3 Comes to us from occasional contributor, Jeremy. Thanks for the jokeball, Popeye! - Why wait in line when everything can be ordered with Tiny Parachute Delivery?

And also joke #4. A two-fisted joke maker, our Jeremy! - 1952, Toontown store opening. Foreground with back to camera: Judge Doom.

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.   -Mgmt.]

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8/24/15

Pro-Phy-Lac-Tic toothbrush. Say-what?

You need a prophylactic toothbrush, apparently. You don't want your teeth to have little pig babies, do you? What's that you say? "I thought NOT brushing your teeth was a better form of birth control!" Good one.

There's a little irony to be found in a cartoon with a brand new baby and a product called "Pro-phy-lac-tic". But then, 1943 was a simpler time. You could use the word "prophylactic" without talking about boning. The word was only associated with prevention. But here in The Future, where we know about sex, it just means rubbers. And, it's the word that the nun who taught your health class (god help you) used instead of "condom". Having a nun teach kids about sex is like having a vegan teach you all about proper grilling techniques. "The best steak is a nice stalk of celery, children!" You'd better get a second opinion.

This ad makes quite a fuss about their "Prolon" bristles. That's DuPont's marketing name for Nylon. Everybody had Nylon, but when DuPont calls it "prolon", it gets magically better. Using our powers of Living in the Future, we can tell that this was a failure. Have you heard anybody say the word "Prolon" in the last twenty years? Up yours, marketing bullshit!

Before there was Nylon, there was pig hair, or "natural bristle". Say it with me. "Bleah". I'll take Nylon, thanks. At least that comes out of a nice clean robot. Wanna see? Here's a How It's Made video all about toothbrush construction. You won't believe how fast the bristlebot moves. Who needs toothbrushes that fast? People with a hot date, that's who.



Here's the soldier trumpeting for your attention from today's ad. Maybe he'll be useful for something some day.





8/21/15

1960 Studebaker Lark - Strange Meadow Lark

We've posted an ad for a Studebaker Lark before, but that was a few years ago. Here's another one. This time, the Phil Are GO! graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Squad should do Studebaker the service of improving their car in our usual manner.


Cute little car. Nice ad. Blah blah power blah comfort blah blah colors blah economy whatever. Time to add an axle. PAG! Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Squad, Assemble!

Wheel... COPY!
Old wheel... NUDGE!
New wheel... GROW 2%!
Fender... STRETCH!
Shadow... ALTER!
Windows... CLEARED!
Studebaker Lark 4x6... COMPLETE! PKSHOWW!!!

Here's the normal lark and the improved version presented to lucky you as PNGs on alpha background (that means transparent in digigraphic talk).



Here are the original and strange Larks in in the ad, on a farm, near a meadow.


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Here's Strange Meadow Lark, from Dave Brubeck's Time Out album, which was four months old when this ad ran in 1960. It starts out dignified and elegant and gets down to the business of swinging and swanking when the band comes in at 2:10. When it comes up on shuffle, here's what has never happened: me pouncing on the "skip" button, shouting "fuck that song!" because I'm not a monster. Have a drink and let it finish.